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I found my birth mother and I almost feel more lost now. What do I do?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
As soon as I turned 18 I started my search for my birth parents. I hit numerous roadblocks. The agency was not helpful at all, I didn't have the funds to sink into paying the fees, etc. I registered with several registry sites. Nothing...not one hit ever. Last May on my 23rd birthday I gave up and put it behind me. While I was unhappy about potentially never meeting my family I was okay. I have a great, loving, and supportive family (DH, DSD, adoptive family) and my life is good. The only real glitch for me came from not being able to have biological children...the bio part did not mean much to me in the sense of my love for them (I love DSD VERY much and I am her fulltime mom) but I felt a significant loss of never being able to have a connection with someone on that level. The bond, having similar toes and eyes...that kind of thing. I worked hard to move past that and recently (within the last week or so) finally came to peace with it. I can finally say "Okay, DSD is enough for me. I can move on." I really felt at peace about the decision.

A few days after making that decision I received an email. The woman said she was the sister of a woman who had given birth to a baby girl on my birth date, in the same hospital, and used the same agency for the adoption. She was also 15 at the time (In my ad on the registry I mentioned both parents were under 20). I sat in shock. About 20-40 minutes later (I'm not exactly sure...that whole shock thing was still there) I received another email. This time from a woman who said she had given birth, etc etc. So I pick my jaw up off the floor and write them both back...asking if they were connected, saying that I thought it was a rare possibility that there were so many coincidences. I asked the woman who said she'd given up a baby girl to write me back with a time she'd like to meet online to talk. She did.

We talked for over 3 hours. We both came to the conclusion that we had to be the right match. She knew my weight, time of birth, she described the photo that the hospital took, she went on to ask if my father was one of 7 siblings...my mother one of 4 and a twin. Yes, yes, and yes. At this point my heart is pounding out of my chest. She described college degrees, the little yellow house with a dog and a garden in the backyard (my parents first home). She even told me what the papers say my parents said about one another. "She has great loyalty and faithfulness." "He is kind and unpretentious." (I cried at that part..my parents are great haha) I describe the info I have about her and my father. Everything adds up.

*This paragraph is not really important to what I'm asking for and trying to say here but I think it is so cool that I had to include it anyway! She lives in the next town over. She has all her life! I grew up a few cities away. I've lived here for over 5 years. I've always wondered if I've sat at the same stop light with her or a member of my family...Wondered if we were in the same grocery check out line...the same restaurant. Turns out...we were. Several times most likely. Her mother's house is next door to my college. She works in a store I've been in a dozen times.*

We met briefly last Thursday and it was very awkward and uncomfortable for both of us. We spoke on the phone the next day and everything flowed so much better. She keeps telling me she wants to move at my pace and she doesn't want to rush me or push me. Which is nice..but how do you respond to that? It didn't help that I had a friend with me who I thought I could trust but she ended up making it worse..kind of pushing and forcing us together. She evidently even took a picture of my birthmom even though she asked her not to. She also blatantly said, "I don't want Elizabeth to get hurt." And BM said, "Well I don't either! Of course I don't!" and of course this "friend" had to stick her foot even further in her mouth and say, "Well she is my friend and I care about her. I want her to be careful. Don't hurt her." Something along those lines...WHAT? No wonder it was freaking awkward...BM thought I knew "friend" was acting that way and I didn't...even worse she thought I had asked "friend" to be that way...which I did not..in any kind of way. We've since worked this out..she understands and is not upset (thank God). She says "friend" came off as threatening and very pushy. BM even suggested that "friend" may possibly want to take credit for that moment, etc. Sigh. The "friend" and I are not on good terms now. I'm not a hateful person and I don't hate her but I'm very confused by her actions and greatly disappointed. How dare she? How dare she do something like that? I've been waiting 24 years for this moment and she makes it into something not wonderful at all. Great. BM and I are okay now...I was very honest with her about how I felt about what happened and she was honest with me. We've both agreed we can move past it and I apologized because I felt responsible for even including "friend" in it.

We're meeting tomorrow for lunch. We're both not sure how to do this at all. I want her to like me, she wants me to like her...we want to fit well. I've put together some picture albums for her to look at. She is bringing pictures of my birth (how awesome is that?!). I don't know anyone who has been through this. I never thought I'd go through it. I was always told to be careful because the people I'm looking for may turn out to be people I did not want to know. I never really allowed myself to think past actually finding them. I'm completely and utterly unprepared for this. I don't know how to process it. I don't have anyone I feel like I can REALLY go to about this. (BTW my A parents are being great and wonderful and I've talked with them about this and they've "got my back" so to speak but I wish I had someone who had felt what I'm feeling..or even a friend that was really a friend.)

