â€œThere’s another world inside of me
That you may never see
There’s secrets in this life
That I can’t hide
Somewhere in this darkness
There’s a light that I can’t find
Well maybe it’s too far awayâ€
– When Iâ€™m Gone, Three Doors Down
A friend of mine, an adoptee, recently asked for my advice. She wanted to know if I, as a natural mother in reunion, would want to know potentionally hurtful things that happened to my daughter growing up. This friend was pondering sharing more of her life experiences with her natural mother. She was worried that things she wanted to share, which many would consider abuse, would be upsetting to her mother.
Would I want to know?
Yes. Without question. And I told my friend that.
I want to know ALL of my daughter. The good, the bad and the ugly. I want to know whatever she would want to share. For my friend (and my daughter) to share only the good pretty parts of their life is not real. Itâ€™s the mask. Its not reality.
Would I be upset if I were to learn my daughter had suffered any type of abuse? Of course. That wasnâ€™t supposed to happen, right? My daughters adopters were supposed to be perfect, golden, UberMom and Dad, right?Â Adoptive parents NEVER abuse, hurt, their adopted children? Right? Only natural, biological families do that?
That bad natural mother/ubergrand adopters is a prime ingredientÂ in the adoption koolaid recipe. We are spoon fed even force fed the beilefÂ that adopters are better than us and therefore more worthy. Some of us even get it in an intravenous line. Straight to the heart.
We somehow summise that this means adopters are frolicking in fairyland with home made cookies, fluffy bed sheets, June Cleaver and butterflies. Never does the thought of abusive adoptive parentsÂ enter the picture. WE would do that. NOT them.
So, gulp, gulp, gulp, we drink the koolaid and OH, YEAAAAAAAAAAAH, take my baby you perfect adopters.Â Its clearly dangerous for her to stay with me. Why wouldnâ€™t I give her to you? Every mother wants to save her child from danger. Clearly I am danger with a capital D.
But what if you believed that crap? What if for twenty something years you live night and day believing your child is better off living in fairyland than with you? What if you use that belief, that dream as a salve, an emotional Burts Bees, for your broken heart?
It can be quite a rude wake up call to find out that your child did not grow up in fairy land but instead grew up with Adoptive Mommy Dearest.
Would I want to know?
First and foremost, it would help me understand my child. If child was distant, cold, rude, evasive, knowing they were abused as a child would help me understand some of their behavior.Â Perhaps more important, it would help me to respond appropriately and not make things about me, adoption, that might actually be rooted in their own pain and trauma.
They have trust problems? Well, not only were they adopted but they were abused by their adopters. Why would they trust me? The very person they may feel PUT them in that situation,
For me, I would want my daughter to be â€œrealâ€. Herself. All her bumps, bruises, ugliness and beauty. For we are the sum of all our parts. Our shadow selves included.
Donâ€™t tell me what you want me to hear. Donâ€™t paint me a pretty picture. Thatâ€™s fake. I hate despise fake people.
Do not assume I cannot handle it. That will for sure send me over the edge. Let me decide for myself what I can handle and cannot. I find it insulting when someone assumes, for me, that something is too painful for me. Huh? How would you know?
Yes, its possible my child may blame me for the abuse. After all, I put her there right?Â I gave her away to those abusive adopters?
I did not select her parents. The agency did.
I was not told of any past abuse, any drinking problems, psychological problems. I wasnt even told that infertile people need therapy to deal with their own loss and issues. Why would I be? Full disclosure to me, of all that is wrong with adoption (and potential adopters) might prevent the agency from getting their nice chunk of baby selling change. Gasp. I might change my mind?
No, I wouldÂ not take responsibility or ownership of her adoptive parents actions. They are theirs and theirs alone.
If my daughter ever shared painful stuff with me, I would hug her. I would be sad and angry WITH her not AT HER. I would ask her how I could help (and that might mean NOT helping). I would thank her for sharing it with me and for trusting me. I would do whatever I could to validate her. I might share my own simliar experience (if I had one and sharing it was appropriate).
I would really want to hold her close and run my fingers through her hair.
Yes, friend. Tell your mom. I believe sharing difficult stuff, real stuff, develops relationships. Deepens relationships.
Let your Mama hug you.
Shes been waiting a long time.