In Which I Stalk An Amazing Young Man

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:
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.

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:
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:
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?
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.


  1. How could he NOT be a cool young man? He has your genes. :)

    I have a very dear friend who was adaopted as an infant. Her adoption was never kept secret from her but she has never had any desire to find her birth parents. The parents she grew up with are the only ones she wants.

    It can be such a tricky, touchy issue and is as uniquely personal as is each person with ASD.

  2. Anonymous5:55 AM

    My brother is adopted. And we've always been open about it, it was never a secret, but it was a long time ago and the adoption was closed and we never knew more than a name as far as his birth parents were concerned.

    My only reason for relaying this is that my brother has enriched all our lives in so many ways--I can't imagine what it would have been like growing up without him. Adoption is uniquely complicated and personal, but for us, it was a godsend. I'm thankful his birth parents were brave enough to make the choice they did.

  3. Anonymous12:58 PM

    We live in interesting times. Great post Squid, I'm sure he'll read your blog one day. Claire

  4. Anonymous12:12 PM

    I don't really understand why I feel so strongly about this issue, since I am neither adopted, nor an adoptive parent, nor a birth/first mother. But, I'm crying over this story -- there's a motherless boy out there, and a mom who could love him. And the rules you've set somehow seem to forbid the situation from changing.

    I simply don't think that adoptions should be legally closeable, and do what I can to work towards that goal.

  5. Anonymous12:13 PM

    I see you've turned on moderation -- I'm the previous anonymous, and just wanted to say that I have no issue you with your *not* posting my comment.


  6. Hi Folks ... can't believe I didn't respond to your comments ... blame the holiday overwhelm, and thank you for taking the time especially since I am so negligent in my reciprocations.

    I don't mind this limbo state.
    Finding out he doesn't know would be a door closed, finding out he does know but doesn't care to make contact is a door slammed shut. I prefer to daydream that the door is cracked open.

    bj, I only moderate comments after a post has been up seven days, to make sure I don't miss comments like yours. :) Thank you for being so passionate. He referred to his "parents" in a recent update, so perhaps his father has remarried. I think that's wonderful.

    According to Zabasearch (I'm so going to hell) his family hasn't moved in twenty years. I could give his dad a call to see what his son knows ... but again, to me that is a morally questionable action. I think his dad has been through enough.

  7. I like how much you care. Your love for him is reaching him on a cosmic level I am sure. I think it is his decision to find you. Regardless of if he knows he is adopted or not. You are lucky about facebook. At least you can see he is ok.


Respectful disagreement encouraged.