I've kept my latest BlogHer post in my back pocket for the past two years, even though the force known as Susie Bright encouraged me to write about it when we were all oversharing at last spring's Woolfcamp. The story? It's about how I stalk my birth son on Facebook:
Of course I stalk my birth son on Facebook. How could I not? His barely-open adoption slammed shut fifteen years ago after his mother suddenly took ill and died, and the gods of irony handed his father the closed adoption he'd always wanted. I spent years hoping for information but listening to cricket chirps -- until two years ago, when a cynical Facebook search turned fruitful: he had a limited public profile! I've been checking in on him weekly ever since.
I finally wrote it out after Facebook exploded everyone's privacy settings, and I gained access to his Wall. It was too much OMG to keep to myself! Also, acquaintances who knew about my birth son kept asking if I wanted to see the new birth parents/children reunion reality show, Find My Family. (My answer: hell NO. He doesn't know he's adopted, there will be no reunion, stop sticking bamboo slivers under my fingernails please.)
But the BlogHer post wasn't the first time I'd written about my birth son -- I blogged about him in 2005, when Facebook didn't exist and he was still lost to me:
When he was still very small, his mother died. I found this out while my husband and I were trying without success to have children of our own. In my anger, I cursed the universe that allowed my birth son to be a motherless child, while I remained a childless mother. I simmered down after the joy of our first child's birth, but still wonder how that boy will feel if he ever finds out that he could have had contact with another mother during all those lonely years.
(Note that I was still in thrall to DAN!/curbie/autism stigmatization at the time, and also complained about giving up an NT son and then having one with autism. We all learn and grow, right?)
People have mostly been kind about the story, and said kind, supportive things. Jeanne Sager even wrote her own post about it, on Strollerderby:
A commenter on BlogHer has suggested that I investigate the matter more fully, and try to find out if he knows he's adopted. Another hell no. If it's meant to happen, it will. The means are available. I will leave it entirely up to him, mostly because of stories like Beth Broecker's Salon.com story about being stalked by her own birth mother:The sudden opening of Facebook pages scared plenty of people into purging their pages of their drunken idiocy, but for one mother who gave up her son to adoption, it was a gift.
While you were trying to figure out if Mark Zuckerberg was indeed drunk or stoned, Shannon Des Roches Rosa was lovingly taking in every last detail of her biological son’s life, piece by amazing piece.
At age 6, when I first learned I was adopted, I cried and cried, not because I wanted to know who my birth parents were, or because I felt lost or empty, but because I wanted to have been born to my parents. I loved them so completely that I didn't want any mysterious thing out in the world to mean that I was less a part of them.
I also think that, were such a reunion to happen, I would like it to happen more gracefully and with more professional courtesy than those on Find My Family. So would SocialWrkr24/7:
Also, this episode was the beginning of my issue with the hosts because I thought it was pretty obvious that the adopted daughter had NOT been looking for her birth parents. She said she thought about it and that her adoptive father had encouraged it - but she hadn't done so yet. Obviously she had her reasons - but all of a sudden there was Tim Green at her door with the "exciting" news that her "mom and dad" had been looking for her! I felt like the poor girl looked shell shocked through most of the reunion process. This is one of the many reasons that I feel like some kind of "professional" would be better suited as the host. Reunions are wonderful on TV, but in reality that can bring up all kinds of complicated mixed feelings.And finally, there are the good folks on Reddit, who framed it in the context of privacy violations, and were 45% creeped out. Sigh. But they also thought the story would make a good movie:
ravenrue:Me, I'm just glad the story's out there. Who knows, maybe he will come across the BlogHer post one day and recognize himself despite the scrubbed and altered details, and pursue contact. I certainly wouldn't mind. He seems like a very cool young man.
lol. I enjoyed it. Makes me think it could be made into a movie.
Tim McGraw - Evil Adoptive Dad
Hilary Swank - Dead Adoptive Mom
Michael Cera - The son
Cameron Diaz - Artsy Mom
Who is with me?