I have been all over the map emotionally when it comes to my adoption journey. At the onset, there was a sense of relief , a sense that my son was going to be safe and well cared for and with that relief there was a sense of sadness. Scratch that..there was an overwhelming sense of grief that I can not put words to and I bottled up because I was expected to move on. Everyone in my life told me I did the right thing, I gave my son life in more ways than one and he was better off without me. I suppose I was grateful, I still had contact with him, I still got to see him on a regular basis and know that he was cared for and loved this was a new concept of adoption to me since most adopted people I was exposed to knew nothing regarding their families of origin and never to my knowledge met their mothers. I considered myself lucky, blessed even by the people who adopted my son since they said they wanted me to always be a part of his life.
Things were alright for the first few years of his life,but there were subtle signs (well maybe not so subtle but I was still drinking the kool aid) such as things said to me about already agreed upon terms of the adoption or little remarks made in my presence. Then the adopters closed the adoption and that was it, no more pictures, no more visits, no more phone calls..nothing for seventeen years.
My son and I recently reconnected thanks to Facebook. He told me he is grateful I made the incredibly difficult choice to place him for adoption. I know looking back at my 19 year old self that decision was the best thing for both of us but I wish I could rewrite our history just slightly. In a few short emails and Facebook messages seventeen years melted away but for me I am stuck in a new wave of guilt and regret.
We shared bits and pieces of our stories and where life has taken us in the years we have been apart. He is a magnificent young man, in love with life and a wonderful young lady. My son has his whole life ahead of him. He recently took up the greatest adventure of his young life and moved to a foreign country to start life in her native land. We discovered that despite our time apart and his time in his adoptive family we are more alike than different on so many fundamental levels. We have similar quirks and habits, we get annoyed by the same traits in people, and our sense of humor is oddly off kilter , this truly dispels the nurture vs nature argument in my opinion. This certainly is more than I ever expected. However there are moments like today when we talk and I hear things from him regarding his adoption journey and I feel the air being sucked out of my lungs slowly and painfully.
My son (and yes he is still MY son) was never told much about me except that I was young and his adoption was good for me and good for the adopters. The family told this young man that they always wanted a son but C did not want to give birth at her advanced age. The adoptive mother was 43 when my son joined their family and according to C things all worked out the way they were meant to. For reasons beyond my comprehension they refused to to tell him anything as basic as my first name. K told me a story about finding an old photo album during a recent visit home and saw a picture of himself with 4 girls in his driveway, three of the girls are his sisters and the fourth he questioned C if the girl was his birth mother. I am told C stumbled her words and said yeah maybe it might be, K had to ask her why she could not even give him a straight answer because that girl in the picture is his mother and she gave him a half assed answer. I am asking WHY is this necessary? C knows my name, she even knows where I live, I never challenged her motherhood of my son, I never questioned her love or devotion to him but I ask why is it that I am so awful and unworthy that even my first name can not be mentioned?
If I could rewrite our history knowing then what I know now, it is possible adoption might have still factored into our story..however I would choose ANYONE BUT THEM. K’s adoptive family all but manipulated my decisions from the moment they got involved with me. K’s adoptive Family told him as I found out today that he often reached out to the more than he did me. They filled his head with their version of the truth and in turn diminished my role in his life to that poor (and I mean in the financial sense) who needed them to rescue him from a terrible life of poverty and despair had I not been brave (stupid) enough to give him to them.
Let me set the record straight..MY son more often than not reached out to me for comfort, I was often blocked by them or told oh honey let me take care of him, you rest, you go back to school..oh let me get that messy diaper, see how easy it is to do this. Yeah it was totally easy for a woman with nineteen plus years of parenting experience to do all of those things versus a young woman with no mother and very little parental guidance. After a while you lose your confidence and think maybe i am not good enough and believe that the only person who can do take care of the baby is the person manipulating you and eventually you just give up..