An adoptee was troubled by her birth mother’s awkward attempts to communicate and find some kind of common ground. As a mother who didn’t raise my own daughter after the age of 3 after a divorce, I understand how difficult it can be for an absent mother. I remember really have trouble finding a commercial birthday card that reflected my relationship with my daughter. Now, I just make my own with a software program.
So this original mother made a really poor choice by sharing a poem that really didn’t reflect the adoptee’s or this mother’s life experience and the adoptee felt angry and I can honestly understand why.
The fate of a mother is to wait for her children. You wait for them when you’re pregnant.
You wait on them when they get out of school. You wait on for them to get home after a night out.
You wait on them when they start their own lives.
You wait for them when they get home from work to come home to a nice dinner.
You wait for them with love, with anxiety and sometimes with anger that passes immediately when you see them and you can hug them.
Make sure your old mom doesn’t have to wait any longer.
Visit her, love her, hug the one who loved you like no one else ever will.
Don’t make her wait, she’s expecting this from you.
Because the membranes get old but the heart of a mother never gets old.
Love her as you can.
No person will love you like your mother will.
I think it was a cry for love and more connection but it fails given the circumstances.
Someone tried to translate this – Some people express themselves wrong as well, because they don’t know how. This poem says “I’m struggling to say this but I waited and waited for years to have a relationship, I’ve always loved you and I want to be able to have that relationship” the part at the end doesn’t strike me as the message. Again, this is how I see it.
I can easily understand that many women who surrender a child to adoption do wait a long time for the child to grow up so that they can have some hope of resuming a relationship. Sometimes it doesn’t happen in time – as it was with my mom, who’s own original mother was dead before she could connect. Now that I have the adoption file and have visited my grandmother’s grave, I believe she was always waiting. The name on the grave is the more childish name “Lizzie Lou” that was on my mom’s original birth certificate, rather than the more mature name “Elizabeth” I saw on a letter after the surrender and on the divorce papers when my mom’s original father legally ended his relationship with that wife.
An adoptee says it clearly – I disagree that first moms (unless they were adoptees also) suffer “just as much” trauma as adoptees. Most first moms don’t start life with sheer torture and live life in fight or flight mode. They don’t spend their childhoods lost in a fog of confusion getting gaslighted and tricked by their families. I have very much sympathy for first moms and the terrible trauma they endure but I would never equate that to what adoptees suffer as infants and children. Adoption shapes our entire lives. First mom trauma happens later in life. They are different.
Infants experience pre-cognitive trauma. Babies have no previous identity or knowledge of their self before the trauma. The memory is stored in the hippocampus without narrative as pure emotion, which is terror and powerlessness. This can get triggered and manifest as emotional flashbacks. And those might plague a person for a long time, if not adequately addressed in therapy.
Infants grow 75% of their brain mass between age zero to age 3. Trauma during rapid brain growth can be more impactful. Trauma “in the first two years followed by ten years of bliss is more damaging than ten years of adversity after 2 years of baby bliss” ~ Dr Bruce Perry, who co-authored a book with Oprah Winfrey – What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing.
Oprah writes – although I experienced abuse and trauma as a child, my brain found ways to adapt. This is where hope lives for all of us—in the unique adaptability of our miraculous brains. I hope that with our book #WhatHappenedToYou, you begin to find the tools to build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate your responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships.