Birthmothers Dealing With A Life of Grief

Living the Life of a Birthmother

Giving my son away to adoption in 1987

Dealing with Birthmother Grief the Only Way I Know How

This blog is mostly about living as a birthmother because since November 18th, 1987, that has been the only way I have left to live. That’s the day I signed the relinquishment papers in some dark office in Newton, MA and there has never been a way to get back to the life that could have been. I gave away my baby to people I had never met and then tried to go on living my life as the agency and everyone else expected me to. It didn’t work.

Adoption Affects Birthmothers for a Lifetime

So, more than 23 years later; adoption is a huge force on my life affect me and my whole family every single day. I have no choice anymore. I can’t go back and change it, so I blog. Chances are, if you have found your way here to this blog, you are needing to know what it means to live the life of a birthmother.

That means you are most likely:

  • Another birthmother
  • Pregnant and thinking about placing your baby for adoption
  • Are an adoptee
  • Could be an adoptive parent or considering adopting a child or infant either domestically or through international adoption
  • Know, care for, love, are sibling of, are married to, in a relationship with, researching on, or
  • somehow interested in one or all of the above.

That’s good. Because most things I write about are related to birthmothers, adoption and adoptee rights in some way, shape or form. I’m definitely a “niche blogger”.

No Escape from the Birthmother Club

I think the most important thing to know about living the life of a birthmother is that it is never over. It comes in and settles on our skins and we can never wash it out. Forever stained and continuously affected in ways we never dreamed. And no one can tell us how it feels, or prepare us for what it feels. There are so many things I never knew about being a birthmother until after I let adoption into my life and then it was too late.

What Adoption Experts Told Us to Expect was Wrong.

We can’t get over it.

We don’t always go on to have other children when we are “ready”.

  • It didn’t get easier as time went on.
  • The sense of peace actual erodes if you are lucky enough to buy into
  • it for a while.
  • Our children were not always better off.
  • Reunion isn’t always a perfect happy ending.
  • The years are gone forever.
  • We are hurt. We are sad. And it won’t go away but only changes through time.
  • And you ask yourself “What is wrong with me?”
  • It’s not you.

Adoption Doesn’t Play Out the Way the Professionals Told Us

How you are feeling is normal and you are not alone. Because so many of us feel this way. And if you don’t, well then god bless you and I mean that in the purest of ways. God bless that you have somehow managed to avoid the pitfalls that comes with many lives of birthmothers; the grief, the loss, the unavoidable sadness around your child’s birthday and holidays, your sensitivity to all things adoption and or baby related. If you’re not in the same reality I am, then who am I to push it? But for so many of us, I think we have to face the fact that the birthmother rules that were provided to us was a bunch of untried hopeful theories based on now debunked beliefs regarding the human psyche.

Please know, again, you are not alone. There are many of us out there and many, most of us, feel this way. If you are looking for additional support, there are many adoption support networks, groups, and pages on Facebook.

Adoption Relinquishment = Trauma = Unresolved Grief

I think I write about adoption so I don’t have to feel it. I hate feeling it close within my own life. Sometimes, I’ll be listening to someone else’s adoption story and I will think “How horrible. How can they live with that in their lives?” and for a second I will forget. And then it hits me and I know that I don’t have to image how that person feels affects by adoption.

I know because I live it too. And I hate that about my life.

For non birthparents, the closest way I can describe it is this: When I watched the towers fall on 9-11, I know I shared with millions of fellow human beings the shock and horror of that day. As the day went from bad to worse to unbelievable, we collectively thought ” how can this be happening? No, this isn’t true!”

And if though hope and desire alone, we could have made it stop, we would have; but we could only watch helplessly as the tragedy unfolded. That’s the feeling I get when I allow myself to actually feel the deep loss that accompanies the reality of placing my son to adoption.

While I will always miss the sight of the Twin Towers in the New York skyline, I can only drum up a pale vestige of the complete physical revulsion and horror that accompanied that fateful day. Even when I watch the news footage. But, when I think about Max’s adoption, I could be 19 years old all over again and sitting in that hospital rocking chair getting ready for that last goodbye all over again.

And so I blog about being a birthmother instead of feeling that pain alone.

I share it with you.

