The Beauty of the Mother and Child Bond

In 1963, when I was born, it was decidedly un-hip to be pregnant and unmarried, so at the tender age of 3 months, I was given up for adoption.

I am one of those lucky adoptees in that my birth mother hired a private detective to find me. I was 30 and pregnant with my second child. The first question I asked her was, “Did you ever think about me?” as I patted my growing 7-months-pregnant belly. It was a question I wondered about as a child, and as it came out of my mouth, it felt like it was coming directly from the heart of the little girl I once was.

There is something sacred about being found when you have been given away, and the fact that she searched for me, signaled that she had wanted me on some level. It soothed the part of me that felt abandoned that had haunted my entire life, despite having two parents who loved me. 

Just a year earlier, when my firstborn turned 3 months old, I would stare at her and ponder what my birth mother must have endured handing a child over to an anonymous couple, after signing documents that sealed me behind a bureaucratic vault.

I would rather have had my heart ripped out by the natives in Apocalypto.


In my early 20s, I half-heartedly searched for her, but I was frightened by the prospect of rejection, having met some despondent individuals in ALMA who had been rebuffed by their mothers. Perhaps the energetic burden of having given a child away was simply too overwhelming to face. Adoption is, after all, an intimate exchange of energy, bound in hope and despair and blind faith.

Stepping back into that space, and wading into those unresolved emotions of the past, takes a mighty brave soul. Not doing so, however, leaves the other soul somewhat untethered.

It is a terrifying endeavor to search for the woman who birthed you into being. Like a moth to a flame, one is drawn in by the hope of connection and belonging, and equally repelled by the fear of rejection. Added to that was the struggle of feeling disloyal to my parents.

In The Brain on Love, Diane Ackerman writes:

“Brain scans show synchrony between the brains of mother and child; but what they can’t show is the internal bond that belongs to neither alone, a fusion in which the self feels so permeable it doesn’t matter whose body is whose. Wordlessly, relying on the heart’s semaphores, the mother says all an infant needs to hear, communicating through eyes, face and voice. Thanks to advances in neuroimaging, we now have evidence that a baby’s first attachments imprint its brain. The patterns of a lifetime’s behaviors, thoughts, self-regard and choice of sweethearts all begin in this crucible.”

Perhaps the connection with my birth mother was a way to make sense of those imprints made in the first few months of life. Vital pieces of missing information that completed me in some way. When I met her, I remember feeling as though I now held all the parts of myself in one place and they were no longer scattered out in the universe or locked away in secret files.

Having the information expanded my perspective and opened my heart.

In part, our lives are a collection of experiences and memories, and we have endless opportunities to spread them out before us and make sense of what we find. Have you ever taken apart a memory you hold dear, one that might be holding you back or creating friction, with the intention to open up to bigger possibilities?


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  4 comments for “The Beauty of the Mother and Child Bond

  1. March 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Dianna, I, too, was adopted. At 6 months I was taken into a home that wanted me. Thirty-some years later I was found by a sister who had the same mother as me. They had looked for me. This led to my meeting my birth mother. I found out that I was the result of rape. That my birth mother was mentally handicapped and could not care for me if she had wanted to. That my adoption was forced by her parents. So, I guess I’m an authority on this. No, I did not bond with my birth mother when we met. I now don’t even know if she’s alive. I do, however, have a relationship with my sister. She’s a beautiful woman. I can see the similarities. I can love the differences. Yeah, there are difficulties in my life that are direct results of my adoption. I’m sure that you experience these, too. But, there is healing in the knowledge that my mother did not abandon me. She allowed me to have a new life.

    • Dianna Bonny
      March 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      I appreciate your comment so very much Mike. There is something very bittersweet about the entire concept of adoption isn’t there? And, so many layers to unwrap. I am glad you have the knowledge of your heritage as well, and a relationship with your sister. I agree that there is something healing about knowing the truth because the mind can play tricks with concepts like abandonment. Thank you for sharing. xo

  2. March 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I just found your blog today and can’t wait to read more of it. What you wrote means a lot to me. I have not been able to make sense of my own losses, but I am happy for you in your own path.

    A mother will always love her own child, more than anybody will know.

    • Dianna Bonny
      April 1, 2014 at 5:05 am

      So very true Ariel. Mother’s love is powerful stuff. I’m glad you found me and hope to connect more. Thank you for sharing. xo

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