Friday, February 25, 2011

My New Grandson!

I would like to introduce you to my beautiful new grandson Drake!  He is one day old in this photo.  Drake was born yesterday, weighs in at 6 pounds and 14 ounces, he is almost 21 inches long.  He is absolutely perfect in every way!  Momma is a super-hero, only in labor for about 5 hours and this is her first baby!  She better not be too far from the hospital next time...

It was such a beautiful day, an extremely happy day.  My worries were for nothing.  My entire being was in the moment of watching my son become a daddy again, seeing my brand new grandson be welcomed into the world. 

On the way home, of course my mind began to wander.  Remembering the births of my own children.  I of course thought of Christopher's.  I am still rather thankful that I don't remember it.  Only slight memories, like fog covered split-second moments, nothing solid.  Although, it does make me wonder if they gave me something...  If there is a reason I don't remember...  It wouldn't surprise me to find out that they did....

I was rather surprised that I wasn't sad at all yesterday, I only felt complete happiness for Drake and his parents. 

Then today...

An old Tracy Chapman song came on that I haven't heard for a long time.  Of course it had a completely different meaning this time. 

And now.  The thoughts are circling in my head.  I can't get them out...

It breaks my heart..
    For Christopher, much more than for me.
That I wasn't allowed to love him, hold him, let him feel the beating heart that was all he knew before he was born. 

It haunts me.  The thought of that innocent baby.  Taken from his mother immediately.  I pray that the nurses found time to love on him, to nurture him while he was in the hospital.  I pray that the foster family held him and loved on him always while he waited till his parents arrived.  I hope...

It is killing me, the thought of Christopher not getting the loving entry into the world that every innocent baby deserves.  The thought of that innocent baby boy, taken away from all that he knew.  I wish I had been smarter and wiser then, would have been strong enough to stand up against the "norm" then...   I wish I hadn't been worried that I would fall too much in love with him if I didn't follow "their" rules.  (It was too late for that anyways, I already had.)  I wish I would have thought about what Christopher needed at that moment, not what I or "they" needed.

       If I could time travel, I would tell the nurses and FloCrit to go to hell, that I was going to love him while I could, that I was not going to abandon him immediately after birth...

As I shared in my previous blog post, I was worried that this first birth after our reunion was going to stir up things for me.  I just didn't expect a song the next day to spill it over the edge...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm Beginning To Fear The Birth Of My Grandson

My son and his wife are going to be welcoming their son into the world sometime in the next couple of weeks.  Last week we thought perhaps he was going to make an early appearance, but he seems to be settling in for the long haul now. 

They want to be alone in the delivery room, without any extended family.  They seemed to think that I would be offended, but I am not in the least.  I am so happy for them, so happy for this new little family that is being born.  It is a special moment for them, one that should be sacred and honored.  (I, of course, will be as close to the door as possible, so when we get the word to come meet Baby Boy I will be right there!)

My DIL was telling me about the latest discussion she had with her doctor regarding the delivery.  He believes that the baby needs immediate skin-to-skin contact with momma, for as long as possible.  He will lay Baby Boy on her chest immediately after delivery, so the new family can all say their hellos.  Apgar scores will be done as required, but as far as bathing, weighing and measuring, that will all wait. 

I am so very excited for the birth of this new grandson.  Of our six grandchildren from my raised kids, only the oldest is a boy ~ the next 5 are girls.  We are long past due for another boy!  Grandson #1 is now 12, so he could be a babysitter to # already.  I cannot wait to meet him, kiss his baby cheeks, get a big whiff of his "fountain of youth" baby scalp. 

These last few days though, I have realized I am also beginning to have some fear about the birth of this grandson.  It will be the first time since reunion that a grandchild has been born.  And he's a boy.  Who will be welcomed into the world wrapped in love, with immediate bonding with his mom and dad. 

Since reunion, since coming out of the fog, one of my biggest regrets (other than having to choose adoption in the first place), is that I did not know that I WAS my son's mom.  I had every right to see him after birth.  Instead, he was taken from me immediately after birth.  I don't even remember if I heard his first cry. 

It haunts me.  The thought of my son, an innocent newborn.  Suffering through birth, and immediately taken from his mother.  Forever.  Did anyone comfort him?  Or did they leave him to cry?  Was he loved by anyone in his first days while in the hospital? 

I still have been unable to really cry and grieve the loss of my son.  My heart skips a beat at the thought of the moment my new grandson will be placed in my arms.  While next to me will be his mother and father who welcomed him into the world in such a loving way.  The loving welcome that my firstborn son did not get. 

I'm scared that this will be too much, that it will finally be my breaking point.  I'm scared that instead of being a complete moment of joy for my new grandson, it will be just as much a moment of extreme grief for my firstborn son.  For that innocent baby who was denied a loving birth...

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Adoption Myth Buster: What It Takes To Wake"

I read an interesting article in the Huffington Post tonight.  The author, Jennifer Lauck, is an adoptee and the author of the New York Times Bestsellers, Blackbird and Found: A Memoir.  This current article is titled "Adoption Myth Buster: What It Takes To Wake".  The article is about her awakening from "magical thinking" about her adoption, to the realization of the true effects adoption has had on her life.  

