This is kinda silly and heartbreaking and I don’t share it with people so for some reason I’ve been compelled to share here to see if anyone can relate. I have recently been watching a show called Homeland, I’m sure some here have seen it. The main character Carrie works for CIA so she has to leave her daughter behind many times. I am 41 now so bare with me on the reference- my mom left me initially when I was 3 but she’d come in and out of my life till age 11. Then she was just totally gone. I have not seen or heard from her since 1991. When I was little I’d tell people that my mom was Cyndi Lauper and she was away on tour (wild imagination I guess). I’m sure no one believed that but I told that story anyway. Now watching Homeland I realize maybe a CIA spy would have been more interesting?
Another acknowledges – You probably just wanted a good reason for her absence. I told my teachers and what not that my mom died in child birth. I guess it was easier that she died rather than admit that she had left me. Always protecting ourselves from people leaving for good.
And sadly – I was actually told (the lie) in my younger years that my 1st mom died in childbirth. I remember laying in bed at times and in my mind I used to pretend my mom was a beautiful movie star, such as Elizabeth Taylor. The lie was revealed in my teens and broke my trust with my adoptive mother and destroyed the comfort of that fantasy forever.
Someone else admits – When I was a kid I told people Chester Bennington from Linkin Park was my real dad and my mom wouldn’t let me see him. I didn’t actually know the truth about my biological dad until almost adulthood, so my kid brain tried to fill it in.
From yet another – I had elaborate fantasies where my mother was an alien and my father was maybe a famous actor I’d had a crush on. (All my celebrity crushes up until the past few years have been significantly older than me.) Like, sure, Harrison Ford might be my dad!
I find this one interesting because I have suspected my mom named my sister Lou Anne because at some deep level she had heard her birth mother called Lou. “I used to name every single Doll or toy Jennifer. My adoptive parents told me my mom’s name was Jennifer when I was 7. Sure freaked them out for a long time.”
Which reminded another one – I used to tell myself that Jennifer Lopez was my mom and gave me up for adoption lol. I’m not even Hispanic.
And lastly, this one – I used to watch this travel show, the ladies name was Samantha, same as my birth mother, it was a closed adoption, so I didn’t know much. I always thought it may be her and often wished it was, that I was adopted because she was single and busy with her show. Gave me a face and wonderful person to dream about.
I read about a situation today where the genetic parents of a toddler who has been adopted want the adoptive parents to have the child’s DNA tested so that family connections are available for that child. This is within a diverse adoption community and the responses were diverse as well. It is true that in getting our DNA tested we have no idea how that identifying information may be used in the future. Many of those commenting thought it should wait until the child was old enough to consent. Many suggested the genetic parents do the tests so that it is out there if or when the child wants it. Some believed it would have been helpful to them to have this information while they were yet a child.
I’ve had some experiences with adoption or donor conceived and DNA testing experiences.
Both of my parents were adoptees. I’ve done both Ancestry (my mom also did this one but it didn’t help her and yet, has been invaluable to me for learning ancestral relationships and my genetic family’s movements over time) and 23 and Me. Both have helped me be accepted by genetic relatives who might have doubted me otherwise. I’ve been able to make a few “good” connections and have a better sense of some of my family thanks to stories and photos shared. As to developing relationships with people I lost over 6 decades getting to know ? It is slow going though everyone has been nice to me.
Now on another front . . . both of my sons are donor egg conceived. We’ve never hidden this aspect of their conception from them and they have met the donor on several occasions. Fortunately she has an amazingly good perspective on it all. I waited until the oldest was 18 to gift him with 23 and Me. I knew the donor had done that one and before I gifted my son, I gifted my husband. After the older one received his results, I gifted the 15 yr old as well. He is mature and there was no reason to exclude him. It is uncomfortable but the GENETIC reality that the donor is listed as their Mother. They grew in my womb, nursed at my breast for a full year and have known no one else as “mom”. They seem to have processed it well as far as I can tell. Thankfully.
The adoptive mom of my nephew did Ancestry using only initials to identify him. It turned out (and she helped him in discovering this), my sister lied about who the father was on my nephew’s birth certificate. The Ancestry DNA test was their first suspicion. The effort though came at the nephew’s desire to know. He has since met his genetic father several times. They look remarkably alike and now my nephew has certainty.
My niece (child of a different sister) was also adopted and is going through some frustrations over her DNA results though her mother has given her the name of the genetic father. It can be a complicated and confusing experience.
There is one other nephew who was raised by his paternal grandparents. My sister lost custody in court when the paternal grandparents sued to possess him. This child is of mixed heritage – both white and Hispanic. He was raised in a very Hispanic family. His DNA shows a beautiful diversity.
No solutions, simply thoughts and examples.
I was surprised to find an adoption story in Isabel Allende’s new book A Long Petal Of The Sea. It is a “familiar” story for me, steeped as I am in Georgia Tann lore. It happened often that a young woman was told by Tann her baby had died when in fact it had been taken and adopted out. My own mom believed she had been taken from her original parents by a deceptive story and then transported from Virginia to Memphis TN.
The young woman in Allende’s story is unwed and has been sent away to have her baby in secrecy at a convent. Though initially willing to give her baby up for adoption she then announces that she will not give her baby up for adoption. She says that she plans to raise it. So then, she is drugged senseless, which continues for some time even after the birth. When she is lucid again, she is told the baby died shortly after birth, strangled by the umbilical cord.
I will have to finish the book to see if that baby turns up later in the story as having actually having been adopted. That would not surprise me in the least.
I read a rather harsh criticism of this book but as a lover of history and other cultures
with some hispanic background having grown up on the Mexican border, I am enjoying her story immensely. It is decidedly a woman’s kind of tale.