Adoption—using an intermediary to contact the birth mother

“Deciding how to contact my birth mother presented a dilemma. She lived far away in another state. I had four choices—I could fly across the country and attempt to meet with her in person; I could call her on the telephone; I could mail her letters, photographs, a bouquet of flowers and chocolates; or I could ask an intermediary, a friend, a relative, or someone I trusted to contact her. I decided to ask my best friend Grace to meet with her in person.”Judith Land, author & adoptee

Thinking about calling my birth mother moved my heart to palpitate rapidly and made my mouth go dry. Spasms of fear between bouts of terror left me light-headed and feeling faint. Thinking about a potential reunion with my birth mother had dominated my thoughts every waking hour and governed my dreams for a thousand nights. My passion for finding my birth mother was about to climax in an unsustainable emotional crescendo. The key to my past was in my hand, but I was terrified to open the lock and expose all the secrets inside. It was simply too risky. Why should I change my life? My family loved me. I was healthy and lived in a beautiful location with friends and a good job. Why should I give up my peaceful life of tranquility and certainty for an unknown potentially tumultuous future?

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Pebble Creek

Finding an intermediary presented some difficult choices. I needed to select someone I could explicitly trust, clearly state my expectations, advise them how to prepare, and define their responsibilities. My best friend Grace agreed to act as my diplomatic representative. First impressions were vitally important. I held my breath and waited to see what would happen when she delivered my package of letters and photographs directly to my birth mother at her place of work.

I had a difficult time deciding. My husband provided me with new insights and perspectives into issues that better reflected how others might view them. He was a trained mediator who used a variety of techniques to help executives make critical decisions. The collaborative process he used called the choosing by advantages method of decision making gave me confidence and reduced the chances of me changing my mind in the future. I made the decision to use an intermediary, but who should I choose? What qualifications, responsibilities and skills were important? I needed someone I could trust that would give a good first impression.

Furtively hoping to be the first to catch a glimpse of my birth mother’s face, my best friend Grace had delightedly agreed to be my clandestine coconspirator by personally handing my priceless collection of letters and photographs to Rebecca at her place of work. I was inwardly focused and oblivious to all external sounds and distractions. I viewed my life as a fairy-tale story, the fulfillment of my greatest and most enduring childhood aspirations. I held my breath. I wanted the situation to be perfect. How would my birth mother react when confronted by my emissary?

Judith Land



Part 1: Contacting the birth mother by telephone

Part 2: Contacting the birth mother by letter

Adoption FAQ’s

Adoption Detective | Adoption Story | Adoption Search | Adoption Reunion

Antagande Detective | Antagande Story | Antagande Sök | Antagande Reunion

About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
This entry was posted in Adoption, Books, Parenting, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Adoption—using an intermediary to contact the birth mother

  1. lonistel says:

    This I find so interesting! Being adopted, I did also find my birthmom. It was the most nervous thing ever. Fortunately, I did have a mediator. I knew the agency I was adopted through, and they contacted her to see if she would release her name. She did. The Social Worker gave her my phone number and an arranged time was made. My birthmom called me the first time. I was shaking – but it was great to talk to her – and most of all, thank her for giving me live.

    • Judith Land says:

      Thanks for sharing your experiences. Stage fright is the biggest fear reported by American adults, topping flying, financial ruin, sickness, and even death. Many individuals suffer in silent terror when asked to speak in public. Public speaking, or anywhere some individuals might be the center of attention, creates feelings of dread and panic and embarrassment that exacts a huge toll on self-confidence and self-esteem. Some people would prefer to be in their own coffins than give a eulogy at a funeral. Calling my Mother for the first time was the most difficult fear I ever faced.

  2. Pingback: “Adoption—making contact with the birth mother by telephone” —Judith Land, author & adoptee | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

  3. Pingback: Adoption—making contact with the birth mother by letter | Adoption Detective | A Novel By Judith Land

  4. You are one of the lucky 50% whose mothers respond positively to a contact by an intermediary. We Search Angels strongly recommend against using intermediaries for a number of reasons. Here is my blog on forced intermediary programs in PA and other states:
    See also my columns in Women’s Voices Magazine:

  5. gooddaytotry says:

    i am waiting with bated breath… what happens next?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.