Tuesday, 28 February 2012


intr.v. de·spaired, de·spair·ing, de·spairs
1. To lose all hope: despaired of reaching shore safely.
2. To be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat.

1. Complete loss of hope.
2. One despaired of or causing despair:
Despair is a strong feeling for me at the moment. It's not just about adoption issues it's life in general.  However it's an emotion that I wont let get the better of me.  Life can get better and is better usually.
Adoption is a subject in itself.  The only way to change people's mind on the realities of adoption is to be pro-active.  It can be a lonely fight at times.  It's one thing educating someone but it's a different matter trying to get your voice with the authorities that can make real changes in the adoption field.  Today's attitudes to adoption is generally that one abused child is one too many, one child killed at the hands of their parent or another adult is one too many.  I completely understand this point and agree with it.
The other side to this are the children who are removed and social services can make a plan to return the children to their parents or allow regular contact.  Don't get me wrong not all social workers work to get children adopted.  There are the ones who really do care that children either return to their parents or if that isn't possible then their interests are put first.
There are times parents need help and support so they should get this without the fear that their children are adopted.  Others have false allegations which is proven but they still don't get their children back.  It is actually cheaper to keep families together than for children to be in foster care.  The older the child the more likely he or she will age out of foster care.  This costs thousands of punds for just one child.
A couple of years ago my husband and I helped a relative of his with regards her two youngest children.  Somebody had reported her to the NSPCA so social services were involved.  We were involved at the point that if she refused to let a social worker in her home her children would be removed.
The house was in a terrible state and so bad that we couldn't get anyvolunteers to help us.  Eventually the landlord was involved and he evicted the relative.  She was already living with us and so was her youngest son.  The other son spent his time between us and his dad.  Social services were supposed to inspect both homes to make sure they were safe environments for the boys.  During the three month period they were homeless nobody visited us or the dad.  She eventually rented other house.
The social worker she had was nice after the initial couple of meetings.  She found out that we knew enough about the law and that we wanted the relative to co-operate with social services.  I would like to see more social workers willing to involve extended families. Social workers, in general, do seem to be damned if they don't involve extended family and damned if they do.  So much can be learned from doing this.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pain, shame, anger, guilt ....

1. An unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of severity as a consequence of injury, disease, or emotional disorder.
2. Suffering or distress.
3. pains The pangs of childbirth.
4. pains Great care or effort: take pains with one's work.
When people think of pain they generally think of a physical pain due to an injury.  Trying to explain the pain of adoption is difficult or understand unless you have lived with it.  For me the pain as been gut wrenching to the point of being a physical pain.  It is the invisible amputation of my son being taken away from me.  It will never completely go away as I can't change the past.  Adoption can't go away so therefore my pain can't either.  I have learned to live with it.
1.  a. A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace.
b. Capacity for such a feeling: Have you no shame?
2. One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
3. A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy.
4. A great disappointment.
I was made to feel ashamed of myself for being a single mother.  Even though this was 1981 and single motherhood was acceptable in society I was made to feel that it was wrong.  My heart knew there was nothing wrong with being a single mother but I allowed my mind to be clouded by other people.  The sense of being unworthy of being a mother has stayed with me.  Logic tells I could have been a good mother but emotionally I believed my parents.  The definition of shame is exactly how I was seen by them.  I never got over it.
A strong feeling of displeasure or hostility.
This exactly what kept me going for so many years.  My anger contributed to how I led my life.  If I hadn't been able to get over it or learn to forgive my parents I would have ended up a bitter old woman.  My faith helped me to understand that the only person I was really hurting was myself.  It wasn't healthy.  When I eventually forgave my parents I felt as if a weight had been taken off my shoulders.  All I ever wanted was my mum to apologise for the pain she had put me through.  I never got it and I have accepted.    
1.  a. The fact of being responsible for the commission of an offense. 
b. Law The fact of having been found to have violated a criminal law; legal culpability.
c. Responsibility for a mistake or error.
2.  a. Remorseful awareness of having done something wrong.
b. Self-reproach for supposed inadequacy or wrongdoing.
For many years I couldn't understand why I felt guilty about Anthony being adopted.  I still feel guilty that I didn't have the knowledge back then that I have now.  Common sense tells me I shouldn't feel guilty but it is a human emotion that is hard to control at times.  I feel guilty for the effect that adoption had on Anthony.  He has had a good life and he also learned quickly how to push my buttons.  It has left me feeling frustrated at times.
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) - an anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as survivor guilt, reliving the trauma in dreams, numbness and lack of involvement with reality, or recurrent thoughts and images
- a deep feeling of guilt often experienced by those who have survived some catastrophe that took the lives of many others; derives in part from a feeling that they did not do enough to save the others who perished and in part from feelings of being unworthy relative to those who died; "survivor guilt was first noted in those who survived the Holocaust"
People generally think of P.T.S.D. being something that soldiers suffer with.  I do believe mothers who have been coerced or forced to surrender a child to adoption can and do suffer with it.  After all there is nothing natural about being forced to surrender a child.  The media doesn't help either these days.  Natural mothers are perceived as abandoners / have rejected their child.  The perception is that mothers either choose adoption or bad mothers who are drug users, prostitutes, neglectful mothers, abusers or a combination of these things.  Therefore they deserve to be called birth mothers because there is nothing natural about their behaviour.  God forbid that any of us were pressured into surrendering because coerced and forced adoptions don't happen and we use this as an excuse to deny that we really wanted our children adopted.    