I'm scared. I'm nervous. I may even be a bit terrified. I feel so lost. Emotions I've never felt before are floating to the surface all at once and the spinning it's causing is not so great. My husband tries to help but we are very different and what would work for him does not work for me.

I'm lost.
post #2 of 22
I couldn't read this post without responding.
I have not been through what you are now going through, but I think it is totally normal that you have all these emotions rising to the surface.
Even better that you can be so open with your BM and talk about everything with the rest of your family.

I wish you luck on your journey getting to know your BM.
post #3 of 22
Good luck to you Elizabeth. I think you are on a wonderful journey & that you should let everything flow really easy & be really honest. Be calm, everything will be good. I know it's easy for me to say because I have never been in your position. Again good luck & lots of love & strength to you!
post #4 of 22
Wow, Elizabeth! First, congratulations on finding your birth mom. That’s wonderful! I was reunited with mine about a year and a half ago. It’s a wonderful thing.

Things must be overwhelming right now for both you and your birth mom! It sounds like you’re trying very hard to figure out how she fits into your life, and she’s probably trying to figure out the same thing.

My advice is to just give yourself some time. Plenty of time. This is big, and it’s going to take a while for you to process it. Don’t feel like you have to bond with your birth mom instantaneously – the first meeting between me and my birth mom was wonderful, but yes, it was a little awkward, and we weren’t really sure how to act, either of us. After a while we both felt more comfortable opening up with each other. We have a wonderful relationship now. But it did take some time!

Just take some deep breaths. Don’t try to figure it all out now, don’t try to push anything, and don’t worry that you haven’t got it all perfectly sorted and settled yet. That will come! This is an amazing, intense experience for you, so just open your heart to how you feel. Let those confusing emotions flow. You and your birth mom will work things out. You’ll find your own ways of relating to each other, even if they might not be how you imagined they might be. You’ll find your way.

I’d love to hear more updates if you have them. I hope your journey goes very well!
post #5 of 22
That is so amazing!

I don't have any practical advice except that you are doing what you should--working at it the only way you know how to. My little sister might find her birth mom some day and I hope I can help her navigate that if she needs me to. Your friend definitely stepped over her boundaries! Ick!

I'm in for the updates too! Good luck!
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!! I'm not feeling nearly as bad as I did before. We've moved past the weird stuff with my "friend". We spent 4 hours together today. It was pretty much awesome. She brought pictures of my birth! It was amazing. I have a lot of respect for her..to be 15 years old and give birth to an almost 9 pound baby with no pain meds is impressive!! (I'm not sure how big epis were in the 80's but...still cool!)

post #7 of 22
Earthly Joys,
I'm so happy that you have the opportunity to meet and get to know your birth mother.

Several years ago, my sister found the brother that my mom had put up for adoption before any of us was born, and our family had a very emotional meeting with him. I treasure those memories very much, especially since I really don't think I knew the woman who is my mother until we met our other brother. I learned so much about her in that time....

Our reunion was tinged with sadness, as his wife adamantly opposes any inclusion of our family in their lives. Unfortunately, he is unable or unwilling to stand up to her.

That part is sad.

But I'm still very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet my brother. In a way, I felt like it was an opportunity to see what life would have been like had I been born into a more stable environment, and ultimately I concluded that being raised by my wild, crazy mother was my life's greatest asset.

Every reunion story is unique. Sometimes there's a happy ending, sometimes there's not. As long as you are not attached to the outcome and just flow with the experience as it presents itself, I think there are always valuable insights and lessons to be gleaned from the experience.

I hope you share more about your experience as it unfolds.

post #8 of 22
How wonderful, Elizabeth! I’m glad you got past that awkwardness your friend created, and that you are having such a good time together now. It’ll be great, you’ll see. And how cool that your birth mother has pictures of your birth! I’m very happy for you that things seem to be working out.

