Finding my Birth Parent(s)

I write this about my experience with finding my birth parent(s). I myself, had always held out hope and I guess a fantasy about my birth mother.. I know I have a birth father but my real emotional hang-up was my mother. Perhaps it was because in my adopted family it was my mother who I had the misfortune to spend the most time with outside of school. My father was a relatively gentle man but he worked- and my mother was a SAHM for most of the time I was with them. Perhaps it was her never treating me like her own, and using me to lash out at. I don't remember a single time she told me I WAS pretty. She'd say in front of me,' we have an attractive family', but to pay me as an individual that compliment 1 time, never. I know she did tell her blood daughter she was pretty.
I will state, I am grateful to have no memory of sexual abuse, nor did I grow up in a drug/alcohol addicted family. These 2 things for many adoptees, are a luxury they never got. 
Anyway back to my lament-  I ALWAYS WANTED MY 'MOMMY'.
In my mind, in spite of giving me up for adoption, she was my unspoken answer of undying love and acceptance. She loved me enough to eventually give me up for better- so she must have loved me.
When I beacame a mother I happened to have a differently abled child. The genetics gave me a reason to search . This need and my own selfish motives of being taken back and loved forever. I was relatively lucky in that it didn't take years- in fact by the time my child was 11 months old I had found and met my mother. Thanks to my birth grandmother(GM) buying her a plane ticket.
The greatest gift my mother did give me, was in fact my birth(GM). Thank God b4 she could think about it, she had told me that there was someone who wanted to talk to me. It was my GM. I got 7 yrs of unconditional conscious love from my GM, I savor every bit of it.
Sadly, my mother for what is is worth was a total bummer. I found her to be an ungrateful, self absorbed,(oh woe is me) emotionally immature human being that after 50+ years, still blamed my GM for everything that happened to her- even after she was of age. All her hurts, fuck ups and choices- she couldn't see were her own after she turned of age. Worse yet, she still insisted on punishing this woman for it, every time she talked to her.
Now,1 would think as a casual observer, who always expected the worst but hoped for the best- and feeling like I was on the outside looking in,(me) that she would have been able to separate the issues of her life. It was not be, she was still a wounded woman/child blaming another person who had issue of her own.
My Grammy had left home at 14 to marry a man 20+yrs her senior to escape the abuses of her own family,(her mother used to say-I cold kill you and tell God you died) She was a virgin and was basically raped by her new husband and was saddled with 3 kids by the time she was 18 yrs old. How could she know how to be a a good mother if this was her plight at such a young age? Never mind that the father rejected the last child born as not his for being born darker (exhibiting the Native American blood from GMs side- not the German/Dutch of his) and had stolen the 2 older kids included was my B.mother thus forcing my GM to have to work, to support herself and her rejected boy.
I found it much easier to get along with my GM, we could converse like 2 adults and with a natural affinity we got along famously. I know this irked my B.M. she is so immature that she felt jealous. How dare I love this woman was her feelings. I felt like in my BM's case she was unable to even tell me the truth very well since she was so immersed in her own world. She sadly had no idea who my B.Father was. My GM was willing to visit her past even if it brought up old wounds- but not my BM. My GM was really a balm for me, while I tried to maintain a civil communication with my BM that she couldn't handle.
I too was a balm for my GM, as she could look at me and see her daughter, (I happened to look nearly identical) so she could enjoy seeing her daughter and having a relationship with a grown child of hers.
After about a year, I quit trying to talk to my BM, I would be in tears over her ignorance, and unwillingness to forgive- now even me since she viewed my relationship with my daughters father a sin and called us 'devil worshipers'. (I had my daughter out of wedlock, though I foolishly married him at the time she was 4) She in her twisted world was a religious zealot, amongst other things.
The let down over my 'mommy issue' took me about 2 years to get over. I had not verbalized it to myself even, and to feel the rejection of a mother all over again, was  painful. Not crippling but certainly it smarted. I found working through it- I was quite OK with the fact that I had had 'bad parents' who adopted me rather than being raised by her for any longer than she did. I feel I dodged a spiritual bullet.
I did what I could to find out my bloodlines and any 'maladies' and have placed this experience in it's own place in my heart. There was no knowledge of Albinism in my search, but I have thus found out that often children born this way were often abandoned in the Native American cultures, and as far as the Pennsylvanian Dutch/Germans they often killed them or locked them away refusing to acknowledge their existence or birth. So it's no wonder that my GM or BM had no idea of these recessive genetics. W/out my BFathers side of the genetics and no abilities to find him, this will forever be a mystery,
I won't be having any more kids as far as I know or expect, as I have chosen this for myself out of a sense of guilt for not personally raising my child, and how it might feel to her, if I did. I was a very good mother in spite of her fathers abuses, and I want to be there for her when she comes to that total realization and not be saddled with the needs of another, or be any more heartbroken if things don't go as expected.
I've forgiven my BM in my heart and spirit, for she is a pitiful lost soul. I didn't get the happy reunion with her that I had wanted, but I did find that I got just what I needed.
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not being told...

