Skip to content

Thoughts prompted about two questions relating to issues arising in adoption.

14, December 2012

Just checking my Twitter messages I found myself opening links and at a web page of questions and comments about adoption related issues. I found myself responding to two and have copied them here for my future reflection on what this opinionated person thought and wrote today.

The question was,

My birth daughter’s Adoptive-mom (also my aunt) told me I can’t celebrate Mother’s Day?;_ylt=AkY49JNz7.b3i0JXey_tP9jty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20121213233550AAknNuP

My Answer:

I think Mother’s Day has different types of meanings and in different places at different times.

Here in England and the UK it is marked on the middle Sunday in Lent, (the six weeks before Easter). I am not completely understanding of its origins but it was to do with people being expected or encouraged to visit their mother church. People who worked in the service of the wealthy in great houses and estates were given that Sunday off to travel back home to visit their mother and it became a custom to gather spring flowers on the journey and present them on arrival.

As a child I attended a Sunday school at a Church of England Church that was not the principal church within the parish and each year we would process from our ‘daughter’ church carrying poses to the ‘mother’ church where a service of Christian worship was held. That was in the nineteen fifties in north east London, England. It was also the custom to buy a token present of affection and make a card to send to my own mother. I just did what was the habit, like everyone else without a lot of thought – my father made a thing about us doing the domestic tasks that day, rather than Mum, and that usually lasted until after breakfast!

As I got older, relationships between my mother and I became strained – I now realise we are (were in her case – she died in 2006 aged 79) both addicts and also dyspraxic (also known as developmental coordination disability [DCD]) and I felt it was hypocritical just to send a card as it was the culture – done thing – and I stopped it – she once told me she respected me for that).  Anyway I realised that Mother’s Day, like so many other holy days and special times has been high-jacked by commercial interests and are really just big spending times with advertisers encouraging us to feel it is our duty to mark such special times with gifts and extra spending. I particularly find Christmas difficult, because I am aware some of us have much, yet others have nothing and go into great debt – to fulfil the expectations of society and advertisers.

At some point I became a Quaker and learned that down the years they have refused to treat any one day as more special, sacred or holy than any other day. That exactly matched my feelings, although the conventions are so strong it can still be difficult.

However, as far as my mother is concerned – at some point about 20 or so years ago, I got to thinking about birthdays (of course we only have one actual birthday; the day we are physically separated from our mothers) and what we actually celebrate in UK society is the anniversary of our birthdays. I could never understand, what I had done to deserve any special attention or gifts, but I liked getting them. However, I do not now feel obliged to mark my birthday or other people’s. What I did for quite a few years before my mother’s death, was on my birthday, to send my mother flowers and a greeting note of thanks – that was appreciated. Fortunately several years before her death I found recovery – using the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step programme (I am not an alcoholic) to my addiction– – and my mother and I repaired our relationship and had been on good terms for a number of years before her death. I tried to encourage my children to treat my wife that way on their birthdays, but they don’t – maybe I should – I remain grateful to her for her bearing and then caring for them and me.

As a Social Worker, in the UK criminal and family courts, I not unusually came across families where adoptions arranged in varying ways were a part of people’s family experience.

I guess what I have learned is that it is best not to expect anything from anybody else and that complaining and criticising the behaviour of others, especially when my comments are not invited, rarely improves matters. The only person whose behaviour I can control is mine – and if I concentrate on that it helps me feel aright.  I aim to accept that “other people’s opinions of me are none of my business” and to focus on just accepting that how things are is how they are. Usually I can at least live without hurting because I am not judging myself or others – most of the time – I am far from perfect!


Nearly 64 years life, in just a few more days.


The question was,

Should I Have Contact With My Birth Mother?;_ylt=AtDwZRF6kWs8Unh1cAh9.ebty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20121213232643AAub6vG

My Answer

I am sorry you have had no answers.

Thanks for writing about such a deeply difficult situation. I hope just expressing yourself in writing helped. In the past I have been surprised how I have gotten a new perspective on an old issue just by writing my feelings down, somehow as I explain – largely to myself – new thoughts come up and I gain a different understanding of something I might have had a fixed opinion about.

I don’t know the answer, to the Christmas card problem, I veer between sending none and sending them to all sorts of people.

Thanks for Tweeting you comments, that is how I came across them. I wish you well whatever you decide.


Nearly 64 years of life, about 30 of them as a Social Worker who occasionally came into contact with folk involved with adoptions both successful and less successful ones.


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: