Questions from a son given up at birth
Did you know what it was you gave away? What was it
to you? Was it a mistake perhaps that could be erased
by a simple act of false generosity.
Was it easy for you or did you lay awake at night
tormented by the few options life had left for you?
Was there a sense of great relief or regret when I was
no longer a part of your life?
Did you look back as you walked out the door?
Were you alone in the final hour? Did you regret the
decision when it was over?
What does it feel like to lose a part of oneself, not
to death, but to a future of unknowing? Were there
tears of joy, or sorrow, or both, or neither?
Did I cry? Did I understand the totality of the
decisions made on my behalf? Did I latch on to
anything that was willing to comfort me, or did I know
you already in my inner being and long for you with an
invisible bond? Do you know what I felt when you
left? Not even I can know the pain of separation from
a love at that vulnerable age.
You were my first love and my first lost love. Truly
a tragedy to have learned one of life's most difficult
lessons at hours old.
Was it similar to the loss of my first love when I was
a teenager, or even worse? The body protects itself.
Perhaps to truly feel that kind of loss would cripple
my capacity to function.
You gave up a lot. I have struggled to like myself
throughout the years. Rejection in the conscious life
allows you to rationalize ones feelings and soften the
blow. It is easy to see both sides of the story, and
make excuses for what might have been.
But my first rejection came when I was without a
defense. I cannot blame myself for I did not know
myself, and to blame one's mother seems too painful.
Blame sits by itself in the middle, no one wanting to
look it directly in the eye. Later on we all take
small pieces of this thing called blame. There is
enough for small pieces to be taken for a lifetime and
There is not hate, but an open wound of unknowing.
If you knew me would you do it all over again?
I have part of you with me. Only you could identify
what it is that I carry. Is it the way I smile, the
way I cry, the shape of my eyes?
You do not carry a part of me. You have only memories
of a baby who was losing the life support it
desperately relied on. How sad that your last memory
of me was on the surface, perhaps a health happy baby,
but on the inside was a spirit whose very soul was
being ripped apart.
If my heart knew then what I have felt over the years
in my inner self, I would have died that day. A body
cannot take that kind of pain in a single blow.
You probably thought you did what was best for me. I
have no way of knowing, but life cannot be compared to
what is and what could have been.
Life with you ended when I was removed from you, but
the pain of your anguish as you decided to give me up
was not in isolation. I felt you touch me
differently; hug me differently, as if this was a
guilty hug and kiss, not an embrace that is filled
with the wonder of things to come.
Was I wanted in the womb? When you felt me growing
was it like watching a beautiful flower develop with
the anticipation of the final glorious bloom, or was
it a dreaded anticipation of weeds overtaking a
Was I a prisoner in your womb taking in all of your
despair and anguish?
What went through your body and entered my sacred
home? Was the foundation of my marrow a blend of
happiness and optimism, or was my body at its very
soul begun with despair, fear, regret, and
To answer this question I must know that moment, in
your deep unconscious when you knew, really knew, that
I would not be yours, but given to another. At that
point my psychic connection to your psyche felt a
Was there a slight tremor, shock, or disturbance that
alerted me to set up a defensive wall. When was it,
before I was born or at the moment of my birth?
At what point did the focus of my life turn from
drawing in as much love and goodness as I could, to
defending my inner being from pain. Can you do both
at once? I know I can't.
Did you look down on me with loving eyes, longing
eyes, or eyes of sorrow? When I looked into your eyes
did I see love or loss? Were there tears of joy or
I would have known the difference, must have known the
difference because all I saw and felt were the eyes
and tears. No other distractions interfere with the
need of a baby to connect with the soul if its mother.
I saw the tears and hollow eyes. I transported
through my look into your eyes my need for you and
what I got back was not acceptance but resistance.
Have you ever wanted something so bad and felt with
your whole being the need to encompass that thing?
This is what I believe that I had when I was born, a
tremendous desire to belong, and a sense of attachment
to the security of love.
