In my adoptee fantasies, I saw myself as an abandoned infant on a stainless steel gurney.
What I found out through my search, however, was that Dr. W.B. Fillinger from Ovid, MI, was the doc who delivered me.
About 20 years ago, when I reached his granddaughter in my search, she said, “He was an orphan, you know….and he wept at the birth of every baby.”
So, looking back, I see God’s faithfulness in sending a fellow-adoptee doc to be there a welcome me to the world with tears of joy.
Remember the metaphor of the Great Eagle and the eaglet? I’ll be the eaglet today and tell you how it felt when I stepped on to the wing of the Great Eagle. Remember…the pain of the nest was too much for me…I couldn’t stand it….I cried to get out of the pain of the past…and then I caught a glimpse of the Great Eagle’s wing. It’s strength, beauty, and power.
My life is going to be so good. To think that I’ve found this mystery mother is incredible. Wow, I can see so much further now than every before, up here out the nest. Will you take me up on your wing and teach me to fly, Great Eagle? Look! I might get to meet her and see if I look like her. Take me up higher, Great Eagle! I love being out of the nest.”
Gosh, who needs fantasies about my birth mother anymore? I’ve got the real thing
The woman who found Elizabeth, my birth mother, acted as an intermediary. She talked with my birth mother after I gave her three questions. And, by the way, I believe all mothers owe it to their children to have at least one conversation with the children they carried to birth.
My questions were like many adoptees: -What is my nationality?
-What is the family medical history?
-Who is my birth father?
At that point, through tears, I said, “Please thank her for giving me the gift of life.”
Soon, the intermediary called. “Your mother wants no more contact with you,” she said. “She was stunned and needs to give the matter more thought.”
Suddenly, the “call waiting signal” clicked.
“That must be your mother,” the intermediary said. “Yes! It is and she wants to talk with you right away.”
Oftentimes, we grow up believing fantasies about our birth family. Some imagine birth parents as a king and queen who live in a castle, concluding that life would indeed be wonderful when reunion occurs.
I remember when I met with the intermediary that eventually found Elizabeth, my birth mother. We met for breakfast before the search began. Over coffee, she asked what I thought I would find at the end of the search. My answer?
A bag lady. The feelings were not positive, which I find interesting now, looking back upon an unsuccessful reunion.
Most of the time, at least in my case, I wasn’t aware of the fantasies, either negative or positive.
Sooner or later, the fantasies must disappear, like a carefully-built sandcastle when the tide comes in.
To learn more about adoptee fanstasy, consider getting a copy of my children’s book–Forever Fingerrpints…Proof Adopted Kids Are Special. It is now available in kindle and soft cover.
Lucy, the main character, eight years old, dreams of her birth parents. See how her parents handle her fantasies!
As I began searching in earnest for my birth mother, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to let go of deep feelings of loyalty to my Mom and Dad. I was loyal to a fault, always wanting to please them and not knowing that beneath it all was attachment disorder symptoms as well as unresolved grief.
Here’s an illustration to let you see what I mean. My parents, Retha and Mike Cook from St. Johns, Michigan, loved to golf. I didn’t like it at all, so when they went golfing, they would let me stay home. Yes, alone….and that’s another story.
One time when they were gone, I got the Pledge and the sweeper and boy, was I going to clean up the house for them. They would be so happy. When dusting my Mom’s dressing table, one of her gorgeous broaches lay open, and before I knew it, that broach was in my little hand (about 8 yrs old) and I was scratching this message into their fine furniture:
“I love you, Mommy” on the right side, and “I love you Daddy” on the left side.
When they got home, I led them through every room to show them how clean it was. When we got to the bedroom and they saw my scratched-in message, my Mom’s chin dropped. “We love you, too,” she stuttered.
If you’re not familiar with attachment disorder, this one is a classic.
Beneath the please-my-parents syndrome, however, was a deep fear of rejection. Would they ever reject me, their only child? My Mom never did, but it was a different story with my Dad later in life.
As adoptees, we need to let go of that need to be loyal to a fault…to please our parents, no matter how much effort it costs us. We need to let go.
The reactions of my family members hurt and I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t back me searching for my birth mother. My husband said, “Sherrie, she shut the door 47 years ago and if you try to open it, you may get hurt.” Translating what my Dad might have been thinking…well, I don’t know. I can’t judge.
Please understand how important finding our roots is to many adoptees…I dare say the majority! It has nothing to do with your parenting success or failure. It is a part of us we must discover. That is the book title of well-respected author, speaker, and reunited birth mom, Lee Ezell– “The Missing Piece.” Listen to her incredible birth mother and adoptee reunion story here: http://youtu.be/EaR9KdLdwAU
Even though we may look strong and ready, please remember we are petrified to get up on big wing of God, the great Eagle. To let him have his way in our lives. To give up control. We are just squawking baby eaglets when we get in touch with our desire to search. Those meltdowns are proof we are in touch with the original pain of losing our first family. Ouch. I don’t like you. I don’t like being adopted. You are real. I can’t wait to get away from you. Leave me alone. I don’t need you.
Let us feel the pain! It’s how we prepare for flying from our past. Rest assured, those who love an adoptee, that is common in the healthiest of adoptive parents to feel threatened. A counselor who specializes in adoption/trauma issues would be such a asset for both parents and searching adoptees.
What we wish others who love us would say and do:
1. I’m not surprised. Your birth parents are very important and we will back you.
2. I hope you will “count the cost” and make sure you are in a healthy place emotionally and spiritually to discover the worst or the best.
3. I am with you, no matter what happens. I have always loved you and that will never change.
4. How can I help?
5. Show compassion!
6. You can do it. I’ve got your back.
7. I am praying for you every step of the way.
8. Would you like to go through a workbook called Under His Wings together, or by yourself? It will help you get even stronger before you meet your birth family.
Please stay in touch and would you mind “liking” this new blog?