Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Ugly Truth...

This post is rambling, I've tried to get the thoughts to slow down, the swirling to stop so I can put everything I am thinking and feeling into written words.  But it is failing me.  It's like they are right there, so close, but I cannot grasp the words. 

It's almost like my brain is not allowing them to slow down, to be written. 

     Because then they would be real. 

          I would have to face them,

               and I just can't. 

I read the following on Campbell's blog today:

My parents, adoptive, are my first and only parents. My biological parents are just exactly that, the people that conceived me with my mother giving birth to me. They all have their importance, their value, their influence, but my parents are my parents, end of story. As much as I'm enjoying getting to know my bio mom now, she will never be a substitute for my first parents. How could she be.

And I felt the hole in my heart grow bigger.  Then I read it again.  And it's true.  The Truth.  The raw and ugly truth.  I am not Christopher's parent, as I did not parent him.   I know that, have always known that. 


I am his mom.  I love him no less than I love my other children. 


Is that love returned?  Am I simply just someone he is enjoying getting to know?  Like a pen-pal with the added benefit of ancestry & medical information? 

Just another wonderful thing about adoption that you are not told about.  
Your love for your child will never go away.  It will grow.  
But it may never be returned...


  1. I fear the same thing. Let's just hope their love grows for us.

  2. That is Campbell's truth. Most of the adoptees I know do not share her view. She also does not believe in the "Primal Wound" or trauma caused by separating a newborn and his or her natural Mother, so there's that.

    Everyone has a different story- and MANY of our stories/beliefs change over the course of a reunion. In the beginning of reunion, many times the mother and adoptee are still foggy.

  3. I agree with Linda. I am also adopted and that is the only thing I have in common with Campbell.

  4. (((Susie))) I wouldn't worry about what Campbell says. There are other adoptees I have met that say the same thing but you know, its not really true because of course you can "subsitute" the adoptive parents if you have already been able to "substitute" the natural parents. Campbell's logic doesn't make sense. She substitued her first parents so it is possible for her to do the same for her adoptive parents. What this says is that she doesn't WANT to. (And really, she doesn't have to, she could just accept all four)

    Big difference.

    Sorry, just in a really pissy mood right now and things like this don't help. Apologies if this is offensive. This comment really strikes me as someone who has unresolved anger about being adopted and going off some of the comments left on my blog in the past from her, some unresolve anger towards her first mother.

  5. How old is Campbell? I did not read the blog but from what I've read here, it may just be someone who hasn't matured in herself and her relationships with all involved parties. I'm an adoptee and when I first found my birth mom and her family, that's what I kept telling myself and everyone around me. I was in my mid twenties, just finishing college, and trying to start making my way in the world. Now, I'm 34 and married. I don't have or want children but I've experienced watching my husband lose his daughter to adoption and I see things differently. I also learned that my birth mom was raped and that was how I came to be. So, I have a different feeling about them now then I did when I was 20 something. Granted, because of our lack of closeness and communication I have my issues and I get angry but honestly... I LOVE my birth mom and I would give ANYTHING to hear her say she loves me too. So, whoever this Campbell is, may just be in a different stage in her reunion/life/self-discovery, etc. She may also be trying too hard to protect her aps. I've done that too.

  6. You have gotten good feedback here. The most important of which,IMO, is that not every adoptee is alike or thinks alike. The adoption industry relies on this myth that infants are blank slates, interchangeable, dummies that don't know the difference between parents/natural families. They also require the belief that mommies and daddies are replaceable as well. That we can be erased and replaced and that we are all "equal" in emotional value to the child.

    Legions of adoptees feel differently (and prove it over and over and over again every day).

    That may be Campbell's truth but it may not be your sons and it is certainly not that of many other adoptees. Be very careful about over identifying with others (moms and adoptees). You can really get tripped up there. (I did for a while).

    Hugs to you.

  7. With this post I am in no way saying anything is wrong with what Campbell has written. It is her truth, there is nothing wrong with that.

    The point of this post was that Campbell put into words the fears I have ~ that the love I feel for my son is not/may not ever be returned.

    I hope and pray that is not true, but it very well could be.

    I do not fault any adoptee that feels the same. Adoption takes away our role as parenting mothers. Forever.

    Sadly, when we are young and choosing adoption for our children ~ we have no idea how long forever is. And no idea how much love we have for our children, forever. With no idea how much it will hurt someday when that love may not be returned...

  8. And thanks for the comments from those of you who are adopted!

    It gives me hope that Christopher feels the same as you, but has not had the chance or is unable, uncomfortable putting his feelings into words.

  9. Ditto everyone who pointed out that one person's truth isn't necessarily your son's or any other adoptee's. I do understand your fear, having read that coming from another adoptee. Hang in and let YOUR reunion unfold as it's meant.

  10. I dunno - I think what Campbell is saying is that her bio mom cannot perform the role her adoptive mom did - in the sense that it was her adoptive mom who parented her instead of her bio mom.

    But of course I am just guessing. ;) I don't think it has anything to do with the ever-ongoing debate about whether or not people themselves can be substituted rather than roles, because yes, roles can be substituted adequately.

    But my other question is: How can a mother love her children all the same when one child has been kept and the other was given up? She doesn't know the relinquished child in the same way. :\

  11. sisterheping,

    I don't know that I can explain a mother's love for her children, but I'm going to try to in a new post.

