This is not my term, but I thank the one from whom I first heard it and it really fits. A Frozen Mother is one of two types. She can be a Mother of Adoption Loss who has kept the fact of her pregnancy and the existence of a surrendered child locked away as a deep, dark secret. Many of these Moms are married to men who do not know about the previous pregnancy, and have raised subsequent children who are also unaware of the fact that they have a sibling out there somewhere.
I have had recent contact with one of these Moms. As much as she professes to love her surrendered child, she refuses any kind of deep relationship, would rather not even have a meeting and refers to the reappearance of her adult child in her life as her "worst nightmare come true." Most of these Moms are my age or older. They are mostly from the era when we were systematically shamed into submission and the old shame tapes never stop playing in their heads.
These Moms are totally terrified of anyone finding out about their single pregnancy and loss to adoption. They are usually self-persuaded, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that their husband and/or children will never forgive them, will be ashamed of them and their lives and families will be destroyed. It's very hard to get through to these Mother. The deep fear, under whose shadow they live their lives, stands as a very formidable barrier between them and the light of truth. I always feel so badly for the adult surrendered children of these women. I also hurt a bit for the moms, themselves.
The other type is the "good b-mom." This woman walks on eggshells, sees herself as less than a true mother, makes constant obeisance to the adopters and accepts crumbs rather than demanding respect for their motherhood. These are the women who will say they are "blessed" by their reunions with adult children that let them know, in no uncertain words, that they "only gave birth" to them and that their adopter is their REAL parent. These women seem to feel they deserve such treatment and have no right to any more or any better.
These are the women who will proudly proclaim that they are BIRTHmothers...not the real deal, somehow less than a mother, second-rate, second-class and permanently off in the distant background. The very thought of adoption activism, reform, truthful adoption language, etc., gives this particular Frozen Mother the hives. She lays claim to a "superior maturity" that has allowed her to "accept" her fate. She derides the activist mom as a troublemaker, and calls her bitter, angry and strident and relishes the approval of and pats on the head from adopters and facilitators. She may even go so far as to work with adoption agencies because, that way, she can still live in her fantasy that her loss to adoption and her self-perceived role in that loss was a "GOOD THING." Sometimes, this kind of Mom will awaken and thaw, usually after experiencing a whole lot of hurt.
It is sad to see some of our own sisters standing in the way of the forward movement of true reform. I have made the comment before that, when such resistance comes from a sister Mother of Adoption Loss, I feel a bit betrayed. Then, I also look at where I was about 15 years ago and I can see a little bit of where their heads are. It just takes more, sometimes, to awaken some sleepers. *sigh