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Posts Tagged ‘relinquishment’


I’ve been reading both “The Primal Wound” and “The Girls Who Went Away”.  I’ve also been talking to adoptees and birth mothers from around the world since starting this blog.  It’s amazing how one thing leads to another, to another, isn’t it?

One of the topics we were discussing on a Facebook group I belong to was memory – Is it possible to remember being born?  Is it possible to remember the first months of your life?  You would think not at first, but could it be possible?  Here is a link that was posted to an article discussing this:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/notesandqueries/query/0,,-2899,00.html

I was visiting my parents today and asked them for more details about myself as a baby.  Something my mom told me stopped me in my tracks.  When I was very small – maybe 5 – we had a conversation where I told  her “my mother has black hair” (and my birth mother did).   Isn’t that odd?   I feel as if there’s “something” buried in my memory.  I don’t know what that something is, but the feeling is getting stronger.

“The Primal Wound” discusses the repercussions of a child being taken from their mother.  It got me thinking.  Birth mothers went through horrors of which most of us can’t fathom – and they carry it with them for the rest of their lives.  Adoptees suffered trauma by being taken from their mothers, but they, of course don’t remember their birth and relinquishment.  But it’s got to be buried in there somewhere – doesn’t it?

Our adoptee group discussed hypnotism – would it be possible to access these memories?   What would happen if we did?

I have lots of other questions.  What was it like being a baby living at St. Joseph’s?  Who took care of us?  I’ve contacted St. Joseph’s to find out more.  I will be blogging about these questions and more in days to come.

 

 

 

P.S.

It annoys the crap out of me that everywhere you type in the word “adoptee” it’s unrecognized as a word.  Type adoptee and it’s underlined in red.

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I haven’t talked to Jeanne in 13 years.  Life went on.  Nicole is 16 now, and I have a wonderful husband and life.  Yet – I’ve felt something missing, and I’ve never attributed it to being adopted.  Being adopted was just something I was – like being female, or being funny. 

Writing this blog has seemed to open things up for me that I’ve never considered.  It’s made me think more about the circumstances surrounding my being and it’s making me realize that all might not be as it seems.  Maybe there’s something to the “primal” theory – that a person is irrevocably changed when removed from their mother.  That a mother is irrevocably changed when forced to give up their child. 

Being a mother myself, I cannot begin to imagine how my life would have been ripped apart if my daughter was taken from me at birth.  How could a person ever recover from that? 

Women – especially women “back then” – didn’t even get to talk to anyone about their pregnancy – they were shamed and sent into hiding.  Who could they talk to about their feelings?  My birth mother, like many – was “sent away” – as a young girl – to experience pregnancy on her own, and forced to “behave” by not even crying.  They went through one of life’s most changing experiences – alone, and then were expected to just go home and get on with living. 

There is a book called “The Girls Who Went Away – The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children in the Decades Before Roe vs Wade”.  I intend to read it. 

I believe now that something that happened to you at birth, of which of course you have no memory of, can have effects of which you won’t understand – unless you try to understand – if that makes sense.

I have been having conversations with my sister – Jeanne’s daughter, which has made me realize that Jeanne never recovered from her experience as a young woman.  I don’t think Jeanne realizes it herself.  I will talk about these conversations with my sister in another post.

Maybe, in trying to understand Jeanne – I am trying to understand myself.

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re·linquish·ment n.

    Synonyms: relinquish, yield, resign, abandon, surrender, cede, waive, renounce
    These verbs mean letting something go or giving something up. Relinquish, the least specific, may connote regret: can’t relinquish the idea.
    Yield implies giving way, as to pressure, often in the hope that such action will be temporary: had to yield ground.
    Resign suggests formal relinquishing, or acquiescence arising from hopelessness. Abandon and surrender both imply no expectation of recovering what is given up; surrender also implies the operation of compulsion or force: abandoned all hope for a resolution.

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Two weeks after giving birth, Jeanne had no choice but to surrender all hope, and it was decided that I would be relinquished to St. Joseph’s.

She went back to Michigan with her mother, and life went on. I don’t know, nor can I imagine her heartache.

I was in St. Joseph’s from October, until December 22nd. Which is where my story began. I was adopted by my wonderful parents. Merry Christmas Mary Christine! They had applied for adoption in August, and surprisingly, they got their baby four months later.

I have pictures of the day I was adopted – red-haired baby bundled up in my grandmother’s laundry basket, where we were visiting. I will look for them, and post them here. I will also post pictures that pertain to individual parts of this story:)

Jeanne and I parted ways in early October of that year, and we wouldn’t meet again until 31 years later….

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