Questions from Vienna

"No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions." – Charles Proteus Stienmetz

A beloved, cool, beautiful, amazing Austrian friend wrote me an email and asked a lot of adoption questions. They were good questions, direct questions, the kind of questions she worried might upset me to have asked.

I wasn’t upset. I adore her even more for asking what other people only think about but never dare ask. The kinds of things people whisper behind my back in hushed tones, she asks. Who can get upset with honesty?

Even so, I had a hard time answering them immediately. Questions like these take time. Thought. They also conjure up a great deal of emotion. I told her I would get back to her.  And so I have.

Her questions followed by my answers:

How are things between you and your daughter, does she still not want to meet?
Things are, um, odd. Best descriptor I can muster. I would guess we are in what is called Limbo but that’s not even right since we never went through a honeymoon, never met, etc. Its just, odd. Yes, I assume since she has not asked to meet nor suggested it she still doesn’t want to. I stopped asking last year. I don’t plan to ask again soon. It hurts too much to be denied.

Do you think she will in the near future?
I honestly don’t know. I cannot speak for her. Can I give you her email and you ask? (Kidding!). I hope some day she does.

Does she ask you things, about why you  gave her away or about your life, your family?
Nope. She doesn’t ask questions and she doesn’t answer questions. She prefers to avoid all things adoption. I joke that I am like a fairy in fairyland. Not her mother. Just some cyberspace fairy that writes her and sends her presents.

Do you wish she could be part of your family again, and what do you think would/will your relationship be like?
As far as I am concerned she is and always was part of my family. Just because she is absent or was taken away, doesn’t make her not part of the family or me any less her mother. My sons, her brothers, know about her, want to know about her. Same is true for all my extended family. There are pictures of her hanging on the walls of my home. A photo album of her on the coffee table. She is very much a part of our  family (whether she wants to be or not).

Would you like to meet her adoptive parent?
I would be fine with meeting her adoptive parents. Its entirely up to her/them. I have no concerns. I don’t blame them or hold any grudges towards them. Kurtz, society, morales and values raped my soul and took my child, not them.  I do feel a tad bit of disappointment in them that they have been so secretive and have not allowed her to develop a full identity. I dislike that she has to skulk around and be all duplicative. I wish they could deal with their own insecurities so that our daughter could lead a full, whole, honest life with all her family – adopted and natural.

Do you want your daughter back or would having her as a friend be enough for you?
Ahh, excellent question.  I will be honest and say that at my core I want my daughter back. I have from the day I let her go. I want to hold her, hug her, laugh with her, hear her, feel her hair, see her smile, listen to her snore, watch her shop for clothes. I want to tickle her, chase her through a field of flowers. I want to spend a day coloring our hair. However, I am educated, aware enough to know that this can never be. My daughter, the daughter she was supposed to be for me, doesn’t exist. The best I can do is try to love the person that is. To accept her for who she is today and love every part of that person just like I would the daughter I would have raised. I love her regardless.   I hope to fall into something between mother and friend.

She continues…

“i hope i’m not hurting your feelings, asking these things, i’m just curious where this whole thing will go from here. you hear a lot about how adopted people reunite with their real mom and/or dads, but you actually never get to hear the story about what happens after that.

More questions:

Will they be living happily ever after?
Some are, some aren’t. My situation remains to be seen.

What if their adoptive parents don’t approve?
An adult adoptee is not a child and therefore approval of parents should not be required.  Evelyn Burns Robinson says it best “…it is the role of all parents to raise their children to become responsible adults. As parents, it is not appropriate for us to expect our adult children to seek our ‘emotional permission’ for any decisions they are called upon to make. Adoption-related decisions are no different from decisions made by our adult children in other areas of their lives."

As will the adoptee really choose to hurt her or his parents?
Aparents choose their own hurt. This is not caused by adoptees. Again, my opinion. Aparents who are truly acting in the best interest of their children (and I know several) are not the least bit “hurt” by their child needing/wanting/demanding to know where they came from.  Aparents who get hurt, possessive, are generally those parents that treat the adopted child like an object and also those that never dealt with their own infertility For that, they deserve to be hurt.  Children are not objects to be bought and sold nor are they band aids meant to heal the wounds of infertile couples.

Or [in reunion] are you busy enough dealing with the past to even be thinking about the future?
Another excellent question. For me its both.  Adoption reunion is so highly triggering that it brings up the past in a tidal wave of crippling emotion. To see your child, to feel what you lost, to not be able to get that back, causes a tremendous amount of anguish. While you are going through that, you are trying to be all nice, and pretty and thin and proper and acceptable so that person will allow you to be in their life in the future. Its quite tiring.

Thanks S. Love you.

2 Thoughts.

  1. Do you ever watch the TV show House? Lately Chase has been asking ? (girl doctor) very casually and directly if she is interested in a relationship. She always says no. And he very calmly says, “ok, I’ll ask again next week.” I thought of that when reading —
    “I stopped asking last year. I don’t plan to ask again soon. It hurts too much to be denied”
    I know you’ll ask again at some point. It’s sad that she’s unable to do it yet.

  2. I love your answers to these questions. As a very recently reunited adoptee, I love hearing the POV of a mother. I hope your daughter will meet you soon.

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