40 Year Secret – The Passionate Eye

Friday, March 26, 2010

This is an excellent documentary that appeared on the program, The Passionate Eye, on the CBC News Network not so long ago

It is about high school sweethearts who got pregnant and whose parents strongly pushed them toward adoption. They meet at a high school reunion and go on a quest to find their daughter.

I like it because it includes the girl’s mother talking about her actions when her daughter got pregnant and the social workers talking about their attitudes back then.

You can watch it on-line if you follow the link.

40 Year Secret – The Passionate Eye | CBC News Network.


Who’s Your Daddy II

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There are two parts to this post. The first is this item from the Family Preservation Blog. The second is a reaction to this news story that I read on a local newspaper’s website.

First, Part One from the Family Preservation Blog on Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ontario Disallowed Father’s Names

An issue of great concern for my colleagues at the Canadian Council of Natural Mothers (CCNM) is that when mothers relinquished, and gave the father’s name, wrote it in on the forms for the birth certificate – it was deleted, whited out, expunged.

Now that the records have been opened, adoptees are finding their mothers but not [their] fathers.

Karen Lynn of CCNM says they went to great extent with photo copying secions of the forms that were whited out so that the dotted line she KNOWS she wrot eon appears to be in tact!

Apparently, the law, up until 1986, forbade listing the father’s name on birth registries or adoption papers for children of unmarried mothers unless both mother and father demanded it. So only some 10% of those documents identify a father.

Part Two:

I originally read the report of this story on the on-line version of the local newspaper. Because it is on-line there is the opportunity to comment. The first comment tells adoptees not to worry about finding their fathers because children who are given up for adoption are rarely the products of long and loving relationships. (This person needs to watch the first episode of Find My Family or check out my post, The 40 year Secret.)

Excuse me?

All you mothers out there – How long had you been going out with your child’s father?

For me – it was 4 years when I got pregnant.

These old myths about us die a hard death?

And what makes me saddest of all is some people don’t even know how much they have been brainwashed into believing what people would like them to believe.



Hello God, It’s Me UM

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I have been turning to prayer lately. This is not like me.

I am more of the “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” school. And I am not big on organized religion. Did I ever do a post about how I believe the Catholic Church had a big influence on what happened to me and my son and has a lot to answer for? Remind me to do one some day.

I do, however, believe there is a power greater than we know, whether that is God or the universe, I am not sure. Part of the reason I feel this way is the number of things that happened when I was looking for my son. There were forces at work.

But I am not appealing to these forces, I am appealing to God. I do it whenever I have a quiet moment or when I’m waiting in a line or just before I fall asleep.

I would like God to help my son find peace.

And I am not defining peace as meaning he has a relationship with me.

I just want him to find personal peace. I think he needs it desperately and he cannot seem to achieve it.

I believe it is adoption, or maybe just the particular version of it to which he was subjected, that has robbed him of this peace.

He needs to believe in himself, he needs to love himself, he needs to be able to accept love from other people. Right now I don’t think he can do any of those things. Time is passing. He is not in his teens, or twenties or even thirties. I believe he would like to have a wife and a family. Nuclear and extended.

It worries and pains me. I want better for him – I want the best for him – whether it is with me or without me.

Wasn’t that the whole idea in the first place?



So UM, what the hell have you been doing?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wherein our interviewer asks UM a few questions…

Q:       So Um, tell us. What the hell have you been doing?

UM:   Clearly, not writing on this blog for one thing.

Q:       Why is that?

UM:   Good question. If you read my last posts, my Dad died . Actually, in the last year or so, my Dad, my uncle and two friends.

Q. Sorry to hear that. Is that the only reason?

UM. Well uh, I just felt tired. I just felt tired of the whole adoption thing. It seems to me sometimes that a competition is developing about who has been hurt the most by adoption. That makes me sad. You sometimes feel that there are so many forces at work your voice is like dropping a grain of sand in the ocean to try and stem the tide of misinformation. I think one of the saddest things about this is the fact that even though you may be part of the adoption triangle it is hard, maybe impossible, to walk in the other guy’s shoes. It makes me angry sometimes when adoptees start projecting stuff onto birth mothers.

I think maybe the deaths had something to do with it too. Too many people are burning daylight when they could have another person, who just happens to share their DNA and loves them, in their lives. Yet the thing that tore them apart in the first place continues to work its evil magic and keep them apart.

Q:        Don’t I remember you writing a post about getting tired?

UM:    Yes I did, the one about the geese flying in formation. About how the lead goose falls back to let someone else take the lead for a while. Maybe that’s what I’ve done. Not that I ever felt I was the lead. I am in awe sometimes of how often and how well other people write about adoption, birth moms and adoptees. How they keep fighting the fight. I am also in awe of the adoptive parents who get it and write about it. How wonderful it would be to be dealing with adoptive parents like them. There are some wonderful ones out here in the blogosphere.

Q:        Did you happen to catch “Find My Family” the other night?

