Not talking about a baby being lost to adoption is a bad idea but it was my way of coping for too many years. When a mother loses her baby to miscarriage, stillborn, or genetic condition people can be supportive even though they don’t understand the (personal) loss. Of course today there are different charities that offer support which is priceless. One of our nieces and nephew-in-law lost their second child to Trisomy 18 (Edward’s Syndrome) when she was a day old. They were well looked after by their midwife and ARC but it doesn’t make the loss any easier. They were given a card with their daughter’s hands and feet imprints on it. They also received a teddy bear with the name of another baby’s name on it and one day parents will receive a teddy bear with their daughter’s name on it.
When it comes to adoption people think it’s wonderful, farting unicorns and in the child’s best interests. In reality, it isn’t and unless the child is at real risk of any type of abuse it’s better to keep the child with his or her mother/father. If the parents die then special guardianship with the child’s family member is the next best thing otherwise with another guardian. I am not completely anti-adoption as there are other ways a child can be raised in safety and retain their name.
What people don’t understand is that when a mother is forced to let her baby be adopted it is loss and the mother suffers for the rest of her life. Her baby is still alive but she will never raise her child. It is a different type of loss to mothers whose babies have died but the result is the same both types of mothers never get over it and just learn to live with the loss.
I lived too many years hiding my pain as I was never offered any counselling so I put on an act. Eventually, I did find my son without actively searching for him when he had just turned 23 years old on Genes Reunited. The rage and pain I actively controlled came out finally but I still mourn the loss of my baby, I will never get him back. My son was shocked I found him without actively searching and had been searching for 5 years. He found my family but at that time my family didn’t know where I was due to a massive argument I’d had with my sister and by this time we had moved. My son was hurt that my parents hadn’t told me they had contact with him for two years when I got back in touch with them. There was absolutely no good reason why they didn’t tell me and the poor excuse was they didn’t know if my husband knew about him. My sister told me they didn’t know where I was so I don’t know what they were telling her – I didn’t have contact with her for 12 years. I didn’t want to fall out with her again as we have got on better since our dad died.
My son and I don’t talk now. We both made mistakes but he won’t accept he was just as much to blame as me when we had disagreements.
When I was told I couldn’t stop my son’s adoption I emotionally broke down and even today I haven’t completely got over it. To the outside world I was getting on with my life and I ‘wore a mask’ I also started suffering from severe depression but just put it down to postnatal depression. There was no way I could talk about how I was feeling and certainly not to my mother. I went through periods of wanting to die and would self-harm as it was the only way I could release the emotional pain I suffered. I felt ashamed of how I was feeling and believed if I told my family that wouldn’t understand or believe me.
For years I was determined that I would never marry or have any more children as I was so scared that I would be forced to surrender again. I felt so lonely even though I had friends and I loved my nieces so it was my way of self-preservation.
Eventually, I met my husband in 1993 and after a few months of dating, we got married. He made me laugh and I could be myself. The big but was I couldn’t tell him about my son, again I felt too ashamed to tell him and I didn’t need to tell him unless my son found me. I don’t know how I would have dealt with that but it was taken out of my hands. One day I went for a long walk after an argument with my husband. When I got back he confronted me about it as my sister had rung up, didn’t believe I wasn’t in and told my husband about my son.
When we had both calmed down I told my husband the basics and told him there was no point in talking about it unless my son found me. I should have talked and been willing to talk but I couldn’t risk going to pieces. It was my way of dealing with it whereas I should have been talking. It took another 12 years before I started talking and it was the end of my world of pretending all was well in my life.