Saturday, 25 October 2014

Giving up...

I'm giving up...but still not sure if it is my dreams or hopes I'm giving up for good but I know one of them has given up the ghost.

Again, I'm at "home" in Athens...going to places my son might be or has been and hoping for this intense reaction to we have been in the same place...I must feel something.

Everytime I come to Athens I hoped we make a connection somehow...whether it was meeting him or be somewhere he had been....I expected to feel something....OK last year I did see him...and wow that was intense.

This year I have been to numerous places I know he has been...not at any stage did I feel that connection that I expected.  

This year I have realised that if he knows about me...he is not ready yet....if he doesn't know he is in for a hell of a shock.  Personally, I think he knows...but I have realised that he might not have any interest in meeting me or having any contact. Or it is not the right time in his life.

So, I give up....I no longer hope/dream that he will contact me...still whenever he is ready...which might be never...I still will be there for him,  However, I have given up on me meeting or contacting him...if it is meant to happen it will be on his terms.

I have to resign myself to the fact that he might not EVER want to know me or meet me.

So, I'm keeping the door open for is just that I will longer chase my dreams/hopes.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Why the "Not Knowing" hurts

Today I had an awful "what if" moment...last year when I was in Greece and had my close encounter with my son, I froze up and I don't think I would have been able to have a coherent conversation with my son had the opportunity had arisen.

So today, I'm going on with my daily business and this awful thought strikes me...what if he thought I rejected him...what if my son knew who I was that day in Athens Mall and was waiting for me to approach him and start the conversation and when I didn't, he might have thought I rejected him.

This is where the "Not Knowing" is hurting us birth parents...I couldn't approach my son that day...because I don't know if he knows about me or even if he knows he is adopted.

Yes, I'm luckier than some birth parents...I know his name, I have seen him in person (without speaking to him), I even have some photos of him.  Technically, I can contact him but I'm trying to stay within Greek Law...OK there are some plans afoot on that front...if nothing happens this year...I might take a more direct approach in the future.

Other birth parents...they don't have the luxury of the knowledge I have...imagine, not knowing your child's name, how they look like or even if their child is alive...yes, I was in that boat for many years and that was hell.

Still now, I am in hell...because I do not know what my son going back to that day in Athens Mall...had I know he knew he was adopted, I think I would have been able to go over to him and say hello, had he told me to fuck off...that would have been fine.  I can live with that...what is killing me is that I inadvertently might have in his mind rejected him with not speaking up that day.  Or, what if  I had and he didn't know he was adopted...I would have shattered his life.

Despite my best intentions, because I do not know...I still might end up being the one that shatters his life, but he does have the right to know about his origins and that he is loved by me. 

Meanwhile, I can only hope that he didn't know who I was that day and if he did, I can only say this to him:
My dearest son, if you think I rejected you that day, I didn't.  I just don't know if you even know you are adopted....I didn't speak up rather than taking the risk of hurting you in anyway.  It might have been the cowardly thing to do, I would never reject you nor would I ever do anything intentionally to hurt you.  I love you too much.
Then the flip side, adoptees also is hurt by the not knowing...they might have found out that a birth parent has passed on and don't know if siblings or other family members have been told about them.

We are all hurt by the not is unfortunately a big part of adoption.  I for one, would prefer to know that my son knows about me but does not want any contact, rather than not knowing if he knows about being adopted or that he is welcome to reach out to me anytime he wishes.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

"Inbetweener" generation of birthmothers

Being online and reading the many adoption blogs and forums I follow, have made me realise that there are atleast 3 different generation of birth mothers.

You have the BSE - Baby Scoop Era it sort of ended in the mid to late 80s, but not fully.  Then you have my generation, the "inbetweeners" from about mid 80's to the late 90's.  Finally, you have the "modern" generation, the era of "open adoption".  However, for the" modern" generation it is also a big difference between the UK and USA.  In the USA, TV programs like 16 and Pregnant "celebrate" open adoption. In the UK, for the "modern" generation social services has been involved and the children have been removed from their family and an adoption order granted.  So the adoption is more focused on adopting out of the foster care system and that the adoptee is fully aware of their circumstance growing up.  Although, it seems from posts I see in some of the UK forums it that Local Authorities and Judge's issues adoption orders far to in the UK it looks like a new BSE period is on the horizon...I will try to write more about this another time.

I cannot speak for the BSE or the "modern" generation of mothers, because I'm an "inbetweener", I'm between the two generations...I was affected by the stigma of the BSE generation but at the same time I was a test subject of some of the lies being told to the "modern" generation.  Nor can I speak for mothers who lost their children through social service's actions.

We still felt the stigma of being a single mother...told we were unable to take care of ourself and our children, we were coerced (subtly or forcefully) into giving up our essences told we were not good enough...OK, so we wasn't sent to a mother and baby home...we wasn't alienated from our friends or loved ones...still we were coerced, we were often told our lives would go on without it affecting us...that we would forget our child. 

