74 [S4 E11] Carrie - Early Motherhood as an Adoptee

Today we are going to get to know Carrie Anspach, as she shares with us about her experience of early motherhood. We talk about her pregnancy and birth experience, how she experienced a relationship with her daughter before she even arrived, and how becoming a mother dramatically changed her understanding of being an adopted person in this world.

Show Notes

Topics We Discussed

  • Carrie was born and adopted in Ohio, also has a younger adopted brother
  • What she would do when people mentioned how much she looked like her adoptive parents
  • Growing up in a Christian family, Carrie’s parents were seen as influential leaders in the community, but what was happening at home was much different than outward appearances would indicate (verbal abuse, feeling that she was a “horrible child”).
  • “I don’t know why God is punishing us with you, I hate you and wish we could take you back” - Carrie’s adoptive mom
  • Flipping the switch to become the perfect child - maybe now people would accept her and love her.
  • Carrie’s search for her first mother and her expectations for reunion.
  • She gets the news that her birthmother does not want to be in contact, but is able to connect with her aunt and receives some photos and family history.
  • When Carrie’s aunt introduces her to her maternal grandfather, she has an instant connection. Her first time thinking, “that’s my kin, that’s my people”.
  • Their decision whether or not to have kids, experiencing infertility, not necessarily feeling like she wanted children.
  • Finding out they were unexpectedly pregnant
  • Her experience of pregnancy, connecting with Lucy even when she was the size of a grape; wondering how her birthmother “could do what she did”
  • Planning her “perfect” birth, then finding out her plans were not going to come to fruition. Instead of the calm home-birth with a midwife, she had to deliver at a hospital, and ended up having a c-section. “I really re-lived the whole adoption trauma through her birth.”
  • “I was completely re-living my loss”
  • How Carrie feels after having Lucy, and the impact it’s had on her view of herself: “I feel like my feet are planted and I’m rooted in a way I’ve never been before”
  • A little update on her reunion: an in-person meeting on Mother’s Day!

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