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dear birthmother letters


Mother's Day
by Glen Frazer

As Mother's Day approaches this year, as it does every year, I dread it. I would like to crawl into a hole and cover myself until it passes.

I am eternally grateful to be the mother of my dearest Catherine.  She is the joy of my heart and the reason for my life. A joy that has been overshadowed, as she now knows, by the most terrible loss of another daughter, my first daughter.  The ghost of my first daughter has been present at every birthday, every Mother's Day, every Christmas and holiday.  Every cause for celebration holds a reminder that a member of my family is lost and missing.      

I am the mother of an child lost to adoption.  I was there the day my beautiful and precious daughter was born.  What an amazing experience to be there for the miracle of the birth of my first child.  Dark curls encircled her wet head.  With her deep intense dark eyes she searched for and found my own searching eyes.  She was immediately wisked off to the nursery for whatever hospitals do to newborns.  I was able to hold her once before she was taken into foster care, for that is what was done by adoption agencies in 1973.  I was able to hold Jennifer close to me again when she was 10 days of age.  I found the sheer joy of being in her presence as I pushed through my grief at knowing this would be the last time I would ever touch her, the last time I would ever smell the sweetness of her being.  We again locked eyes as she listened intently to my voice.  I spoke words of encouragement for her journey through life as I asked her to be obedient to her new parents.  

In those 10 days between the joy of birth and the devastating loss of my first born child, I was told repeatedly how thoughtless and inconsiderate I had been of my parents, that I had shamed them, my entire family and myself.  That I had hurt them deeply, but that they would let me come back home if I would do the right thing, the only thing possible in this most shameful situation that I put everyone in.   I was told repeatedly that I was too young to care for my child properly.  (They neglected to acknowledge that I would be 17 for only a few more months, that I would age each year like the rest of humanity!)  I was told that because I did not have a job, an income, and a home that I could not properly care for my child.  (They neglected to acknowledge that with my high school diploma already in my hand I would continue my education.  They were not able to see a future where I would begin a rewarding career as a nurse.)  I was told I was being selfish when I said I loved my daughter and would not let them have her.  They said I was proving just how immature and incapable I was of raising my daughter by insisting that I loved my child and would not let her have a better life than I could ever give her.  They told me that by resisting so long I was prolonging the damage I was doing to my daughter by making her suffer in foster care.  

I suffered the anguish of not knowing if my child was safe or alive for the next 27 years.  Every holiday has been a time of great sadness, not joy, as I know that a member of my family is missing.  Every Mother's Day is another 24 hours of intense longing for my first daughter.  It is the same longing I hold tightly locked in my heart since I last held my daughter. The adoption of my daughter is a shadow that is attached to my every step.  The continual ache in my heart was put there by adoption.  I did not and will not ever forget.  My life did not go on as it could have.  A vital part of my life stopped when my daughter was taken by adoption.

© Glen Frazer 2001

Glen Frazer is the list-moderator of the First Moms Action Group. She lives in California and still hears "Get over it!" from those around her - especially therapists - who do not understand that the pain of losing our children is unresolvable. Even in reunion, she still is exiled from the life of her daughter.

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