The Tin Man  

Monday, November 24, 2008

I opened 4 e-mails this morning that brought tears to my eyes. One I have yet to finish because I have work to do on the phone and I can not be sobbing during business. The two in the middle were stories with some what of a happy ending. All four touched me in my one and only vulnerable spot, suffering. Be it human or animal I can't stand to see or hear of suffering. The last of the four e-mails simply said "I go to sign my papers today."

The ache resurrected from within resembles a hollow feeling. Like there is nothing inside me at all. I think of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. It was sad that the lion didn't have any courage, or the scare crow didn't have a brain, but the Tin Man was the one who had nothing, nothing inside but an echo. The heaviness that lays on my chest with the words in that e-mail will linger with me for weeks.

Someone is celebrating today, their life has been forever changed by the legalization of something they have no doubt waited for for so long. To someone else, this day who's date will be ingrained in their memory forever as well, is not the joyous occasion shared by others. It is the beginning of something equally as legal and permanent, yet has a hollow echoed feeling to it like the Tin Man.

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Hostility hangover......  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I know Lori has covered the subject about her confusion on other birthmoms and their lack of feelings for their children they relinquished. And I think she did a great job relaying her emotions on this. But I have to chime in on this.

Granted I am not a relinquishing mother, I have not given any children up for adoption so I can empathize with the emotions but not really understand them. Such as Lori and others can never truly understand what its like to be on my end-an adoptee. I think we both have a pretty good grasp of what the other has been through and respect the pain each has felt.
But the others....the ones that pretend as though they never gave birth, that blame the child THEY gave away, the ones that treat their relinquished children as a hostile addition to their lives......I ask you this......who the hell do you think you are?

YOU got pregnant. We were not there to assist, goad or provoke you. YOU are the one that chose to sleep with whomever our fahters are. **Now in the case of abuse, rape or any other form of this-I AM NOT SPEAKING TO YOU. I understand your pain and wanting to block it out. I can't say I fully agree with turning your back on the child, but I can see why it would be much harder for you to be there for us with welcoming arms.

But you others, the ones that simply made a mistake and got pregnant, HOW CAN YOU SHUN US FOR YOUR POOR JUDGEMENT???
I did not twist Lori's arm to sleep with Jim. It was a choice she made. I was the consequence of that. I feel no remorse for this, I feel no responsibility. I WAS NOT EVEN THERE. I also feel no anger toward her. I was a mistake, I'm good with that, it's ok.
I also made some poor choices. I took a different path than Lori. I graduate from high school 6 months pregnant. I blame no one but myself. I made that choice and I got pregnant, I choose to keep my daughter. Doesn't make me better, worse or anything else. I was just one more choice I had to make. Key words here are "I HAD TO MAKE" No one else.

I grasp the idea that you were young, poor, scared....all the reasons i have heard from others on why they relinquished. I support the choice you felt you made for the better. Hell, I even respect if you are one of those that flat out did not love/want/care about your child and you made steps to give them something more. But that still does not release you from your liability. You DID give birth, You ARE someones mother, You owe them at the VERY LEAST the common curtosy of giving them their history. Why??? BECAUSE YOU CREATED THEM, YOU GAVE THEM LIFE, BUCK UP AND ADMIT YOU DID MAKE A MISTAKE AND DID THE BEST YOU COULD IN THE SITUATION.

Everyone has things they are not proud of, if that is the reason for turning your back on the person that spent 9 months sharing your body, get over it. No one is perfect, people will look at you with more respect if you just say "I did the best I could" rather than act like a spoiled brat that isn't getting her way.
If you are unable to stand up and be a grown up then, in my mind, you are weak.

This not meant to be offensive. Well, maybe it is, I don't honestly care if anyone gets angry with me over this blog. It will not effect my life one bit. I am just so tired of talking to my other adoptee friends that have not had the positive relationship with their bmoms. They are shunned, condemned, tossed aside. They do not deserve such treatment for actions they had no voice in and no vote in. YOU ARE THE ONES THAT MADE THE CHOICE FOR US. We should not be expected to bear YOUR cross for eternity because you are too small of a person to do it yourself.

