To my son,
whose name I do not know….
by Yolanda Wysocki
“Child with a child pretending
Weary of lies you are sending home
So you sign all the papers in the family name
You’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed.”
In 1970, annual numbers for children being
placed for adoption in the US increased to a
peak of 89,200, then quickly declined to an
estimated 47,700 in 1975.
In 1970, the dominant psychological and
social work view was that the large majority
of unmarried mothers were better off being
separated by adoption from their newborn
“In most cases, adoption was presented to
the mothers as the only option and little or
no effort was made to help the mothers
keep and raise the children.”
62% of children adopted through private adoption
were placed with their adoptive families within a
month of birth.
Researchers find that generally children adopted
before the age of six-months fare no differently than
children raised with their biological parents.
68% of adoptees are read to every day as young
children, versus 48% of children who are not adopted.
73% of adopted children were sung to and told
stories to every day, compared to 59% of
children who were not adopted.
Making me faint on the “L” platform
on my way to work,
you announced your existence
and got my attention.
at the time you were
of bad news
A “foot doctor”
(with the largest feet I ever saw),
and some other MD,
no phone? no car? no money?
your fate was determined
as well by your father,
who had said he was sterile,
then refused to give me
the hundred bucks he had borrowed
and told everyone
I was lying about you.
“Young people wanted to restart farm in rural Wisconsin”
a stroke cancelled their plans,
stroke of luck, kindness
whatever you call it,
I went alone.
Volkswagen bug of a trailer,
plopped in the middle of cow fields
six miles out of town.
my mother and your mother,
pregnant, alone in the country
she was terrified,
me? finally, at peace.
I loved you
with your miniature combat boot kicks.
I wanted you to have what I could not give you…
a loving home, security, love, two parents…
so much more than I had to offer.
I didn’t want to pass on
I carried inside me like a twin nestling
But you carried
abandonment, didn’t you?
an aide sitting silently
watching from the corner;
Finally they knocked me out
and you were born,
Your bassinet turned to the wall.
After carrying you and loving you,
I couldn’t NOT see you.
At long last there you were behind the glass,
one quick glance.
As I turned away to ask a question,
they took you away…
Six weeks later, living with my parents,
who should have been
never telling them about you
but a friend from Wisconsin
broke my trust and called,
we all acted
as if nothing had changed,
Four years later,
watching a TV show on adoption,
my first memory
You are in my thoughts,
my heart and prayers.
May our paths cross again.
Your birth mother
There is a recent news photo from
Afghanistan of a crying baby still in diapers
being passed from a set of parent’s hands
over razor wire to another set of hands
belonging to an American soldier.
There are no photos of all the children
taken, stolen, snatched, beaten away from
their parents’ grief in countries all around
the world, including times of slavery.
There are no photos of children being sold,
given away by their parents to traffickers
because of poverty, greed, despair.
Sometimes children are passed into hands
that will protect them, feed them, clothe
them, love them, and sometimes into
hands that will abuse them.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did you leave me/let me go/reject me/abandon me?
First it wasn’t personal in that I had never met you; the decision was made long before you were born. Know I love you but I couldn’t give you what I wanted you to have. I hope you received those in abundance!
- What are my birth parents like? We weren’t famous or rich or anything special. Me an 18yo naïve young girl on my own for the first time. Your father, 15 years older, a contractor who denied your existence. I was never a drug addict or alcoholic or any other kind of addict you may have been worried about.
- DO You ever think about me? OF COURSE I DO! I have always kept you close in my heart, though I had let go of the sorrow years ago. I only hope you have had a great life so far and it would be nice to finally meet you.
- Do I have any brothers or sisters? No you are an only child, but you have cousins and great cousins. Your grandparents have all died.
- How do I answer questions about my “real parents?” The folks that raised you are your real parents. I am your birth mother.
- Why don’t I look like anyone else in my family? I am sure you now know that you are adopted. Both I and your father are short people with curly hair. I have never seen your adoptive family, though I helped choose where you went. I hope they’re not all tall and straight-haired skinny people!
Frequently thought but Never Asked Questions: PLEASE FILL IN THE BLANKS.
- How did you find out you were adopted and how did you feel? Did you feel a need to forgive me? And did you?
- What were your worst fears about me? Are you willing to know the truth?
- Were you happy and well-loved as a child?
- Did you have brothers and sisters to grow up with?
- What was the best day of your life? Worst? How/Who are you now?
- Are you happy with your life now?
Were you born in Illinois? Or are you searching for someone born in Illinois? Adopted.com is proud to offer an Illinois state adoption reunion registry where you can meet by mutual consent without having to open records. We have provided a form on this page for you to check your matches. If both parties want to meet then you can find each other on Adopted.com! Adult adoptees who are 21 years or older are able to request a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate.
Find Birth Parents Guide
Describes how adoptees can conduct research about their birth families and prepare for reconnection. Search and Reunion in Domestic and International Adoption [Webinar]
Center for Adoption Support and Education (2018)
Discusses reasons that adoptees choose to search for birth relatives, outlines the search and reunion process, and describes common relational dynamics present during reunions.
Yolanda Wysocki has an MA in the Study of Human Consciousness, and two BA’s. She retired from a career in Social Services, Counseling, and Life Coaching in 2020, and is now pursuing a creative and spiritual life focused on writing, photography and meditation. Although she has been writing—poetry, bits of fiction, interviews—for several years, discovering creative non-fiction last year felt like a perfect fit. Her second- ever-to-be-published essay was recently published in Stories That Need to be Told 2022. She lives in the Portland Oregon area.