Assembling Self

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This One is for Dory! Unhappy Birthday

And, maybe it's alot safer (for me) that I post this on a non-birthday month for myself.  I get too close to these poems sometimes and even 10 years or more later they still hit me in the gut.  But, getting it out is good too.  Along with Mother's Day, birthdays are hard for adoptees.  And, as are most Holidays which bring up emotion, connections, or the lack thereof with our birth families, hopes, dreams unfulfilled we tend to ostracize ourself from showing how we feel and the ensuing so very well intended advice we will receive about how we should react and the uneducated comments about being grateful.  Not many know the stories and scenarios we create wondering, waiting, watching from afar while the "real" world revolves leaving us so far away, yet so close.  We want to touch it, feel it, live it, but we remain silent for the most part or distant.  We hide, we pretend, we walk the walk but inside we know all the while this is not normal.

We get told it doesn't matter BUT IT DOES!  Period, end of sentence, paragraph, and story.  So, Dory this is for you because without the people like you I have met my life would not have changed drastically for the better.  No longer do I have to live in a world of denial and self hatred for not being able to endure under the rules and regulations of the closed records adoption system.  I have been empowered to fight and continue to change the world and for that even on the hardest of days...I am finally glad I was born.

Unhappy Birthday

There were no birth announcements.
No cigars were handed out.
No newborn baby pictures.
No parent's joyous shouts.
No counting toes and fingers.
No comparing eyes and chins.
No nursery decorated.
No proud grandparent grins.
Instead the day that I was born,
a mother silently wept.
While in a room close to her,
her newborn daughter slept.
So close we were together.
So far we're now apart.
Two lives were separated.
A love doomed from the start.
And so each year since I was born,
this day has been the same.
No one can know the sadness.
No one can know the pain.
No candles ever bright enough
to light my darkened soul.
No happy birthday party.
No heart that can be whole.


  1. Safer for me too since mine is six months away LOL. My birthdays are always a disaster - I think I'm done with them. How painful it is, for me, I am just so done with all of it and yet I can't walk away because it is my life.

    I'm glad I met you too Karen and that we found each other again. Together, you and I and all of us affected by this mess can only become stronger. There are only positives to be gained by the friendships formed among us.

  2. OH me too! No more Birthdays! Yes Dory we met for a reason. And I can not tell you how thankful I am for that. I am glad you are here, with me, with us. The great positive we were given. Amen, sermon over.

  3. This speaks of how I felt before I met my bio-mom a couple of years ago. She kept a journal during her pregnancy up through the day of relinquishment-paper-signing, and indeed, as she wrote, someone WAS excited to see me, someone did bathe me and feed me and play with my toes. And this same someone, convinced by misquided social workers to give in to society's pressures, watched as I was unceremoniously plucked from my crib and carted away when I was seven days old. As she writes in her journal, which she has given to me to keep, she never even got to say goodbye. My eyes were looking her way, I didn't cry, I didn't make a sound, I was simply taken. And that sight has haunted her, as the feeling of abandonment has haunted me.
    On Saturday, she and I will go together to a Birthmother Candlelighting Ceremony. I am so glad our lives have reconnected.

  4. Do you know what it is like
    To be in a crowd
    Yet to be all alone
    No one can hear you
    No one can see the smoke
    Of your soul as it is on fire
    Kindled by the whispers
    And the laughs of those
    Who belong
    No one can see the charring
    A blackened life
    Seared on the grill
    Of being unwanted
    Invisible tears
    Always reaching
    For a hand that is not there.

  5. Oh Sara...I have to gather myself before I post. It is so emotional. How revealing this is and how it speaks to the world that we are not meant to part as mother and child. Haunted is a great word to describe us, adoptees and birthparents, one not many outside the "loop" understand. But, we do. And, it is the reason I continue on in the battle for open records in adoption. Adoption is not a one time transaction it is a lifetime involvement. I will be praying for you guys and thinking of you on Saturday. Maybe somewhere, my birthmother is too.

  6. My birthday almost always falls on Mother's Day and your poem finally put words to my pain. Thank you for posting it.

  7. Oh Peach double whammy huh? Hard load to deal with I'm hoping you will feel at home with those of us who understand. I know it's been a great solice to me. Saved me millions in therapy? (did I spell solice right?)

    Gina GREAT poem! I so get it! Join us, in the ever lasting family of folks that accept you without question.