Canadian Council of Natural Mothers' Library

Waiting to Forget
A Motherhood Lost and Found

by Margaret Moorman

This is the description offered on the book jacket:

Waiting to Forget is Margaret Moorman's memoir of two very different pregnancies, twenty-five years apart. The first, when she was sixteen, was secretive and profoundly traumatic. Without the resources to rear a child, she relinquished her newborn son for adoption. The second, when she was forty-one, was an experience of almost transcendent joy, but soon she found herself afraid to be apart from her baby daughter. Tracing her anxiety to the loss of her son, she began to fathom the shame and silence that burden so many birth mothers. Margaret Moorman describes her complicated feelings as she begins to search for her son and to reconcile her past with her new life.

I found this book fascinating but I often had the urge to tell Ms. Moorman "Wake up, for Heaven's sake". In many ways, she never "got it", namely that she (as well as the rest of us who are natural parents) was manipulated and exploited by a system that found it good business to procure babies for infertile couples who seemed to believe that they were entitled to a baby whether or not nature intended to cooperate.

To the end, she continues to feel unentitled to her own child. To witness, the sickening ending where she expressed such delirious happiness at getting one lone letter from her son who declined contact. Exactly what did she believe she had accomplished? She still did not know her son's name or whereabouts and only knows he did not want to meet her!

One particular passage caused me great satisfaction however. This is where she recounts having been asked by someone if she had ever given any thought to the plight of adoptive parents who wanted so much to have a child. She stated that this is no reason to appropriate someone else's child. To give a parallel, let us suppose, for instance, that I am unmarried and dying to find a husband. It would never occur to me to ask a married woman if she ever gave any thought to the plight of the single women who would love to find a husband, and would she please give me hers? To paraphrase Ms. Moorman, it would never occur to me to take your husband just because I cannot find my own, even if I was told that I was welcomed to do so.

To the end, Ms. Moorman does not realize that it is HER child, not the adoptive parents' child. The adoptive parents may have been willing to take in the child and raise and nurture it, they may love the child and the child may love them in return, but it is NOT their child. That is the very simple bottom line of this matter. Unfortunately Ms. Moorman has missed the point and still comes across as the unassertive and docile teenager she once was.

She has stopped short of true consciousness.


Reviewer: ?


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