"The days of my life have been quite self-contained
I ain't had much joy but then I don't feel much pain
my defences have been blasted apart"
By your wonderful songs that aim straight for the heart
Until now I've been drifting
through life unaware
With my feelings all buried, unable to care
My childhood was filled with unbearable pain
much of the time I was left on my own
My mother was busy, I was just in the way
My father was not there, he worked night
It seemed that the best way for me to survive
Was to stay in the background and be very quiet
Never to ask
them for anything, never to call
But pretend that I wanted for nothing at all.
That I was a burden was made very clear
But something far worse also filled me with fear
It seemed that no matter
how hard I would try
There was no way my mother could be satisfied
Whatever I did, it was not good enough
I just wasn't made of the right stuff
And so to avoid giving any offence
I shut up, my silence was my self-defence
only did what I was told, and no more
I volunteered nothing, my life was a bore
My feelings and all that I wanted to
Remained deep inside me for I was afraid
From rejection and hurt I then felt I was safe
And the unreal hope of
being loved stayed alive
I hoped that if I could do everything right
My mother would love me and show me delight.
Let's pretend she's not with child
Let's pretend she's not his mother
Let's pretend she will forget
Let's pretend she doesn't want him
Let's pretend he's her gift to us
Let's pretend she can pretend
Let's pretend he has no mother
Let's pretend she didn't care
Let's pretend he looks like us
Let's pretend he's
Let's pretend this won't affect him
Let's pretend it's in his interest
Let's pretend he's just like us
it's Right and Just!
The following song and poem belongs to Linda Graham whose dear friends - Lillian and David, although not touched by adoption
only through their friendship with Linda, cared enough to feel her pain.
Abduction - Adoption
a song by David. . .
For all the mothers who have lost their children to
Take this baby, sister said - He's
not to know his mother,
He's for adoption, lucky kid -
She can marry and
And they say time heals most every
wound, Yet some wounds, time burns
A mothers child is still
child, No matter where he's sleeping.
But she had hardly touched
the day that he was born,
His hair so fine, like duckdown,
His eyes shone
like her own.
A girl, a woman, mother now,.
Yet alone and confused,
Whose right to steal her
Where they Christians,
me, or you?
So days and nights turn to years
For the boy she'll never know,
For in strangers hands,
not understand, her love for him alone.
Rain comes down, her tears turn dry,
Will she search again tomorrow?
For her child, this man,
she may finally
Though he'll never know her sorrow
Though he'll never know her sorrow.
Mother To Mother
I know you are there,
I can hear you ...
Although you are holding your
Trying to quieten that heartbeat
I know you are there,
I can see you ...
Searching faces in the daylight
And later, alone in the dark,
cradling empty arms.
I know you are there,
I can feel you ...
The pain of your amputation
Your stolen babe and life
anguish, all along
Of my unchallenged motherhood.
I couldn't watch you as you grew from baby into child,
I never felt you at my breast, or held you as you smiled,
changed your tiny diapers and wiped your little bum.
No others took away my right to ever be your mum.
But let me tell
you darling, although we never met,
I loved you with a vengeance, and still I love you yet.
To just have held you once my love would maybe make it right,
Then maybe I'd stop thinking of you morning noon and night.
touch your downy little head and count those tiny toes,
To whisper in your shell like ear and kiss your button nose,
somehow fill the emptiness and loss I felt inside.,
Perhaps erase the aching and all the nights I cried.
I'm wondering who's hugging you, puts band aids on your knees,
Who's teaching you your manners, the thank you's and
Who's watching your first footy game (that's if you are a boy)
or sitting in your ballet class filled with
pride and joy?
Are you brave when you fall down, or do you scream and shout?
Do you sleep with a night light, or insist
they turn it out?
Have you got a dolly, or perhaps a ragged bear?
Do they tell you about me? Or don't they really care?
The answers to these questions are coming hard and fast,
Because my precious daughter, I've discovered you at last,
within a family as you were meant to be,
Not with a loving mummy or on a daddy's knee,
With a grandma or a grandpa,
a sister, maybe brothers,
No. That kind of happy life was only meant for others.
You were in an institution from the time that you were small,
You never had a family, no-one to care at all.
of perfect strangers said that you were 'not quite right',
'Not fit for adoption' so they hid you out of sight,
knows the life you've suffered, the childhood that you've had,
The memories you harbour of the good times and the bad.
These things we'll never know, because you cannot speak,
Your eyes are filled with knowing, but communication's weak.
gentle voice says 'yes' and 'no', 'tea' and 'go away'
And a brand new word you learned to say just the other day,
looked at me with big brown eyes, (you always knew I'd come),
Reached out a hand and touched my tears
And Softly Whispered
With Love from Sue.
We wear black,
For the pain of our loss
Clings like never ending night.
We chose this colour
So you may know
our hearts -
For you silenced our souls.
You are all party
To the solution.
You all sanction
You will be judged
By future generations
You dealers in first-borns.
Where is my David?
