Make the best of time with birth mother

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM/ADVICE/GAMES - El­lie Tesher Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@thes­tar.ca. Fol­low @el­liead­vice. Copy­right 2017: El­lie Tesher Distributed by: Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices

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?

—Miss­ing Mother

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.

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