Mother

"Baby girl, X" meets her birthmother! Closure

A woman whose mother threw her in a pile of burning trash minutes after she was born has finally come face-to-face with the woman who nearly ended her life.

Amy Woodward-Davis, who is now 41 years old and a mother herself, survived horrific third and fourth-degree burns that covered 70 per cent of her body.

She was born to a 16-year-old mother who didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth to Amy in the bathroom of her Kansas City home.

Then and now: Just minutes after she was born in 1971, Amy Woodward-Davis was thrown in a burning pile of trash and has since undergone more than 200 surgeries to treat her life-threatening burns
Then and now: Just minutes after she was born in 1971, Amy Woodward-Davis was thrown in a burning pile of trash and has since undergone more than 200 surgeries to treat her life-threatening burns

Then and now: Just minutes after she was born in 1971, Amy Woodward-Davis was thrown in a burning pile of trash and has since undergone more than 200 surgeries to treat her life-threatening burns

She was discovered by her grandfather who thought he heard a crying kitten. When he looked in the backyard, he found that it was a newborn baby, wrapped in newspapers in a pile of burning trash.

The burns were so bad her race was not immediately clear.

The Houston Chronicle tells the story of how Amy, known at the time as 'baby girl x',  was treated and spent more than two decades in and out of Shriner's Hospital which specializes in treating burn victims.

Amy was adopted by Shriner's burn technician Lena Woodward and her husband after they spent a year as the young girl's foster parents.

At the age of 5, Amy became curious about why she was being teased by her classmates about her burns.

Mrs Woodward and her husband decided to explain the issue in the simplest of terms, saying that she used to have a bad mama who burned her but now she has a good mama who won't.

As time passed, that served as sufficient explanation for Amy, who was more focused on getting through her 200 surgeries and her schooling. When she was 21, Amy decided that she was done with having surgery.

Healing: Amy was adopted by a burn technician who worked with her at a specialty hospital where she was treated for 22 years Healing: Amy was adopted by a burn technician who worked with her at a specialty hospital where she was treated for 22 years

'I'm all right with myself,' she told The Chronicle.

'At some time in your life you have to be at ease with your mind on how you're going to look, and this is how I'm going to look.'

In 2009, when Shriner's announced a significant staff cut, Amy told ABC 13 that the hospital workers made her feel like she was at home during her 22 years as a patient, and that they helped her come to terms with what happened.

'I didn't look like this before and I know I didn't I had to get burned to look like this and I accept that. They did a wonderful job with me,' she said at the time.

Amy has since reconnected with both her biological mother and father, who was 19 and living in California at the time of Amy's birth.

Growing up: Amy learned she was adopted at age five, but it wasn't until this May that she finally met with her biological mother face-to-face, though she still won't answer why she threw her in the trash
Growing up: Amy learned she was adopted at age five, but it wasn't until this May that she finally met with her biological mother face-to-face, though she still won't answer why she threw her in the trash

Growing up: Amy learned she was adopted at age five, but it wasn't until this May that she finally met with her biological mother face-to-face, though she still won't answer why she threw her in the trash

In 2006, Amy spoke to her biological father for the first time. That phone call was the first time that her father learned that Amy existed.

Just this May, Amy took the biggest step towards resolution by visiting the family home where she was found burning in the backyard pile of trash.

Her biological mother and father, who have since married and had two other children, gave her a tour of the house but one room the skipped was the bathroom where Amy was born.

'I didn't want to face the fact that this is where I was born and nobody took my life seriously. I was born in this bathroom, and the next thing you know I was burned up,' she said.

During the visit, she and her mother exchanged glances and pleasantries but the looming question went unanswered: Amy has asked her mother several times what happened on the day of her birth, but her mother has never answered.

In that effort, Amy went into social services after completing her undergraduate and master's degrees and now works as an adoptions caseworker in Child Protective Services.

'I didn't get the closure, but I would love for the other kids who came behind me to get the closure,' Amy told The Chronicle.

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2204407/Woman-finally-meets-mother-threw-pile-burning-trash-just-minutes-born.html#ixzz28XPITEj1

Life and Death

In my line of work, I often get asked "What is so wrong with closed adoptions?" Well, the answer is, for some birth parents it's a lot like experiencing a tragic death, similar to a stillborn child.

I strive to educate people about the fact that whenever there is an omission of the facts, or we simply do not know the truth (about birthparent's reasoning for choosing adoption, or why a baby died minutes before delivering etc.), we tend to make things up to fill the huge void where there are so many unanswered questions (oftentimes, things like; I'm unworthy, the baby was unwanted or defective, or I'm a throwaway etc.).

Sometimes adoptive families feel as though life would be easier if they didn't know their biological parents, and that knowing an birth parent may aid in confusion in knowing who the "real" parent is. The truth is, the "real" parent is the one who actively parents, the person who takes care of the child, financially, physically, emotionally etc., however the birth parent is a huge piece of the child's identity and the child's life. There is simply never an advantage to maintaining secrecy for the adoptive parents' own satisfaction and ease or for any other reason.

