Friday, December 31, 2010

What Will 2011 Bring?

2009 started with a huge bang ~ it was January 16th that I opened my hotmail account to find the emails from a search angel and one from Christopher.  I will never forget the moment I found out my son was still alive, as well as healthy and happy.  We began a wonderful cyber reunion, and for the first time since 1979 I was able to celebrate, instead of mourn his birthday.  Every holiday was wonderful also, without the worries about if/what Christopher was doing.  As the year came to a close, although still very happy with our reunion, I really didn't think I would get a chance to meet him in person for a long time, if ever.

2010 became surprisingly harder as far as reunion emotions.  This year as holidays and Christopher's birthday came around, it was still wonderful knowing he was alive and well, but it became much more painful that he was missing in my "real life" at every celebration.  Christopher was no longer an "abstract being".  He was a flesh and blood son, who was missing from my family.  2010 was another monumental year in my life though.  On October 9th, I was finally able to see Christopher in person.  To hug him, see him...  It takes my breath away just remembering those first moments.  

So, here's to 2011!  For two years in a row now, something I thought would never happen did.  Being reunited, and then meeting my son in person after 31 years.  I am full of hope for this coming year.  Will I meet Christopher's family ~ his children (my grandchildren!)? his wife? parents?  I would be happy to just have another opportunity to spend another hour with Christopher ~ I feel like I am jinxing myself to even dream of anything more.  

I hope that 2011 brings monumental 
things into your lives too!  

I hope that relationships grow, the lost are found,  
and those rejected are finally embraced.   


Friday, December 24, 2010

A Candle In The Dark...


I lit my candle tonight at 6:00.  As it burns, I am lifting up my prayers for all parents living without their children due to adoption.    I pray for all mothers tonight ~ those searching, in reunion, and those rejected by their children.  I also pray for the adoptees ~ whether searching or not, in reunion, and those rejected by members of their natural family.  I pray for a change of heart for those unable to embrace their lost loved ones.  

Most of all, I pray for Christopher and I, 
that we continue to grow our relationship. 

I wish all of you affected by adoption loss 
a Very Merry Christmas.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Words of My Heart, Written by Others...

What a crazy week!  Every year I tell myself I'm going to be more organized, not procrastinate.  Every year I fail in that.  One good thing about trying to get all my shopping/decorating/baking done in a week is that it has helped a little bit to keep me distracted. 

I have been keeping up with all my blogs, there have been some great posts.  It helps immensely knowing that I am not alone in feeling such loss and sadness from adoption, although it is sad to know that there are others out there who also feel this way. 

I'm really having a hard time getting my thoughts to slow down enough to write a sensible post, so I'm going to share from some of the posts that have touched me this week.

I was happy to see that she had a new post this week.
...adoption grief is pretty much always that one final thing that threatens to topple everything else over into a total pile of disaster.  You know what I'm getting at... You've been there. There are all of life's little (or big) stresses and we go from here to there putting out fires and problem solving and just living life in the moment doing the best that we can with what we have.  Then BAM! A trigger. It may be an innocent comment, a malicious remark, being introduced to someone with the same name as the person you've lost, a photo, an article, a program on tv, a smell...  And it takes you back to the reality of the grief that you hide from everyone else, every day, in the most secret place of your heart.
I've learned that the loss of my first daughter is something that is so big, so painful, so out of this world unnatural to my "mother's heart" that if I stare at it square in the face, I am so overcome with debilitating grief that I'm down for the count. My house goes to pot, it saps my physical energy and I start to feel very sick and lethargic, I have weird, unexplainable pains, I am not as patient with my kids or my husband, and I withdraw from the good and healthy things in my life.  I cancel plans with good friends. I'm bad at returning emails or phone calls.  I miss regularly scheduled commitments like Bible study, homeschool co-op or choir practice.  I procrastinate with bill paying. :( I eat what is easier rather than what is healthier. In other words, it is VERY unhealthy for not only me, but everyone else who depends on me if I try to face the behemoth adoption, it's stereotypes, myths and misdeeds.  Do you know how utterly exhausting it is to be in an environment (the community of other Christians) where the most horrible way you have been wronged in your LIFE is something that everyone else sees as wonderful?

I am going to join in the annual tradition she writes about. 
On Christmas Eve this year, each of these women will light a candle at 6:00 PM and burn it until midnight, thus having candles lit around the world on Christmas Eve Night. The candle will remember the members who are searching for their child and light the way for the possible reunion. For those who are reunited, it will burn to strengthen the tie that was forged between the biological members of the triad. And, for those who have been rejected by the fruit of their womb, it will offer hope for a change of heart and a better future.

Lorraine has some beautiful words regarding search and reunion.
Whether you are an adoptee or a first mother, open up your heart to the love that someone wants to give you. She or he will not be a "perfect" person, but he or she is the right person for you. And to those who have been rejected, I can only say that rejection is part of your Tao, your path, and you need to be brave and call upon that courage to move around, over, and beyond the rejection, and find empathy in your heart for the person you seek who cannot summon their own courage within.

There is no "right" time to do a search, or "right" time to make the call that completes a reunion, or mends a broken one and heals it. There is only time, and each day we have less of it. Each of us only have so much time, and none of us know how much that is, and it is hurrying by like a horseman in the night.

I have only shared parts of their posts, click on the links to read more of their wonderful words.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,

Please bring me pictures of Christopher growing up.  There are almost 30 years of photos I would give anything to see.  I have pics of him at 3 weeks old, when I was "allowed" one short visit with him, and then I have pics from the last couple of years that we have been reunited.  I would love to have a glimpse into the years in between.  This is my greatest Christmas wish. 

Unless of course, you can put a bug in Christopher's ear about visiting, to finally meet his siblings & nieces and nephews?  Oh, how I would love having his family here, being able to see ALL of my children and grandchildren together.  What a family dinner and celebration that would be!!

While you are at it, can you put a good word in for me with Christopher's parents?  Tell them that I really do not want to (nor is it possible for me to) take their place in his life.  Can you let them know that having another person in his life who loves him is a good thing, not a threatening thing?  Heck, they might even like me if they could get to know me. 

Can you also please spread the word that a child is not a "gift" to be given to someone else to raise.  God doesn't make mistakes.  God doesn't put a baby in the wrong womb, in order to be given to the "right" parents ~ a "gift from God". 

Santa, you are the king of giving gifts, a friend to all children.  Maybe you could consider becoming a spokesperson for family preservation and adoptee rights.  There are a lot of natural moms and adoptees trying to spread the word about the truth of adoption loss, but our voices are drowned out by the adoptive parents and the adoption industry.  You are loved by everyone, maybe they will listen to you. 

