The Fantasy:
two mothers
at Lily's wedding
sharing tears of joy
not pain and loss

PAGE # 41
Still approximately 11:10 am 

Anna told us the story of how she searched for her own birth mother.  I don't remember the exact number of years involved--I think it was over a full decade--and I remember wondering if Anna's marrying Mike--he is a private investigator!--had anything to do with her adoptee status.  

When Anna finally discovered the whereabouts of her natural family, she learned that she also had a bunch of siblings and that she had been the only one placed for adoption.  Moreover, her entire natural family lived within a few miles of where she was raised by her adoptive parents.  
"I never, ever doubted that I was the luckiest out of all the kids," Anna stated.  "I knew after meeting all my siblings that I had the best childhood."
Anna did not elaborate why she thought this was so and I did not ask.  I wondered if Kendra felt bad hearing this.  When Anna said she was lucky to have been adopted out, did she mean to imply that Kendra's baby would be lucky too?  Was this supposed to reinforce Kendra's choice?  Was it meant as loving support of the adoption decision?  Kendra did not appear shaken by her mother's words; in fact, she participated in the storytelling.  Then again, the story of Anna's reunion with her natural family was no news to Kendra.  Perhaps the story was too familiar to cause Kendra any insult.
"And after all those years searching," Anna continued, "my mother would have nothing to do with me for another 18 years!"
Kendra nodded.  "It's all true," she said.
"But I never gave up hope," Anna explained.  "I was patient.  I understood it was hard for her."
"So what made her come around?" I asked.
"One of her sons died.  One of my biological siblings.  After that, I think she realized she wasn't going to chance losing another kid for the rest of her life."
"They talk on the phone every day," Kendra said.  "They're real close.  She's my grandma now."
"I need to tell this story to my best friend," I said, referring to Crystal.  "She found her birth mother a few years ago, and they met for lunch, but now, her birth mother wants nothing to do with her."
Anna was nodding.  "That's what happens sometimes.  People think it's the grown adopted person who is going to want nothing to do with his or her biological family, but it's often the other way around.  A lot of biological mothers think their kid is showing up for money or something.  Tell your friend not to lose hope.  Her mother may change her mind someday about having a relationship."
Anna was poised and collected.  Her manner seemed natural.  Comfortable.  Perhaps comforting.

It was as is she was saying:
See here...Adoption is the best for this baby, but don't worry Kendra.  You'll have a relationship with her again someday.  
And Kendra was clear about wanting a relationship again someday too.

And I wanted Kendra to never lose touch with her baby.  I couldn't imagine taking a baby away from her.  

Why was Baby Lily getting placed for adoption?  What sense did it make?  
"And Jennifer is not going to be threatened by you the way other adoptive mothers would be," Anna said.  "She already has two biological children.  She knows what it is to be a mother."
Anna was right about that.  And if it were meant to alleviate any of Kendra's anxiety, it also made me feel better.  I felt so bad for Kendra and the baby already.  At least, at the very least, I knew I would do right by Kendra and her baby.  If Kendra really decided not to parent, I was at least comforted by the fact that we were the adopters.  I knew in my heart that Tom and I would never disregard Kendra.  I knew Kendra was lucky to find us as opposed to some other couple--we would keep our word, be open, and be supportive of Lily's first family as much as possible.  Of this, I had no doubt.

Anna and I stood close to Kendra's bedside.  I felt myself start to tear up.
"If we adopt your baby, Kendra," I said, "then my dream is that this baby girl will have all of us, both sets of families, at her wedding someday.  If we all can make that happen, then we'll know we all did something right."
And in that moment, I thought that would be possible.  No.  Not possible.  I thought it would be.  I could picture us all, decades into the future, celebrating like one big family.  Kendra and I.  Two mothers.  Together.  

Why not?


Myst said...

