So, where’s this all coming from?

On a more cooled off note, there has always been something surrounding international adoptions that I’ve been uneasy with for many years now.  Do I want the children in orphanages to be without love and a family?  No.  Of course not.  Would I deny a children the blessing of being in the US if that is their dream?  No.  That’s not it.  That’s not what gets me.  It just seems daunting enough to heal the biological divide on the same soil and in the same culture where adoption takes place.  Add a language barrier and cultural clash…well, one cannot help but wonder what it does to the chances of a successful reunion.

I was at the home of a coworker in 2001 and my boss was there babysitting a little girl between 1 1/2 and 2 years of age.  She told me that the little girl was adopted from Russia.  She was so cute and so sweet!  As I watched her do her thing as a sweet, unaware innocent, all I could think about was how far she was from home…I don’t know…I just couldn’t shake it, the sadness of realizing that so much of what makes her who she is was getting jumbled right before our very Americanized eyes.

Of course, a lot of it may have been me interjecting what was starting to become apparent about my own experience.  I was all dreamy-eyed in 1992, already counting the days when I could be reunited with my son, but by this time in 2001 I was beginning to wonder about the chances.  And seeing that sweet little girl…thinking about the chances for her just really, really got to me.  I’m sure her parents would object vehemently to my saying she was so far from home because they’ve been doing all they can to make a home for her and to convince themselves that her home is with them.  And, indeed, it is because they have willed it and made it so.  But none of that changes the reality that there is always going to be a part of her life that is in Russia, thousands of miles away.  It’s a part of the reality that cannot be changed, cannot be erased, no matter how much adoptive parents may wish and will it to be otherwise.

In the short term, the child is happy, and safe, and cared for.  Over the course of a lifetime, though, it gets more complicated – way more complicated – which grieves and burdens me greatly.

I wonder if the mothers of the kids who are being adopted from Russia and other countries even know that their babies are going to the States?

I actually visited a few orphanages in Romania in 2006.  That’s where my skepticism comes from when prospective adoptive parents say they bonded with a baby in an orphanage.  When most people visit an orphanage to hold a baby, volunteers do it because they are motivated to…it’s their good deed – and, indeed it is good!  The people working in the orphanages do it because it’s their job.  But when someone shows up and gives devoted attention focused in on one particular child, of course that child is going to respond.  That’s not to say that there can’t be a connection.  That’s part of what being a human being is, making connections.

In one of the orphanages, there was one boy, about 8 months old, who really captivated my heart.  We just clicked.  I wanted to whisk him away from there, get an apartment in that Romanian city, and watch him grow.  The urge to rescue a child one falls in love with from an institution can be overwhelmingly compelling.  There were a few babies who were just so, so precious I was almost moved to tears, but that one sweet boy…  That connection felt so amazing!  It’s like time stood still.  Then somebody, I can’t even remember the face of who it was, snatched him away, and it felt like someone was ripping my heart out.  For weeks and even months, I could not stop thinking about that little baby boy!  To this day, I can still see his face and that smile that so lit up my heart.  If anybody is capable of understanding something about the compulsion to adopt overseas, I can say with confidence please count me in that number.

After I got home, whenever I would indulge in the fantasy of adopting that baby boy, it was always with the idea of moving there.  To even think of bringing him here just did not feel right.  When considering raising a child from another country, I feel that the most humane and honorable way to go about it is to commit to raising the child in his or her country of origin.  I mean, it’s one thing to take family blood ties out of the equation, but to take away the person’s country too?  I’m sorry.  I’m just too Scots-Irish and Dutch for that to even enter the picture…the love of the land is just in me too strong and too deep.  But I am an adult, and we’re talking about the welfare of children, and being the adult, to me, means it goes without saying: Don’t strip these innocents of absolutely everything they are, dear Lord!!

Oh, boo flippin’ WHO (do you think you are)!!

