On Adoptive Parents

February 25, 2007 at 11:22 am 20 comments

Nothing touches me so deeply as to know that my mother looked at me through her own love and thought, “I wish her mother in Korea was not missing this.” It makes my heart burst, it makes me want to cry with joy and pain, it makes me realize that we could be connected on this. I know my mother often had thoughts and emotions attached to what my first mother was missing and I feel forever connected to her for this. It is different than my KAD to KAD connection. It is amazing to be able to share, in a small way, my adoptee loss with my second mother (it appears that I never had a foster mother in Korea) and other mothers whom are parenting a child from such a loss. It is not understanding that we have (that I have with other KADs) – my mother can never understand my loss as an adoptee, just like I can never understand her gain as an adoptive mother – it is just an indescribable connection.  

This is a connection that I have always felt, but have recently realized through reading Third Mom’s blog. Actually, more so from reading her posts about her kids. I found myself reading through these posts and getting teary eyed. Maybe I was just imagining this, but it felt like my own second/third mom could have written something like this. I began to wonder if her kids read her blog and thought about how lucky they are to know that she feels this way.

I have met a lot of adoptive parents in my day and many of them seemed to not have any thoughts, connection, or even positive feelings for their child’s first parents. One such woman spoke at a conference I once attended. It was a session on open adoption and I attended in the hopes to figure out what exactly adoptive parents think about their child’s first parents.  This woman (husband was there with her – but remained fairly silent –  as well as their 3 year old blond hair blue eyed daughter from adoption) spoke very bluntly about their “open adoption experience.” It was all about the “benefits” that she had from her experience and I couldn’t help but to think about how selfish this bitch is. She stated that when they first decided to adopt she went to an open adoption agency in search of a closed adoption. She held strong with the agency social workers stating that she would not agree to more than photos and letters. Soon after her enrollment into the program she was matched with a pregnant woman who had 5 more months to go in her pregnancy. She stated that she then told her social worker that if she were to waste the next 5 months of their life with this woman who may end up just keeping her baby (I am not using quotes here – but I am wording this how she worded it!) that they would need to meet this woman so that they are sure that she can sit face to face with them and tell them she is going to do this. So they decided to meet. At this meeting this speaker stated that she began to really feel bad for this woman, who was really down on her luck. Speaker went on to say that they soon after realized that if they were going to be this child’s “forever family” that they should be attending all the prenatal doctor appointments – so that is what they did. They were sure to obtain all of the sonogram pictures for themselves. Speaker then skips to today and very matter-of-factly states, “the last time we saw her was when my baby was born.” At this point in the session, I was busting to scream out THIS IS NOT AN OPEN ADOPTION YOU IDIOTS! but I was able to contain myself. Speaker went on to answer some questions. One of the questions was, “do you wish that your daughter’s birth mother kept in touch with you?” To which speaker said a very fast and blunt, “No!” She went on to explain that she never really even thinks about her anymore and wouldn’t want her in their life now anyway because they don’t really have the same social circles <insert her stupid giggle here>. Another questioner asked, “If she does come back and wants to meet your daughter would you let her?” To which speaker said, “I don’t really think that would be fair to <insert her daughter’s name here>. She wouldn’t even know who she is and it would be confusing to her.” She went on to say that the only thing they regret is that they still live in the same are of the state as this baby productionist and she often worries that they would run into her at the mall and would be forced into an open adoption meeting. Bitch!

But I must remember that not all parents are like the above speaker. Not all are as selfish as she is. In my opinion, there are two categories for adoptive parents — #1 being parents who should only be allowed to reproduce and if they can’t, they really need to remain childless; and #2 being parents who should not be allowed to reproduce (like Third Mom) because adoptees deserve a chance at a parent like her. My own mother has many parenting flaws, but I do believe that she stills falls into category #2. I cling to that belief like my life depends on it – in the hopes that she will come back to me and realize how much I value her pain. How much I don’t feel stolen. How much I don’t regret being her child.


Entry filed under: Adoption.

돼지의 년! For Liviu Librescu (ליביו ליברסקו)

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Margie  |  February 25, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Oh, Julia. I don’t know what to say, except thank you. Believe me, my parenting is loaded with flaws, but I’m glad the love I have for my kids is visible. Thank you for seeing it. Your words mean more to me than you can know.

  • 2. Mama ByAdoption  |  February 25, 2007 at 8:17 pm


    Not a day goes by that I don’t feel guilty that my children’s first mothers can’t witness how wonderful they are. Even though I send regular photo updates and letters, I can’t capture for them how special each child is. And I am sad for my children and for their first mothers that they can’t see that. I wish that adoptions could all be truly open. Your words are so eloquent and really hit home for me. Thank you!

  • 3. mom2one  |  February 26, 2007 at 4:01 am

    Wow — the speaker you listened to — wrong. Just wrong.

