Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Recently, July 2008, Families Supporting Adoption, hosted a regional conference in Bellevue. Part of my responsibility was to introduce the birth mother panels for each day. On Friday, a mother/daughter team from Oregon shared and Tara (my colleague and intern) with her mother spoke about their experience.

Oregon mom shared about the challenges of placing over 20 years ago and the painful feelings of the experience—especially knowing so little. She currently runs the birth parent group for her local agency and shared how difficult it was/is to go back and visit some of her feelings as she works with the birth moms. Her daughter placed two children in the last few years. Her story was told through mom’s experience (BM shy). One painful piece was the way people treated her daughter and as her mother not being able to do anything about what her daughter would experience through this experience.

Tara’s mom agreed that being the grandma was difficult and wishing she could do more to help her daughter. She talked of the struggles her daughter has had through life.
Tara placed over eight years ago and received very little letters/photos from her adoptive couple. Working with the birth moms through her internship has awakened feelings of grief and anger that she didn’t allow herself to feel before. “The pain (of placing a child) doesn’t ever go away, but it has gotten less over the years,” she shared. “I haven’t forgotten my child.” Her sadness comes from not knowing anything about her child. She told the audience to not be afraid of their birth mother, to support and love her. “We aren’t scary”, she said.

Both birth moms are now married. Tara has had a child since placement. The Oregon mom has a child and announced to her mom that she was expecting. Her husband will be getting on a submarine in a few days and going out to sea. Tell me that isn’t hard.

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