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Your Adoption Journey

Michael's Story

Dear DMC,
     Like you, I was also adopted (and have infact written a book about it: ) and have a story to share.
     I was given up for adoption 7 days after I was born in 1984. It was an open adoption. My entire life I had been in one long, deep depression because I knew I was adopted and I always felt out of place and wanted to know who I was and why I have always felt this sense of rejection floating over my head. I knew when I turned 18 I could meet her and we could have a relationship, but it always felt so far away.Every year since I was born, my natural mother would send me pictures and letters, and every birthday and Christmas, she would send me a present. When I graduated from High School, I joined the Army Reserves to try to find out who I was, but it was all in vain. When I turned 18, she told my adoptive mother she didn't want to meet me because "her husband wasn't ready" (despite having 18 years to plan). 2 years ago, in 2004, I was about to deploy to Iraq and I met my mother for the first time. It was the happiest time of my life.
     My natural mom and I shared a good (and tight!) relationship for about a month before my deployment. When we reunited, she told me she couldn't let my half-siblings know about me because "they are teaching abstinence" and that she didn't want me to meet any of my relatives on her side because "they have big mouths".
     OK, I thought, there is no way they can keep such a sublime secret for long. A few days before I was to head to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to deploy to Iraq, I find out that basically she is rejecting me again, and she cuts off all communications with me. I believe alot (or most) of this is because her husband is a fundamentalist Christian and he wants me out of the picture completely because he doesn't want to be reminded that his wife once had a child with another man; He wants to maintain the facade of "the perfect family". Any kind of contact I try to make with her results in being hung-up on and harassed by her husband.
     From the day I had found out she had rejected me for the second time I sunk into a deep, deep depression. The day before I left for Fort Sill, I was put on paxil anti-depression medication (which I have been on since). After spending a few days at Fort Sill, the powers-that-be decided that I'm in too bad of mental shape and so they sent me back home; my boots would never touch the sands of Iraq.
     When I came back home to Dallas, I decided to look for my relatives against my natural mom's wishes, and I found them.
     I have met all my Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and most of my cousins on my natural mom's side, but am only accepted by some. Not all of my cousins even know I exist because some aunts and uncles are allied with my natural mom and won't let me see them. And of course my half-siblings still have no idea I exist.
     It has been almost 2 years since I last saw my natural mother, and since then I have not received 1 Christmas card, not 1 birthday card, not one letter from her for the first time in my entire life, and have not seen her or communicated in any way since that last day in 2004. She has gone back and practically closed an open adoption that has been open for 20 years. All this simply because I exist.
     It is so hard to even write this letter to you because the emotions are and have been opened time and time again, but I feel it is something people should know about. I believe there should be stronger adoption laws to help protect and maintain the heritage and identity of children, and not swept under a political rug or kept sealed so everyone but the adoptee themselves can get to them (referring to medical and genealogical records). I also believe every man, woman and child has a right to know who their parents are and where they come from.
     I just hope that this letter to you and my book can make a difference in someone's life so both adoptees and parents can see the immorality and injustice and despair ahead of them so they may better avoid it.

Dallas, TX

P.S.- I never got to see your documentary but I want to, I hope that you release it on DVD so I can buy it! There is a whole niche market that would love to have something like that and I have the feeling it has the potential to be a cult classic in the adoption community!

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