Connections

I am drawing a blank here today, I have been sitting here for almost 2 hours attempting to string a few sentences together for a post and nothing is happening. The other day posts were streaming in my brain left and right when I was busy and had no time to sit down and write them out. So when I actually have the time to sit and write ..I got nothing.

Last night, we went to a family wedding and for the first time I stopped and watched some of the people related to me and it dawned on me..we are connected..like really connected. We have similar mannerisms, we have similar hair color (real not the bottle stuff some of us older folks have needed to resort to in our old age) but most importantly we have history together ..good, bad and everything in between. A song played and I was 7 years old in the back seat of my cousin’s car singing along again and getting yelled at to keep quiet and stop singing (yeah my voice was bad then and worse now). I looked at said cousin and realize that we look-alike in a lot of ways..that her mother was the calming and loving influence in my life..that our lives intertwine. We took pictures of our kids together, they look-alike. They have the same dark hair, the hazel eyes , the same nose ..they all have the same smile..they are all gorgeous..they are family.

My cousins and I have not always connected with one another in the years since my aunt/their mother/grandmother passed away. We all had lives to live , careers to start, relationships to foster and children to raise and got lost in our own little worlds but we have always been connected. Time cannot erase those memories that are the foundations of who we are. Time cannot take away the lessons and the love bestowed upon us by my aunt Helen who was the thread that wove us together as a family. Time cannot erase the experiences and the bonds and I realize after all this time that being together we are stronger not weaker.

My son  K who I allowed to become a part of another family has missed out on those connections..he should have been there with us last night celebrating a wonderful occasion. K should know his family and his history, he  should see the people he looks like (even though he is blonde and not brunette like the rest of us..ok I am bottle blonde) and he should have been here all along. These people good, bad and indifferent are the fabric of his life. When his adoptress closed the adoption she severed his connections not only to me but also his entire history shutting off all the wonderful things that make K who he is.

The act of his adoption did not erase who K is ..it only changed where he lived and who he knew.The thing about his adoption is it has not only changed him..but it has changed me. I still feel like I have to walk on egg shells with the whole situation ..I still feel beholden to his adoptress..I still fear losing my child all over again to this woman. What I long for now is help K became connected once again to his family and to hold to and foster our relationship so our connection is never broken or damaged again.

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Dear Adoptress

Dear Carol,

It is obvious that even though the boy is now a man, you refuse to open up his adoption. It baffles me that you are unwilling to share with him the details that he needs to know to even research on his own, like his adoption information including a letter I wrote to him are at the Bellows Falls Court House. I do not understand your reasoning behind this? Are you still afraid that he will chose me over you? If that is the case then I think that you need to realize that people can love many others in their lives and still hold their parents dear. You neglect to recognize with these behaviors that I am his mother, I always have been and I always will be. You are his parent, the one I entrusted to care for him and to keep true the promises you made when I entrusted you with my heart and soul all those years ago.

I wrote you an email a few months back after K’s 25th birthday and still no reply from you..the email was not threatening it was in fact very loving and guess what ? I know you never passed on any of the message to K. What you also do not know is thanks to social media that K and I have found one another and we talk several times per week. What I know is he has been searching for me, he has missed me and he wants for us to be in one another’s lives. Maybe you have figured out that K and I are friends on Facebook and maybe you have not..but we are and it has been a privilege to see through photos and posts the handsome young man he grown to be. I give you props for doing a great job raising him despite the bible thumping. I have love and respect for the fact that my son is happy and well-adjusted but I am still so hurt and angry that you failed to keep our relationship active so that he never had any questions about who he is and how he came to be.

SO in case you do not know..I am meeting K and M in Europe in a few short weeks..it scares the crap out of me but I am taking a leap of faith. I am grateful that K and I have a chance to start a new relationship as friends and it has nothing to do with you. I am grateful to get to know the young man who shares so many of my quirky personality traits and interests and looks like his younger siblings. I am looking forward to the rest of our lives and all the good, bad and everything in between.