At the same time, we were told that our children would be told about us, grow up knowing that we loved them so much that we did the best we could for them and that was to place them for know that "lovely" phrase of we gave the "Gift of Love" to our children and their adoptive parents. 

Not sure about other "inbetweeners", but I was told that my son would always know about me, that he would be encourage to come and find me when he was older, if that was what he wanted.  I spent years clinging to the hope that he had been told about how my circumstance at the time made me unable to raise him and that because I loved him too much...what a pile of crap.  Yes, I did believe all the crap.

My generation of "inbetweener" mothers are more vocal about our adoption journeys and yes, some of us are angry...mainly we are the previous generation we told that we will forgive us for speaking up and telling the world that adoption can suck...especially for those of us who "voluntary" sought adoption for our children...we were lead to believe that it was the best for our child and ourself...then we learn the ugly truth...we will never forget our child and adoption hurts our children and us...the pain will never go away.  Can you understand why we feel hurt?

So what should we do?  First we must forgive ourself...if we don't any potential reunion with our child will never be successful.  We must share our stories, learn from each other and educate others on the long term effects of adoption.  Most of all, we must respect that each of us have an unique adoption journey and support each other.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Birth Mother / Parents Support Group London

Despite a number of Google searches I still cannot find a support group for birth parents in London...can you believe a city as large as London...I cannot find a support group?

All I want is an opportunity to once every couple of weeks...maybe even just once or twice a meet up with someone like me...someone who has a story I can relate to, who can understand some of my that too much to ask for?

OK, I'm very lucky..I do have a fellow birth mother who I can actually hug or be hugged by...but the both of us felt like we were the only ones..yet our stories are so different and yet similar...still..there are so many more like us out there...why is there no agency giving us support...there are plenty for the aparents.

So in my wisdom, as little as I have of it...I would like to invite anyone how find this blog from searching for a birth parents support group in London, please contact me through this blog....let us just get together and have a coffee or something...lets share our experiences, you never might help me understand my journey or I might help you understand yours.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Janteloven and adoption

I have a very good friend...OK sometimes I do hate him because he is very good with pointing out my faults...still, we all need a friend like this...because if we don't have one of these friends we will not learn and grow from our mistakes.

However, a couple of weeks ago, I was watching a program called Scanimania, the host Hugh Fernely-Whittingstall reminded me about the bane of Scandinavia called Jante's Law.  I had a bad week with my friend pointing out a number of my faults...I was at a low friend, had pointed out that I do something very good then I go and ruin it with something stupid...I can do a complicated task and then I fuck up on something simple and obvious.

The I see the program and Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall mentions Janteloven (Law of Jante) and then it hit me...that stupid "law" has influenced all my life...I have been indoctrinated into believing that this is how life is supposed to be...then I have a light bulb moment...this is one of the reasons I placed my son for adoption.

Let me try to explain, the law is simple...You are never good enough, but let me put into my adoption perspective.

The ten laws of Jante are (in bold and my interpretation below)

1) You're not to think you are anything special

Why do you think you are able to go it alone, you are not good enough to be a single mother
2) You're not to think you are as good as we are
As a single parent, you will fail, a two parent family is always what is best for the child
3) You're not to think you are smarter than we are.
As a single parent without family support, you will not be a good parent
4) You're not to convince yourself are more better than we are
as above you will have failed because we said so
5) You're not to think you know more than we do
Hindsight is such a wonderful thing..had I known what I know today...I would never have done what I did then...still I know I cannot change anything so this statement is true.  I still don't know more than you do...then again,
6) You're should not think you are more important than we are
As the Apap your feelings are more important than mine, I was just a carrier for OUR child, after birth I have no feelings for this child
7) You're not to think you are good at anything
after all I was were just an incubator for 9 months, I will never be a good parent as you will ever be
8) You're not to laugh at us
when you come out with statements like "God knits you together in your mother's womb then he wove you into our hearts you" and other sickening statement I am not supposed to snigger in disgust.
9) You're not to think that anyone cares about you
Our child will never have any feelings towards e...either good or bad...I'm a non entity in their life...I do not exist
10) You're not to think you can teach us anything.
No my experience does not help future will not help the next generation of adoptees, birth parents or adoptive experience will never help another in the adoption triad to avoid the potential pitfalls of the adoptees welfare

Now look into your own adoption story and tell me which part of Janteloven did not apply to you?

So I'm lucky, I have a friend who points out my fault and made me realise that Janteloven impacted on my decision to place my son for adoption.   So OK I will forgive my friend to point out my faults..despite not seeing their own....then again...he has just learnt about Janteloven...He would have never survived had he been raised on these "principles" untill I can deprogram myself...I will do something good then do something stupid to fuck it all up.

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