Thursday, August 30, 2012

The What If's ARE Killing Me!!!

The what if's ARE killing me!!

I lost my daughter to adoption 24 years ago and I can't stand by quietly and allow it to keep us separated.

Yes, a friend of mine reached out to her when she was 18.  It freaked her out and I still feel guilty about that, but the silver lining...she knew about the MySpace I had once just for here.

She (and her friends) visited the MySpace page often before I had to shut it down.  Ashley once posted about reading my stories and she really liked them...and she really liked me!!

People she knew would cross my path over the years.  I'm not talking about one friend, I'm talking about several people!!  One of them use to be my HR Manager when I worked in Corporate America.  The HR Manager had told me about how open Ashley was about being adopted and then she would tell me the Adoptive Mom's reaction.  The Adoptive Mom would say mean, nasty things about Ashley's Birth Mother...Me.

I sent Ashley a message on facebook, no response.  I sent a follow up a couple of months later, no response.  I can deal with her saying "piss off" or "I'm not ready", but it is being ignored that is killing me!!  My personality is a little too big to be ignored, which is probably why my friends and family are shocked that I haven't done anything more.

Until yesterday...

I had decided I was going to send her a handwritten letter.  I got a hold of my girlfriend Jennifer who plays my devil's advocate when it comes to Ashley.  I wanted to use a legitimate search company online to provide me the mailing address for Ashley in California.  Jennifer told me to give her a couple of hours, she was going to check the databases she has subscriptions for.  So I waited...

Jennifer asked for a few more pieces of info.  I gave it to her along with the parents, their biological daughter's name and their address.  So again, I wait...

A couple of hours later I get a text from Jennifer to call her, so I did.

We decided it would be best to send a letter FedEx (with a paid return FedEx envelope) to Ashley's work.  Since everything leads to the Adoptive Parents home address it would be less "creepy" to send it to her work, if I were to send it to her home she will probably freak out since her Adoptive Parents have gone to great lengths to show that Ashley "still lives" in her childhood home.  Ashley's work info was super easy to locate, and the info is publicly available, so after the initial shock wears off then she would see how she got the letter at her work.

Jennifer found the Adoptive Dad on facebook.  I went through his very public page and found tons of pictures of Ashley, even her college graduation pictures.  I started to get concerned, everything was about Ashley.  To any unknown person it would look like she was a true Daddy's Girl, but to me it looks like she was a great piece of property he had purchased.  It made my stomach turn.  Is she some piece of property they own?  I wanted to hurl!!!

I have been told by the people who have crossed my path that Ashley and I were so much alike, right down to our speech and personality.  If this is true then I really am concerned.  If we are so much alike then how is she handling not being her true self?  Or have they been conditioning her since the "gotcha day" that they own her and any thoughts of being who she really is won't be allowed.  These thoughts made me sick.  I can't think about that right now...I need to focus on the letter.  That concern can be pushed aside until that bridge has been crossed.  No need to put the cart in front of the horse.

Jennifer also found the Adoptive Mom on facebook, her profile was somewhat private so there wasn't much info on Ashley to get.  I told Jennifer I wasn't going to focus on what the Adoptive Mom had said to me, I was going to go forward telling myself that she is afraid I will try to take her place...which I am not.  She raised Ashley, the title of Mom belongs to her.  Jennifer said the woman appears crazy, and not a fun crazy either.  Yes, from the things I have heard about the Adoptive Mom I am led to believe that something might be off with her.  I told Jennifer that before I ever crossed paths with HR Manager I held Ashley's parents in my heart.  I will still hold them in my heart, I will embrace them...because that's just how I am.  If the Adoptive Mom really is "off" then I will corner her and give her a big squishy hug.  If she is insecure then that is not my fault, I will be the bigger person.

Jennifer agrees with my gut feeling on all of this.  The Adoptive Parents are my roadblocks.  It is a huge possibility that the Adoptive Mom is placing ginormous "Jewish Mom" guilt trips on her.  I will proceed, I will go around the roadblocks.  I will not be the one to make Ashley feel guilty, I will not make her feel like she has to choose.  Ashley has a right to know her history, know where she came from, she has a right to know her true self.

No, guilt trips are not my style. 

After searching all of the social media and internet search engines I was able to get enough information for my next step.

What leaves me feeling sad is Ashley's Adoptive Parent's biological daughter.  It looks like she grew up in Ashley's shadow.  Almost like the parents view her as "not as good" as Ashley.  I hope I am wrong with this one, no one deserves to be compared to someone else.  Their daughter is her own person and she should be loved for who she is.

I can not think about the Adoptive Parents right now, or the sister, or anything else that will cloud my thoughts with sadness and heartache.  I will only focus on reaching out one more time, showing nothing but love, acceptance, understanding, and respect.

So now I must start writing out my draft letter...


Rebecca Hawkes said...

I hope you get a positive response! Write that letter from your heart but also be sure to include a clear request for communication. In my second letter to my bdad I asked him to at least let me know that he had received the letter, if nothing else. I needed to know for sure that my letter had made it to him. I guess if you're sending it fed ex someone will have to sign for it, but it could be someone else in the company. I think it's fair to ask that she at least give you some indication of where she stands with all this, even if it's just "I'm sorry I can't deal with this right now." I hope you get a different response than that, but anything has got to be better than silence. Good luck!

Sara said...

Good for you for finding an address that will allow Ashley to receive her letter not under the noses of her parents in case that is an issue for her! Good luck with the draft. I agree with Rebecca in asking her for a response one way or the other! Keep your readers posted.

Real Daughter said...

"What leaves me feeling sad is Ashley's Adoptive Parent's biological daughter. It looks like she grew up in Ashley's shadow. Almost like the parents view her as "not as good" as Ashley. I hope I am wrong with this one, no one deserves to be compared to someone else. Their daughter is her own person and she should be loved for who she is."

This is so observant, and in my case, it is very true. I was their "chosen child". (barf) I could do no wrong in their eyes. (well, until I went and got myself knocked up, lol) I was also their property, and even as a middle aged woman now, I am still viewed as their property.

My a sister (their bio kid) lost out. She was forever being compared to me, and it was not fair to her. She suffered in her own way- seeing the negative ramifications of adoption in me, as well as our brother, who is also adopted.

But as you said, don't think about it. This is about you and your daughter, and no one else. I hope everything works out well, and she contacts you soon.