Parallel Dialogues- Based On Two Separate Life Stories

Parallel Dialogues-
Based On Two Separate Life
Stories
Arun Dohle & anonymous Indian Birthmother

I want my baby back!! But nineteen years later she is not the baby I had to give up. Will I ever
have the joy of knowing her? Will the pain of being separated all these years go away? Does she
long to see me?

I want my mother back! After 34 years she is still my first mother. Will I ever be reunited with
her? To be reunited is something I desire very deeply. Will seeing her ease the pain of being
separated for so long? Maybe she doesn´t want to see me?

In 1973 my parents went on their honeymoon. Their honeymoon was an exchange trip to India, and they
were guests of a family. Since they desired to have a child and it was clear at that time that it
was difficult for them to have biological children, the family suggested that they adopt a child
from India. So my adoptive parents adopted me with the help of this family, from a well known Pune
orphanage which also runs a women’s shelter.

In 2002, I discovered that I was actually an unwanted child belonging to the extended family of my
adoptive parents’ hosts. My mother was unwed and was given no chance to keep me. (She would have
gotten married after that and no one would have known that she already had a child.)

I always felt that I was forcibly separated from her.

For nine months I protected myself by just not thinking about it, or even telling anybody about the
fact that I was pregnant. Denial was the easiest way to protect myself from the truth, until
reality hit me like a brick on the head. I only had a glimpse of the baby when she was born and
then she was taken away. In the following two weeks, I did not see
Positive language tip: ’birthparents make
adoption plans’ is better than saying that they
‘give up’ or ‘relinquish’ their child to adoption.

Kommentar [S1]: Actually I

feel bad if the full credit of this article just goes to me. Somehow a word of thanks for the
mother who participated needs to be included

Kommentar [x2]: Pay attention to fonts being changed in article- its two different dialogues

her and wondered why. The idea was not to allow any kind of bonding to happen.

I feel that when I was in my mother’s womb, she loved me, and she wanted to have me. She gave me a
huge gift- my life.

My family took over the whole situation. In those two weeks all arrangements were made with the
nuns who ‘agreed to take the baby’. The day they gave her to me was the day I had to give her up.
My heart broke a thousand times. They decided that it would be ‘good for me and my baby’ since I
was so young. Besides, I had no job, no house and nobody to support me in any way. And then
questions started popping up in my head. Can I look after her? Will she ever have a father? Will
love get her a decent home or an education? By giving her up for adoption, she would still have
love (though not mine), a good home and a good life. Self doubt and being made to feel worthless
convinced me that this was the right thing. I thought it would be easy enough to get her back when
I settled down. So, I went along. The moment came, I signed the papers and I handed over the baby,
keeping back in my bag the one picture I had, her clothes and a few other things in remembrance of
my “Angel”.

My adoptive parents told me that I rejected food. It wasn’t until the age of four that I ate
properly. Certainly inside, I was grieving the loss I experienced, even though on the outside I was
a happy, active child, exploring the world with curiosity. My adoptive parents later told me that I
had bonding issues and often tested them and our relationship.

But the grief of giving away my baby was unbearable. I started hating myself and wanted to die.
How could I do something like that? Tears were my only means of venting. How did I end up being
alone in this mess? I thought her father loved me, but I had been fooled and this

made me feel sad, angry, betrayed and rejected. Many were interested to know the details, but not
because they really cared about my feelings. Shutting people out was a good way to escape the
explanations. I wanted to run away where nobody could find me. Some of my family members were
helpful and supportive, but many were shocked and very angry, especially my mother. I blamed
myself for bringing such shame and sorrow to my family. I alone was the guilty one. All that love
and tenderness in my heart, which should have been showered on my very
first baby just got buried with all the sad emotions.

This was the price to pay for being naive and foolish. Confusion led to lack of focus. The
feeling of loss was overwhelming. Divorced mothers can look after their children. Single unmarried
women can adopt
children. If a child’s father dies, the mother can look after the child. But
a child born out of wedlock is not allowed to be with her mother. Why is this so unacceptable in
our society? It is a mistake like any other.

But, it was time to pull myself together if I had to do something worthwhile with my life. Being
broke and driven by the urge to get her back, finding a job became top priority. Six months later,
I got a job and settled down well, but I learnt from relatives that my baby was already adopted!
Once again, not wanting to cause any more scandals, I let it go. Time is said to heal all wounds –
but not this kind. It hurts and hurts
and hurts!

My adoptive parents were both teachers, and were of the 68 students’ generation. They were happy to
be able to parent a child. I always felt that I was a very welcome child.

Three and a half years later I married a wonderful man. He is the only person who ever acknowledged
my loss and sympathized with me. He

understood how much I love, miss and want to find my daughter. He shared my vision to find my baby
and make her a part of our family. After all that numbness and pain, it felt so good …different and
unrealistic to have somebody listen to your problem and actually try to solve it with me. It
became our problem!