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Severe Depression / Adoption

I started suffering with depression in my teens although at that time I didn't realize it. In fact I couldn't admit to suffering with depression until 2005 aged 43 years old.  It's a long time to be in denial of suffering with something I could have asked for help with.

When I was younger I remember being told I was too sensitive and needed to toughen up.  I couldn't understand why being sensitive should be seen as a weakness.  On the other hand I did take it to heart the hurtful remarks directed at me.  It lowered my self esteem and confidence so I would put on a mask and pretended I didn't care.

When I was pregnant what little self esteem I had was shattered completely.  I eventually believed all the nasty comments that I would be a useless mother, I was selfish, I didn't deserve to raise my son, he deserved better than me and I was worthless.  Little wonder that for years after I was scared to have another child.

It was much easier to put on a front of being self assured and I wanted to remain single.  I even earned the title of The Ice Maiden by some friends.  It was just a joke that we all found funny but even these friends didn't know my deepest dark secret that I had surrendered my son.  They just thought I was happy being single and keeping men at arms length.  I didn't dare talk about my son to friends or boyfriends as I was scared they would hate me for allowing him to be adopted.  It didn't matter that I had been coerced I didn't think they would believe I had wanted to raise him.  I felt ashamed.

I did marry when I was 32 years old and had already told my husband I didn't want children.  He didn't know at the time that I was frightened of being coerced again if I had another child.  Montha later he found out about my son and I told him the basics as it was too painful to tell him everything.

It took reunion in 2004 to open up completely.  The emotions completely overwhelmed me to the point of almost being suffocating.  I hadn't known how raw the pain could be.  The times I cried because I didn't know how to express myself.  The feelings of pain, guilt, shame and sadness were intense.  It was almost a relief to know that what I was suffering with had a name.  Depression.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


Coerce, coerced, coercing, coerces:
1. To force to act or think in a certain way by use of pressure, threats, or intimidation; compel.
2. To dominate, restrain, or control forcibly: coerced the strikers into compliance.
3. To bring about by force or threat: efforts to coerce agreement.
Relinquish, relinquished, relinquishing, relinquishes:
1. To retire from; give up or abandon.
2. To put aside or desist from (something practiced, professed, or intended).
3. To let go; surrender.
4. To cease holding physically; release
Coerced adoption:
People find it hard to belief coerced adoption ever happened and that surrendering mothers use it as an excuse.  Unless someone has experienced coercion first hand it is very difficult to understand how it could happen.  It is widely thought that if a mother says she was coerced into surrendering then she must have really wanted to surrender then blames everybody else as a way of dealing with guilt and regret.
In reality mothers didn't have a say particularly from the 1940's through to the 1970's.  Coercion still happens today but not to the extent it did then and the tactics are more subtle.  I have heard of some awful stories of mothers who were drugged during and after childbirth then signing the necessary paperwork whilst still drugged.  Other stories I have heard the mothers were told their babies had died then being found many years later by their adult children.  I was blatantly bullied and lied to and I have got to know other mothers who weren't given a choice either.  We are all intelligent women which is one of the reasons why people find it hard to believe us.
I have often wondered what the statistics are for coerced adoption in the UK alone.  It would be hard to get an accurate figure as many mothers aren't willing to talk about their experiences especiallyolder mothers.


Friday, 10 February 2012


The definition of mother is:
1.a. A female person who is pregnant with or gives birth to a child.
b. A female person whose egg unites with a sperm, resulting in the conception of a child.
c. A woman who adopts a child.
d. A woman who raises a child.
2. A female parent of an animal.
3. A female ancestor.
4. A woman who holds a position of authority or responsibility similar to that of a mother

The definition of adoptive /parent is:
Although this term is often used to refer to both parents that are seeking to adopt, and parents that already have adopted, it is probably more commonly used to describe parents that are seeking to adopt, although since many parents will adopt on more than one occasion, they could be both an adoptive parent who has already adopted, and an adoptive parent who is seeking to adopt.