Stories like this get my BLOOD BOILING: U.S. family in limbo after Russia adoption ban

The article makes this claim: “The law is widely seen as retaliation for a new American law banning Russians accused of human rights violations from entering the United States” (paragraph 6 of the article, just underneath the 3 related links).  Other news outlets have touted a generalized claim along the same lines (the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, to name a few).  That’s not to say that we aren’t within our rights to disallow human rights violators to come and move freely within our borders.  What I am saying is that, if it is part of what motivated the ban, I see it as Russia calling us on the culture of hypocrisy that our adoption practices are steeped in – the pot calling the kettle black, if you will – and they are right to call us on it.

Go ahead on, Russia!!  Let’s go ahead and talk about the human rights violations of high-and-mighty Americans to whom all entitlements are [NOT] due!

Let’s talk about 7-year-old Artyem Saviliev, who was renamed Justin after his US adoption.  In 2o1o, just six months after the adoption was finalized, his mom, Torry Hansen, put him on a plane, escorted by a COMPLETE STRANGER, back to his native Russia with a note in his backpack stating that she no longer wished to parent the child:  Tennessee Mother Ships Adopted Son Back to Moscow Alone

Let’s talk about 2-year-old Nina Victoria Hilt, who died as a result of the wounds inflicted while being kicked and punched by adoptive mom, Peggy Sue Hilt:  Mother Admits Killing Daughter.  The little girl’s body was bruised from head to toe.

Let’s talk about Anya, Sasha and Oksana, whose parents avoided jail time as part of a plea deal when charges were brought against them for child abuse: Couple Accused Of Abusing Adopted Russian Sisters Avoid Jail

Let’s talk about Dima Yakovlev, David Polreis, Jr, Logan Higginbotham, Viktor Matthey, Luke Evans, Jacob Lindorff, Zachary Higier, Maria Bennett, Jessica Albina Hagmann, Liam Thompson, Alex Pavlis, Dennis Merryman, Nina Hilt, Issac Jonathan  Dystra, Nikolai Emelyantsev, Chase Harrison, Nathaniel Craver, and Anton Fomin, just to name a few of the children who all died because of the atrocious acts of their American adoptive parents.

If Russia has decided to stop letting the adoption machine ride the gravy train on the backs of their children, I say, Yes to that, AMEN!  Good for you, Russia!  Maybe we’re too chickensh** to speak out about how insidious adoption is here in our own country because there’s too much money in it to rock the boat, but at least someone has decided to stop bowing their knee to the almighty dollar and give the children a voice, for a change!

But, back to the original tear-jerker post about the poor Summers who, “began filling their New Jersey home with baby clothes, a crib and even a stroller. They traveled to his orphanage in Russia twice to bond with him, and they gave him a name: Preston Mackey Summers.”  You bonded with him?  Twice??  Wow!!  And you even gave him a name??  Are you freaking kidding me???  He already HAS a name, you psychos!  A good, strong Russian name, no doubt.  It’s all so sanctimonious my gag reflex has risen within me full bore.  And the web and the air waves are starting to fill up with more “heartbreaking” stories, *cough* crap, just like this.

Let me introduce you pious peeps to OUR world, how it really goes down: The world doesn’t owe you a child!  The world doesn’t owe you JACK!  No one knows about that more than mothers who’ve relinquished their children for adoption – and no one is much questioning pregnant women are who are already convinced of their own worthiness – or, rather, lack thereof.  It is, of course, already implied what we are deserving of (and that, of course, would be jack).  We all got the memo and the message rang loudly and clearly that these revered patron saints of Parentdom are far more deserving seeing as how they’ve already invested hundreds of thousands in cold, hard cash toward procuring a child.  Every adoption is, as we’ve all conceded: One more unwanted baby off the streets, so score one more for the rootin’ tootin’ adoption machine who saves the day, yay!!  If we dare to venture to the really scary places then we enter into to the dark inner recesses of the world of the adopted child…Perhaps the Reverend Keith C. Griffith said it best: “Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful.”