The two things that really hurt me were:  my mother NEVER said I love you first... EVER!  And when I asked her if I was pretty she would say, "pretty is as pretty does."  I only asked twice in my childhood.  I learned that I was not pretty...

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

pretty is as pretty does

I think more parents than not, forget that they are raising little people. We want people, who grow up- to be self sufficent members of society, that are actually happy. Often lousy parents can't see past their own miseries to not burden the next generation with their own maladies. It is a shame we aren't brought up whole and must discover for ourselves our own self worth and try to figure out what is happiness/love of self and how are we going to be that way. Being unable to view ourselves correctly on the outside, and then turning that pain inward we often seek out the approval of others through means that cause us more grief and thus reinforcing the self hate we were burdened with in the first place. It's a multi-generational transgression and it must be stopped.Though I will be the first to admit, I have no answers.

seeking acceptance...

I only saw myself as someone who had to give in order to get... trouble was, I never got anything in return.  I gave myself to so many nasty men/boys and just continued to be used, accepting those few minutes of attention as my just-reward.
I have spent years telling my kids how much they are loved and just how beautiful they are to me.  I had nothing genetically to do with their looks, so it always amazed me just how beautiful I thought they were; still do.  I can see that the two who are not at home got less than the others.  Their actions did make them less beautiful to me.  I wonder if my mother's influence made me see those two differently?  I was wrong; those two needed the verbal reassurance even more than the others. 
Do you think there are people who just will not accept that they are loved and therefore keep the distance with their bad behavior just to prove themselves right:  I'm not worthy of love?
Do any of you feel differently about each child you have, or do you feel the same about each one?  I see each of my children as individuals with different needs and expectations, with different demands on my attention.  And my own mother only had me to raise and she could not find the time to love me...  it makes it more difficult to be a mother when you've never experienced the mother's true love and acceptance.
I spent years trying to make my mother happy; wanting to earn her love and always falling short.  And in that, I find it very easy to love and accept my children because it's what I truly wanted my whole lifetime.  I'm willing to give... it's a sweet gift I can give, requiring so little of myself.  WHY are there mothers in this world who just can not give of themselves to their children when God made it so easy.  I have failed miserably at a lot of things, being a mother, but they all can say they were loved and wanted.  Yes, some more than others...  and for that I am so sorry.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

in the eyes of the beholder

I was told I was pretty, (BUT, shown where I could use some improvements.)

In the 8th grade I was told I would look much prettier if I had gold highlights put in my hair.  [I would look more Irish... more like my Amother.  If I looked more like her, I would look better.]  As I got older, I saw first-hand just how many people seem to prefer blonds.

My amother didn't like my nose too much... she told me when she saw the first picture, she knew one day it would have to be fixed.  I had many "accidents", making my nose a bit worse on the eyes.  My once-round nose looked more like my Adad's... the large Italian nose that was too big for such a petite pretty girl.  For my 16th birthday I was given a nose-job... to fix the flaws seen on my face. [If I removed my dad's nose from my face, I would look much better.]  ironically, the plastic surgeon did a crap job, and my nose has the flaws to prove it.

After four children, I was told I would look better if I had breasts. 

I did as I was told, and felt better because people liked what they were able to see.

Throughout my life, I have often felt no one ever saw the real natural God-Given beauty inside of me.

(Stuff like that does not go away.)

I learned to keep to myself. 

One thing I wish I had was a photo of the members within my biologic family.

