Come Find ‘Em, It’s Fine with Me

Tonight I read a long essay on about a woman, adopted at the age of 4 by an Australian family, whose Chinese birth mother had tracked her down. The woman got a letter with a phone number, called the number, and then ensued a visit back to China, meeting lots of relatives, and having a relationship with the birth mom. This might be most adoptive parents’ worst nightmare but it’s not mine.

I say, come and find them. Come find me. I’ll take you to them. I’ll introduce you, encourage you to shake hands, start a group hug.

I have three adopted kids, each with their own set of biological parents. So if you were to count up the parents that are connected to my adopted children, there would be eight, my husband and me, plus two for each of them. Eight. They should all come to Thanksgiving dinner. We could get an extra card table or two, rent some folding chairs, switch over to paper plates, and boom, we’ve got all the relatives together.

There would be plenty to talk about. First off would be what everyone’s been doing the past twenty-five years.

I have no opinion about why my kids’ biological parents ditched them. I was going to say surrendered them or gave them up for adoption but my automatic reflex was to say ‘ditched them’ and maybe that’s where the truth is. For all the nights I reassured them that their birth parents, oh, let’s be real, their birth mothers (no one ever, ever talks about birth fathers) gave them up because they loved them so much but couldn’t take care of them, there were as many nights when I wondered, how the hell could somebody give up this child? Who would do that?

And what have they been doing since then?

If my kids’ birth moms or parents showed up, they would be riding in on carpets of glory. The air around them would be golden and everything about them would be fascinating and real; my kids would be touched to the core and finally feel at home, at peace with the world.

I will be in the kitchen doing the dishes.

If I sound bitter, I’m not. It’s my reality. Like the 2nd wife of a man whose first wife died tragically young, I can’t compete. I don’t care.

I was here.

19 Comments on “Come Find ‘Em, It’s Fine with Me

  1. Yesterday I came upon an entry in my journal about a child of my family that had been placed into an adoptive home. My family of origin history tells me I should be having horrible angst…I should have stepped up to the plate and taken this child under my wing and kept this little being in the fold. My wings are tired and I couldn’t, and neither could this baby’s parents. At the top of my gratitude list is knowing this child is being given a loving, stable home.

    I am not crazy about the word “ditched” either, but it is the word you chose and I understand it. In my instance I believe the mother of the child I speak of “ditched” him, and thank God she did! And I am relieved that perhaps this child will grow up, along with her and someday the adoptive parents will be open to restoring the history of this child with those of us who lovingly watched him escape.

    I enjoy your blog!

    • Your comment puts me at a loss for words. I guess I can say this. I hear you. My feelings about my kids being ‘ditched’ have been intermittent; not a long term indictment of their birth parents. Frustration maybe at my inability to ever explain to them why what happened to them happened. Yours is the story I tried to tell them; it’s not the story I always felt in my heart.

  2. I knew a woman who was a paperhanger. She said that she only worked for nice people. I asked her how she had any customers. She said that most of her clients were nice, but one time in particular, she arrived at a client’s house, and the woman starting giving her a hard time. She started packing up to go, and the client was surprised. When asked just where did she think she was going, she told her client that she only worked for nice people, and she left. Poor client probably found another paperhanger to abuse, or she didn’t. But she didn’t bother my paperhanger friend anymore.
    We’re all guests here on your blog. Just because we can speak our mind here, doesn’t mean that we should. If we can’t play nice, invite us to leave. And then block us.
    Thank you for sharing.

      • Thank you, Louisa Keys! Just because someone is your customer doesn’t mean that you have to tolerate their ill will.

    • This is good advice that I would be wise to follow. You did me a service by telling me how to handle this going forward. Thank you.

      • A blog post is only a snapshot in the movie that is your blog. If I (the universal “I”) haven’t seen the whole movie, how can I judge it by one still moment? Well, I probably can, but why would I? It’s your movie, not mine.
        While I’m sure your haters might have some valid points, this is not the appropriate forum. I’m sorry for their pain, yet…
        They sure didn’t win any friends, either.

  3. I love your writing and the spirit in what you write. I see similarities in my own thoughts and feelings, you just express them much better then i ever could. I am honored to be your friend.

  4. Damn straight! You were there and that’s what matters. I have two step-children, 1 biological child, and 4 adopted children and I have been there too. I love your writing!

  5. At first I thought, “Oh, she’s rather flippant….ditched children?” But I’m glad I read on because you seem to really get it that adoptees are part of more than one family. Society needs to change so that we all understand that most mothers don’t simply ditch their children. Some have no other choice, some are coerced, some are bought, some are stolen away from them because, let’s face it, the adoption industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and there’s lots of human trafficking going on, despite the reluctance of many to believe that. My mother had tried to keep me (and, in 1958, this was defying convention) but, after her own brother raped her when I was 5 months old, she surrendered me for my safety….he’d threatened to do the same to me when I got older. So, you see, it’s not always ditching.

    • Everyone’s got a history; I don’t know yours, you don’t know mine. I appreciate your point of view and that you took the time to comment.

  6. You didn’t live it. You have no idea. What a hateful speech!
    …from a mother of loss to adoption

  7. Ditch is a harsh word to use, many of us did not have a choice, some maybe and my son had adoptive parents like you, welcomed me with open arms, that is until they they saw how much my son and I were alike, I was so welcome any longer. I appreciate how much concern you have for your kids birthparents or birthmother, but please don’t assume you know all birthparent’s stories and that we ditched our children.

    • I would never assume anything about all birthparents or adoptive parents. I speak from my own experience. I appreciate your point of view and that you took the time to comment.

      • You benefit from the robbing of the dead and then wonder, How could any mother ‘ditch’ her newborn flesh? She didn’t and she could not. Our newborns were abducted womb-fresh in the delivery room and gone. I spit in your face, you who benefited from the severing of Mother & Child. You are the scum of the earth.

      • Really? You are this extreme in your comments without knowing anything at all about our situation. My kids were not newborns when they were adopted, they were not abducted by anyone, they were abandoned by their parents/relatives. Literally abandoned. This particular scum of the earth, as you call me, raised three special needs children who were abandoned. I’m not looking for a medal but I don’t think that the scum of the earth epithet is really called for here.

  8. lovely as always… so true….come see how my babies are..what fine people they have become

  9. never experienced adoption but relate to the second wife scenario. It doesn’t matter, I am here. Thanks for expressing it for me.

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