Merry Christmas Santa!
Susie

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hiding From Reality?



I'm no longer the ashamed 15 year old I once was.
     I'm no longer hiding from the reality of adoption in my life.

I'm not letting society destroy my reality.
     Society just doesn't believe in my reality.
          Society doesn't believe in the reality of adoption loss
          for the mothers or the children.


Often, those effected by adoption loss don't even realize the reality of the loss.  I didn't until after reunion.  Thankfully, I can say that I never encouraged adoption to anyone as I did not want to be a part of someone living with the pain I felt from the loss of my son.  The pain, even in deep denial, was more than I would wish on anybody.



Yesterday I ran across this blog post (which was deleted after receiving my comment to it).  

We have good friends who are currently clear across the country in the process of adopting a baby. Everything seemed like it was going fine, however, the birth mother has had medical problems, and the baby can't leave the hospital before the birth mother. In the meantime, the birth mother is insisting on caring for the baby by herself (without help from the nurses) and is insisting on nursing the baby.
Please pray that she would make the right decision for the baby, and please pray for our friends who are in limbo, hanging on.
Thank you so much!
St. Joseph, pray for us!
St. Collette, pray for us!
Imagine that!!  How dare a mother insist on nursing her own child!  How dare that mother be allowed to care for her baby without any help from the nurses!  And of course, to this blogger, the "right decision" that should be made is for adoption to still take place.  Yes, it is sad that the couple wanting to be parents are in limbo.  It is so much more sad, however, that they are praying for the separation of a mother and a child.  The separation of a child from their family of origin, their ancestry, etc. 

Today I went to see if my comment had been posted.  I was not surprised to see that it hadn't, but I was surprised to see that the post had been deleted entirely.  

There was a new post today, referencing the post and the comment that had been received from me.  Explaining why she believes in adoption being the right choice.  Because she is adopted.  She says that she believes God doesn't make mistakes.  I think she means that God meant her to be born to one family, and adopted by another.  Because, of course, her mother fits the "crack whore" stereotype.  

She also goes on to say how hard it must be to give your child up, that she doesn't know how a mother can choose to give her child up for adoption.  But it is still the right choice ~ for someone else to do.  She received a comment to the new post.  A woman saying her sister gave a child up for adoption ~ she doesn't think she could have done it ~ but what an amazing story it is for her sister and sister's child.  

And then at the end of the new post ~ she says she's still praying.  

So am I.  I'm praying as this blogger originally asked.  "That she (the sick mother, still in the hospital) would make the right decision for the baby".  I'm praying that the mother, if at all possible, and if abuse/neglect are not a part of her story, has the strength and support to raise her child.  I'm praying that she has a full recovery from whatever illness is giving her the blessing of being with her child for the first days of life outside the mother's womb.   I'm praying that this mother and child have a long, blessed life together as family and will never know that pain and loss that adoption is.



Friday, December 3, 2010

Holiday Blues

Last year was my first Thanksgiving and Christmas after reuniting with Christopher.  It made the holidays so much sweeter ~ KNOWING that my son was alive, healthy, and happy.  I have always loved the holidays, despite the fact that my firstborn son was missing from the family celebrations, but last year the holidays were true celebrations.

This year I found myself with underlying sadness as we celebrated Thanksgiving.  I thought it was partly because I hadn't heard from Christopher for a couple of weeks. 

The sadness still clings.  Yes, I am so happy and thankful that I now have Christopher in my life.  Yet...

I don't. 

I'm sad.  And mad.  That my firstborn child is not my child.  I am his mom, yet I am not.  Why is the knowing not enough?  Why does my heart want, need, more? 

I thought it would get easier.  It's getting harder.

I want to celebrate Christmas with my family.  ALL of my family.  This holiday season I am feeling the loss of Christopher so much more than I ever have.  He's no longer "the baby I had to give up".  He is an actual person.  Christopher.  A husband and a wonderful father.  An artist.  Who lives four and a half hours east of me.  Whose life is complete with his adoptive family.  

My life has not been complete since May 8th, 1979.  You would think I would be used to this by now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thank God that November is Over!

This month has been a tough one. 

I started out the month thinking I would post every day for the Adoption BeAwareness Month.  It was too draining to try to get the words out of my head every day. 

A month of inescapable stories about the wonders of adoption.  The stories that began to feel like stabs straight to the heart.  Adoption ~ the loving option.  Yeah.  Loving.  That's EXACTLY what has been brought into my life because of adoption.  Adoption brought anything but love into my life.  Loss of my son, grief, denial, self-doubt, self-hatred.  Those are just a few of the things adoption brought into my life.

I have come to hate November.  The fact that Thanksgiving is in the month makes it even worse.  Thanksgiving used to be one of my favorite holidays.  But thankful and adoption do not belong in the same sentence, much less month.  Don't get me wrong, I am so very thankful for the blessings my son has had with his adoptive family, I am thankful we have been reunited.  But there is nothing thankful about the fact that adoption is a part of my life 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for again this year.  I have more blessings than I could ever list, but there are a few that I want to acknowledge here.

First and foremost, I am so thankful to have my firstborn son in my life.  Especially thankful that I finally got to meet Christopher in person this year.  This will be my second Thanksgiving KNOWING that he is alive and well, not just praying that he is.  Before reunion, I really did not believe that I would ever be reunited with him in any way.  I have to remind myself of that when I find myself wanting "more" of a relationship with Christopher.  I am so thankful that he did get great parents, that he has a wonderful extended family as well.  I am so thankful that he is healthy and happy. 

I am so thankful for all my children.  I am so thankful that my three raised children have accepted and welcomed Christopher as a part of our family.  It is so wonderful to see my kids as young adults and also to see two of them parenting their own children.  I am especially proud of my daughter, who had her first child at 16, becoming an amazing mother at such a young age.  I am thankful that all my children and grandchildren are healthy, happy, and enjoying life.

I am so thankful for my group of close friends.  Two of us have been friends since 2nd grade, the rest I met in high school.  There are 5 of us, and I would be lost without them.   I have many friends, but The Girls are a part of me.  I am so thankful for our special friendships that have grown for over 32 years.  My grade school friend and I have been friends for 40 years now!  They have been with me through thick and thin, they are completely supportive of my reunion, and they always include Christopher and his children as a part of my family. 

And last, but not least, I am so very thankful for all the "friends" I have met online in my quest for finding myself after reunion with Christopher.  I truly don't know where I would be right now if I had not found all of those who validated the confusing thoughts and feelings I was having.  I am pretty sure I would have stayed right in that closet, scared of my own feelings, thinking something was wrong with me. 

