Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not for Sale

The most obvious place to start was by asking my family.  My mom and dad had very little information to offer. When it became obvious that they could not conceive, a mutual friend mentioned an acquaintance that might be looking into giving up a child for adoption.  My parents proceeded to inquire through that friend and then the lawyer took over.  They provided financially for all her care and clothing, and they received regular medical updates on how the pregnancy was progressing. They never met her face to face. As for my birth-father there were only rumors regarding who he even was, one of which was that he was a University Professor. Obviously, he was not in the picture and had no intention of ever being there.

The most interesting story came from my Grandmother who, when asked, was a wealth of very random and somewhat alarming information.  The most prominent memory in her mind was not the adoption itself, but in the months following.  Apparently, my adoption was not finalized for nearly four months.  The reason:  My birth-mother had changed her mind. My Grandmother explained that around a month after I was given to my parents, the lawyer contacted them stating not to be worried, but that the mother had decided she wanted to "give me to someone else" and was going to contest the adoption.

I'm going to interject here for a second and state that, in most states, birth-parents have the right to change their minds up to thirty days after the child is born.  This is an extremely important right and, though it can be devastating to the adoptive family, it allows time for the birth-parents to be absolutely certain that they can live with this decision.

Okay, back to the story.  The key phrase there was "give me to someone else".  Not exactly what the legislation means, but a court date was set to finalize things one way or another.  My whole adoption really hinged on what this woman would say in front of the judge, and my mom was terrified.

My birth-mother lost her case.  She supposedly stood in front of the judge and actually stated that " She wanted me back so that she could sell me to a family member that was unable to have children".  This family member had offered her $10,000.  The judge simply looked at her incredulously and explained that selling a baby was in fact against the law.  And so, of course, my adoption was ruled official.  Oh, but this didn't put an end to things according to my grandmother. During the months following my birth, my birth-mother had somehow located where my grandparents lived.  My grandmother watched me while my parents worked during the day. She told me that my birth-mother would drive by frequently, slowing down but never actually stopping. This "stalking" made everyone very nervous.  One day after the adoption was finalized, and she had not been successful in her attempt to regain custody, my birth-mother came to their door screaming about how they had stolen me from her.  My grandmother called the police and that was the last time they saw or heard from her.

So this was my first glimpse into where I came from. Somewhat unsettling to say the least.  Let's just say, there is a lot more to come.

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