All is Right in My Adoptionland

Something in the Air with Birthmoms?

Being a birthmother is definitely and added life complication. Granted no one gets a planned itinerary with life, but at least “normal” folks have some sort of role model. There is that generic-like “this is what you do in life” concept that is presented by popular culture. Like how it’s expected that you get cold feet before a wedding, or nervous before a job interview. Normal stuff.

Nothing Ever Normal About being a Birthmother

After living years without knowing if your child lives or dies, much less what their name is who they look like and anything else, reunion is so often seen as the great holy grail that removes all the former yucky stuff and makes it into a thing of the past. Live it long enough, however, and we learn that adoption can never really be in the past and it’s so the “gift” that keeps on giving. More new situations arise. New emotions develop. Still no road map and I doubt anyone is immune.

Now I’m not complaining. I know in many many ways, as far as adoption stories and birthmother statistics, I’m one of the lucky ones. Not only did I find my son, while he was still young, and he was good; he called me mom from that first perfect message. You can’t get much better than that. That’s like birthmother fantasy material.

In fact, really nothing bad ever really happened at all. But still… I hadn’t talked to him in almost two years. Reunions fears set in and time passed. The worry began to take hold and still, I did nothing. Ok, I did some stuff. I sent him emails to mail boxes that i just knew he had no idea what to log in with . I looked at his MySpace page ( not signed in for over 2 years), his Facebook page ( same 6 friends in two years, did Google searches on him and I knew..he was just offline and I was dealing with other adoption triggers and crap that needed my attention too. What I had left was an address ( afraid to mail something) the birthday card that I was afraid to mail, a phone number sitting in a long dead cell phone which I was convinced was long dead and…the fact that I was still friends with the ex girl friend on Facebook. But I didn’t want to put her in that position.

And so, it festered. People asked if I had a relationship with him and I would say yes. It felt like I was lying. I couldn’t decide if I was or not. After all, nothing bad happened so we had a relationship still. We hadn’t fought or broken up. We still had a relationship, but just hadn’t talked to each other in a while. Like over a year, An maybe that’s very bad if it’s a “normal” mother and child relationship, but this is adoption.. so what’s normal?

I would have doubts ; maybe he is not online because he is avoiding me, Maybe it’s a pull back. Maybe he IS angry. Maybe he is punishing me. Maybe I suck because I don’t send more cards more often .. (but really I SUCK at card.. the fact that i bought him one is as close as I get with just about anyone!) still, my guts said that nothing bad happened and it was all still ok, but we are both just lame.

Anyway, so I didn’t know it, but last night was the night for that all to be over!

First, I had a call from another momma friend who was in the very beginning of contacting her own 19 year old son. That was actually the other day, but I feel her excitement. I hear her and have her on my mind. It brings me back to the days that I lived through that insanity of searching.. the finding. the first contact…Maybe it just brought it close to the edge of my mind?

Crazy how as much pressure I put on myself to HAVE TO DO SOMEHTING, when it happens it’s just real and natural.

Sitting on Facebook, Caitlin posted an update mentioning ex-boyfriends and being obsessed with women curling and without thinking, I commented back something like “oh noo say it isn’t so” where she told me not to worry and then I said that I could not avoid worrying.. he’s been MIA for too long.

Not two seconds after that she was in my chat window asking me about it and we chatted for quite a bit.
Have I ever mentioned that it seems my sons really do have great taste in women and so far I really really love all their girlfriends? Is that normal? Yeah, Caitlin rocks.

I realized, as we talked that it was the first time that I had ever spoken about Max to someone who actually KNEW him.

Usually, when I talk about him I am the one who has the most information and honestly, that’s not much. As least not as much as mothers are supposed to know about their kids! It was great. It was heavy and mind blowing for that reason alone! And, she could tell me things that I never knew and had no place to ask.
Like yes, that my gut of him just being lousy at calling and emails is just that.. he is lousy. And no, none of the weird doubts had any real value. And, yes I am glad she had read the blog ( I wave!) and are we stalkers sitting here chatting about him, And, most importantly he was fine. And, even more importantly she knew a current working cell phone number.

Did I say that I loved her? I do.

