My son was married this summer in dreamy ceremony in his adopted home country. The details of the wedding ..the intimacies that flow during such an exciting time in one’s life were not privy to me, nor was I invited to the service. The reasons why an invitation was not extended do and do not matter ..I am very good at reading between the lines..but I might keep those perceived justifications private for the moment’s time.
I missed out on so much of his life because with one stroke of a pen I naively thought I was wronging the rights that plagued my life. I was not going to allow my child to be the victim of the same life circumstances that plagued my childhood..I was going to do the right thing with a twist..I was told I was always welcome and would have the chance to remain an open part of his life. Sounds wonderful doesn’t it…almost too good to be true..and that is the clue..it was too good to be true. Somewhere around the time he turned eight and one of my children was born it all fell apart..almost like an orchestrated turn of events ..in speaking with my son since our reunion orchestrated seems to be what it all was. While I recovered from a difficult pregnancy and birth of my daughter the woman who promised me the openest of adoptions was sucked down the rabbit hole into the depths of evangelical religion that calls itself “Christian” and shutting out the world around her that did not align with her beliefs. This is something I would also not be privy too..but those were the days when I force fed myself sanctimonious lines of bullshit to force down the longing for my boy. I loved to tell myself I was not his mother but merely the vessel who gave birth ..she was his mother, she did all the things I freely gave away..now as I sit here 30 years later and digest what little information I am privy to I realize I was merely a pawn in a game of chess she devised.
Nineteen years old, motherless, fatherless, no family support, and penniless add to that a new baby and one can see where and how it was easy to be the target of an older and wiser person hell bent on getting what they want. The details are clear and fuzzy ..the details matter because the details especially those that were hard to read are the reason for all that happens now.
A few things stand out to me ..the first is she was a younger woman than I am now when she came into my life. Her daughter..someone who became my friend because of my pregnancy and the fact that my baby was a boy doing the bidding for her mother. I can not say that the original intention from J was to procure a baby boy for her mother or to truly help a person in need..in the end the two of them worked together to insure my son was legally no longer mine. This daughter was nineteen when I met her..I was still eighteen..her sisters were seventeen and fifteen and C would have an empty nest before her fiftieth birthday ..the wrinkle in this was her marriage although stable was not the most loving or happy at least from what I recall and from what my son has told me (he often wished they would just get a divorce already he says form his days growing up) C is a rather dominating and controlling individual ..how was she going to face the next 30-40 years empty nesting? That was where my circumstances fit perfectly into her plan..she extended kindness and help to a person in need..the true Christian thing to do..except this woman coveted my baby..the little boy she never had and always wants..the little boy who would keep her distracted and busy and not have to deal with her husband H alone for the remainder of their days.
I could not see her phasing me out of K”s life..taking over ..making me feel and be less than. J took part in this as well..they were better than I at everything baby ..no one told me that it does not matter if you are a mother at 15 or 45 for the first time..it is always a learning experience. I saw a loving mother who cared about her children..I had a mother who when she was alive cared about herself..what I did not see was a woman who is truly a master manipulator and who knew how to handle a poor kid. I should have grabbed the baby and I should have run ..but I did not want him to have to live on food stamps, hand me down clothes and hand me down toys..in the end he did have hand me downs and a woman who forced her hopes and dreams upon a child who was not meant to be hers ..he is mine and ultimately he is his own person beholden to none ..C cannot see that and from what K has said she is insecure and not supportive of his relationship with his me or his siblings. That open adoption turned to the same old secrets and lies..she told him he was adopted but she lied about everything else..and he is torn between his loyalty to her and wanting to grow closer to us..or at least I think he is.because his actions and behaviors leave a lot to be desired and I wonder did I do this to him by wanting him to have a better life not realizing that I was all he needed? K is often surprised when we talk that I know him so well despite the gaps in our contact..I know him because I AM his mother..I am the only mother he has and will ever have..I parented him for a short time in his life..I nursed him, I nurtured him and I have always loved him.
Although I would never ask him to choose between us..I know C has ..I know he needs to form a better relationship with me..I am the answer to who he is ..I am the one who holds the key ..he can’t see this all the time ..I realize he is restless and unsure ..I get that ..I am the same way ..there are parts of me missing in this world..my father, my half sister..my mother..and my son..unlike my relatives who slammed the door shut on me..I hold my door open waiting for him to realize I am not his friend, I am not someone he can escape I am his mother and I matter. He will never know the depths of my love for him ..how can he? I am the person who abandoned him and gave him to a woman who raised him to always feel like he must bend to her rules to please her..to not upset her ..to always have to make peace and never rock the boat..the young man who feels like he needs to handle me ..the restless young man drifting along who really needs to focus but still does what he thinks is the right thing.
I hate adoption …I hate the lies and insecurities and half truths..I hate that it becomes all about the adopters and their struggles and their pain..I hate that the people it is supposed to be about often get lost in the shuffle and are expected to be grateful for being chosen..in my case for being targeted. I hate everything about adoption especially for my fellow sisters who are broken by the loss of our children ..my son is my son..but not quite. My heart is broken again by adoption