Russia is a big country.  They are their own country.  The right of the people of any country is to govern themselves and not be subject to the laws and opinions of other countries.  Concerning this shockwave of outrage throughout America over this ban on US adoption, what part of the inalienable rights endowed by the Creator do you not understand???  If it applies to the American people, it applies to all people because, Newsflash: The Creator did not begin or end with the good ole U. S. of A.  The people of Russia have spoken, and their leaders listened.  End of story.  Among their inalienable rights, the Russians have a right to tell anybody who cares to ask: No, you cannot have our children – not for a price, not for anything!  Maybe they have finally started to figure out that their children are their greatest asset and hope for a brighter future rather than being among the bigger of their problems to be solved – or maybe it’s at least a start in that direction.  As for me, I’m going to cheer them on and wish them well.

Freedom

I have found a certain freedom in finally allowing myself to admit to myself and to others that I clearly made a mistake in choosing to give my son up for adoption.  I have thought many times about what I would say to him if he ever asks the question he has every right to ask: Why?  I can finally freely admit that I made a mistake, and now that I can, I can give him a truthful answer.  It is somewhat of a relief because I no longer have to live under the shadow of the illusion that it will all get better somehow “magically” by osmosis.  I have finally come to realize that if it is going to get better, it will get better only because I finally decided to stop being a chickensh** and face the cold, hard truth of it all.  It’ll come because I took ownership of what’s mine.

When I say there is freedom in this I say it because, for years, I felt I had to justify it to myself and to others.  There had to be a reason, after all.  Of all those reasons, some were smokescreens and the rest were just straight-out lies.  I never even allowed myself to consider the possibility of becoming a mother.  As soon as it became clear that I could not, with any kind of clear conscience, terminate the pregnancy, I immediately looked to adoption.  Looking back, had I told no one about the pregnancy and just let it be what it was – me pregnant and contemplating the reality of a child on the way – who knows…

Jesus said, the truth shall make you free.  The truth is, I made a decision based on flimsy logic.  Now that I can freely admit that, from that place of freedom, i.e., of no longer hiding from the truth, I can start, perhaps, to learn from it.  I have said for quite some time that I really would like for there to be some kind of purpose to all the pain I have endured with this.  And from this place of being able to own what is mine, the responsibility of there being a purpose in it is mine as well.  A higher purpose will not happen by osmosis either.  If there is to be a higher cause then I am to be the champion of that cause.  I cannot just sit back and expect meaning to come from this.  I must put forth the effort to ensure that it is not meaningless.

I do not deny that my son probably had some advantages to being raised where he was that will be beneficial throughout the remainder of his life, and I’m not just talking about financial advantages.  The stability they provided, the perspectives, all sorts of things that I saw in them will be assets to him, I’m sure.  They are good people, and I know they did a good job of raising him.  That doesn’t do away with all the nights, with his head upon his pillow, when he wondered about me and wondered why.  I put him in the position of having to, as a little kid, try and comprehend and make sense of what I did – when there just is no making sense of it.  did that, no one else!  My actions brought about those times when he had to grapple with why his mommy didn’t want him, and I wasn’t there to tell him that I did want him, I just believed that I didn’t deserve him.  It’s not to say that he didn’t love his parents and that he didn’t have a happy childhood.  I got the pictures, every year around his birthday, and they all clearly showed that he was having a happy childhood.  It’s just that, there was another mommy out there that he couldn’t get away from the reality of, and he was not allowed to know her.  That mommy was alive and walking around under the same sun and moon, but all he could do about it was go through his young life, wondering, with no real answers.  How can a person ask that of another human being, especially a little child?  Yet…I did…just that.

Contact

Against the advice of my son’s adoptive dad when we talked back in May about his wish to meet me, I contacted my son on facebook 2 days ago to let him know how to contact me now or in the future should he ever have the desire to.  I had been feeling for some time that I should be the one to reach out.  After all, he doesn’t know me at all, whereas, I know him on a level that no one else does.

After I sent the message, I felt a measure of peace.  I felt I’d done the right thing.  I still feel I’ve done the right thing.  Facebook wasn’t my preference for contacting him, and I said so in my note, but it’s the only way I could find to contact him directly.  I trust no one to deliver the message for me – not even the US Postal service.

