birthmother

A WORTHY VOICE: "I'll take it to my grave."

I was so grateful to have received a beautifully honest post submission from Jesse, a birthmother. Her voice is worthy to be heard. These are her words:

It was 1958,  I was 16 years old when I had my daughter. I came from a white, middle-class family - no one expected this from me.  I couldn't even tell my family.  I am now 72 years old and I finally understand that all those years of therapy and trying to resolve that grief just wasn’t going to happen.  While watching the documentary, Closure, I lost my breath hearing your birthmother, Deborah say; “I’ll take it to my grave.” I now accept that the pain and anguish will go with me to my grave too, just like Deborah.  I understood Deborah’s secrecy.  I also understood her family’s anger with her for not trusting them with The Big Secret.  Explaining the lifelong grief and pain that comes with losing your baby is a hard thing to explain for anyone.  After searching for my daughter for 30 years, I finally found her 5 years ago! She denied any contact.  I learned that she is a professional musician (jazz pianist) in Chicago, this is beautiful because I also play jazz piano and my mother and both my grandmothers were classical pianists.  It is so sad that she has no idea where her music comes from.  I was able to see her at one of her performances a few years ago - anonymously, of course.  I sat just 15 feet away from her and watched her incredible talent for a couple of hours, then I got up and left without approaching her.  It was hard, indeed, but just seeing her face made the huge, gaping hole in my chest a little smaller.  I know she is well and doing what she loves.

My wish is that people – especially adoptive parents – are educated about the totality of adoption, including the dark side.  Some adoption agencies see people like me (and the other women in my birthmother group) as being bitter, angry birth mothers.  We may be that at times, but losing your child for any reason is life-altering and not in a good way.  People who lose a child due to a death have support and support groups there for them to work through their grief as much as they can.  Birthmothers are not allowed to grieve, we have no support sometimes, and in my generation, we were supposed to be quiet and disappear.  So we’re left with unresolved grief which manifests in depression, substance abuse, failed relationships, etc.  I know I did the right thing in relinquishing my daughter  but it was not a choice.  There was no choice - as it is for most of us, whether due to youth, poverty, family or societal pressure, or religious pressure.

- Jesse 

"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