Life After Placement

Secrets and Lies

I am guilty! I have carried a secret and lied about it for 28 years. As a birth mother and my choice to place, I did what I thought was best for my child. Right or wrong, it was my choice. I will do my best to explain, without going into too much detail.

I placed without stating who the birth father was. I did, however, tell him I was pregnant - and he couldn’t face me. His parents on the other hand, did what they could to offer support. His mother told me that there are other women who claimed to be pregnant with his children. WHAT???

His parents talked to me a few times after that first meeting. I remember one time when they invited me for dinner and a movie at their house. During the movie their son passed me by without a word. His mother told him to say hello and not to be rude. He did say hello but rushed out the door to visit with his friends and his life seemed untouched with the news. At that moment, I realized I didn’t want him to be a part this child’s life.

After Placement, I met with the birth father and gave him a small picture of her and said I had placed her. He didn’t seem upset or mad. He just said, “Well, you look good; and I hope for best.” Later his mother called me. She very was upset to say the least! I didn’t blame her, but this was not her choice. I also didn’t want them the challenge my choice.

I told them that I placed with an agency and it was a closed adoption. I also stated that the family was in Florida. (Long story as to why Florida.)

When reuniting, as every birth mother will have to deal with, is what about my birth father? I told her what little I knew about him and that the sex was not consensual. I also told her that I lied to him about her placement and why. Even her adoptive parents did not want her to know about him or his name. I have kept that secret for many reasons. I knew at some point she would go looking for him.  

As time passed, she would ask questions and I would again try to express why I made my choice but kept his information from her. In the beginning of our relationship, I had seen her dealing with drugs and other problems. He also was struggling with drugs. I felt that two drugs addicts would not mix well nor help each other. I also, wanted a relationship with her that felt solid. I would try my best to let her know the good attributes she got from him. Nothing more.

In a short time, four grandchildren came into the picture with four different fathers. Still, another unstable relationship, no stability in her life, she would ask me again and again who he is. Right or wrong, I choose not to tell her his last name. She did go looking for him, but I knew she couldn’t find him. (Crazy but, he and his family lived just blocks for her parents’ home.)

Nine years ago, I did call him for some personal information. He was nice and pleasant but didn’t really want to talk. He cut the conversation short because he was meeting up with some friends and had to go. 24 hours later his parents called me. They apologized for the last conversation and wanted to know about the grandchild. Again, I didn’t feel it was right for them to get involved with all the problems she was dealing with, let alone their son. So, I stayed committed to the lie.

Every once and awhile I would Google him to see what trouble he was into. The drugs were getting worse and this would only confirm I should keep this secret.

This year I was invited to a fellow birth mother’s wedding. She was also an adoptee; and was marrying the birth father of her twin boys. The wedding was beautiful! Her birth father, birth mother, adopted parents and the adoptive parents of the twin boys were there. It was an adoption dream wedding! Then it hit me again! Should I contact the birth father? This has, in a way, haunted me for a long time.

Well it was less than a week later I just couldn’t take it anymore. The nagging thought worked its way into another google search. In the second result, up came his obituary picture! I can’t tell you in words how or what I felt! It shell-shocked me! I opened my safe and pulled all the information I had on him. Called his cell number, as if this was really a joke. Called his stepfather, no answer! So, the last person I contacted was his mother. I messaged her on Facebook with just a few words.

“Me” - This is Lynea. Sorry to bother you, but I just saw the news about your son. I am so sorry.

I really did not think she would reply or if she was big into Facebook, but she did!

“Grand Mother” - Lynea, I’m so glad you contacted me. I tried to call you, but the number I has was bad. I lost my husband in September of 2015 and my son February of 2018. I’m all alone now, and it’s hard. Where are you living now? I hope your life is good and happy!! Have you heard from your daughter? I still have her picture and would love to meet her, do you have contact with her or know anything about her? Thank so much for contacting me. Please call me.

