A young girl finds herself pregnant. The year could be anywhere between 1940’s-1970’s. She is unmarried. She is scared. If her parents know, she is sent away to a home for unwed mothers…a home filled with strangers. A home run by nuns. A home filled with other pregnant girls. No support of family. But sent away out of embarrassment and shame. During her pregnancy at this “home” she is told over and over again that this baby will be adopted, life will go on and they will resume their life like nothing happened. The are “brainwashed” to believe they will NEVER see this baby again, that this is the ONLY way and there will NEVER be contact with this child again. There is no choice. There is no keeping their baby. The young girl gives birth and is returned back to her family as if nothing ever happened. This young girl goes thru her life knowing and BELIEVING that their baby is gone, never to be seen, heard about and to be convinced to not even think about it. The baby will NEVER know this young girl and vice versa. All paperwork and proof of this birth is locked away. In a way there is no evidence of a birth even happening.
Life goes on for this young woman. She finishes school, perhaps goes onto college, gets married etc. All the while burying that dark secret somewhere deep in their soul. After all, they were convinced to the point of belief that their child is gone. They were convinced to never think about the child and that they would have more children when the time is right.
Imagine yourself at say 17… you are young, naïve, pregnant and been shamed by your family because you had sexual relations before marriage. You are sent away. You are brainwashed into knowing this baby is a thing of the past and get on with your life. You bury that event in your life and move forward. As if you are throwing a sweater into the Goodwill bag. You believe that with all of your being. No one counsels you on the grief and loss, no one even talks about it because you are supposed to just forget about it.
Life moves forward. This young girl is now grown and married and has a family of her own. She may have told her husband about the child she had. Maybe she hasn’t. After all she was brainwashed into forgetting about it. She has children of her own. Her children grown into young adults. By now times are changing. Teen pregnancy is looked at in a whole different way, open adoptions are more of an acceptable way of life, and these babies that were born back in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s are now young adults. While the mother of these babies were brainwashed into forgetting – these now young adults are grown and wondering about where they came from, medical history and finding that missing piece of their life puzzle. DNA kits are the new thing and people can be tracked down easily.
With all these new changes and acceptance of teen pregnancy…memories start to flood back for the young woman. Her thoughts go to “Maybe I could actually find my child” or “What if my child finds me?”. This secret that has been buried for decades needs to come out. In some cases the secret when told can be a beautiful story, other times it can be traumatic and filled with pain and loss that has been buried. Think of how that pain and loss must feel like….and knowing that their is a tiny glimmer of hope meeting that child? Where there was one no hope, there is now. So many emotions and feelings whirling inside the mind of this woman. She never told her own children or perhaps husband because she was told to bury it and put it in the past and leave it there. That there was no hope or future connected with that child. Why bring it up now? It has no impact on her current life and family. It was in the past.
I have heard so many stories from women in this situation…women who now have the chance to find their birth child and the birth child to find them. So they decide to tell their own adult children – because the past could actually surface…when for most of their lives they believed it never would. They tell their family because they need the support . The part in all of this that actually shocks me to my core – are these now adult children of the woman that turn on their mother because they make it about them. They feel betrayed, lied to and sometimes the relationship is broken. Can you feel shocked? yes. Can you feel surprised? yes. Can you maybe feel hurt you didn’t know? of course. But what you can not do is to make it about YOU. You are allowed to have your feelings.
Do you know the pain and hurt your mother went thru all these years? Being told to get over it all and move on? Losing a child that she carried for 9 months – that was part of her…to “just forget it”. That grief is so deep when it surfaces. So if it has surfaced and she is brave enough to tell the story to those closest to her – that takes a lot of courage. This event happened way before you in another lifetime. It is your mom’s secret – a secret that she was brainwashed into keeping and forgetting about. She never thought she would have to or need to tell this deep dark hidden secret…but times have changed with technology, social media and DNA. These babies that were once “whisked away” are now looking for their birth moms. That is a huge life changing event that brings up so many emotions and feelings that have been buried for decades! This is the time your mother needs you.
Also when there is reunion with woman and her birth child….it is overwhelming and life changing. That woman needs all the support she can get – she never had it back then. She NEVER in a million years thought even the idea of a reunion was possible. Think of how that child feels too…meeting a woman that also has a family. Where does this child fit in? Will this child be accepted? Just SO MANY things to think about. So many layers of emotions and people involved.
This part of the woman’s life happened so long ago – when she was too young to make any kind of decision and really had no choice like we do today. Just stop and put yourself in her shoes before you make a move. Listen to her and be there for her. Give your mother grace, love and support.