A year

People talk of loss as if the big milestone events end with adoption, and only the ramifications continue.

But the loss never ends; letters bring news of new happenings missed, our days are full of moments we wish could be shared, and decisions continue to be made outside our control.

This week marks a year since news came that CHTs Mother, who we had wanted to meet so badly, was dead; probably by her own hand.  In one swift blow the mystery of her Mother can never be unravelled, and is now heightened by the questions behind her death.

We are too late.

This little girl’s grief is profound and no words on this page can capture it.  Bereft, her Mother is gone forever from her reach, along with the answers to why; why their love and kinship was not enough to keep them together.

Surprised by the intensity of my own grief, I came to realize the strength of my bond and my love for this woman; in one sense her fiercest ally and champion.  I also struggled beneath the weight of my intense anger at her in the knowledge of the further devastation it would wreak on CHT, and my growing guilt from the unwitting role I played in the battles of her mind, now the war had finally brought her life to an end.

Mourning joined hands with a grief already felt, and this year has been long and hard.  In many ways we are stronger, stitched together as we try to make sense of this bombshell ripping through our already fragile lives, and again by the aftershocks it brought with it; we were not welcome at the funeral, nor included in the decisions of her estate, were not kept informed, nor recognized as family.   Outsiders once again, the very system that encourages open acceptance of the bonds to a birth family does not in equal measure acknowledge them by law.  Floundering in the complexity of a Mother’s death comforted in the arms of another mother, the people around us unwittingly denied her even the right to grieve.

It is not our way to remember a life through its death, but still we feel the need to mark this day somehow.  So with candles and a song we welcomed her in and remembered: a beloved, bittersweet woman who we knew and loved so well, but was a stranger to us.

AA, we know you suffered deep sorrow and regret at your mistakes, and there is no denying the pain that this caused.  But your little girl is here in my care, and she loves you very, very much.  I promise to always keep a part of you here and alive in me, to pass on to her every day, so she carries the best of us both in her precious heart.

21 thoughts on “A year

  1. I do know that feeling my parents died too,i found out when i went searching for them its so hard not having any answers to my questions

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, and for the mystery it leaves about yourself as well as never having the chance to meet them.

    I am just finding out that bereavement of this kind is shared by many, and it saddens me to my very core. Thanks you so much for taking the time to share with us; I will tell CHT she is not alone, and I know that will help. Mx

  3. There are a million things I could say, but none of them really matter. I’ll just say I’m so sorry. Sometimes, I think losing one’s family is the worst thing that can happen to a human being. And your daughter has lost hers how many times? I don’t have a word for how that makes me feel.

    I don’t know that I’m convinced adoption is ever necessary, but I do know that there are children who end up needing someone to love and care for them, and I wish that each of those children could have someone like you.

    I’m also SO thankful you’re keeping this public journal. Please touch as many as you can. Please share and educate and build community in any (every) way possible. Please give others hope.

    Good luck.

    • I am lost for words and deeply touched. I get so much wrong, all the time – but I try very hard to listen and learn and do the best I can by CHT, and by her Mother. Like you say, adoptees are hit with loss over and over again; it is so cruel.
      Reading your comment has brought tears to my eyes. I’m not sure I deserve such things, but I do feel a strong determination to share and do whatever I can to ensure change comes.
      Thank you Reenie, I am so glad to play some small part of such an amazing movement; you all inspire me so much Mx

  4. My son was born on the 3rd August 1981 which is the happiest day of my life and the most devastating. I knew I wanted to be a mother from the day I knew I was pregnant but quiet enough not to be bullied into having an abortion. That’s another story in itself. When my parents found out they were furious particularly my mother as she could force me to have an abortion . My parents then made all the arrangements for my son to be adopted before he was born.

    After he was born I saw the social worker from the adoption agency so I told her I wanted to raise my son. Thus started the lies from her along with the lies and bullying I suffered from my parents. I didn’t know my rights, didn’t see any paperwork, I didn’t even know I couldn’t consent to surrender until he was 6 weeks old. When my son was 6 weeks old I was told I couldn’t stop the adoption and my hold world collapsed. I emotionally shut down nor could I ever trust anybody,

    Over the years I have become severely depressed have self harmed although it’s under control at the moment. I have also tried to commit suicide. The closest I came to killing myself was in 1998 and I ended up having my heart monitored overnight.