To those bmoms that wait eons to have their relinquished children find them, heart heavy and soul bruised, I thank you. I thank you for the open mind and strong backbone you exhibit. Being a bmom is not easy, but being strong enough to admit your shortcomings at that time in your life and want to hold your child again, shows more character than you will ever know.

Lori has always been honest with me. She has put out there that her life was a mess at the time SHE got pregnant and the choice SHE made to relinquish me. She is not faultless, but she was more woman than any of these cowards. She may not be famous, rich or powerful but she is my mother. And she knows that. She admits that. She made mistakes, she did the best she could, she made a choice to protect me, she stood by her decision, she claims no martyer title. She was a scared little girl with grown up decisions to make. At 16 she was more grown than any of you other so called women that can't even admit to themselves what they have done.

Lori, I am PROUD to be your daughter. I am PROUD that you are able to say I was a mistake and stand by your choices. I am PROUD that you are as strong as you are. I am PROUD you are not one of these weaklings that want to put on the rose colored glasses and pretend nothing ever happened. I will take your loud, brash, overly honest, in your face, kiss my ass personality any day.
You look in the mirror and remind are awesome and your daughter is gonna be just like you.

Thank you, for being a royal pain in the asses of the weaklings. I could not as asked for a better person to be my mother.
I love you......PAINFULLY

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making it my home  

I have been overly busy lately. My time seems to be slipping away from me. There is just so much to do. We recently bought a new house and are in the process of renovations. Some things are going smoothly and others seem to drag on and on. But the excitement the family is feeling is undeniable. Everyone is ready to make this move and see if we can get things back on track for us.

My whole life I never felt home. Home in the sense where you can feel completely at ease, your own space, 'hang your hat' so to speak. Growing up I was never intentionally made to feel like a visitor in my own life, but thats exactly how I did feel. I felt I was walking through the personal space of someone else. That same feeling held fast when I became an adult too. I still to this day feel like I am just a really familiar guest in the area I should be the most comfortable.

I have every intention of breaking that with my new house. Or at least, I'm gonna try like hell.
I know home is more than just a shelter, it is a state of mind. It is not just a phyiscal element, it is a part of your psyche. But, my new theory is "if I surround myself with things that reflect me, maybe it will absorb me"

I have no idea if that makes any sense to anyone but me, but that is what I am working to achieve. I have always had the hand me downs from others, which is fine, I don't need new sparkley things to passify me. But I would like to have a hand in the things I am going to be surrounded by. Not just what Aunt Ruth had and didn't need any more or Uncle Bob's old so and so he needs to clear away to make room for his new so and so....

This house is mine, free and clear. No one can ever take it from me. I do not need to ask permission from anyone as to what I can or cannot do there. I have thought long and hard on each detail, I have fell asleep to visions of colors and textures. I have put myself into each room. Thankfully, hubby has finally conceded to his long time 'white wall' theory and given me free reign. Poor man, everytime I tell him what color I have in mind, he gets a look of sucking on a lemon on his face. But he smiles and agrees. And with each new opening paint can I can see him shrink in fear, then take a deep breath and grab a roller. He is such a trooper. So far, even though he has been leery, when the room is done, he sits back and just stares in amazement. I catch him leaving and then entering the same room time and time again. Just to get that 'full effect'. I am chipping away at his fear of going outside the norm.

Now, it was not an easy win with him. He like normalcy. But I crave something else. I can't say what it is, but I feel I need to exert my personality into every room. My hope is, if everytime I sit in a room, I will see something that came from me, something I like, then it that will make me more secure. Like going to a beloved place from your past, somewhere that fuels that warm belly feeling. Somewhere you think of and can't wait to return to, that you can still smell, taste and see in your mind. A place where you can be you and no one cares.