    I’ve seen your name in comments on other blogs and then saw this post on a tag search. I’m an adoptive mom and a loyal Third Mom reader. My son was adopted from Vietnam and I so wish that we could have some kind of contact with his first mother. Someday maybe . . . . someday. But as ours is an international adoption and due to all that entails, that will be down the road and his choice. But it’s possible.

    Do know that we’re not all like that speaker that you heard. Oh my, NO. That is just awful. AWFUL. Though I haven’t met my son’s first mother, I have the utmost respect for her. He’s 5-years-old and we have simple prayers we say every night; we include her in those nightly prayers.

    Thanks for sharing this. It helps to see the importance of this from an adoptee’s perspective.

  • 4. mama2roo  |  February 26, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    working REALLY hard to deserve being put in parenting cagetgory #2!

    That awful lady–was she an official SPEAKER at the conference, or someone who just spoke up?? Hopefully that will be her last gig!

  • 5. Maia  |  February 26, 2007 at 10:35 pm


    I just wanted to de-lurk and let you know how much your thoughts on this subject (both here and on Third Mom’s comment section) have touched me. You have such important things to say, and you write with such elegance and beauty. The way you write about this subject helped me crystallize my thoughts about what I hope to be able to achieve as an adoptive mother. I truly hope your a-mom finds her way back to you soon.

  • 6. imtina  |  February 27, 2007 at 12:18 am

    I wonder why sometimes they even ask people like that to come and speak. I am all about striving to always be your #2 kind of Amom. I think that being that kind of Amom just means that you’re being a really good MOM because when you’re a mom, it’s all about what the kid needs and trying to understand their needs from their perspective. I try really hard sometimes to understand that ugly type of Aparents who act and feel SO entitled and want to erase the family of origin. It’s just so crazy. Anyway, thank you for such a wonderful post.


  • 7. zoe  |  February 28, 2007 at 1:18 am

    Julia – I don’t even know what to say. I like to think that this woman will eventually receive the nasty comeuppance she so deserves, but that won’t compensate for the damage she will do with her evil attitudes. Her adoption app should have gone straight into the trash….alas, that’s not good for business, is it?

    This post brought tears to my eyes. Trite as it sounds, my heart grieves for my son and his mother in what they each have lost. Your words are beautiful, and it would be an honor for any mother to hear them from her child.

  • 8. Andrea  |  March 1, 2007 at 4:18 am

    Oh Julia, I really hope your mother realizes what a wonderful sharing experience she is missing with you and comes back, and soon. And I trust that she will, because it is clear you have a strong bond, despite whatever has come between you. (That part in a previous post where you said “Adopt me again,”–Oh, I’m just tearing up right now even writing it.)

    I hope my daughter and I will have such a bond when she is grown. A long way to go for that since she just turned 3. She is such a wonderful child (okay, a little biased here) and it is so amazing watching her become herself. I think of her first mother often, and feel sad for her and for the rest of her first family because they will (most probably) never get to see the wonderful person she is. But I have to admit that my feelings are a little mixed about her first family, because my daughter is from China and so somehow, somewhy, these people left her in the morning market when she was about 5 weeks old. So, I feel an ache for them, but not a pure ache.

    I feel much more of a pure ache for my daughter, for the pain she will feel because of her losses. It appears she is a resilient person and I will have to just love her and be honest with her and be there for her pain and find others who share a similar pain to be there for her. And hope that is enough.

    I also feel really sad for her second family. My daughter was in a foster home for 13 months! This was a family with a mother and father and son and 3 other foster babies. We have a couple pictures of her second mother with her. And I can tell she loved our daughter because she had so clearly loved and been loved before we met. I just ache for the second mother/family because I can’ t imagine having raised my daughter her whole first year plus, to see her first smile (maybe) and first time rolling over and first words (almost certainly) and then dress her up and fix her hair in pretty pigtails and put her on a bus to go to a country far away. And then to be doing the same with 3 other children, at least. Oh, my heart breaks for that family. In some other world they could have kept her and raised her up in her home community in China. And in many, many ways they are more “qualified” than we are to do that.
    Thanks again so much, I might even restart my blog because of this post (not that that would be any great thing for the world!)

  • 9. Deb  |  March 1, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    What a beautiful post. As an adoptive mom, I sometimes come away from reading adoptee blogs feeling like I can never possibly “get it right”. I keep reading, because I believe in my heart that those of you who have lived his experience are the best teachers. You give me hope that if I keep striving to learn from you and your peers, I just might be able to heal a little of his personal tragedy that led to his becoming the heart of my family. I know I’m taking your personal story and co-opting it as part of mine. . . and I hope the fact that I, like many APs, are trying to listen and learn from you mitigates that. I, too, hope for reconcilliation between you and your second mother.

    I will say, I would add another parenting catagory to your 2: Those who shouldn’t have children by any method at all.

