For adoptees and their original families, mourning can be deeper than simply grieving the death of a loved one. When our familial bonds are withheld from us so long, precious time is lost and never recovered. In my mom’s case, when she sought and was denied her adoption file, the state of Tennessee told her that her original mother had died a few years earlier. This devastated my mom and dashed all her hopes of a reunion.
With my dad, he never showed the desire that my mom had but when he died a half-sister was living only 90 miles away and could have shared with him real impressions of the woman who gave birth to him. When I discovered who his unwed mother’s participating lover was that conceived my dad, my dad was so much like him – sharing interests and appearance – I just knew they would have been great fishing buddies. That was a sadness for me as well.
Today, I read the story of a man who was adopted. His adoptive parents only admitted to his adoption when a sibling outed the fact. They never would give him more than the tiniest bits and pieces of information to his incessant questions. A letter his original mother wrote to him explaining her circumstances that was to be given to him upon his 18th birthday was not delivered to him until he had done an Ancestry DNA kit at the age of 30 and it was likely he was going to come into contact with his genetic relatives.
He was able to find and connect with his genetic sister through Facebook and through her be reunited with and visit with his original mother. She died just last week after too brief of a time of acquaintance with her. This has left him bereft for more reasons than her dying, which for anyone, regardless of the relationship they have with their parents, is admittedly a life-changing event.
His emotions are intense. He says –
I’m angry for lack of a better word that my adoptive parents withheld this information for so long that it wound up costing me time. Time I could’ve used to get to know my biological mom better and form deeper bonds with her. I may not have known her well but I love her and I’m having a hard time navigating the complexity of everything that I’m feeling right now. My genetic sister and I have made a pact to talk often and visit with relative frequency. I simply don’t have this kind of relationship with my brother through adoption.
If you are an adoptive parent, it is beyond cruel if you behave in this manner.
3 thoughts on “A Grief Deeper Than Death”
My daughter tells me I have to promise not to die any time soon. 😌 It seems closed adoptions caused a lot of grief for everyone. It didn’t have to be that way and I pray with all the education out there that it won’t be so closed in the future.
Your prayer is my prayer too. Wishing you a long life and many days with your daughter to fill some of the empty places.
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You are so kind. ❤️
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