I have nice memories of my childhood. After two and a half years, my parents adopted a girl from a
South Indian Orphanage via a well-known German adoption agency. I went to a good school; I lacked
for almost nothing. We lived in a nice area and there were a lot of other children in the house.
Only rarely, was I reminded of the fact that I was a person of colour in a white world. Later on I
went to a private school and enjoyed my
time there. I’m really grateful for what I received from my adoptive parents.

We had three children and all seemed well. But the pain doesn’t simply go away because you get
married and have kids.

We were almost like any other family and all seemed pretty well. For me my adoptive parents were my
parents. Even though I always knew that there is another mother out there and a father too.

Unknowingly, I was unable to shower a real mother’s love on our three children. My firstborn was
always on my mind, and all the pent-up feelings- the sense of anger, loss and yearning, coupled
with the strains of life, caused me to be unfair to our children. My loss made me neglect
their feelings and needs. I have unknowingly passed on some of my anger
to them.

Sometimes I got really angry for next to no reason. It was only after I searched and found out that
most probably I was forcibly taken from my mother- she definitely had no choice- that I understood
where the anger came from. It’s from the huge injustice we had to bear.

Today I also feel that my search for my mother- which includes the pain associated with the search
and the amount of time and money spent on it
- affects my own family. Sometimes I wish I could be just like any other father and husband and
not be affected by such a life story.

But the wonderful thing about kids is that they love you unconditionally, which is what I
discovered just two months back when they went away
on a vacation by themselves. Someday, when they are old enough, I will share my story with them so
they know what I have been through. They will understand my behavior and God willing, they will
help me in my search. It would be the most wonderful sight to see my four children
meet and know each other.

My adoptive parents loved me unconditionally. They supported my search for roots. They sponsored my
journeys to India and my search for my mother and father. However, when I found out that something
was wrong with my adoption, and I decided to go to court to try to stop the delay I had encountered
in my search. Because of this, we had a huge, deep dispute.
I was really lucky that my parents love me enough to try and understand what moves me. So finally,
this could be resolved and today I have full support from my parents.

Looking back, I can see what an impact this has had on me and my family. It was destiny that they
too should pay a price for me. It’s never too late to change and I am now making every attempt to
rectify things.
I cannot do this alone and I pray every morning that I receive the grace
to take one day at a time.

As I tread along life’s rocky path, the urge to find her gets stronger and ever more clear. My
search began four years ago in the hope that she wants to find me too! Sadly she is no more a baby
as I think of her, but an adult! And as I venture into the unknown, my hope is in God. I have
no right to look for her (since I signed the papers) legally. Will she forgive me? Will she hate
me?

At the age of fourteen, I wished to spend some time in India. Sadly that was not possible. So I
went to India for the first time after I finished school. It was impressive. I’ll never forget the
smell of the humid, thick air when I came out of the plane. The traffic was scary. I had never seen
such a contrast of wealth and poverty as one can see in India. I spent about three months in India
and explored the country.

Back home, I started studying business and later started to work as financial consultant. It was
also during that time that I met my future wife. All seemed well. I was successful in my business.
But I wasn't really happy; there was something missing.

I decided I would really try at least once, to find my mother. I thought it might take one or two
trips, and I could not imagine then the obstacles that I would have to face. I couldn’t imagine
then that my frequent trips to India would ultimately cause me to give up my office as a financial
consultant.

Despite all the time I have spent searching, I haven’t made much headway. First, the orphanage lied
to me and said there are no records anymore. However, it’s frustratingly clear to me that the
orphanage knows who my mother is, and they won’t reveal her identity to me, her son. A DNA test
showed that I am part of the extended family who hosted my parents on their honeymoon, so I think
they and many others know my mother, but they won’t tell me.

It seems that the court knows the details about my adoption. But the High Court dismissed my case,
so I had to move the Supreme Court, where my case has been stuck in administration for almost two
years.

By now, my mother most probably knows that I am searching for her. So why doesn´t she come forward?
Doesn´t she want to meet me? Can she not move due to family pressure? Is she afraid that her
family, who may not know about my existence, will abandon her? Is she afraid that
her children will disregard her? Is it because I may be an “illegitimate”
child, born out of a relation between a married man and a young girl?

I hoped that the many refusals would ease my pain and desire to meet my first mother. Rather, my
desire just gets stronger every day.

All I wish for is a discreet meeting. Certainly I do not wish to spoil my mother’s life. The
Supreme Court apparently understood the social issue and had suggested (in the last in-Chamber
hearing), that the same should be arranged for by the institution. However, the orphanage did not
cooperate.

Will I ever meet her?

I am and always will be her birth mother. I am not ashamed that I had her and I want to tell
everybody in the world that she is my daughter. When I gave her up, I gave her to God, and I know
God will bring her back to me in my lifetime.

Arun Dohle’s profile:

• An adult adoptee staying in Germany.

Contact email: arun.dohle@gmx.de

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