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
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.
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.
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.
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.