A daughter rejected ~ with a half-piece of paper torn from a legal pad.
A daughter pondering how long the relationship with her father will be kept a secret. Wondering if her mother ~ his wife ~ will ever accept her or tell her full siblings about her.
Another daughter wondering if pursuing a relationship with her father will jeopardize her relationship with her mother, while worrying about how and when to tell her adoptive parents that she is in contact with her natural parents.
A mother who has been fully rejected by her daughter ~ the mother was told to not call, write, communicate in any way.
I am so very, very, blessed to have a successful reunion with my firstborn son. I am so very blessed that my son did indeed get the wonderful family and childhood I dreamed of for him. I am so very glad that Christopher went from only wanting medical and family history in the beginning to wanting to know me and his siblings.
Even though our adoption journeys would probably be described as being great ones, it does not make up for the deep loss and grief that I have lived with for almost 32 years now. I cannot imagine how much harder healing from the adoption loss would be, if my son had rejected me in reunion. My heart stops at the thought of it.
It absolutely breaks my heart when I read stories from the mothers, fathers, and adoptees who are rejected in reunion.
I completely understand why some mothers are unable to fully embrace reunion. At the same time ~ I will never understand how a mother could reject her child... for the second, or third, or final time.
As hard as it was to do the work necessary to come out of the adoption closet, to come out of the fog, it would have been so much harder to lose precious contact with my son again. I have loved my son since before he was born. Denial kept me from knowing the full depth of the love I had for Christopher. Reunion opened my heart, and I have only grown to love him more over these last couple of years. I truly love him no less than the children I raised. I am so blessed that I was able to open my heart, instead of closing it like some mothers have. My heart breaks for those mothers and for their children.
When I read the words of adoptees rejected, I cannot help but feel I myself am to blame for a part of their grief. (I just cannot get my thoughts on this into coherant written words ~ so frustrating.) I don't mean responsible for one certain adoptee's personal grief, but in the general grief felt by any adoptee. My part ~ in believing the sunshine and rainbows myths, in believing the "blank slate" theory, in choosing adoption for my own firstborn son, and then by staying silent for decades about the truth of the depth of adoption loss, I feel that I was a part of the "adoption is wonderful" culture. It is that culture that refuses to acknowledge the loss that adoption is built on. It is that culture that keeps parents and children separated and unable to reunite.
A mother unable to see that society was wrong for putting labels on her when she was young and pregnant. A mother unable to face her past because of the stigma that society put on her. A mother unable to tell her raised children, or husband, or parents, about the child she gave up because of the deep-seated shame she took onto herself as an unwed mother. Sadly, these stigmas are still put on unmarried mothers, on mother's deemed to be too young, or too poor.
The ones given up for adoption who are unable to embrace their natural family in reunion ~ out of anger, or fear, or loyalty...
As I was typing these last words, wondering where I am going with this rambling post. Wondering why I have been thinking so often lately about those suffering in rejection, a song I haven't heard for a long time came on. It speaks to the grief felt by those whose love is not returned...
Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't
You can't make your heart feel
something it won't
I will lay down my heart
And I'll feel the power
but you won't
No, you won't
Cause I can't make you love me
if you don't
My heart goes out to all who have been rejected in reunion. I pray that one day the closed hearts of those you love are able to be opened. As this song so beautifully says, we can't make anyone love us. All we can do is learn to love ourselves, and be true to our own hearts. Even if that means loving someone who can't/won't love or show love in return.