A Delicate Dance

Posted by on May 8, 2009

I know she wants to hear from me and I always promise that I won’t let so much time go between calls. But I do and I don’t know why, although I have my theories.

I always tell her she can call me whenever she wants; that no time would be a bad time to hear from her. But she never calls. She says she doesn’t know my schedule and doesn’t want to interrupt. Well…after my kids go to bed, I’m free for hours and hours and she knows that so really, she could call if she truly wanted to. I don’t get it. If you WANT to talk to someone, you call them. It’s just not that hard.

So I kind of wonder if this is perhaps, subconsciously, my way of trying to force her hand. To get her to call me—just once—by making my calls to her so far apart. Maybe, somewhere in my head, I think that a call from her would be a show of commitment on her end or a way of showing me that she cares enough to do something she clearly finds uncomfortable. For me. Just once.

Or maybe I just don’t want to take our relationship to the next level, a likely result of more frequent calls from me, for fear of rejection. Because you know…that could happen at any time. I could do or say the wrong thing and that would be it. Cut off. And despite my resistance to further extending myself, it would be a huge and painful loss to not have her in my life.

The thing is, you can read books and memoirs and stories about other birthmoms  and adoptees and their feelings and the subtleties and intricacies of the relationship dance they do and it will still never completely apply to your own situation—so in many ways, they’re not that helpful and sometimes, they serve to make me even more apprehensive.

The one thing I really do want is for her to sign the papers so I can have access to my original pre-adoptee birth certificate. I’ve asked before and she evaded my request completely. I am, frankly, very afraid to bring it up again. I don’t want to push the woman who once accused me of “ambushing” her (which, for the record, is absurd. I did no such thing).

The other thing that I would really like would be to know my half-brothers. They still don’t know I exist.

I have no idea what’s going on in her head but she, of all people, ought to know that things rarely stay a secret forever. That said, and at the risk of sound cold or morbid, you can bet that after she dies, I will be contacting them.

But therein lies the problem. When she dies, I won’t even know. Her sons won’t know to contact me because in her life, as far as they know, there IS no daughter to call. Legally, I’m nobody to her or them…and my fake birth certificate bitterly confirms that fact.

The funny thing is that after reading what I’ve written, I realize that I do harbor resentment about the fact that from the moment I was born I’ve never had a say in any of this and as an adult, I STILL find myself in a situation over which I have no real control.

Related Post: What About MY Rights?


  • SciFi Dad says:

    I think the situation is being manufactured from both sides… you want to wait for her call to prove something, she’s holding out because she doesn’t want to deal with something (probably the whole brother thing).

    Isn’t there a way for you to seek out your brothers without her assistance? I mean, you figured out who she was with relative ease, given the limited information you had.

  • Aprylsantics says:

    I’m sorry this is so tough!

  • Michele says:

    I was not adopted. Instead, my birthmother bought new luggage and moved to Vegas one day, leaving her three kids behind. My half-siblings went with their father (not my father) and I never saw them again. I was raised by my great-aunt and great-uncle. I call them mom and dad. They were unable to adopt me due to her health. That and the fact that my birthmother refused to say that she didn’t know who my father was – which meant that since he couldn’t be notified and she refused to say that she didn’t know, meant I didn’t get to be officially adopted. I saw her twice. She contracted viral cardiomyopathy and died. Prior to her death knowing it was imminent, I wrote her a letter, a polite, nice letter, and asked about things I wanted to know. What was it like when you were pregnant? Who is my father? Why did you leave? She called my mom (I let her read the letter before I sent it) and told her to tell me to “Fucking get over it.” She died with all the answers. It’s very hard when the person who caused the situation itself is selfish enough not to see it from the perspective of the person they created.

  • Sarah says:

    Wow, that is stressful. I am sorry for that loss of control feeling. I wish I knew a lot about adoption laws etc. I don’t. So, I will just say some tiny prayers for you in my heart.

