I would describe my experiences in terms of pregnancy and motherhood post relinguishment 43 years ago as the tragedy of my life. After getting married within a few years ( to a different man than the father of my baby ) I remember very clearly crying episodically about the loss and persistent pain of 'losing ' my baby . My spouse said " Well, we could have a baby " . I responded " No, I don't want another baby ; I want the one I gave up ." It was as if no other would do .
Nevertheless over the next 20 years I lost several children through early miscarriages. Three of these miscarriages involved a 2nd marriage to a man with 4 children whom I mothered from early adolescence and continue to do so to this day . They all were troubled children who became emotionallly troubled adults . I put a lot of work into being a caring step-mother to these needy children and was glad to do so. I have wondered at times if at some unconcious level I was doing so because it was a way of ' making up ' for the wrong I had done by ' abandoning my baby '.
I see the fact of my not having any other viable biological children as a " self-fulfilling prophecy " because I believed that God would not allow me to have other children because of the severe wrong I had done.
In conclusion , despite having a productive and fullfilling life I have carried a low-level depression since giving my child up and continue to long to hold that infant baby .
Concerning the question about the statement " Under no circumstances should a birthmother search if there is any possiblity at all that she might abandon her child again " cause you not to search for your child . Absolutely not !
In fact I've been looking for my adult child ( what a misnomer ) for 25 years and have considered the circumstances that might lead me to reject my adult son again . Through these long years I have actively worked with my grief,and educated myself concerning the impact of adoption on members of the triad .I progressed from a long held belief that I would never reject him again because I owed him everything to realizing that in reality there could be no guarentee to this.
I recently located my son who is a very troubled adult . In fact he appears to fit excatly the picture of Verrier's " compliant " adoptee . I am very committed to the process of trying to establish a healthy relationship with him but recognise full well that there is no guarentee regarding the ultimate outcome. I am willing to go through the storms , take some hits ( already have actually ) and suffer in hopes of facilitating an eventuall healing and more hopefulll life for him . However I also recognize that it is also up to him and the choices he makes over time .
My response as a birth mother to Nancy Verrier's book " Primal Wound..." follows :
I have purchased 3 copies of this book over the last 15 years and have been unable to read it till just recently , ie after finding my son.
I had read several excerpts and reviews through the years but could not face my own painful reponses to her apparent truths. Now that I have experienced some of them directly post reunion I am reading her work to better prepare myself to be an understanding , caring, accepting and hopefully unconditionally loving birth mother to my son .
I do not think that Nancy Verrier's ( though well intentioned ) admonition to not search for your child if there is any possibility that you could reject your abandoned child again is reasonable. As the questioner suggests , there are no quarentees in life . One cannot control the future .
To continue to the next leg of this book tour, please visit the main list at The Open Adoption Examiner.