September 25, 2008

Loose Threads

Some time ago, one of my children's first moms mentioned that she thought she had found her own first mom on MySpace. As in, the mother who placed her for adoption when she was a few days old.

I went to look at this woman's page once or twice. Her age was right. The state made sense. She wrote proudly of her children, but never mentioned just how many she has. She had a quote about not living with regrets. Her name was the same, but only if she kept her last name when she married. I don't know what sort of confirmation I expected to find.

Mostly I looked at her picture. "This is my child's grandmother," I thought. "Maybe. Huh."

We embraced open adoption hoping to ease the divisions that adoption imposes, to somehow contain them as fractures instead of breaks. We imagined an overlapping of families and unity between past and present. We didn't expect openness to bring the residue of closed adoption along with it. Family trees, already multiplied by two, further truncated and split. My children, coincidentally both second-generation adoptees, technically have sixteen grandparents* between them. We know fourteen of their names. They have met nine.

I sometimes imagine writing to this mystery woman smiling up from the scren. "Hello. I may be the adoptive mother of your grandchild through the daughter you placed for adoption..." I never would, of course. I know enough to realize how utterly inappropriate it would be. This is in no way my business. We used to talk about her first parents fairly frequently, but the last time I asked about her search, she cried. So for now I stay quiet.

Instead I click over to the MySpace page again while the rest of my house sleeps. I find it's now set to private. I wish I had copied it while I could.

* My parents (2), T's parents (2), their first dads' parents (2 each), their first moms' adoptive parents (2 each), their first moms' birth parents (2 each)

13 comments:

luna said...

how bizarre that you may have found her, but how sad that no one may ever know for sure.

Tammy said...

Both my kids are second-generation adoptees as well. But most likely, unless something changes the only grandparents they will know are Bug's First Mom's adoptive parents. I wish... oh I wish... it makes me profoundly sound at times, as you said to know that in all our attempts at openness, we will never know most of who they are. Some of it is that the tragedy of generational addiction has ravished their trees. It weighs heavy on me as I decide how to speak to these things. I would covet wisdom on this if anyone has any.

And thank you for sharing this. I often feel alone in our situation as it seems so unique from so many stories I hear. Thank you.

Lori said...

Wow, I wonder how common second generation adoptions are. I appreciate that my kids are blessed with double the family to love on them. Your kiddos are quadruply blessed (if that's not a word, it should be). I pray that your little one's first mom finds peace with her own birthfamily whether she connects with them or not.

Clementine said...

Last year I did some internet sleuthing and found a picture of one of Hester's brothers. I also found her grandmother's obituary notice. I printed out the pages, but I felt really bad about doing it. I wonder what Hester will think about those images when she gets older.

M de P said...

Wow. Sixteen grandparents! I am super impressed that they have met 9 of them! That is really excellent. Our child's first mom's parents both passed away. Her first dad is unknown. While little A will never meet her first grandparents, she does have her first grandmother's name. Someday, as our relationship blossoms, I would love to have pictures to show little A.

Portraits In Sepia said...

the internet era has changed everything hasn't it?

~Jess said...

That'd be crazy if you have indeed found her. That's really amazing that your children have met so many of their grandparents, and that they have so many people who all love them.

Here from ICLW

Mama Bear said...

so interesting

Marie said...

How lucky are your children that they have so very much family history. It may not all be the best but it is was contributes and I think that is great.

The Hultman's said...

Oh wow! I can only imagaine all the things you would want to say/ask. Great blog!

ICLW

nancy said...

That would be quite the email she'd get if you ever did email her! I got one of those. Well, kindof. A guy kept calling me and when I was finally home to get the call, this is what I heard "Hi. Your dad is my dad through an affair he had with my mom."

Um, whoa.


ICLW

CappyPrincess said...

The world is a small place - and getting smaller it looks like.


ICLW

ak_sapphire said...

what an amazing connection possibility. my DH was adopted, and as a couple we're beginning the adoption process ourselves. although my DH has never contacted his birth mother, and for some reason has no desire to, i'd really love to keep all lines of communication open for any of our future children. if only miss manners had included a chapter covering possible family of second generation adoptees.

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