A Melancholy Mother’s Day
I wrote to my daughter’s mother today to tell her Happy Mother’s Day. Yes, you heard me correctly. I have a daughter, but I am not her mother. It pained me for years to say this, but it is the truth.
You see, I got pregnant and had a baby at 16. I wasn’t equipped to be a mom. I considered abortion, but by the time my mind really allowed me to realize I was pregnant, it was too late, and I don’t think I could’ve gone through with it anyway. So I did what numerous teen girls have done before me, and I put her up for adoption.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
I felt like a piece of my soul had been torn out of my very being. I felt incomplete most days, because I knew she was out there but she wasn’t a part of my life.
Some days I wanted to die it hurt so bad. Other days I thought her being gone was like a death, but worse because I didn’t know where she was or what was happening in her life.
I wanted to be a part of her life, but knew that I had to wait. I had to wait until she was at least 18 to start looking for her.
It didn’t take 18 years. Around her 10th birthday, her mother contacted me and she and I started a regular correspondence. She would send pictures and letters occasionally, and I would send gifts to my daughter. Her mother and I developed a friendship, born out of heartbreak – hers for not being able to conceive, and mine for giving away my child. Her mother was very appreciative of my sacrifice and knew what I had done hadn’t been easy.
When my daughter was 24 I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to extend a hand in case she was interested in getting to know each other, or I wanted to find some closure so I wasn’t sitting around wondering for the rest of my life.
I wrote my daughter a letter, telling her that if she was interested, I would like to get to know her, and if not, I understood and wouldn’t contact her again.
About a week later, I received a Facebook friend request from her and was elated! She and I began corresponding and getting to know each other. She wanted to know about my son, her half-brother, and was interested in some family medical history also.
We arranged to meet. She was so much like me it was scary. Nature wins out over nurture obviously.
I found out she was getting married within a few months, and she invited me, and my family to the wedding. It was bittersweet. I had to leave the venue and go outside to get a grip on my emotions.
It’s the oddest feeling to share DNA with someone, yet be on the periphery of their life.
I would say my daughter and I became friends of sorts. She came and stayed with me a couple of times, and my son and I would visit her.
Even though I knew that I wasn’t her mother–I wasn’t the woman who had raised her, who comforted her when she cried, who reveled in her achievements, who waited up to make sure she came home safely–I was the woman who had given birth to her. I was the one who carried her in me for 9 months. I was the one who held her, and fed her, and changed her diaper for 4 days before she left the hospital to go be with her new family.
Because of that, I wanted her to just one time, acknowledge to me that I had done those things. That I mattered because I gave her life. That I mattered because I let her go to parents who adored her and gave her an amazing life.
The last time I saw her she acknowledged me, but not like I had hoped.
“I wish you’d never had me!”
“Why didn’t you just abort me?”
“I wished I’d never met you!”
“I hate you and you’ve ruined my life twice!”
She walked away and never looked back. She and I have no contact now.
I won’t reach out again.
You might think that’s selfish, or immature. You can think what you like. You don’t know my heart or the hell I went through for years while missing my daughter.
Children break our hearts. Maybe your child broke your heart today, as my son did, with no “Happy Mother’s Day” utterance, no “You’re the greatest mom and I love you”.
He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be a parent and have a piece of your soul walking around in this world–knowing that as much as you love them, they are their own beings, and they will think, and do, exactly as they please regardless.
Maybe he will understand one day if he has children of his own.
Maybe my daughter will understand one day if she has children of her own.
Maybe, just maybe, she will be able to forgive a 16 year old girl, who was scared shitless, and felt like she had no other options.
But maybe she won’t. And that’s okay. Because I love her anyway. And I love my son too.
And because I love them, I forgive them.
We’re moms, we’re dads, we’re parents. It’s what we do.
I am so sorry you had a less than perfect mothers day. I have got a small glimpse into your life through your blog and I know how much you care about and love your son, and how hard it has been to live a life away from your daughter.
I love my mom dearly and we are very close, but for many years between the ages of twenty six and thirty four I barely spoke with her. She didn’t even come to my daughters christening.
