Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Four Years Ago Today...

Friday, January 16, 2009 

My life was forever changed.  

I was excited and looking forward to the weekend ahead which included one last Christmas celebration with my family as my brother and his family were finally able to travel back home.

I looked forward to the weekend not only for this last Christmas celebration, but also because it signified the beginning of a new journey in my life.  A vow I had made to myself.  As the holidays rolled around that year, I had come to realize just how much my living in denial had been effecting my life.  I decided that once the holidays were over I was going to begin to deal with the loss of my son to adoption and then try to search for him.

I was at work, counting down the last hour before I could leave and get a start on the weekend.  At 4:50 I called it quits as far as doing actual work and decided to check my hotmail account to see if I had anything other than junk mail there.  You see, I had opened that hotmail account strictly for getting my info "out there" on the www on a few adoption reunion websites.  When I had first created the email account, I checked it every day.  As the months and years drug along, I checked it less and less often.  On that fateful January day four years ago, it had probably been 6 or 7 months since I had checked it.  I FULLY expected to see nothing but junk mail there. 

Imagine my surprise when first I saw an email dated January 5th from someone who said "Please contact me, I have a son who is looking for his birth family and it matches your posting. Thanks, Kim ###-###-####.  He is very excited, please call."

The next email was dated January 9th and said "Your birth son is looking for you!!! I think we can start many ?'s with answers nearly 30 years later. Please feel free to email me directly at..."

I will never forget that feeling, the loss of breath, the beating of my heart, the fear, the elation, the caution I was putting on my heart immediately to not fully believe that I was the "right" mom found.  So much was going on in my heart, mind, and soul in that moment.  I'm surprised I was able to act normal and leave work without letting on what had just happened. 

As soon as I left, I took out my cell phone to call Kim who I assumed was my son's adoptive mother.  She answered with a cheerful "Hello" in a very strong southern accent.  My first thought was "Where in the world did they send him???".  After a confusing moment for both of us, she realized that I thought she was his mom ~ when in reality she was a search angel.  To add to the "meant to be" part of our reunion, Kim only helps with searches in the two states she has lived in as she knows the laws/resources there well.  When she saw one of the postings where Christopher was able to write a little about his search, she just got a strong feeling that she wanted "to help him find his momma" ~ even though his adoption had taken place in Iowa, where she had never searched before.  The first place she went to see if she could find me was the reunion registry at adoption. com and there I was.

The rest, as they say, is history! 

I am so very thankful that I can celebrate this day of having my son back in my life.  It's so hard to believe that we are entering into our 5th year together.  In some ways it seems like just a couple of years, in others it seems like much longer. 

Each year has seen mile-stones in our lives. 

2009 started with finding and getting to know each other through many, many emails, ending with a Christmas day phone call ~ the first time I ever heard his voice!

2010 we met face-to-face for the first time.

2011 Christopher arranged a surprise visit and my dream of having all my kids together came true.

2012 I was able to meet his mom and spent 4 wonderful hours hearing stories about Christopher's childhood and about his parents and extended family.  I truly enjoyed getting to know this wonderful woman! 

2013 ~ what do you have in store for us??  
I dream of meeting his children, his beautiful wife.  
I dream of seeing him in person again, it's been almost a year since 
I have looked into his beautiful eyes.  

I am blessed...  so very, very blessed to have my son back in my life.  

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pregnancy And/Or Adoption As A Punishment?

Another great post by Deanna Shrodes today.  If you haven't discovered Deanna yet, you need to go read some of her wonderful writings.  She blogs at Adoptee Restoration as well as at Lost Daughters.   In her own words, Deanna is an "Adult Adoptee. Compassionate. Helper. Pastor. Wife and Mother. Coffee Lover. Loudest Laugh in the Room. Friend You Haven't Met Yet".  I will highlight a few quotes from her latest post, but I do hope you will go visit her blog as well as Lost Daughters if you don't already read there either.  

Here is some of what Deanna wrote about unplanned pregnancies, from her viewpoint as an adoptee:

Our president, who is pro-choice, grieved me back in 2008. He made a statement about the importance of sex education, which I do agree is important.  As the speech went on he said, "I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

As an adoptee, and as a human being in general, I felt like I was punched in the gut.

"Punished with a baby."

The words stung.

I hate those words. I hate them, hate them, hate them.

