Flying In The Face Of My Own Preconceived Idea’s.

Confession, I have searched and searched the internet for traces of our BM but have never been able to find her, not even on Facebook. I’m not sure what I hope to achieve by finding her, I guess mostly, I just want to know that she is ok and that in spite of Ava’s placement, she is able to live a happy life.

Last Sunday, after a beautiful mother’s day message from her, sent via our SW, I once again went in search of her. I’ve been friends with our SW on Facebook for about a year now and for some reason, last Sunday, the first place I decided to look was in my SW’s friends list on Facebook. I was gobsmacked! There she was, smiling so beautifully and so warmly in her profile picture. My first reaction was to burst into tears!

I’m sure only other adoptive parents will understand this, but I miss her. I fantasize about talking to her, face to face, meeting up and having a good catch up. I’d love to hear from her how she is doing, how the last two years have been for her. I’d love to tell her all about Ava and how Ava is doing. I’d love to show her what a beautiful little girl Ava has become. I’ve always had this secret fantasy that perhaps she reads my blog. That perhaps it’s of some comfort to her knowing that Ava is ok, that she is a happy, thriving little girl.

I would, of course, never contact her out of a deep respect for her wishes and the choices that she has made. I just wouldn’t. I wouldn’t send her a message on Facebook or try to add her as a friend. Somehow that just feels like it would be crossing a boundary. But seeing her on Facebook last week deeply affected me. It made me both so happy and at the same time so sad.

I told my parents and a few friends about my discovery and their reactions surprised me and reminded of just how misunderstood adoption is by those who have not walked the adoption path. My parents were horrified. Terrified that I would either try and contact her or she would try and contact me. I had the same response from friends. They were even more shocked when I told them my (now not so) secret fantasy about her reading my blog.

What if she tried to contact me? My response: yes, so what would happen if she did try to contact me?  Seriously? What would happen? Nothing! It would not change our circumstances in anyway, it would not affect our family, it would not change our family. It’s not like her knowing where to find me would mean that Ava was any less my daughter, our daughter. It’s not like her knowing where to find me would suddenly mean that my family was under threat or that we were at risk of loosing our child. So so what really?

And it was then that it struck me just how much my own notions about adoption had changed. When we started the process, a BM that has an open adoption suggested to me that we look into it. And I flat our refused! No way in hell I was going to share MY child. I felt terribly threatened by birth mom’s. I wanted no openness what so ever!

Then we met our beautiful BM and went through the process and my thoughts and notions about it all changed. I learned that BM’s love their children they place for adoption, I learned that they felt as afraid of me and threatened by me as I was of them. I learned that adoption is the most beautiful, selfless act of love on the part of the BM and for that they deserve our unconditional love and respect and for that I will never withheld information from our BM anymore than I believe she would want to interfere in our family.

So really, does finding her on Facebook change anything? No.

Would her reading my blog be as catastrophic as some people would think? No.

It’s amazing how much this process has opened my eyes and my heart and changed so many preconceived notions I had about both motherhood and birth mothers.

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  • Reply Tracy

    Thanks for this! I could have written so much of this post myself but you were brave enough to write it before I plucked up the courage to “confess”.

    I wasn’t even aware of the possibility of open adoption when we adopted our older son but over time I have come to know quite a few birth mums and their stories and now I would be quite open (excuse the pun) to the idea. I confess I have looked on Facebook for her but she’s not on there or if she is she uses another name. I used to not put photos of our sons on Facebook – or anywhere on-line – because I was nervous that she would see them and try to find them. Now I’m not worried about that and for the first time I’ve posted photos on-line like any other proud mum.

    May 19, 2012 at 10:33 am
  • Reply Robyn

    Thanks so much for this post! Am so glad I’m not the only one…

    I have also done the search – and found her on Facebook (with some pics). We never met and I suppose I was curious to see what she looked like. Our SW always said we had a similar look – and I suppose we do. So it definately answered some questions for me.

    May 19, 2012 at 11:49 am
  • Reply Melinda

    Hi Sharon,
    Although I have not walked in your shoes, I totally get this post. Tan and I have had many discussions about this very topic. I always admire her for her choice and way forward. So, despite the shocked reactions from family and friends, I think you are totally normal (I would do the same thing)….smile..

    May 21, 2012 at 7:55 am
  • Reply Tan

    I have so much to say to you this comment button doesn’t seem big enough.
    So basically. I am pretty sure that she shares your love and respect for you and W. I am learning very hard lessons at the moment but one of them is try have no regrets life is too short, you cant go back and change things, you have to take advantage of what you can and make it work for you.

    When BM place they are told that we can have limited contact. This fact is reinforced over and over. They are told that the adoptive parents have the control. They are advised that it is best to try and forget. They are advised that it is best to move on. So they feel that it is not normal to want contact over the period agreed. So my thoughts are that she would love to hear from you but like you respects your relationship too much to ever make the first step. But I do understand how hard it is and the fears you both have.

    Hugs T

    May 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm
  • Reply Seriously?!

    Oh my goodness, I just wrote about how my views of adoption have changed so much.

    I, too, felt so threatened in the beginning. But I”m convinced that’s the RPL talking.

    Soooo many people still don’t understand how relationships between adoptive and biological parents can be harmonious and a benefit to the child.

    Perhaps it’s just that people want to protect us from further harm…who knows.

    I really appreciated this post! Thanks for that.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:24 am
  • Reply TJ

    I think as women, we are naturally inclined to connect things with emotion and it makes us more curious. We are concerned about details, details, details and ‘I’ is such a big emotional part of your life I think it’s only natural curiosity that will make you search for her. We have this new thing called ‘social networks’ it opens us and others up for others to view and makes contact a whole lot easier.

    One day, you may contact each other – but yes, it won’t change a thing! Your family unit will still remain a loving triad.

    May 23, 2012 at 10:17 am
  • Reply Lisa-Marie

    Like you, I fantasise about our BM reading my blog too. Especially the posts that I dedicate solely to her; I am desperate (yes, desperate) for her to know that we love her and think of her… I know that you know what I mean.
    I sneak onto our BM’s profile for time to time.. especially if I see that she has updated her profile pic. Why? Just to look at her and to ‘see’ if she’s okay. She is smiling and happy in all her pics, so I can only take that as her being okay.

    May 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm
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