It would be nice if you could open your heart and mind and merge our families as one ..but I am not counting on anything. Just know I did nothing to deserve what you did by cutting us out of his life..in fact if you think about it you would not have K if it were not for me. I hope you change your mind some day..in the meantime I will enjoy the time I with K and M

 

Pie Crust Promises

I have a question to pose..how many of us actually form opinions based on facts vs feelings? Many years ago there was an adoption case that took place in Michigan known in the media as  the “Baby Jessica” case. For those of you not familiar with the case the synopsis is a young woman got pregnant and made the choice to place her daughter for adoption with a  couple in Michigan. After the mother signed a Termination of Parental Rights agreement (TPR) and falsely named another man as the father of her baby she had a change of mind, informed the true birth father of his paternity and from there things got heated. The father of “baby Jessica” informed the courts he never terminated  his parental and sued to regain custody of his daughter. The couple who at the time were in the process of adopting “Jessica” fought long and hard to keep the little girl they grew to love in their custody but ultimately lost. During the days when the story was a highlight in the national media I followed the case since it was very close to home for me. Three short years before this case was thrust into the spotlight I was “Jessica’s” birth mother in many ways and agreed to allow another family to adopt and raise my son even though I doubted my decision every step of the way.  By the time the “jessica” case was national news, I developed a sanctimonious attitude towards adoption, believing that I had done the selfless thing and gave my son a better life than I was able to offer him at the moment. I hated this birth mother and father for ripping that little girl out of the only home she knew. I believe I used the words selfish and despicable when I spoke of the birth family. Looking back, I think I needed to feel that way otherwise what I did was all wrong and the reality of my situation would haunt me.

I recently read interviews and facts that were published on this case and see it with a different set of older and wiser eyes. I can understand the perspective of the couple who invested much time and money into adopting a child they brought home and bonded with. I also now more than ever understand where the biological family came from as well. So many people looking at that case or anything else to do with adoption think once a woman places her child that her ties to the child are severed..she should simply move on, she did the right thing (in their opinion) so now it is time to step aside and allow the “real’ parents to live happily ever after.

Just imagine if you will, how you would feel if someone came in and took away a child you just gave birth to? You are still hurting from the pain of physically giving birth, your hormones as dropping fast and furious and have just met this little person who until this moment was really an abstract concept? Then imagine there is a woman on the other side of you telling you “you are an angel”,  “you will always be a part of our family”..trying to hold the baby, taking pictures and all you can think is please hand him to me. IF you go through with passing the baby into this woman’s care, you are still hurting because by now your milk has come in and it is painful and you are feeling not quite yourself emotionally and it is time to say goodbye. Another woman walks out of the hospital with your baby, she will give him a name she has chosen out for him, his birth certificate will say that she and her husband/partner are his parents and all traces of you are erased.  Can you imagine what it feels like to give birth and walk away empty handed?

Imagine still, after you walk away agreeing that even though the other couple will be known to your child as mom and dad that you are promised to be a part of his life. In those days before the baby is really  real you are an angel, you are giving an infertile couple the thing they want most..a baby. The truth is to quote Mary Poppins..those are “Pie crust promises..easily made…easily broken”. So many women walk away thinking the people who adopt their children have everyone’s best interests at heart and truth is most adoptive parents do what is best for themselves, for their circumstances and their lives. Many Birth mothers find themselves cut out f their children’s lives, the adoptive parents find ways to demonize the natural mother and contact is lost.

In my adoption story, Kevin’s mother promised me that I would always be a part of his life. She agreed to raising Kevin in the Catholic faith, she agreed to a lot of things that she never followed through on. I have come to find out that she told Kevin that I loved him enough to give him up, she turned me into just that “poor girl” who had no other choice than to allow them to raise him as their own. I am left what did I do to be cut out of his life? Am I that horrible that she felt the need to protect my son from his mother? I never challenged her parenthood of him ever and I can think is Carol like most adoptive mothers become fearful and threatened by the presence of the child’s natural mother. Carol had nothing to fear then, I adored her..today is a different story.

I ask that those of you who truly have not experienced adoption to save your opinions for one side of the others since there are 3 sides to every adoption story, the parents, the adopters and the child..no child is selfish for wanting to know where they come from, mothers are not wrong when they ache for their lost children and wonder if they are warm , healthy and happy…infertile couples are not wrong for wanting to raise a child ..they just need to realize that simply giving a child a name, a home and raising said child in their image is not enough to erase the mother/child bond, it does not diminish the need we all have to know “Who am I “?  They need to realize that a child is not a possession rather they are human beings with feelings, curiosities and genetic ties that do not change when their mother signs a TPR. Promises made in the early days of their adoption process need to be kept  and honored ..adoption and parenting are hard work and all sides need to consider that the only person who matters most is the child.

Finally ..speaking of children..I am going to reunite with my child in Ireland of all places in exactly 1 month from today..wish me luck and send me strength