I wish I could see the parts of me that belong to someone else.

stupid questions...

In adopting Asian children I went through some horrific questions from some truly stupid people:
Will they speak Korean?
Will you have their eyes fixed?
Will you have surgery to give them a bridge on their nose?
They are so cute; their face looks like someone pushed in and flattened it.
And this one was just last month and involves my oldest son from Korea:
Son's friend (they LOVE to slam each other in fun):    You're Asian, so you have a little penis...  Son to friend:  Yes, but at least I have a penis while you have a vagina!  I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE from laughing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We can be so cruel!  How do you feel about fake boobs and nose?  Don't you mourn what was taken from you?  Just a little more taken here and there in order to soothe the AM's ego.  Was she really a pretty woman?

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

My own personal opinion

I would much rather have someone tell cruel jokes about me, knowing it was all in stupid fun than have someone tell me seriously, (in not so many words...), "I don't like this about you."

One feels fun and funny, the other feels like an attack... especially if the critical remark is coming from someone who sees all that is different as being "bad" or unacceptable.

As far as my own opinion about my AM.  Three things come to mind.

  1. Even as a very young child, something didn't seem right about her... her smell... it bothered me, but I kept that opinion to myself.   
  2. As I got older, she got uglier to me.
  3. I don't think I can see her like others do... therefore I cannot offer an objective opinion about her appearance(s).

I found my birthparents

Finding my birthfamily was extremely important.

  However, both sides of my family are a train wreck.

  Michael
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" The very survival mechanics RAD Adult's use to survive slowly kill them" M.S.

Better left alone

For many years I tried the search and seek route... I had all sorts of road-blocks and landmines (international adoptions can be just SOOOOOO much fun!).

I got to a point where I had to sit myself down and ask myself seriously, "What are you looking for?"

Answers?

Answers to what?

The questions I had, medically/biologically speaking, could be answered easily if I really needed them.  [All it takes is money and a good genetic testing lab and and counseling.]

The questions I had, personally, were a different thing.  There were answers I wanted... and answers I feared.  There were things that could lift me and things that could destroy me.  What risk was I willing to take?  Given my adoptive-family experience, how much more disappointment could I endure? 

I realized after some serious soul-searching and deep discussions with other adoptees who searched (and needed to recover), some things in my life are better left untouched.  [I think back to some of those discussions and LAUGH... especially when some of us would talk about the greatest of all fears -- genetic sexual attraction!!!]

Part of my survival is based on one simple fact:  the woman who birthed me was not a bad person.  She may have made many mistakes, but that does not make her a bad person.  I have to honor that and accept everything that happened after she let go happened for a reason.

Truth is, had I learned my first-family was as messed-up (or worse) than my AP's, I would have caused serious injury... to myself.

Finding my birthparents

When I found my birhtparents, that was the beginning of my recovery.
Then and only then I was I able to begin the process of healing. And
It took me ALOT of time to accept the fact of what my birthfamily really
was. It wasn't the "Family Dream" that so many adoptees cling to.

  The harsh reality of finding my family helped me understand who
and what I was.

Michael
" The very survival mechanics RAD Adult's use to survive slowly kill them" M.S.

How do we heal?

So far I have mainly stayed out of the discussion about RAD, because i don't believe that much in psychotherapeutical labels. BUT, I am interested in learning from you how your healing process worked for you.

Far more important than how we call our conditions are the stories of how we learned to deal with our conditions.

I TOTALLY agree with you

Dear Neils,

  Very refreshing to see yet another person with an OPEN mind. I think R.A.D. is real and I have dedicated the rest of my
life to R.A.D. awareness. But I really enjoy the idea that your willing to listen.  In a moment I will post one of my older
posts from blogspot about one of the major parts of me that changed on a riverbank. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

  It's called "I found my voice on a riverbank". I think that post and the post about researching my family finally
broke all the hatred and the anger. I also did a 55 mile hike from Cincinnati to Dayton for RAD and Adoption
awareness. I walked from my apartment in Cincinnati to where I was adopted in Dayton, Ohio. That 3 day walk
gave me alot of time to reflect.

  I will post my blog in one moment for you.

  Michael

" The very survival mechanics RAD Adult's use to survive slowly kill them" M.S.

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