An Adopted Daughter Reflects on Her Birth Mother’s Decision

by API Blog on September 20, 2014

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By Juliette Oase, retired API Leader from Portland, Oregon, USA

brokenheartMy adoptive dad spent years regretting that they had me call them “Mom” and “Dad.” He always said they should have just stayed “Uncle” and “Aunt.” He felt it would have made it easier.

I recently explained to my dad that I feel that was something that saved me. I always felt complete having a mom and a dad. I didn’t grow up feeling like an orphan, but like someone being raised by family. I had a mom and a dad. That was priceless for me.

When my birth mother died, she died. Memories of her are vague, but they stay in my heart. I still cry when I think of her, and I am crying as I write this.

I can’t imagine her last thoughts as she died, concerned for me. No doubt. She is gone, and I had to go on with my life. I was 2 years old.

I needed a mommy, and so my birth mother — with no other choice — chose my aunt to be my mom. It may be hard to swallow, as a mom yourself, reading that and thinking about your own child. But what is best for the child? Do we ever really know?

My mom never, ever took away from my birth mother. She always kept pictures of my birth mother around, and we always talked about her.

I know for years my mom may have felt she lived in my birth mother’s shadow, never living up to a memory.

My mom was only 25 when she took me in. A brave lady, who just desperately wanted to be a mom and knew she would never conceive. I don’t know if she would have done things differently. But as an adult going back to that brave lady at 25, I would ask her not to change a thing.

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