Just a Love Letter to my Mother

As an adult adoptee, I have always wondered where I came from.  For many years I lived in the adoption fog and tried to accept it as fact.  I did so because that is what I had to do in order to make my life somewhat bearable.  Living in the adoption fog is a coping mechanism that we adoptees have.  Isn’t it funny that in order to cope, we must convince ourselves that our whole existence was built on lies, coercion and secrecy in the very beginning?  We are expected to go about being happy and grateful about this fact.  As our society is ever-evolving, there is a new movement beginning as we begin to fight for Adoptee Rights.  You may have heard about the Animal Rights movement before and this is very similar.  In the Animal Rights movement, proponents often ask: Who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves?  As Adoptees, we are similar because in our beginnings, people spoke for us and made decisions on our behalves in which we had no voice.  Some may say that humans are animals and in a way that is true, but humans have been able to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the animal kingdom as we are more intelligent that most other species and have become the dominant species in the world we live in.  Somehow, the stigma that comes along with adoption leaves us adoptees feeling like second-class citizens and the continued secrecy as perpetrated by the courts, adoption agencies, lawyers, politicians, birth parents and adoptive parents follows the adoptee around throughout his or her lifetime.

The fog is rolling

The fog is rolling (Photo credit: davidyuweb)

The Adoption Fog is not limited to just the adoptee as the the concept of adoption is  really nothing more that a bizarre love triangle.  Adoption is touted as the loving option  but it is ultimately built on the losses of all three members of the triad. Adoptees lose the most, but are expected to put that behind them and be thankful for what they gained.  Happily accepting that your loss was a good thing allows the adoption fog to set in and once it does, it is very difficult to find your way out.  Adoptees are not the only ones who can live in the fog; both the birth parents and adoptive parents can also live in the fog.  I am an adoptee who has come out of the fog and ready to speak out against it.  I have been trying to become reunited with my birth mother.  I want to share with you the letter that I sent her a few days ago.

Dear Mother,

   Please allow me to apologize in advance for some of the attitude you might get out of this message as i am very irritated with how this thing between you and I has been going.   As you now have had one year knowing of my existence and whereabouts, you have done as little as humanly possible to acknowledging said existence. I am a human being who should, but doesn’t, enjoy the same basic human rights as everyone else, namely knowledge of my origins. My birthright was stolen from me as to say you gave it away like it was nothing.  I really appreciated hearing from you that you loved me very much back then, but ever since the day that I was born, I’ve had a very difficult time believing that.  I seriously hope that you are getting the help that you need because although I do not know you, I don’t need to in order to say that YOU NEED HELP !!! YOU’RE LIVING IN THE FOG OF DENIAL !!!

   You know nothing about the difficulties adopted people face in life.  You know nothing about how it feels to go through life not knowing where you came from and never seeing anyone who looks like you and has the same mannerisms.  You know nothing about what its like to go through life trying to please everybody so you won’t be rejected.  You know nothing about what its like to look at two people who look nothing like you and have to worry about if you’re living up to their expectations.  You know nothing about how it feels to know the one person who was supposed to love you, gave you away because you were inconvenient.  You know nothing about how it feels to know that the better life I was supposed to have wasn’t at all better, just different.

   Please do not think that I am anything less than empathetic towards you and what you have been through as that has been spelled out many times before.    I have repeatedly apologized to you for things that you somehow misunderstood.   I’m so sorry if you thought that I contacted you because I wanted money.  There is no dollar amount great enough to make restitution for what you took from me.   All I am looking for is simple acknowledgement and and a little bit of your time.  Please spare me the whole I’m too tired because I work excuse as I have heard it enough already. I don’t believe it anyway because nobody in this world works as much as you say you do.  I have come to believe that you do not respond to me because you just don’t want to, probably because I never meant that much to you in the first place.