    I have never gotten over my son being adopted. He also suffers with depression and has deep rooted adoption issues which he is in denial over. I found him in 2004 and always love him but we can’t have a normal relationship because of adoption.

    • Thank you for sharing your story with me, I am honoured. And saddened – how hard it is to navigate decisions such as these, and keep our heads above water. You are both strong, and in our mixed up, out of the ordinary families, we can only strive do our best for each other and find some sense of home. Mx

  5. I felt my tears running down my face as I read the first paragraph of your blog. I understand your daughters pain. I also lost my mother to sucide. I found out almost two years ago. The grief has been overwhelming and just when I think that maybe I’ll be ok, something triggers and it’s just as devastating as the day I learned. I wish I had the right words for you and your daughter. My heart goes out to you both.

    • I am so sorry. I have no words, except i know a little of how you must feel and share a knowledge – in my own way – of the overwhelming weight of a life story such as this. Thank you for coming here to share – thank you for your kindness Mx

  6. You show such incredible strength in the selfless inclusion you give to CHT’s birth family, It shows a love most pure. I think where possible this is how things should be, however I know it’s not easy for some or possible depending on circumstances. We were able to meet birth mum and I really liked her and felt deeply for the struggles she so obviously had and the hard decisions she made. My youngest looks very like her and when ever I glimpse that particular look which I know to be hers I tell him.
    Your story of loss is so incredibly sad and harsh because of the eternal uncertainty it creates. But you of all people I know will be able to find the path of least pain. I’m so sorry for your loss but thank you so much for sharing. Your voice needs to heard by many. xx
    Thanks for linking up to The Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

  7. ty for talking about this so realistically. My mother died from an OD of barbiturates 9 months after I was taken for adoption.. I have mourned her all my life. I knew she was dead but did not find out how she died till my 20s. It took many more years before I understood why. Last year, in the wake of the Senate Enquiry into Forced Adoptions here in Australia, was the first time anyone had expressed sorrow for my loss (o- but u had a mother didn’t u?)… apparently any mother will do.

  8. I am so sorry Kate, so sorry that not only do you have to carry the loss and the grief, but you have to carry it unrecognised and with understanding or compassion from society and the people around you. CHT has suffered this too. It mist be some small relief to have some real insight into ‘why’; we have been told there are poems, but are not allowed to see them. I am fighting this.
    This post has created such a reaction; I will have more to share soon,
    Thanks you so much for taking the time to comment. We care. Mx

  9. Beautifully written with such grace and eloquence. A profound account of death and loss and yet amidst the turmoil is a story of another mothers immense love and empathy. You are a very beautuful person. I hope you don’t mind that I share the blog link on my adoption network, http://www.TheMeInside.com

    • That’s very kind and much appreciated Jo – but i don’t want anyone under any illusions: it gets ugly in here sometimes! Thank your for sharing on TheMeInside – i look forward to finding out more. Mx

  10. Hello Mumdrah,

    I have been so touched by this amazing article and I would like your permission to reblog it?

    My child’s first dad committed suicide and I would like to discuss this, as well as your incredibly compassionate sentiments..


  11. I traced my birth parents april 2012 aged 33, I waited too long. I found my father and 11 days later he was the one who had to tell me my mum had passed away aged 46 from cancer in 2006.
    My heart is broken forever. I love my adoptive parents & they have supported me through all of this. Thank you for your blog, I have often spent a couple of hours googling “adoption, i found my mum had passed away etc” when I feel like my heart will explode with pain from the utter sense of loss of all the many events i had planned when i finally met the woman I dreamed about for so so long. All the questions, the chance to tell her i forgave her, loved her anyway.

    I read your blog and felt i wasn’t alone… that’s a rare feeling for an adopted person… even in a room full of people!

    Bless you and your family, thank you xxx

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