BIO: My name is Maria, I am 51 years old. I grew up in Southern Ireland, and moved to the UK when I was 19. I am a teacher, my specialty being autism .I have 2 children, and an amazing grandson who lives with me. My adoptive mum still lives in Ireland and I go back there as often as I can. I am divorced and love being an independent strong woman. Being adopted troubled me all my life but I am at peace now.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ADOPTED?
My name is Maria…
I was adopted at the age of 6 weeks old from a mother and baby home in south east Ireland. My adoptive parents couldn’t have loved me more and I had a ‘happy’ childhood, except that for as long as I can remember I had an identity complex. I never felt like I really ‘fit in’. Like I never had any real sense of belonging.
I had 2 children of my own, first a daughter, then a son. My wish/ need to find my birth mother was more intense after I had my own children. I tried tracing my birth mother when I was 15. The mother and baby home I was adopted from was run by nuns and one of the nuns went to visit my birth mother. I wasn’t allowed to know who or where she was.
They knew and I didn’t.
That was the first I experienced of having no rights. My birth mother said via the nuns that she didn’t want to meet with me as she had a lot of problems in her personal life and that she would contact me when the problems were resolved. I felt angry and upset but resigned myself to thinking/ hoping and praying that one day the phone would ring and it would be her .
That day never came.
I got on with my life, always smiling, always pretending I was fine. I studied to become a primary school teacher and eventually went on to work with special needs children, Autism being my specialty.
In my twenties I suffered from depression, it just descended upon me, from out of no where. They said it was clinical and probably hereditary. More than ever I wanted to find my birth mother. I felt pathetic sometimes. I had children of my own, I was a loving and supportive mum to them, and yet the child inside of me was screaming silently for my own birth mother. I never thought much about my birth father.
The years went on, the trials and tribulations of life made me stronger.
Finding my birth mother was always on my mind but it didn’t weigh as heavy as when I was younger. I knew it was something that I had to distract myself from. I prioritized the family that I had and lived for them. I am a workaholic and always stay busy. I have to have structure and routine .
A year ago, having found out about a new freedom of information act. I finally traced my birth mother. I found out her name, date of birth, home address, everything!!! My real name, my birth weight and my birth mothers marriage certificate. She married when I was 3 , but not to my father. I found her granddaughter on Facebook and there were a lot of picture of my mother.
It was surreal!
I made contact with her granddaughter and explained who I was. In hindsight this wasn’t the right way to approach it all, but I was overwhelmed and not thinking straight. I didn’t tell anybody else. Her granddaughter passed on the message to my birth mother, but she wasn’t ready to meet me. Eventually after 7 months , she agreed to meet with me. I have lived in the UK for 22 years. My birth mother still lives in Ireland. I grew up about 30 miles from where she lived. I traveled to Ireland to meet her. We met in a hotel. Her daughter, my half sister came with her.
I was alone.
My birth mother looked shocked/ emotional, just for a second , when she first saw me but she very quickly composed herself. I gave her a hug. She resisted. It was awkward. I didn’t know how to act or what to say.
She started the conversation with “what do you want?”
I said ” I just wanted to meet you ,to know who you are, to see your face.”
She said “well you know who I am now, you’ve seen me. Now will you please go away and leave me alone?”
I felt sick. I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach. I couldn’t believe she was saying what she was saying. I though I was going to cry but I kept it back. She told me not to cry, she said she made a decision when I was born that she didn’t want me, and that she still didn’t want me. She asked me if there was anything I wanted to know medically. She mentioned that her eyesight was bad and she had arthritis and a history if depression. I asked who my father was. She shrugged her shoulders and said she didn’t know.
She said she had to take a Valium to meet with me.
The meeting was short.
Her daughter said something to me.I cant remember or didn’t hear what she said.
I just took my bag and got up to leave.
I walked away.
Neither of them came after me.
I just left the hotel and wandered aimlessly.
It was probably the most painful moment of my entire life.
My phone rang. It was my son. He didn’t know where I was. I told him I was at a conference and he just rang to see how it was going. His voice saved my heart. My boy. My family. I had so much love in my life. I phoned my adoptive mother and I phoned my best friend and told her everything. I’m OK now. That was the end of October 2016. I have no regrets that I traced my birth mother. At least I know. I am not at all like her and there was no connection. I have her hands & I never liked my hands. Her granddaughter looks a lot like my daughter.
There’s not a lot more I can say.
Life goes on.
I am blessed to have the family I have.
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