   Is any of this my fault?  No it is not.  I was, am, and always will be the innocent party in our little triangle thing.  I had no choice in the matter.  You had told me that it is my choice (as it should be) regarding contact and you would comply with my wishes.  What changed your mind?  Am I not living up to whatever fantasies you had about me over the years?  Believe me when I say this, I do not like being the way that I am; i just deal with it to the best of my ability.  However I am today should have no bearing on who I was and if you need further clarification of that , I was YOUR BABY THAT YOU GAVE AWAY.   Is it so wrong for me to want to know who you are?  Again, that answer is a resounding NO.

   I am growing very tired of writing to you with no response.  In case you have not noticed, we live in a 24-hour society and emails are supposed to be responded to within a reasonable amount of time like a day or two.  I’m sorry if this is taking you too long to process but I get the feeling that you aren’t thinking about me at all.  Perhaps you are just hoping that one day I’ll get the hint and go away.  That’s not going to happen until I get what I’m looking for.  I have tried very hard to convey the message that I am not doing this to hurt you.  I will repeat again that I am empathetic to you as it must have been very painful to keep secret the knowledge of knowing that you gave your baby away. I read something not too long ago and I would like you to ponder this: a secret can only hurt you as long as it remains a secret.

   Did you forget that everyone in your immediate family knows that you were once pregnant and gave away your baby?  It’s not just them.  Although I said to someone that I wouldn’t mention it, I’m going to tell you now that a few months ago, I had an email conversation with someone in the family.  It was a nice exchange and I received some information about my ethnic heritage (but only half of my ethnic heritage)  In that exchange, I was told that my existence was never a secret in their family and all of their children know.  I highly doubt that I am a secret to your parents as I sent them a Christmas card.  I understand that they are probably very old school in their thinking and can’t acknowledge me because of what society might think about them.  I wonder if they have any remorse over not ever knowing their presumably first grandchild; maybe you should ask them.  Either way I’m indifferent on them, but It might be nice to meet them once before they’re dead and at their age, they are already on borrowed time.

   So I wasn’t a secret to a whole lot of people in the family, except for one.  Do you think that he never got one idea that he might not have been your only kid?  I really don’t care one bit if he and I ever meet one another and who is to say if we really have anything in common, which we probably, do but it might be nice because we are half-brothers.  In any event, I took the liberty of introducing myself a while back:

Dear (half brother),
I am writing to you because I feel a need to reach out to you. Please let me apologize in advance for any discomfort you may feel about what I am about to tell you as I mean you no harm. My name is Cyndi and I was born in June of 1975. I was the product of an unwanted pregnancy and was immediately given up for adoption. The adoption was closed but my entire life I have wondered about my birth family.

I have tried to contact my birth mother but communicating with her is proving difficult for reasons unknown to me. Please know that this was 37 years ago and she was most likely told at the time she would never hear from me and she should try to forget about me as that was how these things were done back then. What I have just told you is probably her most guarded secret and you were never supposed to know of my existence. Please be kind and compassionate to her and do not hold this information against her as I know that she loves you very much.
I will not contact you again and I want nothing from you. If you would ever like to talk to me, that is entirely your choice and you would be very welcome. My email is: xxxxxx@hotmail.com and my phone number is 779-XXX-XXXX.
   I don’t know if he believed it or not, but at least the seed had been planted.  A few days later, someone contacted me on a dating website.  It was a bizarre exchange and then he deactivated his account.  I don’t know who he was but he said his name was B. Williams and he sent me his picture and that is attached.  Maybe you know this is?  If it was (my half-brother), you might want to ask him about what he was doing on a transgender dating website.
   So as you can see Mother, I wasn’t really a secret to many and now I’m not a secret anymore and that is empowering.  I highly doubt that you talk about this with anyone else in the family because you’re ashamed that you gave your baby away, but It isn’t a secret so why not ask them what they think?  I’m like that big pink elephant in the room that no one ever talks about as not to offend you.  Personally, I think they are all missing out on a lot of fun by not knowing me but you are the gatekeeper and you are in denial and the rest of them won’t get any laughs from me because of you.  I’ve said this before and will say it again, I am a really nice, compassionate person who has a wonderful sense of humor…and everyone is missing out.
   I am not mad that was adopted as I accepted long ago that that was something that cannot be changed.  I am mad that after so many years of wonder I am still being denied acknowledgement and the little that you have said has been some of the cruelest, most cold-hearted things I have ever heard.  Mothers are supposed to love their children, not give them away and then turn their back on them.  In case you did not know, there are only 18 miles between us but the way you have made me feel, there might as well be 18 million.  Have you forgotten that it is my choice to make and you are supposed to comply?  Have you forgotten that I have something called free will?   It is my choice to make and I am pleading with you one more time to get out of the fog before I have to say damn the consequences and drag you out of the fog.  If it ever comes to that please understand that I’m doing this because I think its “the best that I could do for you at the time.”