What a very sad story :(

I have seen and read about many reunions. And the truth is, so much has been lost that it is very difficult for many to do well and many don't. After the honeymoon stage in reunion, the relationship can and often breaks down because this most sacred of relationships has hardly any foundation save that biological bond from many years past.

There is nothing that can get that relationship back. Nothing that can make up for what is lost. I feel the absence of my daughter keenly every single day and whilst I manage a life without her, it takes much energy and will power to get through a day or a week or a month...

Kendra's mother can never know for sure if her life was much better being adopted. That is a protection mechanism. All she knows is she had a different life. Because the loss of a child to adoption changes so much in a mother's chemistry and emotional mental health, the mother she met years later was not the same mother who gave birth to her. I know because I have changed forever. I am a lot more anxious and paranoid now because I don't want to lose another child... I was not like that when I had Amber. Adoption is an unnatural act forced onto natural situations and thus changes lives permanently.

I doubt I will ever have a relationship with the woman who stole my child and truth is, I don't want to. She is a poison this world is better off without and it makes me sick my daughter is growing up with her as her "mother" figure.

I know you are nothing like this Jennifer and you remind me of a family friend who adopted and did everything to make it work with her daughter's first mother. She was amazing but also said she would never adopt again because of the pain she has witnessed in her adopted daughter.

This whole story is so very sad for everyone involved. I am sorry for all the suffering, including your own, in this event.

Myst xxx

Jennifer said...


Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

I think you are right about Kendra's mother using a protection mechanism. And somehow, her adoption trauma, gets reenacted with the adoption of Baby Lily. The whole thing is so so sad.

My own fault in this story was ignorance. I didn't know enough about adoption when this all happened. Remember...we weren't even trying to adopt. Perhaps that's why the attorney presented us to Kendra in the first place...we were naive.

You make many excellent points in your comment, Myst--regarding this story and adoption in general.

Myst--how old is Amber now? You can inbox me privately if you want.

Jennifer :)

Samantha P said...

Being adopted myself, going through all this stuff with my husband and his daughter has been a nightmare for me. I have flashbacks from my childhood all the time.

Jennifer said...


As this story unfolds, you will see that it addresses the rights of birth fathers. Sadly, our laws do not protect fathers at all. I am so sorry for what you and your family is going through.


Roni said...

Although surrendering and loss of my now 27 year old daughter was the most tramuatic and defining moment of my life, her amom and I have quite a unique relationship. As my daughter grew up we were never kept apart. Her and her aparents spent holidays, special occassions, dinners over with us and we did with them as well. Even sleepover with the other children I had later with my husband.

During her growing up years her amom would speak of the day our daughter would marry and it always included me by her side as one of the mothers. Well she did marry recently and I was right beside her amom, holding her hand, included as one of the moms of the bride. Not sure we made that pretty picture of one big happy family though. There was still time lost between my daughter and I and a bond broken between us because I didnt raise her. I wasn't her mother. It was quite a painful day for me.

Even though we weren't apart all those growing up years, we still have the kind of relationship common to bmoms and adoptees do when they reunite. She comes in and out of my life but is never really "in" my life. I always pictured us being friends when she was grown, but that isnt what has happened. She is still an adoptee. We still have a fractured relationship because of our initial separation. I believe she still has abandonment issues and is "punnishing" me for not being there for her as her Mom, even though if you ask her she would deny it. She is happy she was adopted.

I guess what I am saying is, just because a bmom and adoptee and his/her family have an onging relationship and see each other frequently doesnt guarntee a "happy ending". It is an unnatural situation that one person always feels left out of, and it can be painful to the core.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Roni, for sharing your story.

I guess even in the best situations, there is no way out of adoption related pain and loss.

Thanks for taking the time to read our Baby Lily story.

Jennifer :)

Roni said...

Thank you Jennifer for those words. I am just now learning that none us survive this experience unscathed, even for the adoptee who lives near and knows their original family and is included in it just as any other family member would be. They still deal with pain of abandonment and feeling like they dont know where or who they belong to.