Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Need To Decide ~ Am I Going To Chicago?

Click here to learn more about the demonstration!

I really, REALLY want to go.  I have been excited about it ever since I learned that the demonstration was going to be in Chicago this year. 

Some of  the friends I have met in adopto-land have become a huge part of my life through the healing I have found with them.  I think it would be so amazing to meet them "in real life". 

What's holding me back?  I hate to admit that one of the big things is explaining to my hubby that I want to go on a road trip to meet a bunch of people I only know through cyber-space.  Another thing is that although I think this could be a huge healing step, I also have that fear of the "Fessler Effect" as Suz calls it.  Being in the midst of so many people who get it? Who get me because of the adoption loss?  *sigh*  That thought is as amazing as it is frightening for me. 

But.  I really, REALLY want to go!  I just need the final push to make that decision. 


Who's going?

When are you arriving?

How long are you staying?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Adoption Loss & Grief. It's Forever.

I have been enjoying a wonderful few weeks adoption-wise.  Long enough to have me off guard, totally surprised by the slap back into the reality of living with adoption loss.

I suppose it probably started the other day when I first learned of that new show on TLC.  I didn't watch it, I could barely read about it on fb and in blog-land.

This morning as I was washing my hair, I had a sudden remembered snippet of a dream during the night.  A hug, that felt so real.  A hug that included a whisper in my ear "I love you"...  Three precious words I have yet to hear from the son I couldn't raise.

I feel that there was a lot more to the dream, but the hug and whisper are all I remember.

I can't wait till that dream comes true...

In the mean time, I find myself lost in thought and sadness today.

Even though.  Even though things are going well in my reunion.  Even though I am so blessed in my life in so many ways.

That's just the reality of living with the loss of a child to adoption.  No matter how long you have lived with the loss ~ it never goes away.  No matter if you are reunited or if your relationship with your lost son/daughter is going well.  The loss is there.  The grief is tremendous.  The hole in my heart is still there.  

I wish that the mothers considering adoption on that damned show could feel in their hearts what my heart feels 33 years later.  I wish that the mothers considering adoption on that damned show could feel in their hearts what some of my adopted friends feel in their hearts (even the ones who did get a great adoptive family!).  Why is it that only the joy of the adopters is taken into consideration in adoption?  Why isn't the life-long loss and grief acknowledged, much less understood? 

Danielle wrote a post a while ago about the life long grief that comes from losing a child to adoption.  It's a fabulous post, as usual, you should go read it in full if you can.  Here is just a part of what she says that rings so true for me today:

I will always live with this. It is a huge part of who I am.  It always will be. 

I will always be a “birthmother”. I cannot take back anything that happened to me almost a decade ago. A thought that both comforts me and renders me feeling so helpless that I wish I could crawl into bed and sleep forever. I cannot undo the pain that still sears through my heart. I will never be able to erase the memories or the feelings associated with those memories. I will always have moments where I feel the debilitating sense of grief that comes associated with adoption loss, and I will have moments where I feel like it’s going to be okay.

I will always carry this with me, until the day I die.

No matter how many words I eloquently splay onto this screen, no matter how many posts I publish to the internet, no matter how many times I see a therapist, or how many pills I am prescribed to take to help with the anxiety. It will always linger. It will always be color on the inner walls of my soul. Always....

...Because I know that this will be a part of me as long as I walk this earth, I’ve more readily accepted that I need to navigate through the muddier paths of this journey so I can use my voice to join the multiple others who have been traumatized, or isolated as a result of adoption. I need to speak so women, many women know that adoption isn’t always a miracle and that there are many hidden aspects, crucial ones that could impact your life in so many incredible ways, not always positive.  Because I know that this is who I am, I understand me a little more.

Adoption has been written, etched into my DNA. Maybe it wasn’t willingly, but it’s there. And it’s shaped a good part of the woman I am. I won’t change any of that, not because I don’t want to, but because I simply can’t undo it. What’s done is done; I am a birthmother.

I will always live with that.
I'm not the only one with this life-long effect of adoption on my mind.  Today Rebecca (an adoptee and adoptive mother) author of  "Love Is Not A Pie" also wrote about this subject.  She writes:

In pre-adoption counseling, mothers who are considering placing a child for adoption are sometimes told that they will "get over it" and move on. Not so surprisingly, many mothers who relinquish find that moving on is not a simple matter. The following posts are not easy to read, but they are an important part of the adoption story.