   After reading all this, please do not think that I don’t love you.  I am sending this message because I do love you and I want to make you a better person.  You will never be whole until you open your eyes, accept reality and get out of the fog.  Last but not least, as far as the title of email goes, I will be in your area tomorrow night for my monthly meeting at the church on Lake and Ridgeland and will be finished at 7 pm.  Perhaps we can meet afterward?  Perhaps I’ll stop by and see how you’re doing.


Outcome:  My mother responded back to me very quickly.

Open Records emblem used in Adoptee Rights Pro...

Open Records emblem used in Adoptee Rights Protest, New Orleans, 2008, artist: D. Martin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Why?  Because of the last sentence in the letter.  It is bringing the whole ordeal close to home and closer to being out of the fog.

A large part of the Adoptee Rights Movement focuses on access to Original Birth Certificates (OBC).  The movement stands by its belief that access to OBC does not have anything with reunion and reunions are not guaranteed but I disagree.  While there are some people who may just want the information that the OBC contains, many of us do ultimately want the reunion as that experience can provide a lot more information than a piece of paper that has remained hidden and secret.  It is my belief that any adoptee who says that they do not need the face to face meeting has not fully left their place in the adoption fog.  Only when we all (adoptee birth parents, adoptive parents) decide to stop living in the fog can the healing process begin.

What do you say?

Who the hell do you think you are anyway?

You aren’t the first one to ask and that isn’t the first time I’ve ever heard that but let me tell you that I have been pondering that question all my life too. In the simplest terms, I am someone without a past or someone who doesn’t know where I originally came from or at the very least what rock I crawled out from under, assuming that I crawled out from underneath a rock but I can’t be too sure of that because I might have fallen straight from space but space is full of a whole lot of nothing and I couldn’t have came from nothing so there must have been a rock somewhere and that rock must have been an asteroid but that’s highly unlikely and not to mention improbable so the most logical conclusion that I have come up thus far is that I was the unwanted and unexpected by-product of a highly classified social experiment that went awry back it the mid-seventies but eventhough that makes absolutely no sense at all, it is positively the absolute truth in some way or so I’m led to believe. Chances are I’m just like everyone else in regards to my origins in so much as to say that somebody pushed me out of her crotch much in the same way that the rest of you entered this world but I differ from you in that I have no point of reference for that supposed event and when I really sit down and think about that, everything gets really cloudy because I really don’t know my past and therefore I can’t possibly expect to have any notion of what the future might hold for me or if there is a future at all but then again I am still sitting here so maybe it won’t be all that bad, but if some of the things that have happened to me in the past are any indication, then maybe the future doesn’t sound so great and maybe I don’t even want to go there but I’m kind of sure that someday I’ll inevitably wind up there anyway so I have to wonder if I should just try and live in the present and not worry about the future but just after I wrote the word present, that has become the past and a new present is happening and the cycle is repeating itself and that could quite possible have great impact on the future…or not.

