Just found your website, and wanted to take you up on your suggestion
of submitting my story. My son was born on January 1, 1968, too early
for the radical changes that took place in the 70s. Instead, I was made
to feel that I would be punishing him by keeping him with me. I was
told that he would be ostracized and labelled by the other kids. My
family said I couldn't come home if I kept him. I was told that I wouldn't
be able to find a job in my field of teaching, which was all I was prepared
for, and that no man would ever want me since I was "damaged goods."
I was already feeling extremely unlovable since the dad had turned his
back on me and the baby, and my family was threatening to do the same.
I wondered if I had the psychological strength to be a good mom for
He was born in a home for unwed mothers. My experiences there were mixed.
We each had jobs in the home -- laundry, cleaning, kitchen, etc. Mine
was to work in the nursery with the babies that had not yet left for
their new homes. I found it very comforting to take care of them. Each
baby had a unique personality, even as newborns. I loved holding them
on top of the shelf created by my own huge stomach, on top of my own
baby growing inside me, and rocking them for as long as I could, until
the nurses would encourage me to go do something else for awhile. I
didn't think, at the time, how horrible it was that these babies spent
so much time each day in their bassinets instead of in a mother's arms.
I just felt like they needed to be held. I also fed and bathed them,
and even suctioned one when I found her choking in her crib and the
nurse wasn't around.
We had group sessions with a social worker. During one, I told the group
that I didn't want to give birth, that I was dreading delivery because
as long as the baby was inside me, he was my baby. After he was born,
he would be someone else's son. One of the girls commented that I kept
saying "he" and I told them I knew it was a boy, and described
what he would look like. When he was born, he fit the description perfectly!
I held him, fed him, bathed him, rocked him, told him how much I loved
him and that someday, somehow, I would hold him again. It wasn't until
after I left the home that I realized that searching for him wouldn't
be fair to his adoptive parents. It would be selfish for me to intrude
and disrupt that home. For that reason, I haven't approached him. I've
always left a trail for him to follow if he wants to find me. I hope
I have searched enough to know that three baby boys who were born on
the same day in the same city were given up for adoption, and I have
those three names. He will turn 35 on his next birthday. I am trying
to build up enough courage, and rationalize away the feelings of guilt
related to intrusion enough to find addresses for the three and to send
a card to each saying that I might be the natural mom, that I have always
loved my son, and that I would be willing to establish contact. I'm
not sure I can find that courage. Wish me luck!