Was I a punishment?

I certainly felt like one at times.

 I've spent many hours in a counseling chair because I felt like someone's punishment. Finally one day I had to realize whether I was expected or relinquished, whatever my beginning or the circumstances that surrounded my birth, my life was ordained by God

I am no one's punishment.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward." Psalm 127:3

Did you catch that?

Deanna goes on to write about the perception some people have that it is the unwed mothers who deserve punishment:

 She should have known better.
She made a mistake.
But now, she can make up for it, if she is willing to face the consequences.

She is encouraged that she can "make a new start" and "make all things work together for good", by giving the baby as a gift to a childless couple.

She is seen as atoning for her wrong (sex and pregnancy outside of wedlock) by giving the baby to a desperate and deserving couple.

What started out horribly wrong can now redeemed as she makes someone else's dreams come true and can move on with her own...after enduring the punishment. The anguish of saying goodbye to her child will be fact almost unbearable. But she is reminded - sin is costly. All along the way she is encouraged  that although she really messed up, she can bring good out of a bad situation by giving the ultimate gift to another. 

Lastly, I would like to share her words to fellow Christians.  These words speak to those who use Christianity to sell adoption:

Brothers and sisters in Christ, I appeal to you that we don't have the ability to atone for our own sins. The Bible says none of us are without sin. The young lady who conceives a child out of wedlock is no different from you or I who gossip, hold bitterness or are gluttons. There is only one way to salvation. It is not through an adoption agency. It is not through relinquishing nor adopting.  We are only saved by grace, through faith.  Only the work that Christ did on the cross can forgive our shortcomings. The Bible says that God has not appointed us unto wrath (punishment) but to receive salvation. He covered all of our sins, mistakes and failures on the cross. We can't work hard enough or make enough good choices to make up for all our wrongs. How dare we boast that anyone can redeem themselves by choosing adoption! What a slap in the face to the accomplished work of Christ. There is only one person who can give us a truly new start.  We are new creations through Christ, not through the world's adoption system. In and of ourselves, we do not cause all things to work together for good. There is only One who came to make all things right -- His name is Jesus Christ. A new start comes through Him, not by giving up a baby. We are only free because of what He did, not by what we can do. It is an abomination to a Holy God to attribute atonement, salvation,and  redemption to a worldly form of adoption. Being "adopted in Christ" (as all believers are) has absolutely nothing to do with being adopted in a worldly sense. Pressuring  a young lady to give up her baby so that she or the situation can be "redeemed" is not only terrible theology, it is cruel and inhumane.
Thank you Deanna for being brave enough to speak out the words of your heart regarding adoption!

Oh ~ and by the way ~ if we are ever lucky enough to be in the same room together Deanna, I think I might have you beat on the loudest laugh in the room!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Post Holidays Blues

Nothing like the holidays to throw some adoption loss blues into your life...

No matter that I've been living with this for almost 34 years now.  No matter that we have known each other for almost 4 years now.  No matter that I have come to a place of "acceptance" about the loss of my son to adoption.

Grief STILL finds a way in.

The thing is ~ you never know what is going to trigger the grief.  In my case, it's coming from a few things right now.  Christmas and New Years of course are tinged with loss.  Add to that my oldest raised son who has pulled himself and his kids away from our family while he focuses on some personal/marital issues.  While in my head I know I'm not losing them too ~ all my heart knows is fear of losing yet another son and the close relationship I have had with his children.  Last but not least are all the wonderful photos I have had the joy of seeing from Christopher's life over these holidays.  While it is so wonderful to be able to see them, it is also bittersweet to see him with a family that is not my own.  It's so hard to see his kids in a photo with all their cousins ~ and the cousins are not my other grandchildren...  It's so hard to see the beautiful son & daughter of my son who are yet are not my grandchildren.  It was all the beautiful photos that brought the grief out.  Seeing the wonderful man my son has become.  Who is yet isn't a part of my life.  Seeing his kids who only know me through the gifts I send.  *sigh*

At least now I realize where this grief is coming from.  I lived for three decades not realizing where the holiday blues were coming from.  Now I know that fighting it will only make it worse, so I'm acknowledging it, falling into it, allowing it to be, so that it can hopefully work it's way through and out of my life for a while again.

Adoption.  The gift that keeps on giving...