Truth and openness always wins out. I have yet to hear of a scenario where knowing the truth was a hindrance or a misfortune.

I have known families to go through the awful pain and heartache of miscarriages, but never have I seen so closely the pain and anguish of having a stillborn child. This weekend I attended a funeral that devasted my heart, and completely restructured my thinking about life. The  funeral was for a stillborn baby, and not only the death of the baby, but the loss that the parents are experiencing.  The death of a baby is a profound loss. Attachment to a baby begins before conception, some parents read to their child, sing to their child, feel the child and fantasize about life with this child.  Not only have they lost a baby, but they've also lost the chance to see this child grow to become a living part of their family.

I can't help but let my mind wander towards adoption, and I have drawn comparisons between a stillbirth, and a closed adoption. In both scenarios birth parents go through excruciating pain in childbirth, and then are literally  never able to see the fruit of their labor. It's a tragic loss that deserves explanation, but in the case of a stillbirth sometimes there is never an explanation. People may never know why a death happened. In the days of old, when closed adoptions were the norm, this was a tragic loss of ever getting to know the life that you created and birthed.

To all, who hope to adopt someday please know that nothing the birth mother did or didn't do while pregnant with your child is directly related to their unique qualities, whether that's in the form of a disability or a superb ability. Whether it's Cerebral Palsy or super star athlete. We don't get to choose. And some people don't get to choose why they bear a child dead on arrival, or why merciless adoption caseworkers demanded secrecy surrounding the child that you birthed.

And, to all of those who hope to bear children biologically, we must know that nothing is ever a given. Every life (both in utero and out) is precious, and a miracle.

Final Wish!

This is a big week coming up for me and my birth family. I have a birth sister who was adopted one year before I was born. I have been searching for her for years (with the help of my husband and my mom), but without knowing her name, or having any idea of where she may be living now, it's kinda tough to search. I have had letters written to what was thought to be her adoptive parents' home via a caseworker, but none of these letters have ever had a response...not sure if that means the letters didn't arrive at the right place, or they don't want to connect with me, or possibly my birth sister doesn't know she's adopted, and her adoptive parents don't want her to find out. Who knows!

Well, I'm hopefully about to find out.

A caseworker that I've been working with has agreed to pull her file (to obtain her full name), and begin to conduct searches on the internet i.e. Facebook, Spokeo, Intellius etc. She should get back to me within the week.

Finding my birth sister is the final piece to this massive puzzle of finding my roots. My birth mother has also expressed this wish to connect with her birth daughter, as well as my other birth sister (Carolyn).

Here's to hoping that our final wish comes true.

Affirmation

Hello, my name is Debra J., I need to do something that needed to have been done for a long time. I'd like to acknowledge my birthdaughter Mrs. Angela Tucker of Washington state. While this is excellent news for me, I do understand that there are those who have there own opinions of me, the adoption of my daughter was not done to hurt anyone, in my family or otherwise, but most of all it hurt me. That being said, your opinion of me is just that. Yours. There. I want to thank Angelas parents and her entire family for what have done for her as well as for me personally, now this young lady is beautiful with a beautiful family, so I say Thank U All from the bottom of my heart for everything and GOD BLESS U ALL.

She answered the phone, and asked "How are you doing?"

I replied "Good, but super nervous!"

"You don't have anything to be nervous about! I'm a human just like you. I put my clothes on this morning, just like you..."

This was the start of the first conversation I've ever had with my birth mother. And, yes, perhaps she was right, that I shouldn't have been nervous. However the extra piece that you may not understand, Deborah, is that when I have 25 years to fantasize about who you are, you become different, than "just like us." You become more than "just a human."  All I've had to guide me towards what kind of person you are, and what could've possibly led you to these circumstances, were a measly three sheets of paper with vague information given to us by the adoption agency. Well, I took that small amount of information and expanded upon it.

Deborah, over the years you have been so many things to me. You were a super hero, you were a fashion icon, you were a sports star, you were jamaican, you were african, you were anything my mind wanted to believe that particular day. Oh, how my mind has wandered! If I were playing basketball, and had a particularly good game, I could have rationalized that as being in my genes, "my birth mom was a three point champion." If I played a song on the piano at a recital, I may have said "my birth mom was a musician..." These sorts of ideas have been in my mind all of these years.

So, when the moment came yesterday to call you, I was nervous because I didn't know who I was talking to, yet I knew you so well. Such a juxtaposition! How can a mind comprehend?

That hour long conversation is one I will never forget. I won't ever forget how long it took me to dial your number, or how fast my heart was racing when you answered. I appreciate your apology, and your respect that you have expressed towards my parents and family. It means a lot to me, and I hope that from this day forward our relationship will be drama free, and that everyone involved can understand that you did not mean to hurt anyone with your actions, and your choices. I certainly understand that.