It has been 8 days since the last time I communicated with my son K. I don’t know how to describe the heaviness I feel from the grief of losing him once again. I know I should be grateful that we had 8 months and 26 days of reunion where things were pretty good. Instinctively I knew once he came home for the holiday season that things had the potential to go awry. I never imagined just how awful things would get for him simply because we connected once again. What breaks my heart is there is absolutely nothing I can do and nothing I can say at this moment to turn the tides once again and go back to where we were even 2 weeks ago. The reality is even if we connect again there is always going to be a dark cloud hanging over us from some forces out of our control. I have decided I am willing to spare this young man any more grief that my presence in his life has caused him with the parents who raised him and will bear the grief I feel alone . I never want K to feel that he has to be sneaky about our relationship or that he is betraying the family that raised him..however much I disagree with their reasoning..I never want for K to hurt like he did during this trip home and it kills me to know that I was a part of that hurt.
Adoption is a complicated and enormously difficult way of life for all the parties involved. I can understand that K’s adoptive parents feel that by reaching out to me K is abandoning them or rejecting all they did for him until now but I know that is not the case. K loves his adopters and would never abandon them in a million years no matter how frustrating he finds the relationship. I would be upset if he abandoned them because they are his family as well and for as much as I regret the decision to entrust them with him I know they did a wonderful job raising him and in their warped way want what is best for him. Truth is K’s adoption circumstances are very atypical from most in that he was still an infant when he was adopted but he was not a newborn. He was not removed from my custody for abuse or neglect by social services (social services were never involved) I willingly chose to place him with the people who adopted him for a multitude of reasons including feeling unworthy to parent him. K’s adopters promised an extremely open adoption and held to their word for a while and then slammed the adoption shut when he was about 8 years old. I regret not fighting harder to maintain a relationship with K but his adoptress felt we were better off taking a break. I had a newborn at the time and I agreed with her since I was a new mom and raising 2 other children as well.
I truly loved K and I still do with every breath I take, the hole in my soul without him for all these years has never healed..it may never heal but this has never been about me and for the last couple of weeks I think I lost sight of that. I was so excited that he was only 3 hours away from us and stateside for about 15 days that I got caught up in the possibility of seeing K and introducing him to his sisters. I understood that he did not come back to see us specifically and his time here was to see his family for the holidays but I held out hope that we could connect even for just an afternoon. K being home was a bright light in what was a very difficult holiday season for me and I think I held on to that light a little tighter than i should have. The holiday season is never an easy time for me..I look around and see family and happiness and am reminded of loss..I have lost my mother (18 months before K was born when I was still in high school) I lost my favorite aunt 18 months after K was born, I have lost babies very late in my pregnancy, we lost my mother in law when my oldest daughter was 4 weeks old, we lost my husband’s aunt Mary who loved him like a son after his mother died a yer ago this past September, we lost a community we were attached to for 18 years after my youngest daughter was bullied by a group of “friends” and unexpectedly this past July we lost our dear UJ. I found UJ one morning when I went to go visit him gone..he was all alone and my heart aches thinking that there was more I could have done to help him. UJ died on the 27th anniversary of the day my mother died so to say it was rough is an understatement. To add to the stress, my daughter has a friend named E who last January was diagnosed and treated for brain cancer, I found out the last day I really talked to K that E is not doing well at all. It looks like E will leave us sooner vs later and my heart aches for this beautiful 15 year old girl and her family, friends and schoolmates. So in all the loss for the first time I saw hope and in doing so I lost sight that this was not about me ..it never has been.
I also confess that I unlike most people I know do not understand what it means and/or feels like to have family obligations. Other than my marriage and children I do not have any family (well other than UJ) where I have to be home, or I have to put up or I can’t wait to be with. I have not had to answer to anyone in my adult life and I think this has put me at a serious disadvantage in trying to understand or wrap my head around family issues. Spending time with UJ was always a blessing, it was the highlight of the holidays, cooking visiting and even trying to find the perfect present for the man who had everything and needed nothing. It felt strange this year to cook for the holidays in my own kitchen..oh and did I mention I had a total freak accident the week before Christmas? Yeah a heavy and sharp chef’s knife fell off the counter , cut my foot (thanks be to God I had my shoes on) and broke a bone..not my wisest move since I was not paying attention to what I was doing and the accident is my fault. I think my inability to relate to the family issues thing is a bridge K and I never anticipated crossing. While my belief system is you are your own person and the problems that your family is experiencing are not your burdens to bear and neither are any problems we might have..I fail to connect that people have other thoughts..a total ignorance on my part.