As the adoptive father might have feared, my contacting him might have triggered an instinct to shut down.  I accepted that risk and did so employing all that I currently know to convey that my message demanded nothing from him yet gave him options.  If my contacting him did freak him out, I must trust that he will think it through and eventually come to the conclusion that my actions were motivated by love.

And, so, there is nothing more to do at this point than wait and see what the outcome will be.

Humanity

We live in an imperfect world with no perfect answers.  I don’t actually believe I have the answers to the hard questions surrounding adoption.  What I do have is eyes and ears, and the stories I hear of traumatized birth mothers are much like my own, and the songs and dances we ask of our children who are adopted are irrational and unreasonable.  What I feel is there has to be a better way for mothers and for children.  If adoption must be then there has to be a more humane way to handle it than what has come to be accepted and deemed acceptable, there has to be!  What has come to be accepted is unacceptable.

Being a birth mother is not the sum total of who I am.  The grieving, the injustice, the anger, the self-doubt, all of what I have expressed on this site thus far is not the space I occupy all the time.  I do laugh.  I do smile, and I know that my smile comes from a genuine place.  I have a husband of nearly 2 years who is very much a bright spot in my life.  I love to garden.  I love to be in nature.  I love children and am no longer afraid of loving children (it took a few years…).  I love animals.  I have a dog.  She is an 8-pound wonder!  I passionate about the environment and alternative medicine.  I am musically and otherwise artistically inclined, but I lack focus and commitment.  I don’t want to be pigeonholed into being just one thing: a musician, a painter, a sculptor, etc. (leastwise, that’s my excuse, and, gosh-darnit, I’m sticking to it!).

I am a person of faith.  I have been on a journey of following Christ Jesus for 18 years and have been through a great many things with that as well.  It has been a joyful and rewarding journey, but it has not always been an easy one, and it has not been without trouble; it has not been without pain.  I have listened to many sermons and many admonitions to rise above all these circumstances.  I have listened in earnest to how I, as a believer in Christ, should be, think, feel, and behave.  To try and live up to it has left me feeling, to be very honest, pretty inadequate.

I don’t know if I’m supposed to be this, or supposed to be that, all these things I’ve heard: whatever the “who’s who in the Christian zoo” happens to be by whose ever authority it is to say I should be this or be that.  That said, I have decided that, at this juncture of my journey, it seems the most spiritual thing I can do is allow myself to be a human being.  That doesn’t mean I give myself license to go out and participate in some kind of crazy, stupid sin. It’s not even close to being about that.  It just means that when it’s time to feel what I’m feeling, I let myself feel that instead of putting on a brave face.  It means finding my way to being what I am meant to be by looking to the One who sought me out and loved me unflinchingly when I needed it most.

Right now, what I am is a mother grieving over being separated from her child.  It doesn’t matter that it was self-imposed.  I am learning to live with what is and process what circumstances have dictated I avoid until now.  My wish is to be reunited with my child.  For that to have a fighting chance of potentially transitioning to forming a relationship with my son, these things of my state of humanity must be dealt now with lest they betray me at inopportune moments and sabotage whatever chance or chances I may have of getting to know him.

Re-thinking

I am pretty sure I would come up against some radical opposition for what I’m about to suggest needs to happen to foster care and adoption, but, that’s okay.

I think that people looking to adopt should adopt a mother and child and/or a whole family, if necessary – for the child’s true well-being – and not just take a living person’s child to raise as their own.  I dream of a day when people will look back on our history of a society that did such a thing as procure a child for a childless couple – for a price – and the generations of the future will call it what it is: among the darkest of the deeds of the dim ages.

