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Old 02-17-2013, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Canada
23 posts, read 36,410 times
Reputation: 31

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I was given up for adoption in 1959 @ birth. I found my mother when I was in my 20's. She is very unreceptive to me and is worried sick about her family finding out about me. I live in Alberta, she is in Nova Scotia. I went to NS and met her when I was in my 30's. She told me that she was married now and her husband knows about me, but her two daughters and one son doesn't. About 6 months after meeting her I got a call from Social Services saying that I had a brother who was trying to find family. Because I had registered with Social Services when I started to search for my mother, they contacted me and asked if I wanted to be found. Aparently she had given him up for adoption when he was born in 1958. She never mentioned him to me when I met with her. Over the years her son passed away when he was 18 and since that time, she has lost her husband. I have seen both of her daughters on Facebook and I am so torn whether to contact at least one of them and let them know that I exist. I don't think I would tell them about the son born the year before me at the beginning of my contact. Our mother is extremely active with the church and highly religous. She carries alot of guilt about the two children that she had and gave up for adoption. I have tried to use the religion angle with her and explain that God forgives, but I truly wish that she would tell her two daughters about us. I have written the letter that I would send to the older of two girls a million times, but I am so scared of what turmoil I will cause in their family. The older of the two girls and I look uncanningly alike. I have shown her FB picture to friends and they are amazed how much we look alike. I read another post on this website that encourages the meeting or breaking the news to the ones who don't know anything in person rather than in writing. I want to send her a private message on facebook which would allow her to see my picture. I am so scared about doing the wrong thing, but I don't want to have regrets for not doing it either. I truly believe they both have the right to know that we exist and not have that decision made for them. I am now 54 years old and the oldest girl is probably about 50. Please give advise and help me sort this out in my head... Do I owe our mother to respect her wishes and not tell them??? My brother born before me is still trying to contact his mother, but is scared to make the call. I have been the liason to tell him what little I know about her. I type the letter from my heart and think it is very well written now, she would not think it is spam as I know too much. But I just can't hit 'send'.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:36 AM
 
12,887 posts, read 15,421,155 times
Reputation: 14847
Yes...DEFINITELY...I would tell them. It's not like they're little girls anymore, and I absolutely feel they deserve to know they have brothers out there...I wouldn't cater to your moms insecurities, and I can't see how telling a couple of woman that are in their 50's that they have more family would create turmoil...I think if they later down the road found out that they had brothers that they could have met (so much earlier) they would feel hurt that they weren't told...I wouldn't let an "unreceptive" mother dictate or change anything about my doing what I wanted to, or felt was my right...It can't hurt your mother...how could it?
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:39 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 986,569 times
Reputation: 834
Hi, echo. I was also adopted as an infant & did not find out I had siblings until I was in my mid-twenties. Thankfully my sister found me after searching her whole life for me, but we are still looking for our younger sib.

Quote:
Originally Posted by echoo59 View Post
I am so scared about doing the wrong thing, but I don't want to have regrets for not doing it either. I truly believe they both have the right to know that we exist and not have that decision made for them. I am now 54 years old and the oldest girl is probably about 50.
You are all adults now who are fully capable of deciding who you want or don't want to have in their lives. Your mother should not have lied about you all these years. Because it is important to you to reach out to your sister, I would. If you contact her through facebook just remember your message may go straight to spam if you don't add her as a friend. Just make sure she gets it.

I would explain to her very simply who you are... that you were given up for adoption in 1959 by [your mother] & are reaching out to see if there is any family who would like to get to know you. Leave your phone number so she can contact you if she is interested or has any questions. Don't bring up family secrets, or say anything else about your mother unless you are describing factual info that will prove you are who you say you are.

I say keep it short, sweet, & as simple as possible as the news can be overwhelming enough as it is. Let your sister decide what she wants to do with the information. Expect she might be skeptical, may decline contact, etc, but leave the ball in her court. Don't mention your brother just yet. I think she has a right to know the whole truth, but focus on yourself first & give your mother a chance to explain herself if or when your sister asks her about you.

Quote:
Please give advise and help me sort this out in my head... Do I owe our mother to respect her wishes and not tell them??? My brother born before me is still trying to contact his mother, but is scared to make the call. I have been the liason to tell him what little I know about her. I type the letter from my heart and think it is very well written now, she would not think it is spam as I know too much. But I just can't hit 'send'.
You don't owe being a family secret to your mother.

