On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...
Sunday, May 31, 2015
A Web of Lies or For Your Own Good
This post is a post I would like to dedicate to my mother as in first mother or birth mother, and my grandma because it is Mother's Day. But I would also like to dedicate this post to all birth mothers out there - those who lost a child through adoption, separation or death. The loss of a life does not mean that life never existed it does not mean you never can call yourself a mother. If you have given birth then you are a mother simple as that. I mourn the loss of my mother just as I know how much my grandma loves me. I would also like to dedicate this post to my mum but frankly I cannot do it, I know how much I mean to her and that she loves me but to what extent I am not sure of. I like to think she never knowingly would repeat my grandmother's cruel decision yet she has indicated she may do the same. Our relationship is not a typical mother-daughter relationship maybe due to both our loses and sorrows that are dependent on each other. This the reason why Mother's Day to me, personally is more bittersweet and a reminder of the mother that I could have had as well as it reminds me of one mother's ultimate betrayal of her own daughter. Father's Day is emotional but not as emotional as Mother's Day. I can actually handle to celebrate Father's Day better than I can celebrate Mother's Day. I feel very ambigous about celebrating both too be honest, yet the later is easier for me. My mum and dad has always insisted that we recognize these two days which is understandable yet sad to me. I understand their urge to celebrate it since they became parents yet I mourn the loss of the parents that I lost. Truth is that if my relinquishment had not officially happened fortyeight hours after my birth-if the agency only would have allowed the three month long waiting period, that the UN required. I would never have been adopted, never separted from my birth parents and siblings, never forcefully removed from my culture taken to a new one to be raised in a foreign country by mere strangers. Only time managed to destroy the culture which I once was born in, only time managed to provide new parents, parents that I never asked for in the first place.
It's very possible I never will accept, what happened to me; speaking of my adoption. There's several reasons for that the adoption industry being one---but the decision to place me up for adoption was a decision made by another person---a close relative to my birth mother. The decision more so than the actual deed had to be covered with lies. My maternal grandmother (in my birth family) lied to her own daughter-- my birth mother about my disappearance more so than my actual birth.
My mother sensed and knew something was a miss and at some point my father went back to the hospital's orphanage to get me back, and reunite me with my family. I believe my father did regret his decision to surrender me up for adoption because he went back for me--- hoping I was still left. Little did he know I had already been adopted and sent overseas. I am almost convinced my father had to have been back for me in August, I actually stayed at the orphanage until the 16th of August...
That was the day I left, my birth country and culture. It would have been only days later that my father visited the orphanage in hopes of getting me back--- the reason I suspect this is because a newborn child has it's first birthday celebration already on it's 100th day after birth.
This time I will not hold the adoption industry responsible, even if they may be to blame. Instead it's my mother's own mother --- my grandmother who is the actual culprit in all this, not only do I blame her for the separation I hold her responsible. As do my birth family, my birth mother actually disowned her mother because of that same lie. Perhaps my grandmother only decided it was better for me to be raised by other people, not realizing what was she was at risk at losing if the truth ever came out... For a child to disown it's own mother something very major and so serious must have taken place. Because of my grandmother, I was robbed of knowing my own birth parents as well as siblings. The lies my grandmother told my mother has been at the expense of an entire family and several generations. Because of my grandmother all of her daughter's grandchildren will not be raised in the same culture let alone family.
For the life of me I cannot understand or accept how a mother delibrately can make an actual decision to separate their own daughter from their own child, to willingly say that your daughter will never raise her own child. That to me is something I never can accept I live with that decision every day. Even though I know the curcumstances as to why my grandmother made such a decision I still consider it a selfish thing to do.
I did however gain another dotting (maternal) grandmother as well as proud and loving (maternal) grandfather. Because I did have both maternal and paternal grandparents that particular aspect of loss might not have impacted on me---as I'm sure it did on my birth family. Through my mum's mother which I call grandma I recieved all the love and acceptance that my first grandma knowingly denied me. I am not my mum's biological child but to her that is of little importance. My grandma would never do what my first grandmother once did.
How can a mother ever decide to tell their own flesh and blood a lie like that...? I can't imagine how betrayed my entire birth family must have felt--- let alone my younger sibling. To this day I still wonder if he knows the entire story of events that lead to my unfortunate adoption. I have never been particularly interested in my biological grandparents for this very reason. One child's adoption impacts more than one person's life--- not only the birth mother's or birth parents--- but several people, perhaps even a complete family.
People say that are you sure you're father really did try to get you back --- wasn't it something he just said (to save himself). No I don't believe, it was another lie because for some unknown reason my father managed to find out my new country of resident, normally the agency aren't allowed to share that information. The reason I known that, is because one of my sibling's spouses suggested a trip overseas---possibly thinking they might like to visit Paris, France, Venice or Rome. My father soon replied he'd like to visit the European country to which I had been sent. My birth parents were never able to make that trip because my father couldn't come up with a reason why--- without letting everyone know of the other daughter.