Definition of birth mother is:
Biological mother, genetic mother, natural mother who carries a baby to term, who she plans to give up for adoption.

So why is it that adoptive parents have a low opinion of mothers who have surrendered a child. There are some who believe they can play God with their adopted child's life just because the natural mother who signed away her rights.  It saddens me every time I read about adoptive parents closing an open adoption.  Some believe it is okay never to tell their child he or she is adopted or ask other people when the best time to tell their child.  An adoptive parent should always tell their child the truth.

I get so tired of adoptive parents who applaud the selfless act of surrendering and claim the mother is being mature.  Having been through the experience I feel so infuriated by the attitude.  Often the mother just needs moral support, be aware of resources available and be encouraged to parent.  Even when mothers are absolutely sure what they want nothing prepares them for the realities of adoption.

Usually the adoptive parents who encourage mothers to surrender a child are the first to then put them down.  I am thankful for the adoptive parents who aren't like that. These are the ones who have taken the time to educate themselves or are affected ny adoption in other ways such as being an adoptee or a mother who has surrendered.  I am also thankful for the adoptive parents who have got to know me and believe that I was coerced/

Monday, 6 February 2012

Bad Day

Today has been one of those days I wish I could curl up, go to sleep and hibernate for a year.  Depression is hitting me harder than ever and the periods of being happy are shorter and further apart.  It's at times like this I wonder what is the point of living.  Being restricted in what I can do makes me realize that what little I manage to do isn't appreciated by anybody.  I don't expect to thanked for what I do but it would be nice if at least one person noticed.  I am tired of making light of it with friends.  I know they care but I am too scared to open up completely about how I am feeling as they don't understand depression or how it feels to suffer.  Normally I can find something to get engrossed in but I have given up the will to try and too tired to put up a front anymore.  Part of me wants to scream, yell and have a good cry but I haven't got the energy to do that either.

I'm also losing the will to talk about adoption as well as I can't change attitudes either.  Even if I could only change Anthony's attitude I would be happy but he has made it quite clear how he feels.  It hurts so much.  Adoption will always be my painful cross to bear and nothing can change that.  I lost my one chance of motherhood.  Nothing can change that and it's something I wish I could have achieved.  That will never happen but having another child wouldn't have replaced him.  I hate feeling the way I do.  I should be happy that we reunited but instead it made the pain worse.  Reunion couldn't replace the lost years.  I am not the mother he wanted to find.  I cannot give him anything except love and he has chucked that back in my face.  i cannot do anything than I have already done.  I still feel guilty and blame myself for our reunion going badly yet I know I am not responsible for his actions.

I try to be positive about the future but don't have any goals for the future.  Those were lost when Anthony was adopted.  Extra time in the form of reunion just made the game of life worse.  Nothing can make me feel better as I can't turn the clocks back and raise my precious son....

Friday, 3 February 2012

In pain ...

On Wednesday we were back at the hospital and I found out I had a broken bone so had my foot and leg strapped up.  An appointment was made for me at the Darlington Memorial Hospital to have a plaster cast put on.  I was also given a pair of crutches to use and we borrowed a wheelchair from the Red Cross. Yesterday I had a very boring morning at the hospital which included two trips to x-ray. It's actually a bone in my ankle that is broken.  I'm feeling frustrated at being reliant on other people.  I am doing my best to keep happy but am fed up of being restricted in what I do.

Being at home is giving me too much time to think in between doing things for Rick.  On the other hand it may be the right opportunity to get me more pro-active about adoption methods over the years.  Times may have changed and coercion isn't so obvious these days but there is still a lot wrong with the system.  There are still children being taken away from their parents that shouldn't and others that should be returned with the families being given help and support to stay together.  On the other one abused dying or being badly hurt is one child too many but it still happens.

One thing I would like to see is more mothers willing to come forward and talk about their own experiences.  I can understand why so many don't as they were beaten down by society and don't feel comfortable talking now.  I know I was made to feel guilty and ashamed, that I was nothing and certainly not a mother.  From personal experience I know what it like to be told I don't deserve to be called a mother, I'm a 'birth' mother, my son shouldn't call me mum and my own mother couldn't understand why he wanted to know me.  As far as she was concerned my son's adoptive family is his only family and I am nothing to hin.