  • Carey says:

    Wow, I feel like some of your post is a page from my past. I too was adopted, but at an age too young to remember. My parents decided to do a closed adoption (I don’t think it’s legal to do this anymore) and not tell me about it. My birth mom had some major problems (drugs,alcohol and abuse) and I and my biological sister were taken out of the house one night for our safety (again I was too little to remember). My adopted mom took us both in foster care. I was adopted and my bio sis was kept in foster care by my mom’s best friend (my mom claims the biomom would not sign the adoption papers for my older sister). Anywho, we lived like that for years with my bio sis knowing I was out there and my folks not wanting to let me know. I found out everything when I was 18 and moved out of my folk’s house. My bio sis got in contact with me at the time. I am now into my late thirties and have a relationship with my bio sister and a letter writing one with my bio mom. My real mom (that’s what I consider my adopted mom) feels extremely guilty over what took place. But, I never mention it and she avoids the issue as well. We cont. to struggle over that “pink elephant” throughout the years. Especially because my bio sis had approached them throughout my childhood begging them to let me know the truth about her. Unfortunately, you can’t go back and erase the past. But, you can continue to make a happier present. If you want to get some answers then make that very clear. Hire a lawyer if you must. It can be very messy, but do what you got to do to have peace of mind.

  • patois says:

    I’m really sorry. The advice to “do what you got to do to have peace of mind” seems so true. But only you know if it’s the right thing to do.

    Regardless, from one mother to another, happy mother’s day!

  • turnitupmom says:

    I have two sisters who are adopted. Thank you for sharing your insights and helping me to appreciate what it is that they’ve likely felt and experienced. I can’t imagine what’s it’s like to feel abandoned. But I am grateful for the amazing relationship that I have with them. I don’t believe that blood is thicker than water.

  • Betsy Christian says:

    Despite alot of running, my knees are fat. It dawned on me the other day that while I’ve been told absolutely zero about my birth mother that I do know she must have fat knees.

    The reality of a birth mother must be much harder to deal with than the fantasy. Stay on her.

  • verybadcat says:

    My Dad was adopted. Actually, my Dad was born in a mental hospital, to a very sick woman, whose husband was abusive.

    I know all this because my Dad wanted me to help him find his bio parents and sibs. My Aunt, his adopted sister (and 10 years older), called me and begged me not to do it. BEGGED. I told her it was what he wanted, and that I wanted my medical history.

    So she told me that his bio Dad used to come visit him when he was a toddler, and it upset him so badly that they had to ask him not to come back. That my medical history on that side of the family was a large assortment of mental illness, and that she was afraid it would hurt him more to reconnect than to leave well enough alone.

    I feel guilty, because I didn’t look. My Aunt and I don’t always see eye to eye, but I could hear the worry and desperation in her voice.

    My Dad may not have his bio parents or sibs. He does not have answers. He has me, though, and I am determined to do my best to be enough.

    This situation is completely unfair to you, and I hope you can find the answers and peace that you deserve.


  • I have half siblings, but I have no desire to know them.

    • IzzyMom says:

      Who knows…I could feel the same after meeting mine but until that time comes, the desire to know my only biological siblings is incredibly strong.

  • Blend says:

    Really, your dad is so lucky to have you…

  • lindaloohoo says:

    i am both a birth mom and mother to an adopted four year old son.

    i feel so much when i read your post. my birth son is 25 and we have been reconnected for almost five years (i contacted him). he told me if i hadn’t found him, he never would have looked for me.

    i never had the issue of trying to hide my situation from others in my family, but i can’t imagine how the burden a self imposed secret like that must weigh on your birthmom, whether she acknowledges it or not.

    of course, i’m just guessing, but having had to close the door myself on things that were too painful to contemplate, it becomes a habit after so many years. i realize that this sounds too horrible, but i find myself forgetting that i can actually pick up the phone and call my son, to include him in decisions and vacation plans, etc. i worked so hard to keep those thoughts out of my mind for so many years, that now, in our hectic life, the habit continues. gah. we text several times a week, but only talk on the phone about every two weeks or so and sometimes i wonder if i should be calling him every day. if that’s what he wants me to do. i do worry about intruding on him, his time, his life. that’s the last thing i want to do to someone i love so deeply.

    oh crap. nothing is coming out right. but i’m sorry for your pain. truly, into my heart.

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