My story is far from unique I know that---I am aware of that one single adoption of one baby impacts many lives. I can only share my own side of this tragedy but I try to imagine how my birth mum and sisters must have felt. I cannot even begin to phantom that, how much I try to it's impossible for me--- to try to imagine the other side of it. At the same time I know I am far more likely to understand, the real consequences of one woman's decision. My mother was lied to by her own mother, a lie so serious that unfortunately happens to be told to many times. Lying about the death of a child when it isn't even near the truth. That is cruel, because of a lie I was separated from my birth family, for years my birth mother was fooled into believing I was dead; my sisters was shocked when they learned the truth and they begun to question our parents, became very upset as I been told. This secret that was kept for several years changed the perception of our birth parents for my older siblings. My younger sibling, was among the last people to be told of my existence. I believe this sibling was forced into question our birth parents--- even blaming the very existence and the fact that they were born. I was forced to be separated from everything I knew and because of that my younger sibling was born...
Over the years I've struggled with this quite a bit, the fact that my birth parents rejected me and in some way seemed to replace me for another child. I now know the truth--- my birth parents didn't make the decision to surrender me up for adoption, it was my maternal grandmother that did. She even persuaded my birth father to sign the consent form. Therefore it's impossible for me to blame or hate my birth parents since they are victims too. Their lives may have had to pay a much harder price in comparison. I naturally have no memories from my birth parents or older sisters. My sisters weren't even aware that our birth mother expected yet another child...
I have lost so many memories, so much time that can never be regained not even recreated. For 20 years our lives never crossed paths--- my birth mother was told and had to accept that I was stillborn. That was the truth she lived with for over 20 years, some of those years could have been spent on trying to get know each other again.
A life time has passed and it may be too much time that's passed between us so no matter our intentions or efforts we may never reallly get to know each other honestly. We may never be just mother and daughter; father and daughter or sisters. The years that has passed has now unfortunately reshaped me into a stranger. It may require an equal amount of time to be invested for me to be accepted back into my birth family. Which I can no longer claim as mine...
No permisson is needed to call my original family my birth family or biological family, but I can no longer call my birth parents only father and mother that title has been given to the people who raised me. Even though I am a young woman now I still call my parents mum and dad the reason for that is that I already had a mother and father, an intact family and a life. Never again can I call my older sisters; big sister not without the birth, natural, biological or original in front of what they really are.
Of course I do still keep in toch with them, but I realize that for every day that passes--- every new answer I recieve makes me aware of the challenges that lies ahead. Children are a product or is influenced by social environment as well as biology.
Adoption and birth family reunions certainly complicates life and many aspects of the most basic human needs... Above all it seems many adoptees lives are created by and around lies---at one point or another. Have you seen the movie Philomena ? Then you know what I mean, for many adoptees they don't yet have the legal right to know who their birth mother and birth father were. Because it's all on a birth certificate which many US adoptees have to ask permission from the court to get... For me as Korean adoptee to become eligible for adoption I had to be registered separately and not with my birth family. Even today I am uncertain if I ever was registred in my birth father's family registry... I might be but chances are I'm not. When a woman gives birth a child in Korea the name of the newborn is not registered instead the child is registered under the family name and as the child of someone.
I could tell you the current state of my post reunion---but I will refrain from doing so because it's way too personal too share and information and details could be shared in such a way that it fosters the adoption agencies, the industry and adoptive parents. Despite everthing that happened I am not hateful or hold any grudge towards anyone in my birth family. Even though I know that those who know what happened seem to believe that I do. Honestly, I still love my birth parents and siblings...
Unless you experienced it first hand you should not judge me for the way I feel because of adoption. I know the general knowledge or a general accepted belief is that all adoptees get a good life or a better life in comparision to what they most likely would have had. I do not like to label my life with either good or better I prefer to say different which is true. I suppose I must learn to deal with feelings of rejection and not being good enough as well as feeling isolated or deprived of knowing my own flesh and blood.
Even my dear old dad once said that I should stop feeling like I victim of adoption since I am an adult now. This is of course true yet life does not get easier just because an adoptee grows up ---no, now I am more aware of what I really lost and how my adoption has affected my whole life. Yet it does not define me something I tend to forget from time to time. Adoption is a big part of my life and has helped to create me as a person and I have never even once asked to be adopted into another family nobody asked me what I wanted. My rights as a child to my birth parents were overlooked and ignored for the illusion of what would be best for me. Others decided it would be better for me to get a second family to replace the one I was apart of.
How could it not be anything but ironic and tragic that my birth father decided returned to the hospital three months after my birth, when three months was the official time window the birth parents had to consider their decision and possibly change their mind? Why is it so, that when an adoptee becomes an adult or older the definition of adopted daughter, son as well as sister and brother magically disappears from the vocabulary ? Instead new aquaintences are too assume said child or children are yours by adoption. Have we not thought our children that is dangerous to assume things, so why do we allow society to assume an adult Asian woman could be somebody's mail order bride or someone who sells their body, when the truth my be that they were adopted. Just as we allow society to assume an African American, or Latin American woman or man might be an illegal immigrant or refugee when they might have been adopted. It may be easier for APs to children of domestic or national adoption to not have to be scrutinzed and subject to the same prejudices if the adoptee or adoptees belongs to or share the same ethnicity as their APs. Then again this only my personal experience.
Posted by Elle