A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Dagger In My Heart

I mentioned a couple of months ago when I received the Honest Scrap award that I gave up a baby for adoption when I was a teenager. Her birthday is coming up this week, and I said I was going to do a post and tell the whole story from way back when. It turns out I don't have the courage to do that right now. I have to go to a very dark place to recall all those details and I don't feel like I have the emotional and mental fortitude to do so just yet. Maybe one day.

I was watching a reality TV show a few months back, and the woman on the show mentioned that she, too, had given up a child for adoption. She knew where he was, but he'd never been a part of her life. Although this woman had a full and happy life, with more children that came later, she said it felt like there was always something missing....a wound that had never healed and probably never would. When her son turned 18, her husband got in contact with her son and brought him home to her. She said that was the day her husband pulled the dagger out of her heart. Naturally, I crumpled into a crying heap.

I had never heard it put that way before, but it was an accurate description. I knew her pain....really knew it. I still do. Brittany turns 18 this week. I heard a couple of years ago that she wanted to talk to me. We live in the same state, but not in the same city. I finally found her mom and we emailed. She allowed Brittany and I to exchange a few emails that lasted about a week, and then her mom ended the contact. Brittany told me that her mom was afraid she'd love me more than her.

I can't proclaim to fully understand all the fears that come along with being an adoptive parent, but I can only imagine that they're horrific. With no blood ties, there has to be a fear that never goes away for her mom.....just like there's a pain that never goes away for me. So I don't judge her mom. I'm thankful for the few emails that we did get to exchange....it's more than a lot of biological parents get.

The last I heard, Brittany was praying for a softball scholarship to go to the college she likes the most, in another state. I really don't know if I'll ever talk to her again. I know the possibility is always there, and if it happens, I'll welcome it. If not, I'll learn to live with it, and be thankful that we had just enough exchanges in that one special week for her to know that I never hated her...I was just too young, naive, and I thought at the time, incapable of taking care of her the way her adoptive parents have.

She's got a great life that's been filled with lots of opportunities and extra-curricular activities that I doubt I would have ever been able to provide her with. She has two loving parents who think she's the most precious jewel on this earth....so really, what more can I ask for? I thank God that she's alive, and well, and thriving....and I have hope that she will make much wiser choices at the tender age of 18 than I did. Happy Birthday Brittany....I love you.


  1. Hugs to you on your daughter's birthday, Tammy.

  2. Tammy, I know how tough this is. It's been my experience (and the experience of other adoptees) that ofttimes the reality of reuniting is very different than the dream. I met my adoptive mother. I also met sisters who'd been adopted out into other families. I think we all started out with the idea that even though we didn't all grow up together, that there would be this bond... and at first it seemed that way. Then a few years went by, and we found that we really didn't have all that much in common. We've all fallen out of touch, and even though I think of them from time to time, most of what I miss is what I thought we could have had rather than what we had.

    Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to let go. You did that 18 years ago... and I'm sure Brittany is very aware of what an act of love that was.

  3. Hi Tammy. This is a very beautiful post. I'm sure your daughter has some understanding of what you went through way back then. She obviously has very loving adoptive parents who have taken good care of her - and that is lucky. Very lucky.

    I think you are very brave with this and in not trying to push for contact. I really feel that at some point in the future you will have the opportunity to reconnect with her.

    And your love for her is always there in her life whether you are in contact or not. That is incredibly important. It exists whatever.

    Well done for writing this.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  4. Tammy,
    My tears are falling like a water fall. Thank you so much for sharing your story about you daughter. I believe you will have your chance to be her mom. The best thing you could have ever given her was "life". Stay strong it will work out for you and her.

  5. Oh Sweetie! My heart hurts for you. I have never been in that situation, but I am sure it's been a painful road. When you do feel like sharing with us, know we are here to support you and to listen. Thank you for having the courage to write about this.

  6. What a lovely post Tammy. I'm glad you had that special week.

  7. Oh Tammy, what a wonderful post. I can't imagine what you're feeling, having never been through it, but it's obvious that you care about your daughter.

