Forgive or not forgive? – The wrong question!

The agenda of ‘forgiveness’ didn’t appear in Fang Lee’s adoption experience until she was 27 years old. Listen to this second part of her story. “The scenario isn’t that I am contemplating should I or should I not forgive my birth parents who sent me away for the sake of their vested interest in having a boy to carry on their family blood.”

See also this NBC video in which the Korean adoptee and rapper Dan Matthews gets back to Korea a few years after he met his biological family, and brings the two mothers together for the first time…

Back to Fang Lee: “To talk about this topic, I need to expose a painful experience. It is the single most significant event that occurred in my entire adoption history. That event marked the fallout between me and the biological siblings, forever. After that, one more secret was buried within the biological family (they have other skeletons in the cupboard, so to speak), one that was never revealed to my birth parents until 13 years later.

It started with me changing the family name back to the biological family’s on the suggestion of my birth mother. As soon as I did that, the three biological elder sisters decided to get together and asked me to sign an agreement that I would not inherit the family wealth in the event of my birth parents’ death. But instead of asking me to sign the agreement directly, they attacked and shamed me to justify their behaviors.

I still see the scene of that day before my eyes when we sat around the lunch table with each of these women bullying me. Among all the accusations why I didn’t have the right to share their (future) fortune, one of them asked me: “You still have not forgiven mom for giving you away, right?”

That sounded so foreign to me. So my mind went blank for a few seconds… Then I went…,’What?’ My senses came back. Such a notion had never crossed my mind! Honestly. But there’s always another side to things. Only at that moment did it dawn on me that the imprinted guilt of my birth mother had been passed on to her children.

Here are my thoughts on the ‘forgiving’…

It does not matter whether or not the birth mother reunites with the child. And it does not matter if she chooses to disclose this part of her life to her partner or children later. Observing my birth mother, I reckon that it is almost impossible for women who gave birth to, and gave away, their babies to genuinely forgive themselves for doing so.

It is a piece of shadow history (adopteephobia) that hardly any birth mother can make peace with, even if she chooses to remain quiet and keeps it a secret. They might not be conscious about it because for them it is all too painful to go there.

Forgiving implies something was done wrong. Moreover, the one who is forgiving could assume a superior position than the party being forgiven. For me, that would not feel right. I considered leaving the birth family the best thing for what I needed to learn. And in retrospect, I am so grateful that I did not grow up with that family.

My experiences have shown me that it is not about the child forgiving the mother. At least, it never occurred to me. Rather, it is about if the mother is willing to heal herself, beginning by owning what she did, which forever altered the lives of her child and, more importantly, her life.

In my case, the circumstances were not in my birth mother’s favor to keep her child and be a proud mother. It was really not her fault. I never felt I had to blame her. Truly.

Although I have experienced many struggles and hardships with the adoption, I have found my own life and am in the process of moving on. But for my birth mother, every single time when all her other children are visiting, she would be reminded that one is missing in the picture.

In other words, there is a void, a hole, a sense of loss in her heart that she needs to feel. I and no one else can fill it for her.

Ultimately, it’s her own life that she has changed, even if that was not her decision and that she was also the victim of the socio-cultural environment from the Forced Adoptions. The fact remains that she was the one who was pregnant.

When the mothers have done the hard work of facing and making peace with that history, I believe that energetically, the healing will be transmitted, beyond the time and space, to their children.

And, vice versa. I have been focusing on my own healing and I trust that my birth mother would be in sync with my progress, if she is destined to. We are all connected on a deeper level, whether or not we are physically present with each other.

There is no one to be forgiven. There are, however, two people to be healed, whoever takes the initiative. It takes a lot of self-love and courage, something most of us were not taught.”