Those Hands
Grief Remains
Missing Him
The Scars of Motherhood

If you didn't click on the above links to read the blog posts, you missed another great link.  The post "Those Hands" was inspired by this post by a natural mom "coming out of the adoption closet".  It is heart wrenching, it needs to be read by all. 

So if you are one of the people who enjoyed watching that show on TLC, if you are someone who promotes and advocates for adoption, please take the time to go read some of the links above.  At least acknowledge the deep loss that occurs in adoption. 

If a mother in your life is facing an unexpected pregnancy and considering adoption, please have her read this post.  Please make sure that she makes a fully informed decision for or against adoption.  Don't let her fall for the false beliefs that encompass adoption in our society.  Don't let her make a decision based on fear or lack of confidence in her ability to be a wonderful mother no matter if she is young, or single, or poor, or whatever. 

Adoption loss is forever.  Even if it's an open adoption, it's still the loss of motherhood.  Forever.  For the mother, for the infant, for the entire natural family. 

My heart aches for my son.  My heart aches to know my grandchildren.  My heart aches to know my son's wife, the mother of the grandchildren I also lost to adoption.  I don't wish this heart ache on anyone...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

For the first time since becoming a mother, I can say that I had a great Mother's Day!

Much has been going on in my life, much I want to share with all of you, yet I haven't been able to bring myself to write about it all.

The last visit we had from Christopher seems to have broken the silence.  I have realized that I am reading much more into that silence than what was really there.  As usual...

I was going to be over in Christopher's neck of the woods last weekend, but he was busy so we couldn't make a visit work. 

So.  I got brave.  Writing the message was easy.  Finding the courage to hit the "reply" button was hard ~ my finger hovered over the mouse for several minutes.  Christopher's mom lives just minutes away from where I was going to be.  She replied that it was going to be a busy weekend ~ but she would make it work as she wanted to meet me too! 

I was surprisingly not nervous as the day arrived.  I was just so excited to meet her.  She had an event to attend in the morning/lunchtime, so I went shopping in a quaint old-town area of the city while waiting for her phone call.  When she called to say she would be able to meet in 20 minutes, the nerves kicked in! 

We met at a TCBY at 2:15.  All nerves were gone the minute I saw her and she walked towards me with open arms.  Our hug seemed to last forever.  I felt as though I was channeling all the love that those arms had shown Christopher over the years ~ all the love that I was unable to show to him, but she was able to.  All the worries that I had while driving there were for nothing.  She was completely open, honest, and loving with me.  We talked for hours.  About Christopher of course, but also about both of our families growing up, our other children and grandchildren, so much more.  She gave me a beautiful gift and card for Mother's Day, with a loving note.  I had gotten her a necklace that symbolized the bond I have always felt with her ~ even while I didn't know her.  I always felt a bond with her, that we were brought together through the love of a child.  I think the necklace found me actually, it is a perfect symbol of that bond.  I got one for each of us, wore it that day and almost every day since.  I knew that we had been talking for a long time, we both seemed to try to wrap things up at the same time.  I was so surprised to see that it was 6:05 when I got into my car.  Almost four hours had passed!  Driving away from meeting her, I felt such complete peace, love, and happiness.

I texted Christopher afterwards and told him that his mom was wonderful.  We had a few texts back and forth, he was very relieved that it went so well. He said that he was more nervous than both of us had been! 

Just three days later was Christopher's birthday.  Due to the anticipation of meeting his mom the birthday blues hadn't kicked in as they have every year since he was born.  It was so wonderful to be able to talk to him on his birthday.  The birthday blues did kick in a bit that day, along with some decompressing from meeting his mom.  But overall it was a wonderful day, the feeling of peace was back the next day when I received a lovely thank you card and note from his mom. 

I don't know what I ever did to deserve all the blessings I have had in my life.  Getting to know Christopher's mom, her loving acceptance of me into their lives, is more than I ever thought possible. 

This is the first year since Christopher's birth that I have not fallen into a funk for the weeks before and after. 

This is the first Mother's Day since Christopher's birth that I have truly been happy to celebrate being a mother on this day.  I had a fabulous day that included playing in the sun and dirt (finally getting some flowers planted) with three of my granddaughters help, then dinner with all three of my (raised) kids, the grandkids and my mother and father-in-law.  My daughter even cleaned up the mess from dinner.  To top off the day, Christopher sent me a "happy mother's day" message ~ the first one since being reunited!  Once everyone was gone, I sat outside and just breathed it all in. 

I am one very thankful and lucky mom!