  12. Susie, I've just stumbled across this post this morning. I'm attempting to disregard the comments here that are dismissive and insulting in their assessment of my experience.

    I appreciate the impact of what I said and why it would provoke this post. I also appreciate you stating there's nothing wrong with what I wrote.

    The experience of the parent and the child cannot be the same. I am a mom and I completely understand the love for our children. I get what you say in your next post when answering sisterheping's comment. Thanks Mei Ling, by the way, for understanding what I was saying.

    Susie, I have no unresolved anger toward any of my moms or dads. Zero, and I assure you I am in no fog. I truly have respect for them all in the amounts that I feel they've earned. I might even go so far as to say I have, at this point in my life, more respect for my bio mom than my mom mom. But my mom mom is my parent, my mom. Tricky, innit?

    I've worked, and continue to work, very hard to do my part in cultivating this new relationship with my bio mom. I want to have it. From what I've seen so far, I really like her, and I also like how she's handling her side of our new relationship. For me, I can't see how she could ever feel like my parent. Saying that doesn't mean I couldn't love her some day, that I don't in some way already do. It doesn't say that your son doesn't or can't love you. I don't see how it can hurt to remember you've had your whole life to love him, to consider that for some people actually knowing someone is what they need to truly love, and that he does have other parents he may or may not care about but are and have been parenting him.

    In response to sisterheping's question, I'd like to contribute this. Although I have one child, I am from a family of 3 children. I don't think parents love all their children the same, even if they're all biological and raised. They may love them all as much, but not necessarily the same. A parent who say has two kids, one they have everything in common with that they totally "get", and the other who has different interests that the parent perhaps looks at in awe. I think the love could be different, but it doesn't have to be less than.

  13. I just came across your blog via birthmomtalks. I hope you don't mind me replying here. I am an adoptive mom in a very open adoption with our daughter's first mother. While we were in the waiting period of being matched with a woman who was looking to place her child, I poured over blogs like your own. Every birthmom blog I could find I read, not to be nosey, but to become educated. I learned SO much, particularly from birthmomtalks. I learned that when you adopt, you are not just bringing a child into the home, you are also embracing that child's first mother. Honestly, I have been pleasantly surprised at how very much I love our daughter's first mom. Adoption is painful, a pain that I can not fathom because I haven't walked int he shoes. I know that, and because of that, my husband and I do everything in our power to make sure that our daughter's first mom is involved in any way possible. She has become my friend and in many ways I consider her my sister. Nothing will ever take away her pain, but I believe that simply acknowledging her sacrifice can validate her feelings, not that she needs validation from us. We plan on visiting our daughter's first mom every couple of years. Unfortunately we live on opposite ends of the country. We text, email, talk, send videos and pictures, you name it every few days. I cringe when I read some PAP blogs. Their ignorance is scary. I don't agree with the common "God has chosen this child for us" theory. It's a bit egotistical. Many are threatened by their child's first mom and by denying their child's first mom, they are denying their children the right to know their story. It is simply not their place.

    How can we NOT do what is only right? Our daughter's first mom has given us the privilege of raising her child as our own. NOTHING we do will ever be comparable. The only thing I CAN do is to nurture the relationship between our daughter and her first mom. I will not stand in the way, because we both love this child unconditionally and a child can never have too much love. I don't nurture the relationship because I OWE it to our daughter's first mom, I nurture it because it's what's right, and damn it, it feels good. I love seeing our daughter's eyes light up at the sight of her first mom. I love recognizing the similarities between the two of them. It honors them both.

    I am not perfect and don't claim to be, but I do hope that in the future, our daughter truly knows how loved she is by both of her mothers. We both have a common interest and that is this beautiful girl that she brought into this world.

    I am so very happy to hear of your reunion with your son. What an amazing experience that must of been. Many more blessings to you!

  14. @ Campbell ~ I think where a lot of the misunderstanding is coming into play is that I was reading your post as meaning the role of "mother", and you were talking about the role of "parent". I am one of my son's mothers, but I am not his parent.

    I realized where those two words came into play when I read your comment "I can't see how she could ever feel like my parent.". I do not feel like one of Christopher's parents, as I am not parenting him. I am, however, one of his moms. And that is what my post referred to ~ being his mom.

    Another great point you made ~ Yes, I have had my whole life to love Christopher, where he has only known me for less than two years.

    I'm glad that you and your mother are getting to know each other, I hope it continues to go well for both of you!

  15. @RB ~ I wish that in all cases where adoption IS TRULY necessary, that the adoptive parents could understand as you do the importance of the relationship between the child and the natural parents. I wish that all prospective & adoptive families could read your words.

    Many blessings to you and your (entire) family also!

  16. This is an old post, and I just stumbled on it, but I do want to point something out about the question of Christopher's returning your love. Do any of us - biological, adopted, or otherwise - ever love our parents the way they love us? I know for a fact that my son doesn't love me or his dad as much as we love him. That's natural. It's normal. I don't love any of my parents - natural or adoptive - a tenth of as much as I love my son. If a train were coming toward us, I would throw all four of my parents on the tracks to save my son. And you know what? They would have done the same to save me.

    I guess what I'm saying is - he's never going to return your love in the amount that it's given. And it wouldn't be healthy if he did. But that doesn't mean that love isn't there.