  • 10. LH  |  March 1, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Julia, I always look forward to your new blog entries. Thank you for your insightful writing. There are times when I so keenly wish that I could – if anything -send a message to my daughter’s birthmother, letting her know that her baby is safe, and happy, and loved. If only there was a way…

  • 11. Here’s a post from « The Voyage  |  March 5, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    […] “Julia’s Jam” […]

  • 12. art-sweet  |  March 6, 2007 at 1:21 am

    Everyone else has been all eloquent and shit.

    So thanks. Just, thanks.

  • 13. Ryan  |  March 6, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    If my son’s Oma (Korean mommy) wanted to meet him, I would do EVERYTHING in my power to make that happen. In fact, I PRAY that one day the will be reunited and develope a relationship. I, too, think of her everytime Arie hits a milestone, or laughs out loud. It’s so hard to know that she’s missing that. I wish I could at least let her know that he’s happy and healthy and SO SO loved. I think about her daily when I look at his beautiful face. I wonder if he looks like her or laughs like her. I mourn the loss that she must feel, and that loss that Arie has and will continue to go through. Ugh… I could go on and on.


  • 14. Kahlan  |  March 8, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Everyone else has already said what I would. That woman was a moron.

  • 15. Sarah  |  March 9, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    I found your blog through ThirdMom’s links and am thankful to be able to read your thoughts. I’m an AP with a rare open adoption with my daughter’s First Mommy in S. Korea. The connection I have with this woman is beyond what I can express with my poor use of words. My husband and both believe we parent with her. Obviously our parenting involves the daily things First Mother would love to be able to do with her daughter. She has to parent Esther with words of love and wishes in letter and gifts. Meeting her was a spiritual experience that changed me forever.
    I’m including my feeble attempt at expressing my thoughts during our daughter’s birth week.

    This week holds many days that are causes for celebration in our home.

    Thursday marks our youngest daughter Esther Kyu Ree’s Fifth Birthday.
    Tuesday, oldest daughter Rachel will be getting her braces, pain with the promise of a new smile and easier speech have her excited.
    Saturday we will celebrate Esther’s birth with a get-together that will be attended by some of her former housemates from South Korea.
    Menus are planned for our special days, gifts are purchased, and outfits already layed out. (Organization makes me feel good) The only thing left to do is to get applesauce for Rach’s celebratory dinner. And yet . . .
    There is a palpable sadness as I face this week.
    Esther has been more clingy than usual, crying many tears even when I lay her down to sleep. I know that she is re-living the separation she experienced saying “good-bye” to her First Mother years ago. Although she may not be able to put those feelings into words, her Spirit expresses her pain clearly and undeniably.
    My sorrow is that of a mother, not being able to fully comfort a daughter I share not only with my husband,but with a beautiful young woman thousands of miles away from us.
    Knowing that Omma will be re-living in her mind and heart the moment she gave birth to her precious baby five years ago February 22nd, makes my heart heavy and my soul ache. My happiness is another woman’s grief. I don’t understand it, nor do I think I should ever claim to grasp First Mother’s pain. I do however, know that I have to continue to learn to live with this truth. Adoption was the answer to our prayers, and to Esther’s First Mommy’s as well. Together, though separated, we celebrate the life God blessed us both with in the form of Esther Kyu Ree.

  • 16. Tammy  |  March 22, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Adding my thoughts as I just found your blog. That speaker has no right to speak on open adoption as she is not in one. As an aparent, I have spent hours, days working to keep/push doors open with our children’s First Families. I want to know them and I long for them to know their children/our children and for our children to know them.

    I have spent many hours these last couple of days agonizing over a recent conversation with my son’s First Mom and her potential decision to close our adoption, in some ways, before we ever got a chance to grow the relationship. I am heartbroken as I long for her to see the Little Man who is hers, to know him, and be a part of his life. My heart aches for all that she is and will miss by not being a part of his life.

    Thank you for your words.

  • 17. asacrificiallamb  |  March 26, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    I wish I had had my chance (as an adoptee) at a parent like Third Mom. That would have been my own “Plan B,” if I’d had the choice.

  • 18. Yoli  |  July 2, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Oh Julia, I am sorry that you were subjected to that speaker. As an adoptive Mom I try so hard to educate myself to what my child will need. I know that I will never be perfect, seldom does a child think their parents are perfect. My child is my number one priority. I want to find her birthparents and I know it is a daunting task. She is Chinese. I thank her mother everyday for her. I think of her mother and father often and I treasure that which they can’t at this moment have.

  • 19. 9b55245bdf0e1ef8449c06e5b93b2034  |  July 6, 2007 at 6:52 pm



  • 20. Margie  |  May 15, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Circling back again to say I wish I had a magic wand to wave toward your a-mom to bring you back together. I have to believe that will happen, hopefully soon.


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Julia’s Jam

It’s just not that black & white. Not because I am taking a stand against. Just because, the issues I face are somewhere in the grey area and to weed through them, I blog. I blog. ~

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