The Adopted Life

Strengthening the adoption community by empowering adoptee voices

"A Right Is Something That you Earn."

Months ago, my birthmother, Deborah visited me in Seattle. It was a tough visit. Deborah had a health scare that led us to the emergency room which triggered me to a deep fear of experiencing yet another abandonment. She felt a great amount of shame for altering the plans of the trip, for which she had wanted to go just as planned. It seems that I may've found one strong character trait that both Deborah and I share - the strong desire for our visits to be nothing short of perfect.

In addition to falling short of the illusive "perfect visit," we expelled a great deal of emotional energy discussing difficult, precarious topics for which I decided it was the time to be unrelenting in my questioning. In the video posted below, I had asked Deborah why she didn't write me back after I'd provided my home address and had begged for her to contact me this way.

“I don’t have a right. There’s no rights for me! A right is something that you earn. You earn that. You work hard for that!” 
— My birthmother

Her response still leaves me wretched. Her truths and honesty leads me to think about so many other birth parents who also may never truly feel that they have the right to speak with their own children after choosing adoption. 

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