Make the best of time with birth mother
Q: I was adopted at birth 30 years ago. At 20, I found a letter from my birth mom saying she hopes I find her and she’ll try finding me because she wants a relationship with me.
I was looking for her for years and couldn’t find her. Five years ago, someone started up a conversation with me and, by chance, happened to know my birth mom, so gave me her name.
I’ve tried communicating with her many times. She comes around once every two years and only talks to me when I message her.
She has four other kids who know nothing about me. She gives my kids gifts and they wonder who she is. I can’t tell them because she’s never around long enough.
I’ve told her several times that I’m done trying. It’s eating me up inside to see how good a mom and grandma she is to her other kids.
I’ve told her I have to let her go, but she keeps saying she wants a relationship.
Am I setting myself up for failure?
Should I just realize that I’m never going to be part of her family?
A: There’s already an emotional link between you and your birth mother.
But there’s also the reality of her past, when her circumstances led to her giving you up for adoption.
She must’ve been frightened and upset, and did what she thought or was convinced was best for her and for you.
She’s never forgotten that you’re her daughter.
But her present life with her other children and grandchildren was formed under different circumstances, and she hasn’t felt able to bridge the gap and bring you into that family.
She may fear they’ll judge her differently if they knew about you. She may be protecting you, too, from not being accepted by them.
But the same woman, who reached out to you years ago, does keep ‘coming around.’
You matter to her. That’s why she gave your children gifts.
Try to accept that she can’t take the connection further. Keep messaging her periodically; she needs to know you’re doing okay.
You do know who your mother is, and that she’s a good person.
TIP OF THE DAY
Some relationships are important just because they exist.