How long can a person go without a sense of security
before natural defenses go into place? One minute,
one hour, one day, one week, one year?
I lost that from you somewhere between my development
in the womb and your decision to give me to another.
Was my birth a final cleansing of your body of all
that was sad, disappointing and degrading? Was I
purged and then removed from the last connection to
you as the umbilical cord was cut?
Was there ever a connection after that, or did I go
from being a part of you into a world void of
attachment. Did you reach for me as I was covered in
your blood and fluids, or did you look to the side and
sigh with relief that I was finally out of your life.
I was not chosen. You choose ripe fruit, fresh fish,
and a good car. Chosen is an excuse for abandoned.
I had many foster parents. However, none adopted me to
save me from a life without parents, but they in most
cases did all they could do.
They tried to love me, nurture me and did the best
they could with a damaged soul. You can restore
some of the harm done to the soul of a child, but you
can never replace it.
Wouldn't it be nice if the foster parents could have
put into my spirit the excitement, desire,
anticipation and deep love for my life ahead. They
were too late. By one day, by one week, by nine
months, they missed the opportunity to influence a
The holes in my spirit must have been many, and one
set of foster parents filled many of them, but you cut
me too deeply in parts.
The surface healed, but the deep wounds fester every
once in a while. Those are the times, like now, that I
wonder who I am, what I might have been, who you are,
and if you know what you gave up.
Now I am an adult. The turmoil of my youth is behind
me though forever ingrained in my memory. Today I can
make my own decisions.
Should I look for you? What would I find?
You are forever a young beautiful woman in my mind. I
never picture you pregnant, and wonder what that means
if anything. You are always thin, without child.
I think of who my mother is often, but not my father.
I do not know why I am not drawn in the same way to
know who my father was. I knew you!
I don't know what I knew, but I knew you enough to
want to know more. I don't want to find an old mother
who has gone through life.
I want the mother that was young and optimistic and
whose future I could have shared. Perhaps that is the
fantasy, to go back and find the person and relive
I missed you, I needed you, and I have now begun to
look for you.
I search, hunt, inquire, but have hit so many
roadblocks along the way.
There is a deep need in me, a need to be wanted and
loved. You failed at meeting this need early on, and
for me to look for you is painful.
If I find you, the wounds will remain but just maybe
you will be able to answer the ever-festering
question of why you didn't want to know what you gave
I have known loss. My foster Mom and Dad died in
recent years and it has deeply saddened me.
That loss is deep, and reserved only
for those who we have truly known and loved. To feel
that too often would be overwhelming.
That is the problem with my pain for you. I feel it
over and over again. You are at the core of my very
I will only lose my foster Mom and Dad once. I lose
you every time I search for you and fail.
I don't know if finding you would make any difference,
but I do know that not finding you continues a cycle
of hope and pain that is demoralizing and weakens the
fragile self that I am. You surely gave up a lot.
I thought more about the need to think of you as a
young person in the prime of your life. It is because
when I think of you, I see myself as a child, not the
man that I am right now.
If you were young again you could take me back. Then I
would grow up with the smells of your hair and body,
the energy and radiance your body gives off and the
pattern in your eyes that is unique only to you.
To see you as an older person means to admit that you
have stuck with your decision and I am finding you
after the rejection. To find a youthful mother means
there is a possibility of reversing the tides,
and erasing bad memories.
Will I ever be able to see you as an older person who
is in their 40's, 50's or 60's? I don't know.
I thought as I grew older I would see you age
as well. This hasn't happened yet, and I guess it
probably never will. I can't imagine what other life
event could change your picture in my minds eye other
than seeing you in person.
My birth father has yet to make a big dent in this
stream on consciousness. Did he stay with you? Did you
have other children? Did he see you as a mistake
and leave, making the same assumptions about me?
My only way of knowing my father would have been
through your interactions with him. Was he loving and
kind, or distant and insecure? When he touched you
with me in your womb, if he did, was there a fusion of
love that I may have felt, or was there a charge of
anxiety and sorrow? You both gave up a lot.
