Friday, March 14, 2008

Response to ebgdae...

A comment on my previous post (see here) from someone with the alias of ebgdae (must be a guitar player) raised several questions that I felt would be better answered in a new post rather than a follow up comment to the previous one. I will give my answers to the questions that ebgdae asks and then add some thoughts from my perspective. To add perspective to the comments and questions from ebgdae, I will say that ebgdae accessed my site from a computer in the domain.

ebgdae starts out, "I'm curious, why do you think your birth-mother denied placing you for adoption even after you tracked her down?"

I asked my birth aunt this very question. She believes that my birth mother hasn't told her current husband about placing a child for adoption. That would explain this type of reaction from her. Would my birth mother have been able to "hide" the fact that she placed a child for adoption for the rest of her life? I believe that is highly unlikely, due to some family circumstances that I won't get into in public.

"Do you think it was fair to place her in a position where she was forced to do that? Or do you think that's just the price she pays for her decision? "

I'm struggling to see what position I placed her in. I was very sensitive to the fact that she may not have told anyone about me. That is why I had an intermediary contact her. I think it's important to note here, that it wasn't really her decision to place me for adoption. She was faced with a decision of keeping on the good graces of her parents or placing me for adoption. She was 21 years old (not exactly a minor) when she became pregnant with me, but, she did not make the initial contact with LDS Social Services. The initial contact to LDS Social Services was made by another member of her family. I also should note that my birth mother worked for the LDS Church at the time she became pregnant. She was fired when the pregnancy was discovered, because being unmarried and pregnant, she wasn't worthy to work there. After my birth, she quit being an active member of the LDS Church, and remains that way today. I believe she feels like the Church took her child and her job and gave her nothing in return.

"Was there a part of you that wanted to force her to acknowledge you and possibly feel bad or apologize for her decision?"

Not at all. I don't think any birth mother should have to feel bad or apologize for their decision to place their child. I believe, the decision to place a child is a heart breaking one that requires a lot of thought and prayer. Michael McLean has a song that I love, titled "From Gods Arms to My Arms to Yours." If any adoptive parent listens to this song and doesn't feel great love towards the birth mother, then that adoptive parent has major problems.

As for what I hoped for, I basically wanted some health information. I have found out some very valuable health information that helps me and also my children. If you could find out life saving information for your children and grandchildren, wouldn't you do all you could to get that information? I also wanted to know the circumstances surrounding my birth. To this day, I still have not met my birth mother. If I could talk to her today, I would simply tell her thank you for placing me with a family who I believe loves me as if they had given birth to me. I personally would like to know how ebgdae feels about the birth mother of their adopted child. Was she simply a "vehicle" that had to be used to get that child to where ebgdae believes God intended it to be? Or was she a loving mother that made a heart breaking decision to attempt to give the child a better life than she could provide for it.

Do you think if you had found her sooner (as a teenager) it would have caused problems for your family?

I assume ebgdae means that if I had found her as an 18 or 19 year old, since before that time "as a teenager" I would have been a minor. I don't believe it would have caused any more problems for my family than it did when I did find her. I know there are some adoptive parents who support there children in finding their birth parents. It's obvious to me that those parents are not fearful of their children "leaving the nest." Their is an anonymous quote that says, "If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was."

My parents really struggled (and probably still do) that I chose to find my birth mother. The fact that I found her is one of those things that just isn't talked about around my family. My decision to look had nothing to do with the way I was treated at home or with whether I felt loved. I love my parents and I always will. Do parents feel threatened that a child will love their in-laws? Some do, but, I believe most do not. I love my mother-in-law just like I love my mother. I firmly believe that as adults we have room in our hearts to love many people as "parents."

ebgdae goes on to say, "It is a betrayal of their trust to open those records or reveal that information after they relied on promises of confidentiality. If they change their mind they can register with the mutual consent registry."

I believe that the actual number of women who "rely on promises of confidentiality" is very small. Are you really being "honest in your dealings with your fellow man" if you keep a secret such as placing a child for adoption from your spouse? Is a marriage truly solid with a secret like that between the two parties?

As I said in my previous post, I have a good relationship with my birth aunt. My birth mother was the only one of her siblings that wasn't married at the time of my birth. My birth aunt and her husband said they have always been interested in what happened to me. The "mutual consent registry" (which I did register with) wouldn't allow them to register and find out anything about me. What if my birth mother had died shortly after placing me for adoption? This birth aunt wouldn't be able to register on the registry and give me any pertinent health information or information surrounding my birth. Remember, placing a child for adoption affects more than just the birth mother, the adoptee, and the adoptive parents.

Finally, ebgdae says, "As much as I sympathize with adoptees who want answers, we all face questions in life that are unanswerable and we just have to accept the way things are and move on." Most people will do their best to find the answers to those "unanswerable" questions. My own church believes that one may know the "truth of all things." Shouldn't we be actively engaged in trying to find out the answers to those "unanswerable" questions? I believe when we do that, we can find great joy. After all, weren't we created that we might have joy? I also believe that God gives each of us the desire to know about our ancestry. This, to me, would include adoptees knowing about the ancestry of their birth. Remember, genealogy isn't only popular amongst members of the LDS Church.

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