Congratulations again! It’s a beautiful journey you’re on.
post #9 of 22
Congratulations!!!! I hope your journey continues to improve.
I am starting on this journey myself. I have complete support of my adoptive parents. So I hope mine goes as well as yours besides your mishaps with your "friend". Thank you for your inspiration.
Good luck mama. and Sending you :
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks! A little bit of awkwardness is back. I'm not really a phone person...unless I have something specific to say I generally don't call people. She asked me to call and said something like, "You can call me. Anytime. You can call me tonight, you don't have to wait." So I get the impression that she really wants me to call. So I call and we talk briefly but it feels awkward again. Sigh. I'm assuming that eventually the awkwardness will pass. This is still pretty new. I think both of are not sure about what our relationship is supposed to be like. She pretty much told me that she was worried that she'd let me down if I was looking for a mother figure, etc. I was worried about telling here that's NOT what I want. I feel like I have to be so PC lol. I tried to just come out with it and say, "I don't want to step on your toes but I'd like to get to know you..be your friend." She agreed and thought that sounded great. Whew. This seriously is odd. If I meet someone at the bus stop or my daughter's school..it's casual conversation. Maybe a month or so later we'll meet for lunch or the kids will have a play date. If we have things in common we'll talk more...etc. See what I mean? With this it feels so much more weighted and important. Even though I can't say that I love her...there is this past connection. All of these details and maybe even a bit of a bond remaining from when I was born. I think that just increases the awkwardness. She's made comments about how she remembers me as a baby. I think it's weird for her too. Especially considering in a way she does love me. Probably not the way she loves her other children that she's raised..but you get what I mean. Also, I think our conversation last night was awkward because I was incredibly tired and she seemed bothered because she cannot find my birth dad's telephone number. She said she feels guilty, like she should have put it somewhere safe like the rest of the papers, etc. I told her not to worry about it. It's not really her responsibility but I think she feels a responsibility to both me and my birthdad. So I guess I now call all the guys with the same name in the state of SC? Haha...can you imagine that conversation??

him: hello?
me: may I speak with ****?
him: this is he.
me: I'm trying to find ***** who lived in ***, VA in 1983/1984.
him option 1: not me. Click.
him option 2: yeah, I did.
me option 2: sweet, are you my dad?

Lol.....Give the poor guy a heart attack.
post #11 of 22
hey, I am also an adoptee and have known my BM for ten years now. it was a bit weird at first. I could totally identify with many of the things you said, wanting to look like someone, etc etc. I was am really glad I had met my bio family.
I sort of think of her as an "aunt" an aunt whom I am remarkable similar too of course. she had the rest of her babies at home, and we are just alike in many ways that I appreciate. so I have come to appreciate that she is definitely my mother in some ways that my own mother is not.
its not all roses, we have had a few disagreements here and there, but for the most part, I am really glad she is in my life. but I do remember the first few months of being unsure of how much contact we would have....
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Can Dance! It's nice to hear details from someone who has been there.

It is substantially less weird now. I don't think we're so comfortable that I could call her and tell her all about my bad day. But we're pretty comfortable. We've seen each other a few times since I posted last.

Last night I met her mom, step dad, brother, and her son. That was intense. I wasn't nervous at all but I felt slightly awkward at first. I was there for a few hours and by the second hour I think I'd warmed up some. Her mom told me she'd like to see me again. I sat there on her couch and looked at all of these family pictures. I watched the way they all interacted with each other. It was weird. I was almost a little bit jealous in a way. At the same time I felt very much removed from it all and almost glad that I was. Everyone keeps asking me how it went and how I felt and all I can really say is, "Eh..". It wasn't this amazing connection or instant family like feeling. They are all very nice and respectable people. I can see myself being friends with all of them. Facilitating those relationships may be difficult because I have no idea how to go about it. Plus, BM's 13 year old son was there so all talk was kept on a certain level. I didn't feel comfortable coming out and saying, "Sooo is this a one time thing or would you like to see me again? Are we going to be close or is this just to satisfy your curiosity?" Not that I'd be okay with saying most of that JUST like that anyway lol.

I was a bit irritated with BM about a week ago. I'm trying really hard to find my BD and all I'm coming up with are dead ends. BM has been no help at all. It's really odd that she remembers certain details about him and his family but NO details that would help me know his full name, a city he lives in, etc. We went to dinner last Tuesday and she told me she doesn't know much because she didn't allow herself to know much. Evidently it was an issue in her marriage...old feelings were stirred up when he contacted her on my 18th bday. I can understand that. So I'm not really angry with her about it. It's not necessarily her responsibility to have his contact information and her marriage should come first.
post #13 of 22

I haven't been through this myself, but a very close friend of mine has. Since meeting her birth family, there have been all kinds of ups and downs, especially when her birth mother and birth father got together and GOT MARRIED! In any case, I think feeling a bit unsure, and all the other things you are feeling are very, very normal. It would be very surreal, to find someone who gave birth to you and see what their lives have been like, and their families and relationships.

The good news is that MANY years later, my friend and her birth family are still on good terms. I wish the same for you!!
post #14 of 22
deleted post
post #15 of 22
Originally Posted by ergimom View Post
Regardless of the fact that he is a rapist, I need to find my biological father. [...] I don't understand not helping me with my father.
As a rape victim, I totally understand why she's not willing to talk to the GUY WHO RAPED HER.