I was in you, and lived as you did for nine months.
How much of whom I am today is determined by those
nine months I will never know, but I do know it has
something to do with who I am.
I remained in a nursery for almost a year after you
left. I of course have no memory of it, but the nurses
were my surrogate mother. Out of necessity I bonded
with them. Felt their arms around me, focused on their
eyes and began to attach.
But this was not to be my final security blanket. I
was taken from a second love, and placed with one
family after another.
We know from experience that it is best to leave baby
animals with their mother until they can be weaned and
are more stable. I guess this logic doesn't apply to
children who are moved from family to family at an
indefensible age where ego and vulnerability are
I lost my first love, and then my second love all
within the first year of my life. What does the body
do to avoid pain? It had autonomic reactions and
functions that perform unconsciously.
Starve a body of food or water and it goes into
crisis mode and begins to preserve what it has in
storage. Starve a body of love and a maternal
connection, and what does the body have to fall back
on in storage at birth. I guess nothing.
Perhaps the womb experiences, but those are weak at
best. My gut tells me that foster kids are in an
unconscious state of self-survival where their
very existence and identity must be at risk from the
very day they lose their mother.
Years of searching have come to an end. I have found
you, met you and have gotten to know a bit about you.
I have not felt the elation I dreamed so often I would
I did not find the young, beautiful woman I hoped you
would still be. I found a older very embittered woman.
I found a woman whose mind, heart and soul remained in
1950 while her body moved forward with the passage of
While, tough not easily, my life marched forward you
remained stationary in life. You were filled with
hatred towards your father, my father and even me. You
allowed this hate to swallow you up in self-pity and
control every step you took since that day long ago.
We never developed the relationship I had searched
for. I didn't search for a mother as those years of
need had long passed us by. I hoped for a friend in
whom I could share my inner most thoughts and
feelings...a friend of whom I could ask those many
questions that still yearned for answers from my
For twelve years I struggled and fought for a
relationship with you beyond one that I would deem an
acquaintance though connected far beyond. You fought
me every step of the way, making sure there was a
certain distance between us.
You never asked questions about my life. Anything
shared was at my initiative. A few times you seemed
interested while most times you stared in a distance.
To most of my questions of you; you either changed the
subject or gave as little as possible.
At one point I took your statement of, "I wish you had
never been born, my life could have been different,"
as how you truly felt from the depths of your heart.
You blamed what turned out to be a life of misery for
you on everyone but yourself. We were all the reason
for your failures...even when we were not present when
Despite all this I continued, in every conceivable way
I could muster, to strive to get beyond the day we
first met and build a relationship with you.
The fatal blow came on that Christmas night too
painful still to reflect upon. Though you bore me
within your womb for nine months you could not bear
knowing the son you gave birth to as he is. You wished
me dead because you gave birth to son that happened to
The abandonment of childhood you had no control over,
this time you did. You were in complete control and
knew exactly what you were saying and doing.
All the wounds of childhood were again opened wide as
if freshly inflicted. Nothing I said or did caused you
to change your bitter heart.
That bitterness and hate filled heart went with you to
the grave a few short years later.
Now you will never truly know the son you gave birth
to nor will I know that mother you could have been.
Do I sound angry or wounded? Do you sense that I
hurt? Do you really care? Who you are?
I am. I think. I breathe. I have become. What have
I become? A whole person made up of many parts.
I became without you. I must now continue to become
without you. We both have lost!
In 2003, Lawrence P. Adams wrote the poignant book of life through the eyes of a throw away child entitled: "Lost Son? A Bastard Child's Journey of Hope, Search, Discovery and Healing." It was released in 2004. He authored in 2004 yet another inspirational and moving book, "A Voice
from the Voiceless and Forgotten." He hopes it will bring about the beginning of change within the child welfare system. The book will be released September 26, 2005. Mr. Adams has also had numerous articles published of the need for child welfare reform.
Author's web site: http://www.larrya.us