And when it comes to child welfare, how is it good to take an already horrible situation for the child and rip the child away from his or her mother and/or father?  How is that a good thing?  How is it good for kids to be passed from place-to-place, confused about what’s going on, dealing with the loss of a mommy and daddy on top of everything else they’ve already been through?  The change that needs to take place is instead of a child getting placed with a family, foster families should be extensively trained and proven capable of taking on such wounded people in the first place, and they ought to take in the family unit as a whole.  Parents who put their kids at risk should be sent to parenting boot camp, with their every move scrutinized for long periods of time by these well-trained foster families until they’ve proven capable of parenting on their own – much the way rehab for addicts is set up!  The process of teaching people to parent should be given daily attention, a full day’s worth, while the child is kept out of harm’s way – just like in rehab!  If the parents prove they cannot or will not change for the betterment of the child, then, okay, start the process of making new arrangements for the placement of the child elsewhere.  At least in this more humane way of dealing with child endangerment, a whole battery of new wounds will not have been inflicted in the process of finding that out.  Not that there won’t be wounds…they just will not have been compounded by an unjust system.

On the adoption front, pregnant women should be empowered to parent their children if there is any glimmer of a question that she might perhaps actually find that, deep down, she wants to be a mother to her child but doesn’t believe she can, for whatever reason or reasons.  No one should take a woman’s word for it when she says she wants to relinquish!  That could be just the fear talking, and she should be given every opportunity to see for herself if it’s just the fear talking.  She should be asked what it would take for her not to relinquish and challenged to really think about it.  The heart of her fears should be addressed.  Single parenthood, while not the ideal, is not the end of the world for a child.  The depth of the loss, though, can certainly feel like the world should end, for birthmothers, and sometimes even birthfathers, and, while it’s not talked about very much, yes, even the relinquished children.  This fracturing of the family leaves one with a sense that all is not right with the world and never will be – the polar opposite of how it felt when I was a mother (throughout the pregnancy and the 5 days I parented my son).

For years, and for the sake of surviving it, I justified it by thinking and saying I’d have a lot more regrets if I’d raised him because of the 2 years that followed giving birth.  I am not able to speak of the depth of it just now as it is a dark and painful thing to drudge up.  If I’d known that I’d be covered during those dark times I sensed coming even long before becoming pregnant, I know beyond all doubt I’d have jumped at that chance!  If someone would have said, “I’ve got you!  I’ve got your back,” and let me do what I had to do to get well while ensuring my child would be safe and I’d have access to him in a safe situation, I’m pretty sure it would have been a light in a very dark place that would have made all the difference.

Maybe I’m a dreamer.  But without dreams, not much is possible – especially not change.

To break it down to a more personal note: my son is just that: my son!  He may be a lot of things to a lot of people in this world – including son to his adoptive parents.  He may even be more than a son to me someday, but, first and foremost, he is and will always be my son.  Though he may never acknowledge it, I have acknowledged it from the day of his birth, to this very day, and that is who he is to me.  I got cold-cocked by a bunch of puny little lies telling me I didn’t deserve to be his mom.  But nothing changes the truth: the day my son was born, a mom was born too.  I’m that mom.  It all got fractured.  I got broken, and that family unit that was born that day in March of 1992 got broken, but it still happened that I conceived him, I birthed him, I cared for him, and never stopped caring.  I was a mom to him for that precious moment in time, and I loved every minute of it – in a unique way like I’ve never loved anything else.

Fears

There is nothing I want more at this point in my life than to reconnect with my son.  So much so, the fear of losing him when he finds out the real deal about me is starting to dissipate, and the desire just to see him is starting to take over.

I suppose my biggest fear of meeting him has been of not living up to whatever fantasy creature he has conjured me to be in his developing mind through the years.  When I start to think of who he might want and/or expect me to be I immediately feel hopelessly inadequate, like I won’t measure up.  I’m afraid he will be disappointed.

But something in me that runs much deeper must know that the mother-child bond is able to transcend all that or I wouldn’t have wanted to be a mother to him for 5 days before relinquishing.  I wanted something of me to remain with him so that he would somehow know that I really always wanted him.  Those 5 days were the most wonderful days of my life.  And I was completely free of worry about what might happen to us.  I knew that no matter what dark paths lie ahead for me, he was going to be alright.  I suspect that if that little ray of light that came in for those 5 days hadn’t been there I wouldn’t be here to write these things now…

Breathe

I want to find a way to do that, just breathe…breathe and trust the process. I need to find my way back to some gratitude – and not the false advertising kind of gratitude, but gratitude that comes from a place of rest, rest in the knowledge that everything will work out for the best.