I had her repeat the number to me twice. Its safely stored in my cell phone now. And just KNOWING that it would work.. I texted him.. immediately. No time to get neurotic. No time to doubt. No weirdness anymore.
“Do you ever check your email messages anymore? EVER?”

“no dude” I laugh. I know he has no idea that it’s me. I can have fun with this.

“I KNOW!” I write, but he does not respond. He is bored I think. He thinks I’m just some dude. I can’t think of anything witty to say. I don’t want to play anymore. So I text;

” So how is your mother ever supposed to know that you are alive?”

He knows now and my phone rings two seconds later.


And you know what? Everything is fine in it’s never gonna be normal why is adoption so weird but we’ll deal the best we can way. Like good fine excellent great.. pick up where we left off as if we didn’t leave off and resolve not to leave off again because it’s just stupid though it’s no one real fault. How is it that we are both so alike to let this happen, but not like that it happened but not really do anything but be happy and thrilled that it’s not happening anymore and just be cool? Coz we are. He tried to apologize for not getting in touch, but it’s not his fault when I could have done it too. I tried to explain how I became obsessed with the phone number not being real, and he told me how he had looked for my phone number again but had no idea what scribble of paper it was on. Like we are both worried that the other will be angry about what we know are lame excuses but neither of us really care!

Like I am just SO HAPPY that he’s just a pure spaz that is busy and self absorbed and loses phone numbers and makes and forgets email accounts all over the internet.

He used the same exact word that I have been saying for two years almost: He’s offline.

We did, however, have a serious talk about the beauty of Goggle. I told him that really, he needs to embrace his inner geek more and Google is his friend. Apparently he digs himself some Wikipedia, which is fine I love myself some Wiki, but I don’t get how you GET to Wiki without Google, you know? Like I need Google to tell me that Wiki has what I need! I explained how Google knew exactly where to find me and he could always ask Google. That he could put in “Claudia, adoption max” or any combination like that and Google would know. Actually I could honestly say to him that he could literally ask Google exactly where I was and Google would tell him, and then I just tried it myself and it works: “find my birth mother Claudia who place me her son max for adoption” brings you to the blog! Bingo!

Did I say how great it was? It was great. Yes, lets plan a visit. Yes, things are good. Yes, we all miss him. No more stupid lazys for us.

What I feel now is a great huge sense of relief. Of just being whole again. I didn’t know how tightly I was carrying this until I suddenly put it down. I didn’t know how tense it had made me inside until it was done and today, it feels again like the world is as it should be.

Almost as normal as it can be again in adoption and I know he is not lost again. Whew!

Oh and alos. the ability or non ability to ever do a cartwheel is also genetically passed on.  I cannot, have not, ever, completeld a half way decent cartwheel. Either has he. Poor Scarlett too.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

19 Comments on "All is Right in My Adoptionland"


    : )


  2. ok, now i get your facebook status. sheesh!

    insert standard kt comment – i love you!

    i am recalling how when i met max i could barely speak. could barely put a sentence together in his presence. this sheet ain’t easy but sista you got grace.

    insert standard kt comment – i love you!

  3. “He knows now and my phone rings two seconds later.”

    So happy 🙂

  4. … and the stars twinkled in delight, knowing it was well all along, but relieved that now, both Max and his mama knew it, too. (May they all live happily ever!)

  5. My heart is doing a happy dance for you!!!!


  6. Smiling over here.

    I think it’s funny that you are teaching HIM about social media. Isn’t everyone under 25 supposed to be continuously hooked to their FaceSpace?

  7. Great news!!!

  8. I loved this. You had my heart pounding. So great to hear this, bet your smile is bright today!

  9. That is such great news!

    I keep thinking how he could stumble on many of our blogs, simply say, “I’m Max and I’m looking for my mom” and we’d all know immediately where to send him.

  10. The idea of not having contact for two years horrifies me. I just wouldn’t let that happen. Don’t let that happen again. Don’t be shy to phone or write a letter. You can always ask when you make contact if it’s welcome or not. I sometimes do that, check to see if she needs some space.
    OMG two years!! Don’t let that happen again.

