The Search for a Mom

Keyana writes Dr. Phil:

I'm not writing you to help fix my problems with my mother. To me, that relationship is dead. I'm writing you to ask to help me find new parents. My name is Keyana, I'm 33 years old, and I'm married with four children, and I live in Tennessee. My ideal family would live near the Middle-Tennessee area. The mother would have a genuine interest in me, how I'm doing, how my family is doing and genuinely care. My new mother would want to spend time with me and my family, shop, talk, take a walk at the park, your normal every day mother/daughter things. In my heart, I know this potential family is out there somewhere, and I would love Dr. Phil to help me get adopted.

"You are committed to doing this, right?" Dr. Phil asks Keyana.

"Absolutely. Yes, sir," she says. "I feel like everything in my life is going at a good rate, and I feel like this is one thing that I have sort of a hang up with."

"What is so painful about your relationship with your mother?"

"Well, we don't have a relationship at all. She has a relationship with my sisters and doesn't have a relationship at all with me or my family," Keyana says.


"That's the burning question, I guess. She's never told me why," she explains. "I've written letters and apologized for anything that I might've done in my past, and she's never acknowledged any of them. She just says that we need to leave it in the past and that she loves me and that should be enough."


[AD]Dr. Phil wonders if Keyana's appearance on his show is to insult her mother.

"No. I don't mean for it to be, not at all," she says.

"Oh, I think you do. I mean, you come on national television and say, ‘My mother is so bad, I want a new one,'" Dr. Phil says.

"That's not really what I'm wanting to do. I just wanted to find someone who would want to have a mother/daughter relationship around my area, who would care, who would be involved," she says..

Dr. Phil notes that Keyana is planning to take her new mom's name as her maiden name. "So, you're really wanting to redefine and reframe some things here, right?"

"Yes, sir."

"You realize you're 33. And by 33, you're the mom," he says. "In fact, you have four children, and your family is very happy, right?"

"Yes," she says.

"But there's something missing inside, and you're going to fill that void by making this new connection."

"I would like to."

"And I suppose people in your area can write in to the show, or go onto the message boards, and y'all can start up a dialogue and a relationship here, but I want to tell you two things that I want you to consider," Dr. Phil says. "Your request is kind of unusual because of your age, but I get it, I get the void that you have, and I'm not saying that you should go heal your relationship with your mother, or that's even an option. That may not be. But I have found the fastest way to fill any void that we have in our own mind, heart and spirit is to give away what we wish we were getting. And maybe there are people in your community, your church, whatever, who you could reach out to and create a relationship that you really want. They always say, ‘If you want a good friend, be a good friend.' If you want that kind of connection and relationship, then become that kind of person in someone else's life and give away what you wish you were getting. And secondly, sometimes we have to give ourselves what we wish we got from someone else. Sometimes, we have to look in the mirror and say, ‘I wish my mom was standing here, saying, "I'm really proud of you being the mother you are, the wife that you are, the citizen that you are."' Sometimes you need to give that to yourself. But, having said that, generate the kind of relationship you want. Remember, if you want a good friend, then be a good friend. If you want that connection, then create it. Go be a significant person in someone's life that has a void, and I bet you're going to find some takers."

[AD]"Yes, sir. I have actually already written something on my MySpace and had gotten someone who was interested, but once we got to talking, she lived in North Carolina, and it just didn't work out," Keyana says.

"Be very, very careful, because you're coming across as very vulnerable and very needy, and that is like blood in the water to the sharks on the Internet," Dr. Phil warns. "Do this locally. Do it in your church, do it in your community center, do it in places where you look people in the eye, and you know who they are. The internet can be very, very scary."