I wish each and every one of you a very blessed Thanksgiving.  I hope you enjoy a fabulous day full of family, friends, and too much good food!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Just Don't Understand

So much for posting every day during this month.  For a week now I have been trying to write another post, but it keeps coming out too angry so I haven't posted any of them. 

I really just don't understand how the necessity of adoption reform is not obvious to everyone.  It all just seems like it should be so simple.  How hard can it be to understand that adoption begins with loss?  That the simple fact is that in order for somebody to adopt a baby, someone else has to lose a baby, and that baby loses his/her natural, God-given family.  In order for a family to grow through adoption, another has to lose.

How can anybody that has experienced a miscarriage or the death of an infant at birth, not understand the grief that a mother experiences when losing a child to adoption?  How can you knowingly put that kind of loss on someone else? 

How is it ok for one family to live with the sorrow of losing a child in order for another family to have a child to raise because they are unable to conceive?

Why is it that it's ok to spend tax-payer dollars on adoption tax credits, adoption industry funding, etc. ~ but it's not ok to spend tax-payer dollars keeping a family intact?  Why is it ok to give money to people that can afford adoption, but not ok to give money to people that can't afford to raise their child?  You are still spending the money, either way.  Except with adoption funding, you are paying to help tear families apart.

Why can't people see that for a mother to choose to give her child up for adoption, she has to see herself as "less than" first.  Less than the adoptive parents.  Less than good enough.  Less than able.  Less than.

Why can't people see that an adoption agency is a business?  That business is about supply and demand.  That if the demand is high, everything possible is done by a business to ensure the necessary supply.  Because isn't that why most people are in business?  To make money.  To hopefully see an increase in revenue every year?  To give their executives and employees an increase in pay every year?  That in order to keep the supply high enough, to keep their income revenues high enough, coercive practices are necessary in adoption? 


It should all be so simple. 


*This post is only about the loss for the natural mothers.  The loss is also felt by the fathers, grandparents, siblings, the entire natural family.  

**The greatest losses are incurred by the adopted themselves.  The adoptees are the ones who never have a voice.  Life changing decisions are made for them.  I started to post some of the losses faced by adoptees, but as I am not adopted, I don't feel that I am qualified to speak for them. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This post is not really adoption related, it's more personal in nature. 

Again today, the daily email from The Brave Girls Club seems to be written to me.  From the very first sentence, "It's ok to cry sometimes, you know.  It's even ok to completely fall apart for a little while so that you can put yourself back together in the way you are supposed to be together...".  It even mentions having a hole in your heart where loved things used to be.  

I'm taking this daily email as a sign that I'm finally on the right path.  Finally taking the steps necessary to come to terms with everything before I lose one more day.

 

Because today I am reminded of how bad things can get 
when you try to bury something from your past. 


I found out today that a friend from high school finally reported something horrific that happened to her during our high school days.  Something that she had never told anybody until a few years ago when she confided in another friend of ours. 


I thought that keeping my pregnancy and the adoption of my son a secret was damaging.  What this friend has kept secret is so much worse.  

Sadly, she will be vilified by many.  I imagine very few people will place their anger where it belongs ~ on a man who had a wonderful reputation in our community.  A man who was a leader of many.  On the man that committed a grievous crime against innocent girls who were afraid to speak out. 


Instead they will blame my friend, who has fought drug addiction several times since graduation.  Drug addiction brought on because of what was done to her.  Addiction brought on because she kept a horrible secret.


I am so proud of my friend and another woman for coming forward, all these years later.  The bravery it would have taken for her to tell her story is unimaginable.  

I pray for her that telling her truth shall set her free.  And I pray that people will not judge unless they have walked a mile in her shoes. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Next Step In Finding Myself

This is from a post on a non-adoption related blog I follow.

This is a post that pushed me to take the next step in dealing with all my locked-up emotions.

This is a post that enabled me to finally call the therapist I found in July. 

I have been trying to find myself, the "me" that was before adoption entered my life.  I really don't think that girl exists anymore, but I hope at least a part of her does.

I know I need help, I need someone to help me open up things I have buried deep.  I need someone to help me cry again.  I need to get all of this sadness and grief out of my head and heart.

How sad that I need to go talk to a stranger to feel safe enough to open up.  Safe enough to "be", instead of stuffing everything inside. 

I'm scared to death, yet at the same time looking forward to continuing this journey towards living an authentic life.  I have overcome my fear of letting people know about Christopher, I was able to overcome the fear of what people might think of me because I was a teen-age mom who gave her son up for adoption.

Now I need to overcome my fear of myself.  The fear of my own emotions.  Or maybe my fear of even having emotions?  Again, I am not finding the words to express my thoughts, my fears. My fear that if I begin to open up to all the emotions I have buried for so long that I will lose myself.  I will lose myself in the huge, gaping hole in my heart.  The gaping hole left from the loss of my son to adoption.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Mother Is Born

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born.
She never existed before. 
The woman existed, but the mother, never. 
A mother is something absolutely new. 
                                                               ~Rajneesh

I wish that I had known this 
          when I was pregnant with Christopher.  

I wish I had known that 
           a mother's love never dies.  
                    That it wasn't possible to 
                     "just get on with your life as if..."

I wish Christopher's (adoptive) 
          mom wanted to know me.

I wish it didn't hurt 
           that she doesn't.

I wish that every girl/woman 
           facing an unexpected pregnancy 
              could know the above quote 
                 and believe in it's truth.

I wish that adoptive/prospective adoptive parents             
           understood that the child they adopt does indeed    
               have another mother.  

I wish that mothers were 
              not considered replaceable.

I wish that the bond between a mother and her child
              was cherished and preserved always. 

I wish that I was 
               Christopher's only mother. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Adoption is Sunshine & Rainbows. Just ask this adoptive mom!

I have many times read an adoptive parents views of how wonderful adoption is.  I belong to a forum full of people with a rainbows & sunshine view of adoption.  But I have never really experienced a full-blown happy-happy attitude in real life until today.  I thought my head was going to explode.

I work in an elementary school.  There is a family of adopted kids, the mom always brings the "Adoption Day" cake to share with her kids & their friends at lunch time.  This has always bothered me, but I have been able to ignore it for the most part.  Until today.

This morning the little boy, 1st grader, came in telling everyone that mom would be coming because it was his "anniversary".  So at least I had a little warning. 

Mom comes in with a beautiful cake as usual, but this time she has a photo album in hand also.  She was early, so she came into my office to show everything off while she was waiting.