The last communication with K I have is he explained that I was pressuring him and he is in the middle of 2 sides he assumed were angry or pissed off at him and he felt caught between 2 families that hate one another. My heart is aching because I made him feel like that..I did this to him and I made him hurt and angry and that is unforgivable on my part. I am at a loss here, I knew his trip home was going to be stressful at times and I knew that C his adoptress was not happy that he connected with me, but I thought that her love for him would allow her to give him the freedom to make some choices for himself. I do not care to communicate with her for the time being but I still hold a love and a respect for all she has done for K. I wish that C could let go of whatever demons she attached to me and see that our lives are enhanced by more people loving us not less. K is the only boy she parented and he is the youngest of her 4 children, the oldest 3 being her biological children, but she has got to do the right thing for K and stop controlling him or trying to make him feel guilty for choices he has made.
As for me..I am not sure if I am going to recover from this any time soon. I am not prone to tears or letting my emotions go and I have not stopped crying since the first day of what I will call the beginning of the end (Monday December 30) a few of those days the grief was so crippling I could not get out of bed ..But I am out of bed and I am resisting the urge to message him or email him because the last thing I messaged him was I am leaving future communication up to him ..he does not need me to bother him. K needs to recover and find his happy place again with his GF in his adopted homeland. I hate admitting that I miss him terribly but I do..this is the third time I have lost him, and every time I do a little piece of me dies
The worst thing, absolutely WORST thing you can do is to walk away! PLEASE do not give up on him. What he has done is absolutely ‘normal’ and should be expected. Do you really want to give him the message you are ready to throw in the towel at the drop of a hat? That you aren’t ready to be there for him through thick and thin? Martyring yourself with your pain will cause hurt him. Please hang in there. Give him a month or so and write a simple, I love you, message with no expectation of response.
The people who I entrusted my son to via this adoption ..especially the female adopter..are not the most reasonable people. He was subjected almost from day 1 of this trip to her displeasure of his choices in life and felt the need to defend his choices..then she was furious that he is talking to me and said (I am paraphrasing here) I know you are talking to her (me) because I see it all over Facebook. I rarely post/like anything on his Facebook page out of respect for her and so it does not upset her. She laid out all the family issues on him and what I took to be a massive guilt trip. Then towards the end of his visit she derailed every opportunity for us to see him..including just one afternoon. We offered alternatives to the situation and he blew them off most likely because the pressure from her was intense. He told me they had screaming matches about his contact with me and for our 1 face to face meeting we had. It is killing me that I am the cause of this hate that was raging from his adoptress. I do not understand how she can hate me..she pursued me, she got my son and I have always respected her but if she continues to furl hate at him over me how can I let that go on? I would walk through fire to make sure he does not hurt, especially as a result of me
You are not the cause of any hate from the adoptress. Her behavior reflects her insecurities, selfishness and limited worldview and lack of understanding.
Knowing how to stay is difficult and requires great resolve. These kids know their own extreme grief and their own coping methods but they do not know the grief their parents had. They want a parent that is omnipresent and in control of parenting skills. They are waiting for the parent who went away to fill the needs they didn’t have met all those years ago. Yes infant needs, toddler needs, grade schooler needs and high school needs. You have to address these primitive infant and such needs in the form of the child as they are now: somewhat adult, somewhat damaged child. You have to further their goal to be healthy adults. You have to say now proud you are of them, just like young children, even if it only in how they brush their hair. Find something and work from there. Read joe soll and stick with it. And know they were raised by someone that put their own needs above EVERYone else. It will always be a battle. Don’t give up.
I am always saddened and outraged when adopters make it all about them, their needs, their insecurities–reasonable people understand that we cannot own or hoard others. How they behave has nothing to do with you; you can’t carry the responsibility of their actions for your son. Your son is an adult now and he needs to manage the APs–nothing they do is your fault, or his. but he needs to set those boundaries. I do understand that it is very difficult to watch as someone makes life difficult for you and your son’s relationship–that is most likely what they are striving for; they are hoping they can squeeze him to the point he takes it out on you, and I am sure it must take a great deal of maturity for him to recognize and deal with that appropriately. There is nothing you can do about that other than remain constant in your love and availability for your son. If he has expressed that he wants you in his life, than be there.
I’m so sorry, I know how hard and painful these things are. My husband always says: “with any luck they’ll be dead long before you are” That always gives me some perspective, and reminds me that all our troubles are temporary. So, with any luck they will be dead long before you! (and your precious son) xo