  8. Hugs to you, Tammy. At least you know that your sacrifice was worth it. She has a good life. Maybe in years to come, she will want to be a part of your life, too. You are a brave and loving person!

  9. Tammy,
    I just want to give you a big hug. God bless you and your daughter.

  10. Oh Tammy...much love to you. I hope you are able to find closure somehow. We're all here for you...

  11. You may never have cleaned her scaped knee, scared away the monsters in her closet, nor taught her to tie her shoes, but the gifts that you have given her with your decisions - both then and now - make you a wonderful and loving mother. Hugs!

  12. Tears falling here, so want to give you big hugs. You wonderful brave and giving woman, the more I get to know you the more I love you. None of us can ever know the feeling you have in your heart and the memories that still tear you apart.
    Though we do know you are an AMAZING woman.If Brittany is anything like her beautiful birth mother she is going to be a Fanatistic human being.

    Love and hugs


  13. Thank you for this beautiful heartfelt post, Tammy. What came to mind as I read it was that this is the kind of situation that in entirely unpredictable. Once Brittany is a little older and more settled in young adulthood, she may well decide to reconnect with you, esp. given that she's expressed interest all ready. My Episcopal priest sister in law uses a term I love...we live into the next thing that comes along. How true, but not easy. I celebrate your courage all those years ago, your grace in understanding what the adoptive mother may be going through, and your wisdom in striving to accept this all as it will play out. Thanks for sharing this with us, Tammy.

  14. Happy birthday to your special daughter...

    When I was 15 I feel pregnant - my mom wanted me to have the baby adopted or worse aborted...thank goodness my granddad stepped in and said that a child is a gift from God - so the abortion was cancelled. I'm so thrilled as she is 31years old today - a beautiful woman and she has given me the most precious gift...my little 9 month old grandson.
    Life has a way of working out for us all.

  15. Wow Tammy, that was powerful. And I believe anyone reading this post would understand and identify with the different emotions. What I don't get though is the adoptive mother's selfishness. I'm sorry. Her decision to allow contact and then strip it away because she feared her adopted daughter might eventually love you more? That's ridiculous! The heart has an enormous capacity to love - to love many different people, and many different ways. There's room for everyone and Brittany deserves the option to discover and develop a relationship with you, her birth mother. Here's another news bulletin... as an adult, Brittany can choose who she wants in her life. I hope you exchanged enough information so she can search you out when the time is right. I'm absolutely positive she will.

  16. Be extra kind to yourself in honor of the special day and the gift you gave and received.
    Lots of love.

  17. Oh Tammy! I wish there was something I could say to help ease your pain. Im praying for you!

  18. Tammy, my hear goes out to you! Although I have never gone through the decisions you haev had to make, my best friend in HS did. She gave her baby up for adoption when she was 15 years old. I know to this day, she always thinks of her little girl (she has 3 kids she is raising now) and has a feeling of loss in her heart even though she knows she did the best thing for her at the time.
    Also, my daughter bff is adopted. Her mother lives in the same town as we do, and her adopted mom agreed for her to met her biological mom 3 years ago when she was 13. She does stop by and see her biological Mom now, and it tears her adoptive moms heart apart. I can't say I understand it (I know the girl loves her Mom forever, but a part of her wants to know her biological Mom and be a part of her life too), but I guess it is something you can only know if you go through it yourself.
    I pray that someday, the day will come when you can get to know your daughter ((((hugs))))

  19. I was never adopted like that...but I never met my biological father until I turned 18....up to that point I had though he hadn't wanted me. Then I got to talk to him. He told me that every year on my birthday, he would drive by my house and wonder how I was doing. I can't tell you how that helped to right alot of my preconcieved notions about how loveable I was or wasn't. It healed soemthing in me. She's 18 now and if she wants to talk to you, and you want to talk to her. There is nothing standing in your way. Maybe its time you healed wounds on both sides. Nothing good comes of leaving something unfinished..imo.
    I hope you are able to heal.