An Open Letter Regarding Abandonment

Dear Person with No Filter,

We have nice conversations about politics, about our similar and devastating childhoods. We joke a lot. We get work done, and that generally makes our shifts at work pleasant. Yet, every so often, your lack of filter just gets me. Like the day you inexplicably told me I was “fatter then you” (I’m not).  Most days, when you are ranting about some conspiracy theory, or some obscure situation, I ignore it.  I smile, I nod, and I move on to our next task, if it’s particularly awkward. Tonight though, I couldn’t let it go. I had to make sure you knew that I was indeed angry at you.

Let me get a couple things straight:

  1. I am a birthmother. While you pretend to understand, or tell me what that means, you actually have no idea. No idea at all. 
  2. Because your mother sucked and you hate her as result of childhood abuse, it does not mean that all mothers, including Birthmothers like me, are terrible.
  3. Your judgment about my life choices and my decisions in a situation that does not apply to you, has never applied to you, and will NEVER apply to you is completely unnecessary. Full stop.

So when we got into a debate about whether or not an adopted child notices that his biological mother is missing or not, I figured I would entertain you. Then you kept pushing your point. If the mother was callous enough to “give him away in the first place”, the child wouldn’t notice, nor would he care. In fact, you went on to say, that if she didn’t care then, she would never care, and the child should be grateful to be away from a sociopath like her.

I won’t lie, your words caused me to go to a very deep, and angry place.  How could they not?

On the outside, I was still calm, and cool, but if the Birthmother on the inside had a voice, or I had let her have a voice, she would have some mildly colourful words for you to chew on.  That’s the very least of what you would have experienced, I’m sure.

However, I tried, like I always do, to explain the connection between birthmother and child. Between all Mothers and their children. That it has been proven that there is a lasting impact from separation during the very early years of childhood, adopted or not.  With adoption, this separation impacts each part of the triad differently, uniquely. I explained that sometimes, I believe that the child would be better suited with his mother, depending on how respectful the adoption was to all involved. Including the birthmother.

Why I bother to explain these things to people like you, I will never understand. The next words that followed drove me to start seeing shades of red in my vision. You went on to disagree with me; your argument was that kids in foster care are “just fine”. You went on to say that I am over analyzing the impact that our parents have on us, especially when I “went out of my way to abandon The Kiddo”.

Still, I argued. I argued that I didn’t abandon him. Because I didn’t.  I never wanted to abandon him or leave him.  I had no choice. I was told, “If you keep him, you will have no support”. I was 17, little life experience, had no role model to look to so I could parent him. I had no choice. Abandonment was not what occurred.

You don’t know any of that, because you didn’t spend 9 months being called terrible words, being told that you had “sinned”, and needed to make “it” right. You also don’t know how desperately I loved that boy. How much I still love him with all of my being.  But I didn’t say that to you,  or any of this to you because I knew, this sort of love is lost on you.  I just wanted you to know, that it should never be equated to abandonment.

You disagreed. You said that at the heart, it was abandonment.

Then I was quite finished with this discussion that was beginning to look more like a judgmental lecture for your entertainment.

I stood up, hot tears trying to push through as I said, “I’m finished with this conversation. Don’t talk about things you have no experience with”.  As I walked away, I said, “People like you just piss me off. You aren’t supposed to actually exist, people who are this rude and insensitive. Thanks for the reminder that you do”.

I didn’t cry. Not then, anyhow. I busied myself, as I brought myself back to life. I was in shock, and in order to survive the moments before I needed to fall apart, I needed to move my hands, and get my brain thinking about useless things. Just survive this moment, that’s all I needed to do.

Since the adoption, I have been subjected to backhanded interest.  I’ve had to deal with entitled relatives and friends who think they deserve to know all the juicy details, because the idea that my adoption is not gossip or Sunday dinner material just doesn’t cross their minds.  I’ve had to deal with the ever common Birthmother Onceover. The judgement, the rumors and the gossip, never to my face, always behind my back. I’ve dealt with it. But this? Never once has someone ever dared accuse me of abandoning my child.

While I was in the hospital with The Kiddo, I shed a lot of tears. Tears for me. For him. But the tears that came the hardest and stayed the longest? The ones where I worried, terrified that he would hate me for abandoning him. That he would think I abandoned him. That I just left him, and never wanted him.  The night before I relinquished my rights, I stayed up all night, rocking him, holding him, and crying. I said the same thing over and over again, “I love you, I love you. Please don’t hate me”.

I still cry those same tears, and say those same words, every year on his birthday.

Not one single person has ever told me that he would.  Not one single person has ever said to me, “You abandoned him”. Until you, of course. Those words echoed in my head as I left work for the night, careful not to talk to you, for fear of completely losing my cool. Those words echoed in my head as I angrily tried to find the “right” music so I could let it out. And as I began to cry, the ugly cry, the kind that is only ever associated with the pain of my adoption, those words echoed harder and louder. I drove home, tears falling fast and hard,  and  I have no idea how I made it safely.

Just like you have no idea how I came to the choices I did 9 years ago. My story, The Kiddo’s story is not up for discussion.  It has never been up for discussion; it’s one of the reasons I have held back on discussing adoption or the issues surrounding adoption for so many years. Even people who are not as rude as you seem to think they can weigh in with their opinion on what I did, what I had to do.

So let me set the record straight: For this situation, your opinion is useless. It’s not necessary, and your judgemental insults have no place in my story.  Furthermore, you hurt my feelings, and I hope, how I hope, you got what you wanted out of our conversation.

The insinuation that I simply have no feelings regarding this life changing, and actually traumatic situation is obscene. I shout this to you, from way down here, as you perch on your epically tall soap box:

I am a birthmother. Not a monster. I was a victim of circumstance. I am still a person. I am still a human. I still have feelings. And you should know, I love The Kiddo, fiercely. Just like any other mother loves their child.

Next time, stick to your opinions about video games and politics.


Another Version of Mother



3 thoughts on “An Open Letter Regarding Abandonment

  1. Wow.

    I haven’t been — in person — verbally accused of abandonment, though a few of my trolls over the years have thrown the word around here and there. You did better than I would have, as I would have unleashed fire, fury and hell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s