UM:    Yes I did. I approached it with some trepidation but I was, for the most part, pleased with what I saw. I liked the name of the show for one thing. That’s pretty gutsy. I am sure the letters are pouring in to ABC saying how dare they call a birth family – family. In fact, I went on the ABC website just to see what people were saying. Most of the comments were pro from what I could see but there were a few – my child has a family or how dare you put this on TV and give my child ideas. Hmmmm. I saw the woman from the show on GMA this morning and I thought there was some reassuring back peddling going on. All that says to me is that even if the show isn’t perfect, those of us in favour of open records and raising awareness generally, not necessarily in that order, should write in and support it. I liked seeing a birth mother and father who accurately expressed what it feels like to have lost a child to adoption even though they went on to marry and have other kids. I liked what it showed about the adoptee and that the adoptive parents were welcoming. I thought meeting under the family tree was a little hokey but on the other hand they are re-enforcing the idea that this is your family. Not perfect but if ABC can withstand the pro-adoption backlash they are sure to get I think it will be a good thing. If it makes one adoptee not feel guilty for wanting to know – that is a great victory. If it makes one birth mother or birth father more convinced they have a right to know what happened to their child – that is wonderful. If it makes some adoptive parents accept that their child has two families – I’m all for that. Sure adoption reunions are complicated and don’t just involve running toward each other through a field of daisies – or up a tree to a hill. Sure they didn’t mention the fight for open records. And maybe doing all this in public isn’t ideal but I’d do it if I was hitting a brick wall and it was the only way to find my kid. It’s only the first show. I’m prepared to cut them a fair bit of slack.

Q:      Seems like you haven’t lost all your passion for the subject matter.

UM:   No I guess not. It’s hard to open the door just a little. Maybe that’s another reason.

Q:      Why don’t we wrap it up for now.

UM:   Can I just say one last thing?

Q:       Of Course.

UM:  Whenever I see a birth parent and a child hug each other for the first time I have the same reaction I do when I see a baby being born. Tears because it is so beautiful and wonderful. I will never ever forget the first time, my son, his father and I hugged each other.

Q:      Can we call to talk to you again?

UM : Absolutely. I appreciate you getting in touch with me.

Oh what a nasty piece of work art thou…

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ImageChef.comTwo and a half pages of accusations from the boy who isn’t angry.

Now he is attacking my daughter.

Really, shame on him. The attacks, as usual, based on evidence that exists only in his head.

If there is anyone who is truly innocent in this whole adoption thing, it’s her. She was born after I found him and always thought of herself as a person with a big brother, That is until he pulled his first disappearing act.

Shortly after that happened and I cajoled him back into our lives, he wanted my daughter to fly out to his end of the country and visit him on her own. She was 8 years old and his disappearing act made her a bit nervous. She didn’t want to go. That was raised in the two and a half page diatribe. The daughter is now 20 years old. In other words that happened twelve years ago. I didn’t know her not going was that big an issue. It hasn’t been raised before.

His adoptive parents, he said, used to put him on a plane to Europe by himself regularly when he was that age.

I resisted the urge to write back and say oh was that the time that x happened or y happened. All the things that he has told me he suffered at the hands of his immediate and extended adoptive family.

In fact, I don’t think I’m going to be doing any writing or writing back any more. He did tell me in this latest email that he was blocking my email address but whatever – he is into dramatic power plays – that’s easy to get around if I want to but I don’t want to. I think this is it. His father – god love him – just may have been right. He has refused to have anything to do with him anymore and he says he feels better for it. He was tired of being attacked and on trial all the time.

The daughter too is feeling that enough is enough. She says he needs to explore the difference between suspicion and knowledge. I thought it was a very good and accurate turn of phrase.

Trust is an important thing in a relationship and he has done a very good job at destroying the trust in this one in the last almost three years. My doctor – the marathon runner – says adoptees have real issues with trust. I think she is right, as always, about that too.

Right now, his happy face mug is sitting in a sturdy card board box with some packing material around it. When I pulled it off the shelf, I found a rock inside. It is a rock that I picked up the day we went for a ride in the country when I went out to visit him. The wonderful day we had on the 18th anniversary of the day we met. It was supposed to be the crossover year. The start of knowing each other for more time than we had not.

I used to think there was hope as long as that mug was sitting on my bookcase. Now I think having hope is foolish and just prolonging the agony. He has gone over or been pushed into the dark side. I am not exaggerating when I say, I think he feels nothing but hate in his heart for me.

I don’t know how to find my way out of this. I started getting stomach pains after this latest attack.  I got them after the last series of attacks before this too.  That time I went on medication for my stomach. Not this time.

We are all sad about it. But I really don’t think there is anything we can do. I don’t think he is coming back.

I think he needs help and I don’t say that merely because he doesn’t want to have a relationship with me. I have seen this same scenario play out with his girlfriend, his male friends, his former business partner, his father, his father’s kids. I was just naive and stupid enough to think it wouldn’t happen with me. Or my daughter. It can’t be a very happy way to go through life.

How am I coping? I’m OK. I think I just have to learn to accept that it is over.

I repeat my mantra every now and then when I need to. It’s goes like this.

UM – You are not a “nasty piece of work who sees herself as a victim” and you know it.

And I do know it.

I hope he finds peace – those were his father’s words to me too. We really hope he does.