Pick A Topic Day

Two things happened recently that have me befuddled.  Writing to think more about them perhaps dialogue here as I would be curious to know your thoughts as well.

Topic 1 – That Football Guy and His Mother
First Mother Forum has a post about Colin Kaepernick and his first mother being in the news again. Go read it at FMF and come back if you wish.  I will admit this dudes situation has annoyed me since he became news.  I wrote a post months back that I never published for upon reading it out loud it felt like more of a bitchy venting rant than anything useful for this blog. I opted not to post.  Yet here he is again on my reader and I am pondering him and his mother(s).

I feel for these people (first mother and son) and wish the media would leave them alone.  Such a very painful personal matter dragged through media makes me feel ill largely because I could be, and in some ways I am, Hiedi.  I think how I would feel if I that were me and I know I would feel pretty sick and confused and angry and want to tell people to feck off and mind their own business.   I know (on a much smaller scale) what it is like to have outsiders interfere in your adoption reunion.  I am quite confident (though I have no proof) that certain adoption online “friends” have stalked and harassed my daughter.   I take ownership of that. I made the mistake of friending people (online only) and trusting them with personal details of my daughter. I shared her name and online sites with select friends BEFORE she told me I was not allowed to share her existence or our connection. These people later turned out to be, well, not what I thought they were and I distanced myself. Distancing came too late and likely at the expense of my reunion (or whatever chances there were for one in the future). I never outright called these peeps on their suspected behavior as I did not have the luxury of tracking data, etc. but something in my gut tells me I am spot on. Others also agree with me.

My mistake. I get that. I trusted people I shouldn’t have. This may be a lesson Colin’s first mom is now learning – thinking people are kind and want good things for you and your child when in fact all they want is to either a) punish you for being a dumb stupid barftmother or b) to exploit your situation for their own selfish means (and that includes projection and transference and all that other psycho shit that happens in adoption circles.)

Yet she says (at least the FMF article says she said this) that she is speaking out for others.  I agree with that sentiment.  I agree with sharing her story so that others may benefit from it (and by benefit I mean benefit from the knowledge and be prevented from making the same mistake OR if they make that choice benefit from the knowledge of what MIGHT be in their future). Those who don’t learn frm the past are condemned to repeat it or something like that, you know?

How can we have activism and change things if we are not able/willing to share our very real stories?  I have pondered this before.  Guess I am doing so again.  Is it enough just to leave the other person’s NAME out of it when the media and others can track that down even without our sharing it? One of my blog trolls/harassers sent me an email once claiming that while I never shared my daughter’s name on the blog they were able to figure out who she was due to other information I shared. Really?

Topic 2 – Zip It Conundrum

So I run a registry for individuals separated via the Kurtz network of adoption “agencies”. No news there.  Have reunited over 200 people. Don’t know real count. I stopped counting as it seems like a data point rooted in vanity. I don’t care how many I help. I am simply glad I can.  Here is the conundrum.

Mom registers details with me. Some months later I am contacted by adoptee. Adoptee says “I think that’s me”.  I check what info she has against what I have and it appears to be a match.  I don’t contact Mother at all during this. I was not sure. I later learn adoptee had already confirmed this on her own (through other postings the mother has made elsewhere).  Adoptee asks me never to tell her mother as she is not sure she wants to deal with this particularly since she found out some not so nice info about the mother.  I say “Okay, it is your info.  You know who she is and how to find her if you wish.  Good luck.”

You see any problem here?  The adoptee strictly said (in her own words of course) “you do not have permission to give her my information even though I have hers.”

I agreed and yet I feel like I am being sneaky or disloyal or morally/ethically corrupt somehow because I now know where this mothers adults child is but I am not going to tell her because the adult has not given me permission to do so. I believe in allowing adults, most importantly adoptees, to hold the cards but I have never been asked to be a silent partner in the transaction.  I feel like one of those dirty confidential intermediaries that I so dislike.  Mind you, the mother has no idea I know this.  So the point may be mute, sort of.  At least until she pops up again and says “Hey, I want to actively search. Will you help?” Or “Do you have any more information?”