  11. Maybe you would never let that happen, but we don’t have the same lives, do we?

    You know what pretty much horrified me too, but I’m going to assume that you haven’t read my other posts on this subject as of late where I talk about how I felt about it and my fears and the situations surrounding it.

    Yup..I’m going to try very hard and brush off the judgement I hear in your comment and assume that you meant that in the most supportive way possible and it just came out wrong.

    Yup, I think I’ll focus on the happy and understanding of the relief I feel and celebrate with me that we even made it through a lapse of contact and still came out strong.

    AH, but this thought: It’s funny. I shared these things about adoption because it is SO HARD. I share even the things that i Hate and I can find critical about myself and that I don’t do perfectly. It would be easier not to. It would be easier to only post the good stuff. Or the stuff that points the finger at others. Or the badness of the industry. But I don’t DO easy.
    I don’t put it all out there as honestly as I can becasue it always feels good. And not because I want a pat on the back or to be told what anyone else would do either. I put it out there the way it IS because it is REALLY that way. Becasue I know that NO ONE should feel that THEY are failing because they often don’t know WHAT to do and we ALL sometimes feel helpless and lost and can’t get out of our own way due to fear and all the crap that comes with the act of relinquishment. And I know that we are our own worse critics. I had a million conversations with myself over the last two years. I’m really damn good at beating myself up. I also had to learn to be kind to myself during this time. That sometimes I could not be perfect in all ways and that it would all be OK again. That was always in my gut even with all the doubts… that it would change when it was time for it all to change again. And I couldn’t really control that 100%, but to have faith that it would.

    I know that people come here for guidiance and for some kind of road map or check list or validation.. and I CANNOT act like I am Miss Perfect who has it all fiqured out because then it impl;ies that some of us are doing it wrong. and there is no wrong.. it’s a matter of doing the best we can every day, often with no rules, no road map, no guide. And sometimes, everyone gets lost or loses their way. It’s impossible not to in adoption.. the path of a birthmother is not only dark and lonely, and without a map but filled with deep potholes along the way. Don’t tell me that I can’t fall into one everyonce in a while. No one should have those standards.

  12. There was no judgment. I was horrified because it’s my greatest fear. If you read my comment you see I say don’t be shy to make contact. Dearest most loved Claudia I was in no way being judgmental. I was shocked that you were shy to make contact because you seem so fearless to me that’s all. I was encouraging you to be bold and just barge in and then if he doesn’t want to know he can tell you.
    I’m really sorry my comment upset you it was so NOT meant in the way it was read.

    It’s my GREATEST fear to not have contact with my daughter, that why it horrified me.

    I hope this clears everything up?

  13. p.s. I only have and always have had a very high opinion of you. I don’t see you are Miss Perfect but I do admire your spirit and obvious talent as a writer. I just see you as this totally cool person so it floored me that you hadn’t pushed for contact for two years.

    I think you are lovely and I love your blog. Again I am really sorry that the way I worded my comment upset you. I am very direct in my approach I know that can upset people sometimes, it doesn’t always come out in typed words than it sounds spoken.

    And I am very glad you are in contact again.

  14. (waves) Reading this made me cry, I’m so glad things worked out well. Never ever hesitate to ask if you need anything.. MUCH love <3

  15. Ah, Kim kim.. thank you.. I DO understand now..and it makes much more sense.
    And actually makes me even more gald that a) I do write about my own stuggles and b) we are having the conversation, becasue I think it is so important that we all see that we all get bogged down in the muck and mire of adoption.

    And a perfect example.. you write I seemed fearless..and most obviously, I am not…at least not with this stuff!

    and lookie everyone..It’s Caitlyn! She was Max’s girlfriend and we LOVE her!

  16. Glad to have explained it. I did write to you a few times via facebook and asked you how it was going and when there was no reply I figured everything was ok. I am always here if you ever want to talk to another mum in reunion. You know where to find me. I’m very happy you are back in touch with your beautiful pirate boy.

  17. Good, good news… hugs (though I am a stranger, but a long-reading one!)

  18. p.s., I am a stranger and thousands of miles away in Sapporo, but still I thought of you when I took my kids to a movie and there was a preview for “Where the Wild Things Are” – weird how real life is affected by life online, huh?

  19. Wonderful, wonderful news. Tears of joy for you.

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