I would have to say that since the beginning of time or at least since I arrived here on this ball of dirt, I have spent most of that time pondering the deep philosophical questions in this condition more commonly called life. I question everything in order to try to achieve a greater understanding of the human condition although sometimes I really don’t feel human myself but I also don’t not feel human either so it must be something else but I’m not fully convinced of that either.  I observe everyone else in an effort to make sense of it all, but all of you make it very difficult for me because none of you are exactly like one another and I have never met anyone who is quite like me or even someone who looks like me for that matter.  I guess that I’m not unlike most everyone else as I do have a past that spans many years and have had many experiences that have shaped who I am today but on the other hand, I have only currently been me for a short little while in the grand scheme of things. Of course I have always been me, but I used to be someone else but I don’t think that I was really that someone else either because I was chosen to be that person yet before I was me, somebody un-chose me, negating who I was which of course was me in the beginning and that is not even close to who I am today and is certainly not who I was yesterday or maybe the day before that and most definitely not who I was a week ago last Wednesday because I didn’t know who I was then but I’m fairly certain that alcohol played some small part in that but I really can’t remember much of that even though I rarely forget much of anything when I am intoxicated which I used to be a whole lot but these days not so much so what should it matter anyway?

I often wonder what happened to me but since I am not really me anymore nor am I somebody else I think I am just going to have to try and accept that I am me and that’s pretty much all there is to it…but is there?  Probably not, but I can’t be too sure of that because I have no true knowledge of that person and neither do I have true knowledge of anything else because I don’t know if I truly know anything but at least I have a fairly good idea on the subject but there is a fine line between good ideas and bad ideas and I have no clue where that line is or even if there is a line and I don’t know if I have crossed it or if I am in any danger of crossing it or if I should just say damn the consequences and do it anyway so I’m just going to wing it from here and make it up as I go along and do what it is I think that I am supposed to be doing despite the resistance I get from everyone else.

There is a special plan for me or at least that is what I am led to believe because I have been told that God has a special plan for each and every one of us as we are all his children but I’m conflicted in that assessment considering some of the people I have seen that go around preaching His word. Ultimately if it is true that we are all God’s children then I can deduce that we are all part of the same family so I would say that I am the red-headed stepchild but not really because I’m naturally brunette but I wasn’t all that satisfied with that, and now I’m bottle-blonde so I guess that rules out the red-headed thing which just might make me the blond sheep of the family but that doesn’t make any sense at all because I’m not a sheep nor have I ever been a sheep to my knowledge and I’ve never heard of a blond sheep but there are white sheep so I could agree that that is similar to being blond but I’m going to have to defer to the cliché that I must be the black sheep in the family even though I’m not black but that doesn’t have anything to do with hair color because I’m blond but then again not really. Maybe I’m just that weird relative that no one ever talks about which concludes that you and I are family on some level and neither you nor I knew it until now but now that you know, I’m waiting to receive my invitation to our next family picnic and I’m beginning to worry what’s taking so long and why you never call me but then again I’m not letting it bring me down because I have plenty of other things to do of far greater importance that I’m not doing now because they can wait until tomorrow or maybe the next day or maybe two weeks from next Tuesday if I haven’t forgotten by then what they were or why they were important to begin with because I don’t perform miracles on demand so don’t expect one to happen any time soon but I might surprise you one of these days.

In the mean time, I can’t be bothered with the demands of our entire extended family because my parents give me enough grief and lucky for me I have five of them.  Of the five, I’m pretty sure that my mom and dad think I’m OK although they question my behavior far more than I do and they have been mentioning something about taking me to a farm but it doesn’t sound like this farm has any crops or chickens or goats so that has me wondering what they are implying because I realized long ago that I was not a farmer when I tried to grow some weed and couldn’t even get that right but they didn’t know about that failed endeavor of mine so please don’t tell them because it’s a secret and the only one I have left but I guess that it’s not anymore so I just can’t win.