I think you may need to accept that the information isn't coming. If he wasn't willing to give it to you directly, I doubt she would have any more success, and have nothing to show for the additional trauma. Sucks, but you can't make him into a decent human being if he's not.
post #16 of 22
I'm replying because I'm so touched by the thought of loving and being loved by family but not knowing any biological relatives. I'm sending good thoughts and wishes for peace for you.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
The one thing that has been so prominent in all of this is forgiveness. BM has a great amount of guilt in her heart. She has always worried if she made the right choice. She even felt that the only reason I might want to contact her was if I had a bad life and was angry about it. I think almost 24 years of thinking about all of this from so many different angles really affected her deeply.

I've told her I'm not angry. I'm not. I have been irritated at times....definitely hurt. It's so complicated. There are so many emotions tangled up in it. Growing up I went through so many stages in reference to my adoption. Curiosity, loneliness, feeling lost, embracing it, forgetting about it, etc. There is no such thing as a perfect life. Yeah, I've done a few not okay things here and there in my life. Yes, bad things have happened to me and I have physical and emotional scars because of it. Do I think it's because I am adopted? No. I did have some trouble "finding myself" as a teenager. Even now, at almost 24, I think I'm still a bit lost but I'm not so sure that is abnormal.

I've reassured her that I'm happy. I'm okay, really. This has come up probably a handful of times. I can see how the guilt could drive us apart. Hopefully, with time, she'll come to understand that I really am fine and I really do forgive her for whatever she feels she did wrong.

She called me last night because I hadn't answered her txts in a couple of days. I'm changing cell phone providers and I told her that back when I made the decision because I didn't want her to think I was hiding from her. I've had the flu (it sucks!) and just have not felt like talking. Talking with her really does take a lot of energy. She called my home number because she was afraid something had happened and that I had gotten worse. (She knew I was sick)

It's not just a simple conversation...it's so weighted! While things seem so much better now than they did a month ago...there are still issues to be worked out. I'm hoping things will start to fall into place naturally over time. We seem to be going at a much slower pace now than when we first met.

On another note......
I kind of want to know if she loves me. And if she does, what kind of love is it. I think that if I had a child and had to part with them that I would never stop loving them...but at the same time, I think my love for them would be based only on the fact that I was their mother and not on who they were/are. I'm wondering if that is how BM feels. She says she very much loved me then. I've not given birth so I don't know what kind of connection/bond that offers. I have a DSD that I love very much but our bond and love was one that grew over time.
post #18 of 22
I'm going to post this link and see if it stands, since there are so many people who might find it useful:forum for us.

It's nice to have a place to congregate and be able to find support, advice, and resources.
post #19 of 22
[QUOTE=gracesmommy;10677064]As a rape victim, I totally understand why she's not willing to talk to the GUY WHO RAPED HER. [QUOTE]

I'd understand it too, if she said she wasn't willing to... but I never even asked, she offered in the first place.. I just am irritated at being offered something and never seeing it.

The guy was her neighbor, she saw and talked to him for years after the incident, and maintains that she respects him for being a good friend to her parents, and speaks fondly of him on occasion.
post #20 of 22
Couldn't read and not reply either

I was in your shoes a while back. We had an 'open adoption' but my adoptive parents didn't like the idea of me having contact with my birthmom, so they didn't help anything and made it weird. I had nagging feelings like you described, and when I turned 18 I did go visit and talk to her on the phone. My adoptive parents weren't supportive, but they got over it.

Now that it's been a bunch of years and I have my own family, I keep my two 'families' separate (adoptive and birth). When my adoptive parents visit I'll even take the pictures of my birth family off the wall just too much complication there. I do love talking on the phone with my birth mom. She calls me her daughter, and that's fine with me. I call her by her first name. I do call my sisters my sisters, no 'half' or anything. We enjoy talking about how we're similar, and seeing similarities with the men we've married, what foods we like, etc. I tend to think of her more like a 'hip aunt' than my *mom* I don't know, *mom* seems to be a little to... loaded? Pressuring? I don't know.

At first I mostly wrote letters because I wasn't good on the phone either. I've visited her 3 times, twice when I was single, once when hubby and I passed through that state on the way to somewhere else. I also backed off if I felt weird. There was a whole 6 months or so that I didn't have time to write or call around the time I married my husband. I was still kind of awkward about our relationship and didn't want to tell her that I was getting married because I didn't want pressure to invite her to the wedding (that would have made it SUPER awkward with how my adoptive family is), so I just didn't deal with it. If any 'emotional balls' so to speak have to get dropped, it's the biologic family who gets dropped soonest.

That's just how I've done things. We get along super well, we're really similar. I enjoy talking to her on the phone, and she and her husband are most likely going to come up and visit us this spring or summer.

don't know if that helps
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