“It was around 1970 in Deerfield, Ill., and Ms. Sandberg told her youngest child a closely guarded secret about a choice the family had made, one fueled by the racial tensions of the era, that sent a black girl and the white girl that took her place on diverging paths.
Decades later, the journeys of the two women tell a nuanced story of race in America, one that complicates easy assumptions about white privilege and black hardship. Lives take unexpected twists and turns, this family story suggests, no matter the race of those involved. And years later, it is not easy to figure out the role of race when looking for lessons learned.”
“How does one feel, when the one person who is supposed to love and protect you the most leaves? Unloved, unwanted, and unworthy….these feelings would pierce right through me. They wove their way into every relationship I would ever have. I worried my parents could leave me also, so I assumed the role as the good girl. Don’t rock the boat, don’t disrupt others with your feelings and emotions, stay small and quiet.”
“A girl has many dreams of a grown-up life when she is young, dreams of Prince Charming, her wedding, her house, her kids. How many children will she have? What will they look like? Will they be boys, girls? She thinks of their names. Never does a young girl think to herself, “I want to be a birth mother”.
I never dreamed I would one day find myself in the position of having to make one of the most painful choices ever made in my life.”
“Perhaps the most important thing for an adoptive family to understand regarding a birthmother’s withdrawal from this new relationship is that it is not about you. You have likely done nothing to cause this breach in contact. Your child’s birthmother is processing overwhelming and sometimes debilitating emotions, determining what her new normal will look like, trying to figure out where she fits as a birthmother to her child and finding a new sense of self – all of which may consume her for a time.”
“The day came. I knew it would. Just didn’t know when or what the age would be or what circumstances would bring it up. Even though I knew it would eventually come, it didn’t make it hurt any less.
He was my first baby and has been my son since he was 3 months old. We’ve had our ups and downs. Some quite painful. The diagnoses. The therapy. The raging tantrums. The many broken things. The IEP meetings. The side talks with teachers….But oh how I love that boy!”