Just be careful, you never know what kind of reaction you are going to get. Despite my sister & father being the ones who searched for me, I still had an aunt who called me selfish for reuniting with the family. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst as they say. Stay strong & don't feel guilty. It isn't your fault you were put in this position.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 02-18-2013 at 10:23 AM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:39 AM
 
6,475 posts, read 9,923,267 times
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"the right to know." Sorry, that doesn't exceed your bio mom's right to not have her life disrupted, and most likely your sisters' lives. This isn't your sisters' right to know, it's about your own need to make contact. I'd keep the info to myself until mom has passed.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:09 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 986,569 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelstress View Post
"the right to know." Sorry, that doesn't exceed your bio mom's right to not have her life disrupted, and most likely your sisters' lives. This isn't your sisters' right to know, it's about your own need to make contact. I'd keep the info to myself until mom has passed.
It isn't really a right to know so much as having the right to decide whether she wants her sister in her life. A parent has no right to keep her children (who are now adults) from contacting each other because she views it as "disruptive." She should never have given children away or lied about them if she didn't want this to happen.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 02-18-2013 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,898 posts, read 2,724,456 times
Reputation: 5079
Quote:
Originally Posted by echoo59 View Post
She carries alot of guilt about the two children that she had and gave up for adoption.
Your mother's guilt seems very self-centered i.e. "poor me".

It's a tough call though. I understand that you wouldn't want to be the cause of a cooling in the relationship between mother and daughters and the possible hurting of your mother's standing within her church community which appears to be the center of her life. Would that be the case though? You don't have enough information.

In truth, I'd go for it. You've waited long enough.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Canada
23 posts, read 36,410 times
Reputation: 31
Thank you so much for the feedback, it is all very relevent in my situation and so welcomed. You make such good comments in your posts. I am a grounded person and know in my heart that I have to be prepared for the can of worms that my coming out will cause, but don't want to live with the 'what if's'. I am concerned about the health factor of our mother. Cdnirene you are correct when you say I don't have enough information, but do I allow it to stop me from taking this chance. I have no idea what their health situations are. That is where the 'how could it hurt' comes into play, PureHuman. Steelstress, yes it is truly about 'my own need to make contact'. I have considered waiting until mom has passed, but then I am leaving the daughters without the opportunity to share feelings with their mother and unanswered questions for them. I believe it will be more turmoil than doing this while she is still with us. I am hoping that they are all very close and able to be compassionate about the way things were in the 50's. After the shock has passed, maybe they can work through this together, helping each other be receptive to the facts. Am I just still hoping for the best and not realizing the worse?
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Canada
23 posts, read 36,410 times
Reputation: 31
Also, Cdnirene, the 'poor me' that she feels is also about a lot of shame around it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:45 AM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,566 posts, read 4,432,455 times
Reputation: 11210
Wow, I can't begin to figure out what the "right" thing to do is.

I do find myself thinking that, if a woman is pregnant and does not want to keep the child, and also never wants contact or involvement with the child she gives up for adoption, that should be an option for her. Without a guarantee of privacy and anonymity, a woman's only other choice is abortion.

In your post you said that your biological mother is "worried sick about her family finding out about me." This woman did, in my opinion, a brave and selfless thing by giving you to another family to adopt. It is very sad that she has to live in fear of her family finding out something she wishes to be kept secret. I don't know why she so strongly wants to keep your existence secret, or why after all this time she still feels such guilt. But that is her preference, right or wrong.

Yet it seems so wrong for you to not be able to meet your biological family. If I ever found out that I had a sister out there somewhere, I'd go crazy wanting to meet her. So I do understand your desire.

Is it possible to contact your biological mother again, or visit her again, and try to build a relationship with her? Does she know how much you wish to meet your sisters? Have you sent her the letter that you would like to send your sisters? We live in a very different time now compared to the 1950s. There certainly was a stigma back then toward unwed mothers (even sending them off somewhere until the baby was born so no one would know). You said she is very religious, and I think you were right to talk with her about God's forgiveness. It sounds like she has never forgiven herself. Perhaps a priest or minister could give you more advice on how to talk with her from this angle.

Lastly, rather than have her continue to be "worried sick about her family finding out," I think it would be compassionate to let her live her life without this worry. Either tell her flat out that you are going to contact your sisters, or promise her that you will not. But don't keep her wondering and worrying. I suspect if you do contact the sisters, she will see that the sun continued to rise each morning, and that no one loved her any less because of this secret she has been keeping all these years.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,822 posts, read 55,970,721 times
Reputation: 19019
It seems it has been many years since you last contacted your birth mother. Try again. She may be nearing the end of her life and ready to meet you.
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