I will call the little boy LB, who was 2 years old when he was adopted.  As I started looking at the photos, I remarked about his serious looks.  Mom told me that it was two months before he smiled.  She did not say this with any sadness, it was really weird.  It was almost like it was being bragged about.  She said he did not cry, smile, laugh, anything, the entire trip back to the US.  She again mentioned that it was two months before he smiled a true smile.  It broke my heart, mom seemed unfazed. 

LB has had sores on his face for as long as I have known him.  They will clear up a bit, but sure enough he starts picking at his face again before long.  I remarked about his face being clear in the first photos I was looking at.  She laughed and said "Yup.  That's how I can tell which ones were taken in Russia.  In Russia, no sores; in the US sores."  She in no way seemed sad or upset about that.  It was just a simple little fact to her. 

I got to the photos of the orphanage.  Mom had written the name of the orphanage, and some info about the place.  She also had written LB's russian name,  I asked her how it was pronounced.  She told me, and told me that his middle name was his father's first name.  I remarked that I thought he had been an abandoned baby (that's what I had been told by someone).  She smiled and said no, they knew his parent's names.  I asked her if she knew why he had been given up.  She told me that 9 days before LB was born, his dad died at only 31 years of age.  The family was already poor, already raising a 5 yr old son, and mom gave him up because on her own she couldn't make enough money to support two kids.  Just as I was starting to say "That is so s..." (going to say sad), she smiles and says to everyone "Yes, LB's adoption story is so full of positives.  That his mother was strong enough to allow her son to be adopted so he could have a better life.  I can't imagine doing that, birth moms have got to be so strong, so loving, blah, blah, blah, blah." 

I do not even remember which teachers and staff were in my office at this point, I know there were at least two others at that point.  I seriously thought my head would explode.  I wanted SO BADLY to finish my sentence and say how sad it was that the mother lost not only her husband, but her precious child, simply because of being poor.  I couldn't get any sound out.  I don't even know for sure if I was breathing at that point.

I managed to ask her if they sent letters and photos to his mother.  She replied that the mother left the city after leaving her son at the orphanage, but the rest of his extended family still lived there and were allowed to come visit LB anytime they wanted, and could have taken him out of the orphanage at any time. 

Mom went on to tell everyone how upset that made Adoptive Dad.  He was mad that even as they were there in Russia waiting the days till they could take LB "home", the family could come get him.  Mom though, lovingly reassured Dad that God wouldn't have brought them this far, only to have their son taken away from them.  At this point I was going to say something, but LB's class came into the commons area and she saw him & went out to show him his beautiful celebration cake.

I was, am still SO livid at her callous remarks and attitude about the great loss in LB's life, about the poor mother in Russia who has no idea how or where her son is.  To be able to tell the story of the father's death, the birth of their son so soon after, and that the mother felt she had to give him up because she was too poor.  How completely sad and horrific is that story?  And Mom is so clueless to smile and proudly say that LB's adoption is so full of positives?!?!?

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for LB, firstly of course because he is adopted, but mostly because he has so many challenges ahead of him because of the effects of living in a Russian orphanage for two years.  He is a challenging little guy, but he is also so loving, and has come so far in the years we have had him in our school.  Now that I know the callous attitude his parents have about his adoption, it just breaks my heart. 

They will continue to celebrate the day he was torn from his country, from his family ~ who continued to visit him until he was brought to the US.  They will have no clue about the loss he will associate with his "adoption day", while they are celebrating.  They do not honor his mother's pain, they only see that she was loving and giving. 


And this, my friends, is what is wrong with adoption.  Adoptive parents who fail to see that adoption is based on loss.  Great loss.  So many things in LB's story that would have most people crying, instead have mom smiling. I have been fighting tears all day.  I have a feeling that tonight my inability to cry may end.  Tears for LB, but mostly tears for his mother in Russia.  Maybe even finally tears for me. 

How I wish I could find a way to get LB's mom's name from LB's adoptive parents and find her.  Send her pics and tell her how her sweet little boy is doing.  Put an end to the unknown for her. 

I feel that I need to talk to adoptive mom someday.  I don't know where or when, but I feel that I owe it to LB.  And to his mom.  Both of them...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Same Story, Different Story



In every adoption story, there are at least three, usually many more, completely different points of view.  The natural parents and their extended families, the adoptive parents and their extended families, and the adoptee.

Points of view that often change over time. 

I myself have had three different "stories" about adoption.  One before adoption entered my life, one during my son's childhood & early adulthood, and yet another after reunion.  I went from seeing adoption as a way to save my son from the life I was living, to seeing adoption as causing a deep and painful hole in my heart and soul ~ yet at the same time as "the right thing for teen moms to do", to now realizing that everything possible should be done to honor and keep the mother and child bond intact ~ no matter the age, marital status, etc.  I believe that the only time infant adoption should happen is when the mother fully and truly has NO desire to raise a child, or if abuse or neglect is part of the equation. 

One of my biggest worries when first in reunion with Christopher was that I would say something that I meant as something good, but he would take it as something hurtful or mean.  In the beginning of our reunion, he said some things that I know were said only in kindness and maybe love, but to me they were not. 

That is what originally led me to start reading blogs by adoptive parents and adoptees.  I did not want to say anything that would hurt my son more than I may already have. 

I still struggle with those worries with Christopher.  I also try to be mindful of that when writing blog posts and commenting on other blogs and forums.  Since I have not been in the shoes of an adoptee or adoptive parent, I cannot know how something innocent to me may be harmful to another. 

Because, after all,  we do not see things as they are ~ we see things as we are.  We see things through our own points of view, our own life stories.  


I know there have been times I have responded in anger and/or hurt from something said by one of the other sides of adoption.  I need to be more aware of my words when posting with anger or grief.  

I also need to remember to not take on the views by other adoptees as the views my son may have.  My last couple of posts have been proof of that need. 

Everyone is on their own adoption journey.  All sides of the so-called adoption triad.  All in their own places in the adoption/reunion.  All coming with their own life-experiences effecting their outlook on life and adoption.

Everyone with their own hurts, their own blessings, their own truths.  

I do not want to be the cause of hurt to anyone because of my words.  There is enough hurt in adoption.

I have bookmarked this simple, yet wonderful reminder that my truth is just that.  Mine. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Mother's Love

I received the following comment on a previous post, The Ugly Truth...

But my other question is: How can a mother love her children all the same when one child has been kept and the other was given up? She doesn't know the relinquished child in the same way. :\

I needed a topic for today's post, so I will reply to that comment here.

I cannot explain the love I feel for ALL of my children.  I think it would be impossible to do so.  Every mother I know has loved their children from the moment they were born (and before).  A mother does not need to "know" their child as a person before they grow to love them.  A mother's love is immediate, is unconditional, is forever.  

