I was adopted as a baby in the 1970s. I was placed in foster care until 6 weeks and a home was found for me. My adoptive parents thought that they couldn't have children, but a couple of years after they adopted me they had a biological daughter. My other relatives never really treated me as part of the family as I wasn't related by blood.
I was always told that I was adopted and it was quite difficult, as when I looked in the mirror I didn't know who I would grow into. My parents were quite strict and hit me a lot and it left me wondering if my natural mother would care about me. When I was 18, I searched and it took a lot of time. I found my original birth certificate but the social worker didn't seem to want to help any more and kept making excuses to not do any more. I didn't know what else to do, but I kept living in hope of finding my mother. I joined Norcap and all I found with them was my mother's birth certificate but didn't help any more apart from telling me to put my name on a register.
When I was 32, I paid for a detective to find my mother and I had her number. I phoned her up and she said she was shocked and could I phone another time. I phoned at the time she wanted and she was really nasty by telling me I was just a stranger to her and she didn't know what I wanted and she said she had a new life now. She wasn't married or anything and lived alone, and I was quite upset. I phoned Norcap as I thought they might help with my grief but all they said was that maybe my mother wasn't very maternal.
I also found my natural father who lived in France as he's French, and he was friendly at first but I think he was using me because he was lonely from just being divorced and when he met a woman, he stopped writing to me and said nasty things too. I had a nervous breakdown as I hadn't expected that from my biological parents.
People judge people who have had abortions and tell them adoption is an easy option, but as an adopted person I would never want anybody to go through what I have, and I have had quite a difficult life.
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing your experience of being adopted with us…It sounds as if you feel quite unsupported in your efforts to find your biological parents and build relationship with them, as well as feel that from an early age you were pushed out and even rejected. This was reinforced by the responses from your biological parents too.
What matters now is not how these circumstances can change, but how you relate to them. Understandably, you seem to be ‘lived by’ your past, but it is within your control to understand your responses to the life you’ve had and exchange them for healthier ones. As is often said in our work, ‘you can’t change the past, you don’t know the future, but you can change how you think about them’. I would encourage you to seek good professional counselling. It will cost money and time and you will also have to engage your will and emotions in the process. Make sure you have a counsellor who helps you understand the past and your current responses in order to focus on your future positively. Progress is possible; a positive future is possible.
Contact the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy website for more information: www.bacp.co.uk. Click on ‘Find a Therapist’ – adoption is one of the specialist fields you can request.
This story was sent in on 01/08/2008
We gave birth to our lovely gorgeous son two weeks ago now on Boxing Day