The pain experienced by each of us as we are torn apart from our children by the pressures of adoption are not our alone. That pain has a ripple effect and effects every relationship and every person we are in relationship with...the loss of our child is at once the loss of our parents' grandchild, the father's child and his parents' grandchild. It is a loss of a sibling to any previous or subsequent children we might have.
A loss of a cousin, an aunt or uncle...it is a permanent severed branch of our family tree and a loss of our grandchildren from that branch and all future descendants...
This simple letter testifies to the secondary effect of our loss on those we love:
I am grateful to have come across this letter just days before presenting at ACONE on the topic of irresolvable and universal grief suffered by mothers who lose our children to adoption....lest my presentation would have failed to explore this important aspect of adoption loss...how it effects so many...
Madam, – I recently found out that I have a sister who my mother gave up for adoption in the early 1970s in Ireland. The story is heartbreaking, but, overall this has been a very positive experience for me.
Having researched the subject of adoption in Ireland during the past decades, I felt a strong need to raise awareness and ultimately to remember each and every mother who entered a mother and baby home throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s in Ireland.
It is devastating to learn of the number of women who, due to their unmarried status, had no choice other than to endure the unpleasant environment of these homes for the duration of their pregnancy, give birth to their child (for adoption) and then return to society and carry on as if nothing had happened without anyone giving a thought for their emotional well being.
This letter is dedicated to my mother, as well as the thousands of other women who, due to their circumstances, very sadly had to go into mother and baby homes to have their babies alone and in secret. The majority of these women still live every day with the burden, the painful memories and the secret of having given up their child many years ago.
Often they have not been reunited with their child, and can only wonder about their well-being and hope that they have led or are leading a prosperous life. Please take a moment to remember these incredibly brave women and their children. – Yours, etc,
Even Condon and Rickerby who have documented a laundry list of effects of adoption loss does not consider the widespread affects to those other than the mother.