If a mother's child would die at birth, does the mother feel less love for that child than any others she has had/will have in the future? 

I may not have raised Christopher, nor been able to show my love to him as a parent every day, but I felt love for him always.  With all of my heart. And I will love him forever.  No matter what. 

I cannot explain a mother's love, but one of my favorite poems tries.  (Emphasis mine)

A Mother's Love

A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,

It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .

It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .

It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand

And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

                        Helen Steiner Rice

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Ugly Truth...

This post is rambling, I've tried to get the thoughts to slow down, the swirling to stop so I can put everything I am thinking and feeling into written words.  But it is failing me.  It's like they are right there, so close, but I cannot grasp the words. 

It's almost like my brain is not allowing them to slow down, to be written. 

     Because then they would be real. 

          I would have to face them,

               and I just can't. 



I read the following on Campbell's blog today:

My parents, adoptive, are my first and only parents. My biological parents are just exactly that, the people that conceived me with my mother giving birth to me. They all have their importance, their value, their influence, but my parents are my parents, end of story. As much as I'm enjoying getting to know my bio mom now, she will never be a substitute for my first parents. How could she be.

And I felt the hole in my heart grow bigger.  Then I read it again.  And it's true.  The Truth.  The raw and ugly truth.  I am not Christopher's parent, as I did not parent him.   I know that, have always known that. 

But...

I am his mom.  I love him no less than I love my other children. 

But...

Is that love returned?  Am I simply just someone he is enjoying getting to know?  Like a pen-pal with the added benefit of ancestry & medical information? 

Just another wonderful thing about adoption that you are not told about.  
Your love for your child will never go away.  It will grow.  
But it may never be returned...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2nd Day of November

Another late post!  More than an hour is left in the day this time though.  I meant to get  a post up earlier, but for some reason I ended up on an adoption forum that I haven't visited for quite a while.  I don't know what possessed me tonight to visit there as it always makes me sick with their "adoption is rainbows and sunshine" outlook.  I think I may find myself reprimanded by a few of the good people there after a couple of replies I couldn't help but make!  Any mother considering adoption that finds that group will never hear the truth of adoption there.  There are a couple that try, but the PAP's and adoptive parents are right there negating anything truthful that is said.

I often struggle when writing about the ills of adoption.  After all, I myself at one time believed all the adoption myths.  How many people in my life looked at adoption as a good thing because I went on with my life and pretended like everything was ok?  I know a few other mothers that choose adoption after I did.  Could I have had any part in their decision?  I pray not. But I also fear that I did them a disservice by pretending like everything was fine, by not living the truth of adoption loss & grief.

I also struggle because I, as a mom who chose adoption, was not fully a "victim" of the adoption industry.  I went into this on my own accord.  I fed the machine that is adoption, willingly.  I feel a tinge of guilt every time I read about the hurt caused to an adoptee by adoption.  Because I was one who believed that adoption was best. 

It is my son who had no voice in any of this.  It is the children that are the innocent victims in the world of infant adoption.  And isn't adoption supposed to be about the children

Isn't it not supposed to matter what kind of hell I live in, how broken I am?  As long as my son got a "better" life?  With a mother AND a father?  Who were/are financially stable?  Who were ready and waiting to be parents? 

I chose adoption because I wanted better for my son, not because I wanted better for me.  If the decision had been made for my best interest, I would have raised my son. 

My son did have a wonderful childhood, he has parents he loves as much as they love him.  He has great love for his entire extended adoptive family.  He has had life experiences I couldn't have given him.  He has said he is grateful for the life I gave him, by giving him up for adoption.  He can't imagine life any different.  And isn't that what I hoped and prayed for?

So, who am I to bitch? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Adoption Awareness Month

"November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside each year to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. This year's National Adoption Month initiative targets adoption professionals by focusing on ways to recruit and retain parents for the 115,000 children and youth in foster care waiting for adoptive families."
I have come to hate November.  The adoption industry, adoptive parents, and the media choose to ignore that the meaning behind this month is to raise the number of children adopted out of foster care

Instead we get to have an entire month dedicated to hearing and reading about the wonderful world of adoption.  Not adoption of foster children though ~ adoption of newborn babies who have been born to parents who are deemed as less worthy than the adoptive parents.  A month dedicated to celebrating the destruction of natural families, instead of preserving them.  Celebrating, instead of seeing the truth about the harm done when children are not raised with their natural families.  Children who lose their identity, ancestry, medical history, and more.  A month that ignores the  mothers who are forever changed, who spend the rest of their lives without their precious child. 

I'm going to try to post every day this month ~ to do my part in spreading the truth about adoption loss.  I don't know how well I will do ~ I am posting on this first day with only 38 minutes left!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Other People's Blogs or Things I Wish I Had Known...

I don't know why I allow myself to read blogs by PAP's.  Or blogs by pregnant mothers choosing adoption and blogging about it while still pregnant.  It drives me crazy, makes me want to jump thru the computer and shake them until they listen and truly try to understand living life with adoption loss.  For both the mother and the infant.

There are so many things I wish these people would really 
think about, and understand,when considering adoption.  
Things I wish I knew when I was making the choice for adoption.  

Thankfully, with the help of some wonderful bloggers, 
I have been able to begin to find my voice, to tell
others the things I wish I had known...

Sadly, for the ones who are pregnant and considering adoption, it is impossible to truly know what it is like to live without your child until you are doing it.  And then it is too late.

Nobody is entitled to be a parent.  Especially when the cost for them becoming a parent is another parent losing a child.  It is so hard for me to understand how people do not see the pain behind adoption.  Even when adoption truly is necessary ~ it starts with loss and grief.  How can anything that starts out by tearing an infant away from his/her family be considered a good thing? 

The "Dear Birthmother" letters.  They are nothing but coercion, from the salutation on. 

The term "birthmother" should be banned from the English language.  Especially when it is used to describe someone who has not even given birth yet.  The people that use this term don't even allow the girl/woman to be a mother before the child is born, when she is the ONLY mother that baby has.  But the adoption industry knows how successful it is when the expectant mother takes this name onto herself.

When a mother chooses to give her child up for adoption, she does not suddenly stop being a mother.  She will forever and always be a mom, from the moment of conception on.  She will simply be a mother living without her child.  Any problems she had before becoming a mother, will now be harder to deal with as she will also be learning how to live without her child ~ on top of the previous problems.  She will not have a "fresh, new life", a second chance to get things right.  Her second chance just became a lot harder, as she will also be dealing with the biggest loss she will ever endure.

