When I travelled to meet the family in New Brunswick the first thing my mother told me when I stepped from the plane was how she had believed she would be able to keep me. However after the delivery, she was forced to sign papers, not realizing she was releasing me for adoption. My father called her after the birth and the first question he asked was, "So, where's the baby?"
My parents were too young to understand that with no help from their immediate families, the Catholic Church would intervene and make the decision for my future.
My biological parents believed for years that I must be somewhere in St. John. But alas I lived everywhere but St. John - France, Labrador, Ottawa, Quebec and Vancouver. Imagine how we all felt meeting for the first time at the age of 27.
It took my mother several years to talk about her birth experience. When she did it seemed at least for me, to be more appropriate to express her story through poetry. When life is altered at the beginning - why not?
My natural parents and siblings have embraced me as one of the family. I'm grateful to the Regional Supervisor of the Adoption & Child Care Services in New Brunswick who took the time to relate as many details as she was legally allowed to in the 70's. I'm also grateful for my adoptive parents who loved me as their own and who made the decision to release my true identity.
Thank you for the invitation to share our adoption experiences.
Thanks also to Richard Wright for reminding adoptees and birth parents how overwhelming the experience can be when we look into the face of another human being for the first time and recognize our true selves.
Deborah Phillips, aka Anne Marie Whipple (birth name)
A girl, not a woman, she's sixteen, stands at the corner of a street outside a home, unlike ordinary ones, this place hides castaways.
This girl, not a woman, in the course of one week enters, delivers, and signs her baby away.
Then, suitcase in hand, she stands outside the home on Princess Street.
Outside the home On the corner of this street She stands, alone, shut out from the world And from her own identity, and asks "will someone come for me?"
Alone, shut out from the world, she stands, outside the home until wonder turns to real.
This girl, not a woman, she's sixteen, must leave this corner of the street.
I have found considerable hypocrisy in the English-speaking world; the handling of adoption is just one example. Perhaps it derives from Puritanical roots, perhaps more. And it permeates through other areas. I encountered an example when I recently applied for a passport for my 15-year-old daughter. After filling in her names, there is an item "surname at birth."
Presumably adopted children would have their surnames and given names changed. Sometimes stepchildren would have their names changed also.
My daughter and only child was born when I was 58. Before that I steadfastly refused adopting a child. I was willing to bring up a child in my family, as a foster parent; but I would want the child to keep his/her roots. Adoption is a fake.
R.S. Tse A turn for the worse
I used the Adoption Disclosure Agency to have a successful match with my birth mother. It only took one year. All went well with the meeting and over time a relationship occurred. Things took a turn for the worse on my side when I realized that I no longer felt comfortable with how the relationship was changing. I guess in time I realized that my adopted parents were my parents and I felt very awkward having my birth mother consider me her daughter. She was basically a stranger and as time went on I might have considered her a friend at best.
The article in Saturday's Focus hit a nerve with me at the start with the tag - "Adoption: A Father and Child Reunion." I want Richard Wright to know that even though he might have been the original father by birth, someone else has been doing a lot of hard work raising his son Graham. Whatever Graham has become today is through his upbringing and Mr. Wright can meet him and enjoy him but to call himself the father seems wrong to me.