Right now I am hoping the information overwhelms the adoptee in question and she chooses to make contact on her own.

Tell me I am right. Or tell me I am wrong if you think so. Or tell me I think too much.  Befuddled because I have never had this situation before. I don’t like secrets and lies and yet I feel like I am complicit in one somehow since the adoptee has asked me not tell the mother their info and yet it was the mother who registered with me first.  Over thinking?  Doing the right thing? Over identifying with a mother whose daughter is keeping her at bay?



6 Thoughts.

  1. I registered with an adoption database in 2008 with the expectation if my son (born 1972) wanted to find me the information would be out there for him to find. He contacted me in March of this year, through and intermediary at that particular database. Having given him up for adoption during the baby scoop era the idea of actually looking for him was not an option (the only option was move on with your life, you can never contact him, everyone is better off). I guess I just never expected to hear anything. I was blind sided when the call came – totally caught off guard.
    Although this reunion has been great the amount of work I’ve had to do coming to grips with the reality of what happened 41 years ago has stunned me. I thought it was all worked out but found it was not.
    I think both parties have to be ready for a reunion. If the adoptee has the information but is not ready I don’t think it is something that should be compromised. I’m not sure how much information the adoptee has but a reunion changes EVERYTHING in your life, forever. Good or bad. I think I would sit on whatever info you have and let these people work it out in the end. Yes, the birthmother has the right to know where her child is but how healthy is it for anyone if they feel as if the mediating party has overstepped their boundaries?
    Somehow I wish there was a way to ease into this – at least for me. I had three months of panic attacks just at the thought of people finding out. How ridiculous is that? That’s PTSD with brain washing. Sad – for me and my son.

    • Joanne – That is definitely where I have landed. I am sitting on it. It is coming to feel that is the correct decision I am struggling with. Oh and hugs to you. And your son.

  2. Re: Zip…
    Hi; Adopted Person here. There’s a world if difference between an adult adoptee dipping their toe in the water for the first time, contacting a source (in my case, the adoption agency whence I came), and pulling the trigger on contact. A whole lot happens in between our decision to see if it’s even possible to make contact, and following through if we so choose. It’s treacherous and terrifying, and often marks a complete change of life perspective. It’s profoundly stressful, not only on our own psyche but on our entire household and even our circle of friends. So don’t take it personally, that we want to know what the possibilities are before we plunge in. It’s a conundrum for you because you see two pieces of a puzzle and you want to put them together, but many of us adoptees, just because we want to know if the possibility exists, we are not yet ready to be joined. Patience, please. It is a monumental step for us.

    • Well said. It’s a conundrum for you because you see two pieces of a puzzle and you want to put them together I agree of course with all your other statements. Need to absorb them and realize that I am not responsible in way for this mother/this adoptee/this reunion. Hard not to personalize, want more for them, wish things were different. It is not unlike my own reunion. I get it, it is what it is, but it still sucks, ykwim?

  3. I think you are probably doing the right thing ~ although really, is there any “right thing” in all of this?? (“This” being adoption and it’s after-effects.)

    I can’t imagine how heavy the weight of this is on you. I myself would be putting a guilt trip on, feeling as though I was betraying a fellow mom even while doing the right thing for the person who had absolutely no say in being adopted. I hope you are kinder to yourself than I tend to be to myself.

    Not to mention the wondering if you are over-identifying… I’ve got an ugly situation going on in my life right now where I know the over-identifying has become a part of it. But if I don’t speak out due to the over-identifying, am I not in the end doing more harm by staying silent? Gahhhh…. it’s all such a mess!! Adoption loss 34+ years later, still making an impact on my life and that of others.

    • Have you read this article on the NY Times? For some reason your comment reminded me of it. It supports my belief that trauma/adoption pain, can take a long time to go away or it may never go away and may just ride along side you.

      The Trauma of Being Alive

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