I gave birth in my native Northwest Arkansas but moved to California just before my son’s 2nd birthday and was there until he was almost 18. The last 10 years while there, I had a pastor who, upon many attempts to escape, discouraged me from coming back to the area I’m from and where my son lives. I valued his input, so I heeded his words though I desperately didn’t want to. But, I tell you, if just one word had come my way even hinting that my son needed me here, I’d have crawled on my hands and knees the 2,000 miles if I had to – even if the pastor would have strictly forbidden it. My son is a part of me where I will not be deterred, and I will not be moved.

I went to rehab after moving to Cali and sobered up. And when I say I sobered up, I mean, it really scared the piss out of me when I stopped drinking and doing the things I was doing long enough to realize how incredibly, insanely, unnaturally lucky I was to be alive and how close death’s door was to swallowing me whole. It would have come so quickly I’d have never known what hit me and eaten me up without remorse and without a moment’s thought or hesitation. While I was in my addiction, I didn’t really care if it did come. But when I started coming out of the fog, and started waking up to reality, I found a very ferocious desire to live all of a sudden. After a few years of getting my head screwed back on straight, of course, I was devastated at what it had cost me. My choices had cost me my son…my beautiful, beautiful son…

Once I decided that I was going to let the pregnancy come to term, I did quit drinking and smoking cigarettes, and everything else. I took really good care of myself, in fact. But I didn’t do any kind of program or anything then. I just quit to focus on something else. Even though I wasn’t drinking or using any other intoxicants, I wouldn’t call myself sober because I definitely wasn’t thinking like a sober person…and I do know the difference now. One must reprogram one’s mind to think like a sober person in order to stay sober. For me, this is an irrefutable fact. So when my thinking started functioning more soberly, I really wanted nothing else but to go back and choose to raise my son. I spent a good 2 years in nothing but mourning over that, to the point I could do little else.

I knew I couldn’t rip him from the only parents he’d ever known by that point, but I did start to seriously regret having not insisted on the possibility of having contact with him in some form or another. So, finally, when my son was around age 9, I worked up the courage to write to his adoptive parents and express my regret at having shut myself completely out of his life. I asked if it might be possible to have some kind of contact with him. They wrote back to me fairly quickly and very politely shut that down.

There was nothing else to do but persevere. It was like trudging through sludge. I look back on that time, that very lonely, lonely and very hard time…it is amazing the things we can endure that necessity dictates. If one chooses not to end her life, then living through these things becomes a non-option. Don’t tell me there isn’t grace!!! If there wasn’t grace, the anguish would have vaporized me. For me, that is another one of those irrefutable facts.

I don’t know what I expected when he turned 18, but I wasn’t about to not be close by if he did express that he wanted to meet me. Coming back to the place of his birth and the place where he grew up was like visiting the scene of the crime. I had to drive through the town where he was raised twice a day to get to work for over a year. I was hit with wave after wave of pure grief for the first few months, and then the old familiar and faithful perseverance kicked in. Didn’t mean it didn’t hurt. It just means I learned to cope.

I still don’t know what I expect, and I’ve actually put forth considerable effort into letting my only expectation be to meet him and let things unfold very naturally as they will. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a relationship to develop from that meeting, but I am also very aware that I have no control over the outcome. Want and expectation are 2 different things to me. Expectation, to me, carries with it an air of entitlement that I find very ugly. It is not always easy to avoid the pitfall of expectation, but the hand I’ve been dealt in this life has helped me learn a thing or two about avoiding it (ironic laugh). Want is a completely different – and, I feel, a necessary – thing for ensuring any kind of quality of life. The things I want in life help inspire me to get out of bed and put forth the effort required to get from day to day and find my place in this world. I want a relationship with my son, so much more than I can express with words. I expect nothing except what he will decide and do where I am concerned. People will only give you what they are willing to give wholeheartedly, and if they are willing to give you anything at all from the true value and beauty of who they are, then that is a gift and certainly not something to be taken lightly or for granted.

