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Published Wednesday June 24th, 2009 at 12:06pm

Original Article by Kathy

Let me introduce myself. My name is Kathy and I am a birthmother from the era of "closed adoptions".

I have a strong personality and I feel that this trait is what has kept my sense of well-being alive. I am kind, funny, liberal, a strong protector, sensitive, and extremely loyal.
Sharing my thoughts about my role as a birthmother is an open opportunity for questions asked and more so answered. I believe there are no mistakes in life just lessons that we must and will learn. To make a mistake one has to know what they are doing and the lessons of life becomes what we learn and the discovery of who we are as an individual.

In the late sixties love (sex) , war, and peace were what we lived by. Not good. I was a young college student and thought I was in love. I became pregnant and thought that we would become a family but quickly reality set in as my boyfriend's father made sure that this was not to happen. "C" (birth-father) said goodnight to me as he dropped me off at my homew while telling me all will work out and to this day, 37 years later, I have never heard from him and strangely we still live in same town. I do not dwell but at times I wonder if he ever realized or cared what happened to me and more importantly his child.

Today, I take full responsibility of the loss that my daughter has experienced through-out her life time as part of the adoption triad, yet, I had no control over my options as a young girl. You see, our generation was not allowed the role of a single mother. As my preacher stated to me and this I have never forgotten his statement "only the good girls get caught". Such an ignorant statement. How I wish that I had courage, at that moment, in my life because it would have changed my life. I would have been able to say to my mother, my preacher, and mostly, to society that I am going to raise my baby. But, that moment did not occur which forever changed who I am and my history.

I would like to send a message to society. Even in these liberal times we live in there are still constant reminders of the ignorance of society. Labels are still attached to young pregnant unwed girls. Kindness and understanding disappears. There should be more individuals and agencies who assist, understand, and support. To pregnant unwed girls, do not let anyone tell you, you can not, because yes, you can. Do not let society convince that you can not be a good mother because this just isn't so. To love is to live. To let go is pain.

Yes, I believe, all birth records should be open to adoptees. Every person deserves to know who they are. Society has no right to deny one's right.

Yes, I searched and found my daughter in 1998. I always knew deep within that we would meet. What I was not prepared for was the possibility that I would loose her again. But, this time it was not by my choice but by her choice. At the beginning of my search I was not aware of the emotional damage that had been buried deep within my soul and by not knowing I am sure I pushed her away. I should have healed the young girl within myself before I introduced myself. Finding my daughter open wounds that I was not even aware of and it was not up to her to heal those wounds. Sadly, she chooses not to have a relationship with me.

Still, meeting my daughter and being able to hug her for one moment in time, is a wonderful feeling that is forever instilled in my heart and will never be lost. Seeing her was one of the greatest gifts in my life along with the birth of my two children that I raised. Life is bittersweet.

Adding the experience of hope and the priveleage to meet her adopted mother was very much a wish of mine. Sadly, she never wanted any contact with me and I feel that this caused interference with the possibility of a relationship with our daughter. I say this because I once wrote to her mother shortly after my mother passed away as I wanted her to know how much it meant to me to know that my daughter was loved so dearly. I said to her, It was I who gave her life but it is you who lives her life. I just wanted to give her my heartfelt thank you. Regardless, we are all connected. I never heard from her.

Of course, I felt shame, and most likely we as birth mothers have all felt shame at that same moment. Why else would we have relinquished our children. Blame - I live with it every day as this is the acceptance of why I am a birth mother.