The pain does not get easier over time.  In most cases it gets worse as the mother gets older.  She comes to see that many of the reasons she used to choose adoption were only temporary ~ but adoption is permanent.

Some of the other things I wish I had known when choosing adoption:
  • That I would spend years, decades believing that I was not good enough.  Because I was not good enough to raise my own child.
  • That trying to prove myself worthy by putting everyone else's needs before my own wouldn't work.  It only made things worse, it reinforced my belief that I wasn't good enough ~ that I didn't deserve better. 
  • That doing as I was told and keeping the birth and adoption of my son a secret, I was only burying myself in shame.  Doing so made me carry the burden of grief and fear alone, making it impossible to now speak of the grief and fear, causing me to lose my voice. 
  • That choosing adoption effected not only the son I gave up, but the children I went on to have after him.  They were all denied being raised with their sibling(s).
  • That adoption would leave a hole in my soul that even reunion cannot fill.  Because we will never get the lost years back.
  • That adoption would close my heart and leave me unable to fully love and be loved.   Because I lost a part of my heart when I lost my son.
  • That I would lose the ability to cry, the ability to face the depth of the grief and loss in my heart & soul.  Because I am afraid of falling into that deep pit of grief and being unable to find my way out.   
  • That by choosing adoption, I was not only losing my son, but also my grandchildren, and a beautiful daughter-in-law.  
  • That even in reunion, the pain continues.


Some final words, from another mother who is Surviving Adoption Loss:

If you are pregnant
and considering adoption
my only word of advice is ... don't.

Listen to the screaming of your heart. Stop smothering it's cries with a pillow. The birth of your child WILL change you whether you parent or not. Embrace that change, don't turn in into a trauma.

Adoption is not "the answer." No, it is only piling on another problem and your life will become encased in thinly veiled layers of bondage. Unless you're violent toward children - your child deserves for you to take him/her home with you, so you can continue nurturing the bond that the two of you started 9 months earlier.

He/She already loves you. Please don't break his/her heart -
Don't damage yours.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Authenticity

I feel as though I lived a lie during the years after Christopher was born.  One of the biggest impacts reunion had on my life was that I felt I was finally able to live my truth.  I didn't need to hide the fact that I had given birth as a teenager and given him up for adoption.  I was a mother to four children, not three.

In the beginning, I felt as though a huge weight had been taken off of me.  The weight of secrecy.  Unfortunately, I allowed other people to make me feel as though I could not live my truth, so I started putting that weight of secrecy back on.


Because they didn't understand that my son was still my son.
     Even though I did not parent him.  
Because they didn't understand that I had been a mother from the day that I became pregnant.
     My motherhood did not end on the day I walked out of the hospital alone.
Because they were uncomfortable with my truth.
     Because it went against everything they believed to be true about adoption. 

After writing my post "When Others Want You To Stay In The Closet", and reading the comments, especially the one from ms. marginalia , I realized that I was choosing to let other people's attitudes take away from my authenticity.

Nobody can take away my motherhood.  I cannot un-birth any of my children, even the son I did not raise.  I don't want to live in the damn closet anymore, nobody can force me back in there.

Nobody can tell me that Christopher is any less my child than the children I raised.  The love I feel for him is no less than the love I have for all my children.  When we were together on Saturday, it was as mother and son, not strangers.  If that makes anyone uncomfortable, I don't care.  It is the truth!

I have lived my life avoiding confrontation at all costs.  I have lived my life as though I wasn't "good enough".  I have lived my life pretending that everything was perfect, like I was perfect ~ trying to prove to everyone that I was good enough, even though I didn't believe that myself.

I lived my life as society expected me to after the loss of my son to adoption.  I never spoke of him.  I went on with my life, pretending like everything was ok, when it was so far away from ok it couldn't have been any further.  How can I expect people to know the truth of adoptions effects on the mothers, if I do not tell my truths? 

How can I expect anyone to know or understand the reality of adoption in my life, if I don't live my life authentically?  How can I expect anyone else to look at Christopher as my son, if I don't fully live life as a mother of four instead of three?

I choose to live with authenticity.  I choose to have the courage to be imperfect.  To acknowledge the role of adoption in my life.  I am shedding the weight of the lies and secrecy that adoption brought into my life 31 years ago.

I am Christopher's mother.  He is my son.  I have four wonderful children, not three.  I have eight, not six (and one more to be born in March!) amazing grandchildren.

I am a very blessed, very happy woman!

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Am Complete...

I met my son on Saturday!  It  had been 11,456 days since the first and only time I saw him when he was just 3 weeks old.  I spent a glorious hour with him, it was just the two of us. 

I was traveling east for a quilt expo, while he was traveling west to get some supplies for his new kiln.  We were going to be only an hour apart from each other for the day.  I suggested meeting for dinner, before each of us had to head back to our homes, since we were going to be so close.  His first response to that suggestion was that it probably wouldn't work.  Then on Friday he emailed me that he would text me Saturday afternoon if it looked like the timing would work.

Saturday afternoon I got the text that he could make it work, that we could meet on one condition ~ I could not cry!  I didn't think it would be a problem, as I have been unable to cry for years ~ a benefit of living in deep denial for decades, denying my feelings.  And from growing up in a hateful house where feelings weren't cared about anyways.  I am great at acting like everything is great when in actuality I am falling apart.

We met, appropriately enough, at a town off the interstate with a huge smiley-face water tower.  My smile was about as big from the minute I read his text.  I was so excited to finally be able to see, touch, hold, and smell my son again.

I got there early, I wanted to be the first to arrive.  I found a place to park near the back of the lot, where nobody else was parked.  I was so nervous while waiting.  Could I pull off not crying?  Every vehicle that pulled into the lot made my stomach jump.  Would it be uncomfortable?  Awkward?  What do I need to steer the conversation away from in order to keep my no-crying promise?

30 minutes later, I see his truck pull off the road, and head towards me.  Time stopped.  He parked next to me, we got out of our vehicles, he walks towards me, hands out saying "this first hug is going to be a dirty one!".  I told him I didn't care.  That hug was truly the best one I have ever, or will ever get!! 

We talked and laughed for an hour.  We talked about meeting again, this time with his family. At one point in our conversation, I commented that he was spoiled by his parents.  He looked kind of embarrassed and replied yeah, he was.  I simply smiled and said "good!".  I am so happy that he has wonderful parents, who spoiled him when I could not. 

There was not a single uncomfortable moment.  It felt so... right.  I could not quit staring at him, looking into his eyes, seeing my little boy.  He is beautiful, inside & out. 

I did not cry, I only felt overwhelming happiness and fullness. 

