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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Didn't Think Adoption Was THAT Bad Until...

-        I learned that something really bad changed in my maternal source after she ‘went away’
-        I learned that my biological father DID want me and tried to keep me
-        I found out that my paternal grandmother wanted me and tried to keep me
-        I realized that the secret of my existence created walls and pain throughout my biological family – both sides
-        I realized that my maternal ½ sisters were so poisoned against me that they won’t even acknowledge me
-        I realized that forcing me away again and again was easier for maternal source than ever looking in my eyes
-        I realized that my first few months of life, I was in limbo – neither here nor there, belonging nowhere
-        I found out that there was extended family willing to take me in
-        I found out that there is a long history of teenage pregnancy in my bio-families, yet I was the only one who was adopted out to strangers
-        I realized that I’ll never fit in
-        I found out that giving away a child is a life-changing experience that affects not only the maternal source, but deep into extended family
-        I found family members were deceased before I was ever able to meet them
-        I realized that my sisters had to grow up with me as a ghost
Elaine Penn


  1. You were not 'in limbo' for the first months of your life - likely you were in foster care paid for by taxpayers.

    This is/was a money maker for Catholic Charities who have foster mothers care for the infants.

  2. Oh God, Elaine, thank you for sharing this. I share many of these hurts with you...

  3. I identify with being in foster care as feeling as if "in limbo." I have no records or photos of me at this time. I know nothing more than the last name of the people who raised me for the first 4.5 months of my life.

    That part of my life is likely gone forever.

  4. how is being in foster care, whoever it was paid for not being in limbo anon?

    Do you forget that the person who wrote this blog is a person? It doesn't matter who paid for it, she as a babe spent time in limbo.

    I was in foster care for months into my life, I was. That happened to me. I am a former foster child. I did go for a high price later being white and female but I was in limbo. They were checking my heart out.

    I was in limbo. What is your point? They could have decided I was not adoptable, they decided I was, in the interim, I was in limbo.

    Who are you and how dare you are my questions.

  5. Thanks Elaine for telling your story.To my mind if you feel you were in limbo you were, it is not for anyone to question the experience of another let alone pass judgement on it.Time anonymous to try to walk in the shoes of others, perhaps with empathy and compassion! Von

  6. How very sad that someone actually had to say something that unbelievably ignorant. Limbo is the fact of life for foster children - infant or no.... and to assume that it was some kind of lovely "stopping spot" just because the foster parents are paid.. that is beyond ignorant.... sigh... how pathetic.

  7. Dear Elaine,

    This is not exactly on-topic, and I'm sorry about that. I have been searching the internet in an effort to reach out to you since I read an article concerning you and Kathleen Foley. I hope you'll get to read this.

    I am truly saddened by the hostility Ms. Foley has displayed to you; regardless of what happened to her, your feelings are not less valid. I hope you know you are a person of worth, Elaine -it's sheer bad luck that you were born to a maternal source who isn't able to see that this isn't all about her. If somebody is damaged, no need to damage others.

    I am the mother of a rape-conceived child; I love my daughter, and I would have loved you too had you been mine, Elaine. While most of us can understand that this mightn't be possible for everybody, I'm just appalled at the nastiness you've faced. There's just no need for that, and I'm so sorry.

    As Khalil Gibran says, our children come not from us but through us, which means that you come from the same light we all do.

    Take care, won't you?


  8. Elaine, Thank you for your blog and sharing your story... Do you have any idea of what the best way to make contact is. I understand it hasn't worked well in your case... however, your experience may help others in this area.... sorry for the pain!


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