My whole is existence was built on secrets. I used to have a lot of them and some of those just hid deeper secrets and more secrets that were so secret that I didn’t even know them.  The absolute truth about me is known only by my mother and she remains steadfast is her commitment to hide this secret although it really isn’t a secret so much as in all actuality many other people know it but refuse to recognize it because it seems like a lot more fun to keep a secret that really isn’t.  This, of course, is not how I see it yet it has my mother sitting on the fence and not ready to own up to her association with me as she thinks that some of the things that I have told her about myself are very contradictory and that has left her feeling very uneasy but I find that notion is preposterous because I always communicate my message quite clearly for the most part.

I have no idea what the other parent thinks as he is as much a mystery to me as I am to him and I don’t know if he has ever thought about looking for me but I doubt he has because most men don’t but if he did he’s in for a very difficult search because he would be looking for someone who I wasn’t and am not anymore.  Then again, nothing is stopping me from looking for him either except my mother who continues to be less than forthcoming with that information because she apparently likes living in the fog rather than facing reality. Perhaps I should try asking my Father again because I’m fairly certain that if there is someone else who knows who my other parent is it would be Him because He is omnipotent.  I’ve tried asking Him before, but His line of work keeps Him very busy and that leaves no time for me so I don’t hear from Him that much.  Instead, He prefers to give me gifts, some of which I didn’t ask for and really could have done without but I perservere because His gifts are never more than He knows I can handle because He loves me and when I say that, I mean He really loves me!  He loves me so very much that he ignores my prayers for Him to love me a little less but I have faith that one day He will at least cut me some slack.

My faith is what drives me and I also have great faith that someday all will be right in the world but then again my faith can be finicky at times as it is often tested and I know that there is something that I can do to in order to make the world a better place for all of us but I can’t put my finger on it right now.  Whatever it is, I’m fairly certain this is going to take a lot of work because faith will only get me so far and there is always work to be done but somehow I can’t seem to find any as nobody will hire me but that’s not entirely my fault as nobody seems to be hiring anybody these days for that matter but I still live have faith that someday it might get better but probably won’t so I have my doubts but they tell me that doubting is healthy and maybe it is but who are they to say and furthermore who exactly are they anyway? Yeah, I’m not sure either and the supposed existence of “they” makes me sound kind of paranoid which I am not but don’t let them know that because I’m trying to keep them guessing.

I hope that I have made myself quite clear and I’m pretty sure that you have it all figured out by now that I really am a mystery inside a riddle wrapped up in an enigma all of the while being so complex in my simplicity or maybe it’s the other way around because either way makes perfect sense. In any event, I don’t think that I’m going insane but I have not been certify that diagnosis yet, so call me crazy but I wouldn’t say that nor do I think that I have ever thought so so I can’t confirm or deny that my sanity is something that I have questioned at this time.  It is really not for me to judge but if it were then I might be inclined to agree but I told myself that I really shouldn’t go around claiming total sanity nor should I claim to be insane because either way would just be crazy even though there might be some underlying benefits to being crazy or at least that is what the little voice inside me says and it won’t shut up. That being said, my therapist has not given me any indication that I am anything less that a high-capacity individual with above average intelligence as I have successfully convinced her that I do not need to be institutionalized but she still refuses to recommend me for the full lobotomy that I have requested more times than I can remember because that seems to be the only way to put a stop to all this outside of vaginoplasty which would alleviate all of my concerns but doesn’t seem like it’s going to be happening any time soon.

Finally or to say it differently, last but not least because there is a lot more to it just not right now, I am living proof that when gender dysphoria and genealogical bewilderment are combined hilarity and hijinks will ensue even though I don’t find it all that funny.  I don’t know why I was chosen for this mission nor do I know what the point of it is or even if there is one at all but I will continue to try and explain it all to the best of my ability which is obviously not that good but is better than nothing so take it or leave it.  Who am I you ask? I don’t know. You tell me.