For every 'client'
A family of casualties
Not bothered by
Where is my first-born?
A client of the State?
A page in a case book?
an Agent of
The Darkness -
that shrouds Forever.
I was too young to understand that
my love was enough for you
I was taught to believe that others
could care for
In wanting you to be loved
I lost you to others
Who I was told could love you more
In loving you, I lost
you to others.
If your life has been good.
It has been worthwhile
If you have been sad or lonely
or felt unloved, I will be doubly
For the loss of loving you
And for the loss of loving you
And for the loss of you being loved
With all my
heart I hope that you have
enjoyed a life filled with love
And that the people who have loved you
will (have the
space to) want you to
have my love also.
Your Mother Vivian
Maria's Poem To Us All
I want to say "Thank You" for being my friends
The love that you showed me, has helped me no end.
I cried on your
shoulders, you let me let go,
And I felt so grateful, you'll all never know.
My heart is still with you though I may be gone,
Your comfort and kindness guide me along.
I'd just like to tell
you, you're all safe in my heart,
And thank you again for helping me start.
I ask God to bless you, you're all safe
in my mind
I wish you all love, and it's peace that you find.
I hope I can come back when there is a time
need the love of friends by my side
You are all my sisters, we are all the same,
We have one thing in common and that's
why we came.
We're mothers together, fighting our cause,
Helping each other to fight our own wars.
I'd like to say
something to each and everyone
A very big THANK YOU from me and my son.
We want any child....any child will do.
It must be perfect though ... And the right sex too
But any child any child
I doesn't matter who it belongs to
Just any child ...... any child will do.
There's so many of us waiting...
we feel quite blue,
We're on such a long line..
There's nothing we won't do.
We'll take any child... any child from
As long as it's healthy, beautiful and pure,
So any child, any child will do.
Your child...... your child will do.
It has no father........naughty you.
We'll take your child, your child will
The line will get shorter and we won't feel blue,
Yes your child, your child will do.
You want to keep it?.... that can't be true!
It has no father and it won't miss you.
We'll make you see what you
A few lies won't hurt,... just one or two.
Your rights! What rights? ...they're far too few.
It's very selfish to want it for you
When we've childless couples
to give it to.
It's better for baby...... you can have another in lieu
So we've decided, your child will do.
You're now our baby, sweet and new.
It was worth all the pain your mother went through.
We're very good to look after
When you were abandoned without adieu,
So you must be thankful, it's our due
We could have had any child
we picked you.
Where were you mother dearest,
when I was just sixteen?
As they stole my baby from me,
Your first grandchild...it
Why could you not have helped me,
To ease my aching pain?
Instead you chose to care more
your friends might say.
And why did you not remember,
As my sister first gave birth.
You said "At last my first grandson"
.... and that
just made it worse.
Why wasn't my son good enough
for all the world to see?
I hope you never feel the pain
You've inflicted so,
Based on a true story from a colleague. Happened in 1969
She was a lady of high degree,
A scholarship student of science was he,
Their love was untimely, their loving unwise
such loving it caused her soft belly to rise.
Her mother in anger confined her to bed,
'No-one will know you were shameless' she said,
'We'll say you've a fever
and you never must show
For the rest of the family are too young to know.'
Then off to the priest with his lean justice face,
The mother confessed of the daughter's disgrace,
her cause on the family name
She begged an abortion to cast off the shame.
"Oh no" said the priest, (No that never could be.
The faith must be kept so just listen to me,
If marriage is out
of the question), he said
You'll all have to pray for mis-carriage instead."
The prayers went unanswered, the time it went slow
There was nothing to do, there was nowhere to go,
From bed she
was taken when six months had gone
And sent interstate then to bear it alone.
There on a farm for the last months she stayed
Where the food was as poor as the people they paid
Her mind and her
body were locked in their pain
And she cursed her life over and over again.
The priest kept the faith and the mother her pride,
The daughter kept wishing that she could have died
The baby kept
coming as they are inclined
But his body was spoiled, being poorly confined.
The priest never knew, he was transferred away,
The girl never knew she returned home to stay.
The mother's concern
was her own peace of mind,
But the baby he knew because he was born blind.
From "Songs of a Bronzewing," by Phyl Lobl 1991.
There was a day in December '92
I received a letter which could hardly be true.
It told me they had found my Son
of 47 years
So unbelievably to me and I was reduced to tears.
It was a very sad day I was forced to let him go
But I was so young and a mistake I had made
Which I was to pay for,
for many a day.
I was so reluctant, but I had no choice
Nobody would listen to hear my heartbroken voice.
There was many a time and one "Special day"
That memories would flood back and I would pray.
He was alive and well
and treated very kind.
Oh God, if only I knew to ease my mind.
I received a phone call some months later on
From a very kind lady which made me think
Why not, but what ever would
To this mature man I had given away.
He made it so easy when time arrived
During that day I doubted I would survive.
When I picked up the phone a voice
said "It's Jim"
All the years melted away, my heart said "It's Him"
It wasn't an easy time for either of us
We both accepted it with a limited fuss
He put me at ease in a very short
With no anger at all, I knew he was mine.