More Posts About Life as a Birthmother


Emotional Unpacking; One Week After the American Adoption Congress Conference

AAC 2014 adoption conference

So Much Adoption in Just Five San Francisco Days. After going to more than a few adoption conferences, it might seem silly to say that they are life changing events. I mean, really, how many times can one’s life really change? But I have to say, that I did walk away with one giant realization when I got home. read more…

Missing Persons

Missing persons no closure

What’s the Difference? Family of the Missing Plane or Mother from Adoption

I personally find it difficult to understand why our society in general can grasp these families grief, yet they can’t understand or even acknowledge a mother of adoption loss’ grief. Do mothers not warrant the same compassion and empathy as those that lose a loved one in another fashion? Loss is loss. Grief has no rules as to which situation grants the right to grieve. read more…

The Adoption Pendant: Born from Kay Jeweler’s Adoption Ad Blunder

the first broken heart adoption pendant

I can’t say enough good things about the broken heart Adoption Necklace. It actually does make a great gift for adoptees and birth mothers as is one of the only pieces of jewelry I have ever seen that accurately represents the reality and truth of adoption. read more…

The Birthmother Shift – 12 Years In an Adoption Fog

shifts in birthmother understand and adoption losses

At or around age 12, childhood is over.
And for birth mothers, it is obvious that we missed the whole thing. It’s over. Our child is in the final stages of growing up without us. Their whole childhood is gone. They grew up without us. It’s done. read more…

Birthmother Commentary: On and Off Line

What Society Thinks of Birthmothers in Adoption

If birthmothers had to be identified all the live long day some people might find the need to pelt us with rocks or at least, if one was ever to take seriously what one reads online, hurl vast insults and barbed comments as we went about our days. I could see a lot of us spending a lot of time in tears because what people say out of fear or weird anger or ignorance or just plain judgment can be really harsh. read more…

Birthmother Gaslighting Manipulation by the Adoption Industry

Birthmother Gaslighting Manipulation by the Adoption Industry

I know many birthmothers who have “chosen” to relinquish a child to adoption have great difficulty explaining the very subtle coercion and thought process that goes into it. It’s not so obvious to be called brainwashing. It is often not forceful enough to be openly accepted as coercion. We don’t even know or want to call ourselves “victims”. Is it the sophisticated manipulation tactic known as “Gaslighting”? read more…

Rainbow Unicorns and The Mythical Birthmother Who Wants to Relinquish Her Child

Rainbow Unicorns and The Mythical Birthmother Who Wants to Relinquish Her Child

If there are other options that CAN BE sought BEFORE adoption, then the adoption itself, not matter how happy anyone claims to be, is a tragedy. “What about the mothers who truly aren’t able to parent?” If we want adoption to really be a good thing, ethical, and used as it should then we have to then ask, ‘What is the obstacle in her way that is making it less than idea for this mother to parent this baby? read more…

Reclaiming Our Motherhood After Adoption Relinquishment

We all worry. We all fear so much that we will lose what precious little we have managed to obtain, that we are frozen solid in fear. Adoptees, birthmother, fathers, siblings.. all dancing to a song that we don’t known the melody to but desperately tying to sing along hoping we don’t step on another’s toes. read more…

You Can Call Me Anti-Adoption If You Must

The ANTI adoption elephant in the room. Let's talk about it

Often, because I spend much of my time & energy pointing out the negative aspects of adoption, I have been called “anti-adoption”. The very concept of those two words applied together — “anti” and “adoption” — are met with disbelief. But before you are horrified and that title is cast upon my head like a noose, I would like to explain what the words, anti-adoption, mean in my world, You might just find that you agree. read more…

Don’t Put Off an Adoption Cry

sad holidays

I do not “relax” well. I feel guilty when I am not producing things, making things, painting things, cleaning, things, commenting with a vengeance, writing, building sites, networking, etc. Yet, I have been waking up past TEN FREAKING AM and then staying IN BED until NOON. Yes, really. WTF. And that’s what I was doing on Christmas Eve morning, until, that is, I started crying…. read more…

Five Lies About Grief & What No One Tells You about Birthmother’s Losses

if you hear the pain in a woman's voice, and choose to shut it out....that says something about you. it says nothing about the voice you choose not to hear

In many ways, you are restarting your life from scratch. You were not a birthmother before. You did not have this child before. Now you do. You are newly born as a mother, as THIS mother, for THIS child and that mother has been relinquished as well. She is gone. You mourn not only your child, but the mother you would have been, the girl who did not live with this sorrow, the woman who didn’t hold sadness in her eyes. read more…

The Cost of Adoption: Paying Birthmother Expenses

truth about the adoption industry profits

US Adoption Agencies routinely defraud Medicaid for birthmother medical expenses, then double bill adoptive parents and keep the profits. The cost of adoption is taken on by the American tax payer to the tun of 200 million a year! read more…

Give the Gift of Romance and Suspense AND Support Adoption Truths!!

So when you help Cassi be a more successful author by buy “Playing with Fire”, then you put money in her pocket, which in turn, puts money in my bank account, which then allows me to spend more time sitting in fort of the computer all day doing what I do exposing Adoption Truths! read more…

To the Parents Who Just Found Out Their Daughter is Pregnant

father shotgun

Maybe you or she or even some well meaning friends might suggest that your daughter relinquish this baby to adoption and this will, no matter what you might have been lead to believe or what you might read in most publications, will NOT allow her to continue life as planned. By encouraging or supporting your daughter to relinquish her baby to adoption you are, in a most literally, sense helping to destroy the child you now know as your daughter. read more…