Many things about this article broke this mother's heart.  There were several studies referenced regarding the effects of  infant separation trauma.  I have come to learn of some of these effects in the years following my reunion.  It is still heartbreaking to know that many of us first mothers chose adoption because we believed that what we were doing was only for the best for our children.  Yet, before either one of us left the hospital, life-long damage could already have been done to our children.  

One of the studies referenced was by Joseph Chilton Pearce, an author and human development scholar.  The study states that it takes less than forty-five minutes for an infant separated from his mother to  impact the brain and functions like sight.  I haven't heard of Mr. Pearce before, but I have added a couple of his books to my "read someday" list.  The thing that most interests me about Mr. Pearce is that he is certified as a HeartMath trainer, and is developing extensive insights into the heart-brain connection.  I haven't heard of this before, it sounds fascinating.   Hopefully I can learn more about this someday. 

Lauck also referrenced a study that showed that within six hours of separation from the mother, babies experienced "protest-despair" biology and "hyper-arousal and dissociation" response patterns. The conclusion of the Randomized Controlled Trial was: newborns should not be separated from their mothers.

Lauck states that many professional organizations have made recommendations promoting skin-to-skin contact and oppose routine separation of mother and infant.  My daughter-in-law, (who is due to deliver my grandson in just two weeks!) told me just the other day that her doctor puts the newborn infant directly onto momma's bare chest immediately after birth and leaves the baby there with the mother as long as possible.  They don't even take the baby to wash him/her off until the family has had time to meet each other.  The only time he does not do this is if there is a medical emergency preventing it.  

One of the most surprising references that Lauck wrote about is that of a former Catholic priest, Bert Hellinger.  Hellinger writes in his book  Love's Hidden Symmetry:   "In its most destructive form, inappropriate adoption can lead to illness and even suicide of the natural children."  I found it very interesting when reading about his book that he refers to the natural parents as "mom" and "dad" and the adoptive parents as "adoptive mother" and "adoptive father", and the adoptee as the "adopted child".  

Lauck finishes this excellent article talking about the understanding of and value of motherhood. 

I cannot agree more with one of the last sentences in the article:
To force a mother to choose between keeping her offspring or losing acceptance by the culture is to force her to split in half and as a result, to collapse. Rather than divide mothers, can we keep women intact, empower them and thus empower children to feel whole, safe and content?  
Indeed.  What a world it would be if we could do this! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Adoptee Rights Demonstration

Adoptee Rights Day and the Adoptee Rights Demonstration is August 8th this year in San Antonio, Texas.  Each year, Adoptee Rights Activists protest at the National Convention of State Legislators in demand of the return of the right of Adult Adoptees to access their Original Birth Certificates

 I hope that someday I can participate in something like this.  
Here are a few blog posts about this event.

Adoptee Rights Demonstration

Angry Adoptive Mom

Adoptee Rights Coalition

The Declassified Adoptee

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Some Great Things I Have Learned In Blog-Land

I decided to add a couple of pages to my blog.

One page is a place to record some of the great blog posts I have read.  When I was first "coming out of the fog", I found much comfort and learned a lot from the words of other mothers and of adoptees.  I wanted to make a list of the posts that I think will help someone wanting to learn about living with adoption loss.

The other page I have added is for a review of the books I have read about adoption.  It is a short list right now, as I haven't really been reading any books lately.  I used to read all the time, but now my attention span isn't long enough to concentrate on a book.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Visit Claud and Comment to Oprah

Claud has a great post today, a letter to Oprah Winfrey.  Claud tells us at the end of her post  "I invite every reader, lurker or visitor of this post to add a comment addressed to Oprah asking for her help and explaining why."
 I think this is a wonderful idea, so I thought I would spread the word.  Claud is a wonderful writer, if you don't know about her yet, you should browse her blog for a while.  On the right side of the page, about half way down, she has a link to her most popular posts.

I know I haven't posted for a while.  I've actually been working on a page to add to this blog.  It will be a page with links to some of my favorite blog posts, some great research pages, and adoption related videos.  Great resources for mothers considering adoption, for first moms coming out of the fog, anyone wanting to learn about the effects of adoption on those of us who actually live with it.  When I was first reunited, I thought I was losing my mind.  I had so many thoughts and feelings that contradicted everything I had been told, everything I had believed to be the truth.  Finding some of these bloggers truly saved my sanity.  They let me know I was not crazy ~ everything I was feeling was the truth, was "normal" for my not-so-normal life.  Hopefully in the next few days I will have enough info to get the page added.

Another reason I haven't been writing much is because I've finally been back in my sewing room!  I finally finished the quilt I started making my daughter over a year ago, but hadn't worked on for about 9 months.  I also have a new grandson who will be born in about four weeks, and now a beautiful quilt is almost ready for him!  I will have to post some photos here one day.  I do have a life outside of all this "adoption" stuff you know!

Happy February everyone!  Only 48 days until spring!