However I grew up and we made up. Never say never.
I also remember going balistic one year because my children did not buy a present or card for Fathers day. They have never forgotten before. Sometimes they are just selfish and need to be taught.
Thanks Tric!! I’m trying to teach him to be a good partner to a woman some day, so he better learn he can’t forget those kinds of things. Lol
Parents get to love and then hope for the best.
We do the best with we can, with what we have, and hope it’s good enough. :0
Happy Mothers Day also
Thank you. It was slightly gut wrenching to write.
I don’t think you’re selfish at all. The ball is quite firmly in her court. You took the initiative and put yourself on the line; this time it’s her turn. Even if you were to tell me that you wouldn’t be interested if she reached out– I think you’d be well within your rights. I sense that maybe she is just pulling adolescent rebellion (at 24+ years old, I find that sad, but not too surprising) and is probably giving her mother grief as well.
I think it’s fortunate her mother was willing to contact you. A friend of mine– she didn’t get that much, as an adopted child, I mean. She has no kin that she knows of, now. Her adoptive parents passed, her father just recently, and apparently, her birth mother wants no contact whatsoever– she never knew her birth mother, ever. All she knows is the priest who did the adoption let it slip to her that she looks just like her birth mother, otherwise he never would have remembered the case.
It’s truly a crap shoot when you’re adopted and go looking for your bio parents. I do know that her mother was always quite comfortable with her having a relationship with me, but I can’t say the same for her dad.
Honestly, if she doesn’t change, I would consider not having contact with her. She wasn’t very nice to me sometimes and berated me for getting pregnant in the first place.
That’s so sad. I hope that time and more life experiences might lead her to reconsider, and acknowledge the hard decisions and sacrifices you had to make. But, I know some folks can be stubborn and set in their mind, so, I hope you find peace and serenity regardless of what she does.
Beautiful post, thank you. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to place your child for adoption, but it is an incredible gift to give.
I’m sorry your day has been bittersweet, as has mine. I try to remain grateful for the years I had with my daughter who died, as well as for the one I have who is physically far away, though we did get to skype! The tears of sadness mix with the immense love I feel.
Life is such a mixed bag isn’t it? I know how aware you are of that, and though I know each of your days holds a sadness, I wish many joys for you too!!
This hit home with me. I am adopted, and often wonder how a mother goes on without her child, knowing that the child is alive and well in the care of others who love them. It must be an awkward relationship, like you said, to want to be in their life…but where do you fit together?
Email me if you’d like to chat further….
I would love to chat more and will email you as soon as I can get to a computer. I’m currently replying on my cell as I’m waiting for my mother to get out of surgery.
Hope all goes smoothly for your mum. Chat soon. x
Thanks dear! It went great!
Hey chicky, can’t locate your email, so hit me up on mine at email@example.com
My heart wrenches for you, FBG. Time will tell what becomes of the relationship with your daughter. I think it’s fortunate that you were able to know her and spend time with her generous mother. Her mother’s kind nature points to forgiveness, and your daughter may follow in her example. Happy Mother’s Day to you.
Thanks for your kind and supportive words. One never knows what the future holds.
Exactly. Time heals wounds that can’t be healed any other way.
I’m with Cookie1986. I too am adopted, and I would give anything to have contact with my birth mother. I’ve always known I was adopted, and I have some basic information about my birth mother, but not nearly enough.
Growing up, I always dreaded my birthday, but I never knew why until about 14 years ago, when I went to one of those hippy-dippy workshops. It was then I discovered that I hated my birthday because I felt abandoned, and I started to heal myself.
I also discovered that during the era in which I was born, I was considered to be a mistake, and a bastard, and the mothers were told to just walk away, and never think about me again. My records were sealed, and I’ve never been able to have them opened to find my birth parents.
What I would give right now to hear from my birth mom, who is now in her 70s, if she is still living, and undoubtedly has other children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren now.
So I thank you for making contact with your daughter. What she feels now will go away with maturity. She will understand one day.