We have spoken several times since then at length
He does not have to say "Hello it's Jim"
My heart knows when I
pick up the phone
I know for the next half hour or so I am not alone.
I could go on for hours but my tears are flowing,
I know you are only a phone call away
We will meet face to face
soon some day.
We will know each other without explaining
A Mother would know he was her Son
Just by seeing him,
she would know he was the one.
I feel so much better now I have penned this prose
My heart is clear and I know where it goes.
A Life Of Goodbyes
It's a word I'm finding hard to say
Though I do try to every day
It's what I've had to live with
As it never went
I never got to say "hello" when I
Became a Mum
And didn't get to say "Goodbye"
When we stopped being one.
Although I've practised every morning
and then again at night
and practised in all different ways
I still can't
get it right.
I still cannot believe you're gone
and I'm not here with you
So if I cannot get it right
it won't be true.
Perhaps - If I don't try so hard
And then again - just maybe
I'll avoid the deepest cut of all
In having to say
"Goodbye to my baby."
A Mothers Delight
A beautiful re-union has just taken place
After 48 years, at last face to face.
As he got off the plane my heart
I knew straight away that he was "my Jim."
There was no panic, not even any tears
But I had "butterflies" right up to my ears.
His first words were
you who I think you are?"
I felt the happiest mother in the world by far.
A wonderful hug and a kiss on the cheek
I prayed to stay upright, my knees felt
I felt so at ease with
that loving smile
there was no need for words,
the wait was worthwhile.
We headed for "home" to meet my best friend
Who has backed me from beginning to end.
I now have two wonderful men
in my life
How happy I am to be both Mother and Wife.
By Beryl (Arms W.A.)
(Reprinted with kind permission)
A Certain Quest
I seek my natural mother
(though she's very hard to find)
there are traces of her everywhere,
(but they reside,
in people's minds).
I have found my long lost siblings,
and peered (gently) at their souls,
are there traces of her there,
casts from her mould?
Or is there something I have missed,
a clue that's not revealed?
I must be most meticulous,
if we can both at
last be healed.
I have met my natural father,
but he says nothing of those times.
He is not the least transparent,
and keeps his
firmly in his mind.
I am soon to meet her brother.
(A dour man I'm told).
Will he tell me of my mother
and put a window to her soul?
Will he point a new direction,
indicate some untried path,
will he mention her conundrums,
and reveal their aftermath?
Sometimes I think I'm close,
then she seems to steal away,
like some receding apparition,
forever in transit,
always keeping me at bay.
It is a resonance I pursue,
that indicates her fleeting tread,
that confirms her passage through,
and so defines
the path ahead.
I have seen her in a photo,
(a haunting monochrome).
She seemed so very worn,
so lost, and so alone.
There are things I wish to tell her,
and to ease her from her cares,
and there are things I need to know,
many things we need to share).
There is some anger too, I have to say,
a smouldering resentment,
that she had cast her son away.
Was there some intrinsic flaw,
to make me seemingly reviled?
Yes, there are things we must discuss,
so we can
both be reconciled.
And when at last I find her,
there is much that I shall say,
but I shall treat her with great kindness,
hope that she shall stay.
I am following faint trails,
a mere disturbance of the air,
even the barest indication,
that she was ever there.
I am searching for her essence,
and of it's residual effects,
in the hearts and souls she touched,
and in the
image they reflect.
I search for her in places (and in ways)
that others cannot hope to see.
I know that I shall find her,
she's been dead now....since 1963.
I am searching for my mother,
(an intimidating task)
for I know I can only find her
in some faintly glowing embers,
intangibles, from a long and distant past.
I am floating in the Universal night
sky. There are stars all around and
I am just being. Now I am a baby
lying in a hospital ward with
people coming and going - there is
no one person there for me - some
come and give
attention then they
go but no-one is constant, no one is
ever the same.
I lie there and wondering it will
always be this way..... will my
whole life see just the coming and
of people but no-one ever
staying.....Will I always be alone
Now two new strangers come and take
me away from the hospital into a new
and unknown place.
For how long will
I be here?
Will I always be alone?
When I awoke I knew this to be my
experience of being relinquished and
later adopted and taken home. It was
to the story I had grown
up with -(where it all ended and
began with my parents arriving and
taking me home).
You see to a new baby they are not
your parents until later. Initially
all you know is strangeness, there
no time limits as there appears
to be in retrospect. You don't know
for how long any of these things are
to last or who is there, for
how long or where you are for how long.
Only time and the constancy of new
arrangements change all that, but I
wonder at what age you feel secure.
It's funny how deep an effect all
that stuff can have on you at such
a young age. I look back and realise
in some ways I was a clingy
child, never wanting to go to school
and when I was in hospital as a two
and a half
year old, never knowing
for sure if mum would come back for
me despite being told she would.
Although that thought upset me
greatly, there was another strangely
detached part of me that accepted