Confused and still stocked. When my husband came home, and I explained everything and felt as if I was going to explode! Not really thinking, I replied to her…

“Me” - I am so sorry. I live in Utah now. I would love to talk with you. There is a lot we should talk about. Some more in person. Call me anytime. May I ask how he died?

“Grand Mother” - Suicide

“Me” - Oh, I am so sorry.

“Grand Mother” - When would be a good time to call you?

“Me” - Anytime

“Grand Mother” - Now?

“Me” - Sure

It was screaming through my mind, “Is this really happening!?” My voice was shaking as the phone rang. I knew that I had to tell her the truth about the adoption but, NOT on the phone! She asked some questions and I answered what I could. I asked again to speak with her in person. We decided to give each other a few weeks to let things settle down with all the news we shared.

Confession: When I talk about adoption relations, I know it is always best to be honest. I am now facing my past after 28 years. I needed birth fathers mother to know that I lied about my placement. “

Two weeks passed and she asked to come to my house and talk. I didn’t sleep all night! She is amazing! We have so much in common. As I struggled to find the right words to explain my choice, she very politely told me that the past can stay in the past. She gave me a chance to stop and I didn’t take it, I wanted her to know. She was very kind to me about my choice. She may not have known it, but she was able to give me closure. She let me know that her son was not in a good place the past 10 years with his battle with drugs. She told me he had a son by another woman.

At the end of our conversation, I reach behind the couch and gave her a framed photo of my daughter and the grand kids. Her adoptive parents always sent be small or crappy pictures of her and they were always late. I wanted her to have something more than I had from them, beautiful pictures that she would be proud to have.

The hard part was telling my daughter. I knew this would be hard for her, but she needed to know. I needed to give her the information of who her father was and his passing and then maybe introducing her to his mother. I knew from experience that she does not do well with bad news. She spins out of control for a while until she finds a good place. She would also expect empathetic favors.

It took almost a month to get her to commit to coming to my home and letting me have her time for 48 hours. This would help me help her, or so I thought. I was not going to tell her on the phone or through texting. My husband with the help of our son, made plans to watch the kids while I tell her the news. She came up and handed me the kid’s clothes and then the car seat. I asked her, “why are you giving me the car seat, are you not staying?” She said “No, just the kids.” This was not what we agreed to, but she fled using her arsenal of excuses.

She did not answer her phone nor text messages. It was 24 hours until she showed up. It was late, and I was so upset I couldn’t talk. We had the kids in bed, and I took a good look at her and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this without just vomiting it out.”  

I told her everything. She cried and started to text her friends. She asked if she would leave to grab a Coke and breath of fresh air. She was angry and she had every right to be. She blamed me for not telling her his last name so she could have met him. She hated that I had spoken with his mother.

The next morning, she was blaming me again. I took the responsibility of not telling her his last name but nothing more. This was the only secret I kept from her. I knew she would do this. Later that afternoon, we went to a store without the kids. She seemed a bit more settled, but she still was upset. She did agree that I was right about how she would react and confirmed that she was doing drugs.

The birth father’s mother later decided she would like to meet her granddaughter, so arrangements were made by her through texting. She was offered my attendance to avoid an uncomfortable situation and she agreed it would be better. But somehow, she then turned on me saying I had to oversee everything. This of course was through text and she got totally belligerent and crude calling me several of her disgusting pet names. When her newly found grandmother read this, she elected to postpone the meeting and sent my daughter and I a text stating she needed to cancel the date. My daughter thought the text came from me and went to the meeting only to find no one there. It was a very poor start to something I expected to be a gift to my daughter.

This will be a struggle for a while. I found such love and respect for the birth father’s mother. I don’t regret my choice, or how I have handled it. I found closure with letting out the secret and no longer committed to a lie. I was surprised that after all this time in my placement that I have a place in my heart for her. How amazing it is that through a death came this kind of love for someone. I can only pray that my daughter finds that too.

I hope whom ever reads this understand that placement is a lifelong struggle. It just doesn’t stop after signing the papers. It is life and we can more forward, but we have those moments that hit us hard enough we must adjust. Collect our thoughts and emotions to move forward.

This is My Life After Placement.