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.
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.
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...