One thing I fully was taken by surprise over, was not expecting, had not thought about.  When it came time to leave, we were both in our vehicles.  I could not drive away.  I could not leave him again.  He was going to have to do the leaving this time.  I waited for him to pull out of the parking lot.  He looked at me, let me know he was waiting for me.  I was just getting ready to sign for him to roll his window down, when he gave me a huge smile and a wave and drove away.  I followed behind him to the interstate, he headed east, I headed west. 


Our journey has come full circle.  I truly feel (and hope and pray) that we will continue to move forward, along with his wife & kids, the siblings he didn't grow up with, our extended families. 

A friend sent me a text not long after I was back on the road.  She wanted to know how I was doing.  I replied:   I am fine.  I am... complete. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Neurotic Worries..

I really get nervous that somehow my son will find this blog.

I try to not write anything about his life, as it is not my place to tell his story, so that's not what I worry about.  What I worry about is him taking any of my garbage onto himself.  Or him thinking that I am in reality a "bitter birthmom" that he wants nothing to do with.  I already think that a lot of what he says/doesn't say is just because he is really a nice guy & doesn't want to hurt me. 

I am so much more than a first mom.  This blog is just my place to vent about that part of my life.  My place to try to come to terms with all of it.  I started this blog to speak out my truth.  To "cancel out" one of the happy-happy-birthmom blogs that I see more and more of out here in blog-land. 

I just can't help but worry that if Christopher finds this blog, it will scare him away.  Because the neurotic 15 year-old in me worries about that often. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When Others Want You To Stay In The Closet

Additionally, and slightly more profound for me, is that I actually married a man that kept me closeted as well. I was not conscious of this of course but it became painfully obvious when I started to tip toe out of the birthmother closet and he rushed to put me back in. This too was my own doing. I did not want to deal openly with my own horrors so I sought loved ones who helped me keep the door closed.


That's me.  Exactly.  I didn't even know it until I read these words.  

When I read the above blog post comment, it was a HUGE ah-ha moment for me.  I am scared to death to fully come out of that closet in real life.  I am scared about my relationships that are built on the lies of denial.  Scared to open my heart, only to be hurt.  I am allowing the people in my life who are not comfortable with my coming out of the closet to keep me there. 

For the last year or so, I have been slowly creeping back into that closet.  Slowly closing my heart off again.  Scared to completely open up my heart to my son because I worry that he doesn't want or need it.  Scared to open up to my family (specifically my husband and in-laws ~ who are more like parents to me than my own) because I fear that they won't understand it, or worse ~ that they don't care to understand. 

When my son and I first reunited 20 months ago, I wanted to stand on the highest hills and scream to the world that my son was alive and well.  That I had four, not three children.  It felt so freeing to be able to talk about him, to acknowledge my true identity, not the lies I had been living for almost 30  years.  

Then I started getting the mixed reactions from people.  People that said they were happy for me, yet uncomfortable talking about my son.  The people that told me what a wonderful thing I had done.  The people that responded to my deep desire to meet Christopher in person by telling me that I had to remember that I gave him up, that I had to honor that.  The people that were confused by me calling him my son, since I didn't raise him.  

I hate the lies adoption is based on.  I hate that I am 47 years old, yet in so many ways I am still that stupid 15 year old.  I hate that I am scared to do what I know I must do in order to claim my sanity.  In order to heal from all that adoption has brought into my life.  From all that adoption has taken from my life. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Do NOT Want Or Expect A Right To Privacy!

An administrator over at GIMH said today:

"it has always been my understanding that in most closed 
adoptions natural/first parents don’t want records unsealed 
because it takes away their right to privacy."

I was NEVER promised, nor would I have EVER asked for anonymity. Quite the opposite happened, actually. I was told that if I ever searched for my son, I would be breaking the law. Thank God that my son and I were able to find each other in 2009. With no help from the adoption agency, Florence Crittenton, who had all my current information.  

When my son contacted them to start his search, he was told it would cost hundreds of dollars for them to “try” to locate me. Even though in his file was every address and phone number he needed to find me and several other family members in case he came looking for me after my death.  Even though my father lived in the same house I grew up in, the same address and phone number that was in my records at the time my son was born.  They were not looking out for either of our best interests. They simply wanted to make a few more bucks off of my son, in addition to the money his parents paid to adopt him.

It makes me SO angry that the adoption industry and adoptive parent groups try to blame natural families for closed adoption records.  If that was the case, the records would be closed when the parents signed away their rights.  If parents sign away their rights, but the child for some reason would never be adopted, the records are not closed.  The records only close AFTER an adoption is finalized.  

The groups that fight against open records for all Americans often cite the "anonymous" natural parents that have contacted them, cowering behind so-called promises of anonymity.  These natural parents, they say, do not give their true identities, out of fear of being "found out".  I believe that the majority of these so-called natural parents are actually pro-adoption advocates that do not want records opened.  

I, and all the other natural moms I "know", want our children to have access to their original birth certificates.  The natural moms I know would never hide behind anonymity.  The natural moms I know would welcome contact with our lost children, if they would come looking for us after getting their OBC's. 

The right to open records should never be based on our wants anyways, as it is not our rights that are being denied.  It is our children whose rights are trampled on.  It is our children who should be listened to when it comes to opening adoption records.  Our children, who as adults, should be able to have their OBC like any other American citizen. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tornadoes of Thoughts

So many things about adoption and reunion cause tornadoes of thoughts for me.  I often find myself with contradicting thoughts swirling through my head.

One of them is regret.  On the one hand, I deeply regret giving my son up for adoption.  Oh, how I would love to go back and be able to raise Christopher.  What I wouldn't give to be able to do that.  But then, would I be denying him the life he has had?  Does my wishing I had raised him say that I would deny him the family he grew up with & loves?

Another thing I often wish is that he felt something for me, or maybe something more.  I don't want to speak for him, but I don't think he feels much for me because he has no desire to meet in person.  On the one hand it hurts to know that he does not feel a desire to "know" me.  But then the swirling begins and I think that it's a good thing that he doesn't.  I'm glad that he did not live his life feeling a huge void because of me.  It would be so hard to know that he grew up hurting because of me ~ I never wanted to hurt him.

Then there's my mom.  I wish that she was still alive so she could know about my reunion with Christopher.  On the other hand, I'm glad that I don't have to work through all of my reunion stuff with her too.  I don't think I could tell her the truth about why I really gave him up.  How do you tell your mother that she was a huge part in you losing your child??  No matter how ugly things were, she was my mom & I love her ~ I would never want to hurt her.

Sometimes I feel like Dorothy ~

Monday, September 20, 2010

First Family and Forever Family?

