This sculpture speaks so strongly to my own heart. I empathize with my grandmothers who gave up my parents to adoption. In a sense, though less permanently, I am one myself. Each of my sisters truly are. There are no words for how this haunts a person. No mother should have to live without her child, even though I do understand that sometimes the safety issues are so strong because that mother is so broken as a person, the child isn’t safe with her. I get it.
Adoption isn’t just a one-time event and it’s over. It is never over, it can’t be and it isn’t. It is something that follows an adoptee and their original parents throughout their lives.
I have obsessed in my guilt for not raising my daughter. Just like my maternal grandmother, I never intended to leave her daily life permanently. In my effort, just as it was in my grandmother’s effort, to work things out financially, circumstances changed and it was no longer the best outcome for her to take her back. Both my maternal grandmother and myself would have, if it had been possible or truly made sense to step back in.
There were no role models for absentee mothers in the early 1970s though one read a lot of stories about absentee fathers. I realize I caused the situation for myself. My grandmother stepped into a serious trap without realizing it when she turned to Porter-Leath Orphanage in Memphis TN for temporary care of my mom.
The superintendent there betrayed my grandmother and my mom to a master baby thief. Miss Georgia Tann was backed up by her good friend, the Juvenile Court Judge Camille Kelley, in her pressure campaign to exploit my grandmother and wrest my mom out of her possession so that she could sell her to my adoptive grandmother.
Being a birth mom who permanently surrenders her child is not a club you should want to join. It is a grief that lasts a lifetime. The pain of that wound will change over time but it will never go away. It will always be there. I have spent years trying to resolve my own. I know the reasons and the causes but there is no recovering lost time and those precious memories of your child growing up.
If you are an expectant mother, especially a single and financially challenged young woman, seek out the help that will make it possible for you to keep your baby. You will be glad you did. Here’s one place – https://savingoursistersadoption.org/