Sunday, November 14, 2010

Family Reunion

Family Reunion, Frederic Bazille, 1867, oil on canvas.

This looks like the idyllic reunion day. How nice to gather with family and celebrate that connection with each other. That's what a family reunion is - celebrating that we have connections. Unfortunately, for adoptees and their original families, those celebrations are few and far between.

Today, November 14 is the day I received "the call". It was the day I found out that my daughter had been found and she wanted to have contact with me. That was 9 years ago today. So, as you can see, November has quite the significance for me. It's not only National Adoption Awareness Month (grrrrrrr.... I hate the way it's used by so many in the industry to promote infant adoption) but it's also the month when I got my daughter back. It's the month of my first grandson's birthday too. Yesterday was J's 13 birthday. He turned 13 on the 13th. It was his golden birthday. I wasn't there when my daughter was pregnant with him, I wasn't there when he was born, I wasn't there during his first years. That makes me sad. Now that I'm watching my son's baby girl grow it really drives the point home that I missed out when my daughter was having her children. She has 3 boys. I wasn't there for the births of the first two. We didn't know each other then. I missed out on seeing my daughter become a mother. This is just another item on the long list of what adoption does to families.

One of my Facebook friends posted this article and it made me think about my grandchildren. So many people don't realize how much the rest of the family is affected when an adoptee doesn't know who they came from. That could have been my grandson, it could have been any adoptee's family. I've heard people say that records shouldn't be opened because an adoptee is just curious. What about life and death? Is that a good enough reason? Why should anyone have to jump through legal hoops to get their own information in order to save their child's life? Besides, what's wrong with being curious?

That day 9 years ago was one of the happiest days of my life - to find out that my daughter wanted to know me, that she was willing to be found. To all the legislators out there who hide behind the skirts of mothers like me - open the records! I was not promised anonymity, I didn't want anonymity, I wanted my daughter. Give people their family reunion. They have the right to know who they were before adoption. It's not your life, it's theirs.

Happy 9th reunion anniversary Liz, I love you.


  1. I love you too momma! and...thank you! Thank you for wanting to find me! That day changed all of our lives. It opened a whole new world to me. A whole new family. A whole new side to myself that i never knew but always wanted to.
    I also would have loved to have you with me during the years i was becoming a mother but please dont ever feel bad that you were not here. Those circumstances were beyond our control. The important thing is that u have us now. And your grandsons have the opportunity to know you and love you...and they do love you very much!
    So again..Thank you! For never giving up and for never letting go. No matter how painful it was. I appreciate that more than you will ever know!!
    I love you! xoxoxoxoxo

  2. awwww..... (tears streaming)!!

    I was just thinking..., I think it's actually 8 years, not 9. Well, who said I was any good at math. :D

    It doesn't matter, all that matters is our family is back together. ((((hugs)))

  3. I want to share might, one day, make a difference to me and my life.

  4. Thank goodness it's only 8 years, I thought I'd lost one there and that I might be even older than I think I am (and that's old enough). I am grateful to have been there at the moment you found her. It was a life changing event for me too, although certainly not as much as it was for you. I feel honored to have been included in something as important as this in your life and to know Liz just a little through you. You are both remarkable people and I gain more respect for you both daily. Keep doing what you are doing, it changes lives.

    For years we celebrated what we called our "Family Birthday" which was the day our adopted daughter came to live with us. She was 6 and needed to be constantly reassured that she was not going to change families "again." This is why I do believe that with older children adoption is necessary. In later years, I got to thinking that a celebration was really not necessary, Amber had been our niece and then she became our daughter. We always were family and she always knew who she was.

    For me National Adoption Month is a great time to remind people who think they have to have an infant that they can pretend is theirs (lets face it no person is "ours" they belong to themselves), that there are thousands of children of all ages and races who are already waiting for homes and families and it is not necessary to break up a family by taking an infant away from it's mother.

  5. Lori, I hope it does make a difference.

    Kelli, well said and thank you for the comments. It's good to have a friend who's been through all this with me and understands. And.... you don't have one foot in the grave after all :D

  6. Carlynne & Liz,

    Your post & comment are the most wonderful posts I have ever read!!

    I just found this blog, from Lori's. I can't wait to go read more of your story.

    Happy Reunion Anniversary to both of you!

  7. Thank you so much Susie! I'm so grateful to have Liz back in my life. She's wonderful!

  8. I am so very happy for you. Your story makes me feel better about the world on a day when I wonder why I bother.


  9. Kara, thank you. I think there's always hope. Maybe that's just Pollyanna - ish on my part but I really believe that circumstances and people can change. I appreciate you and the honesty of what you write on your blog.