I read a blog post today written by an adoptive mother, about adoption loss.  Her seven year old daughter is starting to realize the contradicting reasons given for her adoption, and is experiencing deep grief for her loss.  She doesn't understand why she can't be with her first family, as the reasons given to her don't make sense.  (This family has a completely open adoption.)  This adoptive mother goes on to tell of a recent experience, and tells of the great sadness she has for everyone because of their adoption loss.

If adoption is truly for the best interest of the child, wouldn't it be in her best interest to end this grief and loss that the daughter knows is unnecessary?  If this first family is now in a "better" place to raise a child, doesn't that make sense?  Why does the first mom & especially the child have to live forever with such deep loss and grief?  

Yes, it would be hard for the adoptive mom, but isn't it supposed to be what's best for the child??  The loss is acceptable if it's the first mom experiencing it, what's different if it's the adoptive mom?  If the adoptive mother was still able to be a part of the child's life, if it was a "reverse" open adoption of sorts...  

This little girl could grow up in her family of origin, she could grow up knowing her ancestry, she wouldn't have to live with the feelings of abandonment, the questions of why she wasn't good enough to "keep", etc. 

Just wondering...
Since adoption is supposed to be about the child...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coming Out Of The Fog

I started a draft of this post a week or more ago, but I couldn't find the words to say what I really wanted to.  I will never get my thoughts out as well as Cassi does in this post that inspired me to come back & give it another try.  It never ceases to amaze me when I find other first moms that speak the words of my heart.  Sadly, it appears that most first moms share much of the same story...

In the  first 6 weeks or so after reunion, I was so extremely happy.  I felt like a different person.  I truly have never in my life felt so... complete and at peace.  

This sounds really corny,  but at times it felt as though my heart would burst open with love.  I felt more love for my husband, my raised kids, everybody.  It was like the door that I had closed that afternoon at the hospital was swung wide open and torn off the hinges.  It was during those first few weeks that I realized how much I had shut down my emotions, how much I had closed myself off.  

I was amazed that people didn't ask why I was so different.  Didn't ask why I was so happy.  A few of my close friends did notice, but I thought it had to seem obvious to everyone how different I was.  During the first couple of months into reunion I also lost 20 pounds ~ effortlessly.  

I had such a turn-around of so many beliefs I had held in the almost 30 years since giving Christopher up.  I never really allowed myself to think of him as my son.  He was the baby I couldn't raise.  I loved him & missed him always, but had never allowed myself to be his "mom", never allowed him to be my son.  

Before reunion, I truly felt as though I was simply an egg donor and an incubator.  I was just a birthmother (although I have never liked that name).  I didn't know or understand why that name bothered me, but it did.  

At first, when reunion was new, I worried about what Christopher's parents thought.  I felt that if I was starting to come between him and his parents in any way that I would have to back off our reunion.  I didn't want to come between Christopher and his parents.  I felt like I was the outsider who had no rights to interfere in their family.  

Before reunion, probably even a few weeks into reunion, I held the belief that young moms should give their children up for adoption in order to give the child a chance at a better life with parents that were ready & able to be parents.  It saddened me to see young moms keep their babies, thinking that they were being selfish and not putting the babies best interest first.  (I did not ever promote adoption, as I wanted nobody else to have to know the pain & loss that I did.)  

I held the belief that I was stupid.  Stupid for having allowed things to go too far & becoming pregnant that first time.  Stupid for having to give my baby up for adoption.   

About six or seven weeks into reunion, I started to have thoughts and feelings that contradicted everything I had believed for almost 30 years.  

~ I realized that the love I felt for Christopher was no different than the love I felt for my raised children.  I started thinking of myself as Christopher's mom.  Completely.  
~ I started to think that it didn't matter what Christopher's parents thought about our reunion.  Reunion was between him and I.  Nobody else.  
~ I realized that I was not stupid.  I did the best I could as a 15 year old with nobody looking out for my best interest.  
~ I realized that the reason I hated the term birthmother was because it belittled who I was in my son's life.  I did not stop being his mother at birth ~ I would always be his mother.  
~ I started to become heartbroken at the thought of young moms giving their children up for adoption.  Knowing how their life is forever altered, forever broken, without their child.  I realized how strong & important the mother/child bond is.  I realized it is something to be treasured & cared for, not torn apart.  Not only for the mother, but also for the child. 
 
When I first started having these realizations, I wondered what was wrong with me.  Why was I suddenly feeling so angry about everything?  What was wrong with me??  Was I finally losing my mind??

Thank God for cyber-space!  I found blogs & a forum where other first moms spoke of the same feelings.  I was not going crazy!  Everything I was feeling was "normal".  

I realized just how deep my denial went.  I realized that in order to be able to go on with life, my mind went into "safety" mode.  I truly believe that if I had faced just how deep the grief over the loss of my son to adoption went, I could not have survived the first few years.  I would have become one of the statistics of first moms that become alcoholics, drug addicts, or suicide victims.  

The last 20 months have been very hard, so very wonderful, but so very difficult.  I am a grown woman, and it has been life changing.  I cannot imagine how my 15 year old self, with nobody to help through the reality of adoptions effects, could have survived loss so great without going into denial. 


I still have a lot of work to do as far as healing my heart & soul from the loss of my son, from the years lived in denial.  I know I need to find somebody to talk to, I need some counseling to help me get through this.  To find strength and believe in myself after living so many years feeling "not good enough" to be my son's mother.  Sadly, there is nobody in my area that helps with adoption loss.  My one attempt, about the time I started realizing the truth about my loss, was a complete waste of time.  The details of that one session will probably become a blog post someday.

Since reunion, adoption is on my mind almost 24/7.  I cannot concentrate on anything to save my life.  I am so distracted at work, at home.  I used to read books all the time.  I can't read anything longer than a magazine article anymore.  I have gained back the 20 pounds, plus another 20, in the last 18 months.  My house is a mess.  I don't even enjoy things I used to.  I love quilting.  Now I can't even force myself to finish several projects I have in various states of being done.  It has been months since I've turned on my sewing machine. 

There have been many times I almost found myself wanting to go back into the fog, into the denial.  In so many ways it would be easier.  But I refuse to live a lie any longer.  I refuse to hide the love I have for my son again.  It would kill me to live another day of not knowing where Christopher is or how he and his family are doing.  The great joys of knowing my son far outweigh the hard work that reunion has brought into my life. 


I am so glad that I have been able to begin shedding all the lies and untruths about myself, about adoptions effects on my life.  I am so glad that I found all the other first moms on-line that have helped me begin to find myself again.