I acknowledge that the potential for having my heart broken exists. I’ve been aware of this potential for over 20 years. But, then, that is the risk one takes in bringing a human being into this world. Humans come into this world endowed with fully functioning wills of their own, and they will make choices throughout the courses of their lives according to those wills (those pesky, pesky wills…). Some of those choices will break people’s hearts…some of the people whose hearts might get broken might happen to be their own parents, a mom, a dad, natural or otherwise. I’ve come to accept that heartbreak is just part of the risky business of living in the skin of humanity…

Questions

I became a part of an adoption reunion support group about a year and a half ago or so.  Our group is open to basically anyone who is touched by adoption and has reunited or is looking into possibly reuniting.  We have quite a few people who were adopted in the group.  When I first started listening to their stories and seeing them grapple with the prospect of searching for or meeting their birth parents, or grapple with the results of having met, it was the first cold, hard slap in the face to awaken me to the impact of my decision to relinquish: ‘They’re afraid of their own mothers…My God…oh Lord…oh Jesus…, WHAT have I DONE??’

I thought I had thought it all the way through when I was in the process of deciding to relinquish, but I didn’t have enough insight to think far enough.  How could severing an infant’s only biological link to this world not have far-reaching and profound consequences?  What conflicts of divided loyalties did I create for him?

I got to know my son’s adoptive parents somewhat when I was carrying him.  I would meet with them once a month at my counselor’s office.  I had him at home in my apartment with a midwife and kept him with me for 5 days and nursed him before placing him into his adoptive mother’s arms.  So when I was out and about this past May, and my baby’s adoptive father happened by, I recognized him instantly.  My son was 20 and in college by this point, and I’d spent at least 2 years fretting over whether he might possibly want to meet me or not.  The dad’s immediate reaction when he recognized me was to apologize for not letting me know sooner that during his Christmas break 5 months before, he’d shown his parents my facebook page and told them that I’d gotten married (even though I’d written to tell them that myself, but the man had for forgotten…but anyway…).  He said it was nothing personal against them but that he wanted to meet me.  They immediately communicated to him that they are completely supportive of him in this.

So 7 months later I am still waiting, having no idea if it’s appropriate to be the one to reach out to him or if I should let him find me in his own time, in his own way.  Giving up my parental rights has caused me to second-guess myself in matters concerning him absolutely all the time.  Sometimes I just want to throw caution to the wind and reach out to him on facebook as I have no idea how to have direct contact with him otherwise.  I don’t know if he’s afraid, and, if so, I don’t know what it is he might be afraid of.  I don’t know if he’s just busy being a 20-year-old, in college, discovering life outside the nest.  Perhaps it’s a little of all of the above – or none of the above?

My compulsion, consistently, through the years has been to find some way of telling him that my decision had nothing to do with not wanting him.  I want him to know that he was wanted, he was loved, and still is.  If I can get that across to him, if I can just convey that, I feel I can handle whatever does or does not happen beyond that.

Link

I Own It; Making Mistakes, Accepting Responsibility and Regret

I have browsed through a little bit of literature on adoption through the years.  It’s hard to make myself read – or it was.  Part of what made it hard was not really hearing my voice.  I wasn’t a teenager whisked away in the dark of night to a home for unwed mothers with my child whisked away as soon as he came out of the womb never to be seen or heard from in my life ever again.  I called myself being completely in control of every aspect.  I’ve been re-thinking that recently, though.  I called myself being the antithesis of a victim of circumstance, but, really, I was just lapping up the Kool Aid like everybody else who got hoodwinked out of our parental rights by the lies floating around about what a wonderful “alternative” adoption is to the “tragedy” of unplanned pregnancy.  I called myself breaking the cycle of the “negative pattern” of single motherhood, but, really, the signs seem to be pointing to my having been just another cog in the wheel perpetuating an even more insidious cycle.

It is liberating to hear someone say what I should have said years ago…I may be quoting this blogger a lot.  Thanks C.  You are a lovely voice in the cause of healing the old wounds.  ❤