I am responding to Tricia Shore's reaction (Letters, Oct. 13) to your Sunday article regarding adoptions/reunions ("Now They Know," Oct. 10). The response obviously hit home because the article was about me.
To put my feelings in a simple analogy that we might all understand, my bio-parents provided the frame of a house that had no interior. My adoptive parents provided the interior of the house: its character in design, whether it had a welcome mat in front, the colorful carpeting, the big bright windows that looked out onto the world, its firm foundation that would withstand the storms of life, and the warmth that made this house a home.
Yes, Ms. Shore, you are entitled to your opinion and I respect it, but we have a huge difference between our individual interpretation of gratitude and appreciation--not to mention love.
Tricia Shore's letter to the editor on the importance of genetic influences is a useful reminder for adoptive parents and their adopted children. However understandable, the attempt by some adoptive parents to dismiss their child's biological heritage can lead to confusion and resentment.
Beyond this simple point, however, Ms. Shore's letter is replete with sweeping misrepresentations about the nature of parenting and what she derisively terms "the adoption industry."
My wife and I are parents of a beautiful girl who came to us by way of "open adoption," a practice in which we and our daughter maintain a relationship with her birth parents (in our case, the birth mother only).
As awkward as this may sound--indeed, it is awkward at times--we believe it is in the best interest of our child. Over time, we expect that our daughter will have a relationship with her birth mother akin to a relationship with a treasured aunt. Since we--and thousands like us--are part of the "adoption industry," it is silly to imply that there is a conspiracy to deny the existence of biological parents.
My wife and I are profoundly grateful to the birth mother who conceived and brought our child to term. For us, parenting started at delivery (yes, we were there) and continues through thousands of hours sacrificing our own desires to the needs of our child. It is sometimes an arduous task and we wouldn't have it any other way.
I ask for a dose of sensitivity for adopted parents, like ourselves, who are committing their lives to their adopted children.
Indeed, my daughter has "real" parents. I will never ask her to tell me who they are. In my heart, I already know.
Tricia Shore implied there is a generic drive to know "my real and natural parents" but the tone of her letter seems more emotional than logical. What evolutionary purpose would it serve for any of us to be "driven" (like the peacocks she mentioned) to be co-located with the last two persons in the genetic chain which produced our genetic makeup?
Highlands Ranch, Colo.
My condolences to the adoptive parents of Tricia Shore. It sounds like they got a little "pea hen" not a loving human baby. Humans are capable of returning love, and all poor Tricia Shore has is strong genetic tendencies. How very hurting her letter must be to all those who have given all the love possible to their adoptive children.
I nearly choked reading Ms. Shore's letter regarding "nurture vs. nature" of adopted children and the "adoption industry's encouragement of separating children from their parents."
I am the mother of two beautiful daughters, both of whom we adopted at birth. I attended both births. We love these children more than life itself.
We used independent adoption to find our (children's) birth mothers. They were not teenagers from out of state being pressured into an adoption. Both birth mothers went to their doctors to have our precious daughters aborted, one at six months--it would have been her third abortion.
The second birth mother already had three children from her broken marriage and . . . had had a previous abortion.
One birth mother smoked during her entire pregnancy, the other had a history of drug abuse and used drugs during her first trimester of pregnancy and spent one month of her pregnancy in a county jail, during which time we visited her every weekend.
We are very grateful to both of our birth mothers for the gift of life that they each gave our daughters, but we are our daughters' parents. Certainly they share genetics with their birth families, but when I hear my own words, said with my own tone of voice, by our 6-year-old, who looks just like me by the way, no one will ever convince me or, I'm sure, any other adoptive parents that nature matters more than nurture.
Our children have the love and security of two parents, one of whom (me) is home full-time with them. They have financial security and medical and dental care. These things were not forthcoming from their birth parents and are certainly not negligible. But more than anything, they were wanted by us.
I wonder what they both felt in the womb when their birth mothers asked their doctors to end their lives? What influence do you suppose that had? What about the smoking and the drugs and the feeling of being unwanted? Does that transmit in the womb? I certainly hope not, but just in case, we have spent the last six years making sure our eldest daughter knows how wanted she is and the past 2 1/2 years making our youngest know the same thing.
We intend to spend the rest of our lives in this endeavor. That is what real parents do.
RICHELE J. DUFFY