I don't know if this is what everyone feels. Maybe I am putting too much weight on the physical being of home, but it makes sense to me. Surround yourself with things that reflect you and who you are, and the rest will come naturally.
Or I could be way off base and end up with nothing but a really cool house and still feel like a visitor.

I don't know if my plan will work, that will have to be an update for later. For now though, I am going to barrel ahead and give it all I got. Keep your fingers crossed, maybe the adage is wrong. Maybe you CAN go home, even if its for the first time.

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I went to church yesterday  

Monday, November 17, 2008

I have not been in church for months now. I have made every excuse possible, why I do not know. I like it there. I like being accepted by the parishioners. I like how i feel about myself when I leave there. But for some reason I have not gone.

I think in part is has to do with all the adoption I see. I live in a town of adoption and it very alive and well here. Since my last hour in a pew I noticed that our little church has gained several new families. That's a good thing. We needed it. Something else I noticed and just couldn't get it out of my head was a little girl I recognized with a cast on her arm, and two little boys with two black eyes each. They were together with a woman I had not noticed before, I assume they were brothers.

Now having a crash kid of my own, I understand how it is. I have one who seemed to have stitches in the weirdest places and can see why it would raise an eyebrow from time to time.

I asked about the little girl since I sort of knew her parents. Her arm was not broken but fractured enough that at her age they thought it best to have it casted. But the boys are still bothering me. Lumped up foreheads and both eyes blackened. It could have been a car accident, it could have been anything but my mine saw something different. I immediately thought that these boys had been removed from their home and placed with whom ever this woman was. I did not see much interaction between the woman and the children so I could not see if they acted like mother and child. But it is still bothering me. I want to know what happened to those boys. I want to know if they have been removed from their home because of those bruises.

It is hard for me to go to church sometimes. There are all those people with other peoples children. They honestly think in their hearts that what they are doing is in the best interest of the child, and maybe it is. One little girl and her brother have recently been adopted by a family from my church and I have to admit they are shown so much love. I feel bad for the parents because these children were abducted at birth. No matter how many children their mother has she will have them taken from her at birth. I don't know the story behind it, but the adoptive mother is finished with DHS and being a foster parent. She does not blame it on the kids but the system itself.

I would really like to talk to her one day about her reasoning for that, but I am hesitant to in fear that it will come back on me and hurt my relationship with the church. I tried to talk to another woman once about something similar and she kept giving me her rendition of how wonderful everything is. I never did get my actual question answered.

So basically I went to church, felt good about it, and yet came home feeling depressed about the fate of the children again. Man this is hard.

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Coming Together  

Friday, November 14, 2008

In the past few months I have been feeling more confident about my position in adoption land. I am finally finding a voice, a passion, a stand. I have offered my ear or my email to women who are thinking of surrendering their children. I have offered my email to women who have recently surrendered and are having the proverbial hard time getting through each and every day with out a melt down.

Does this mean I have turned into the sweetest most compassionate person on the planet? Hardly. In fact it means a bit of the opposite. I've been getting a bit rowdier, more vocal. I have been stating my position with confidence. Something I could not do before. I couldn't do it because I wasn't sure where I stood. I certainly didn't want to rock the boat. I didn't want to do or say something that would jeopardize my relationship with my daughter or turn her parents against me in any way. But I think I have found my common ground.

I have read more in this past year than I have my entire life, and my waist line is definite proof that I tell the truth. I have been making friends and acquaintances with some perspective adoptive parents. Ones who have been turned off by the rantings of the unhappy, ungrateful adoptees. I have opened up my email to those who dare take the bait and I have actually been able to point out a few things to those who reside on the winning side of adoption. Mostly in the areas of myth busting. Myth being that all adoptees are legally available for adoption. Myth being that signing papers takes away feelings of the heart. Myth being that a relationship between a first mother and daughter negates the position of an adoptive mother.

My daughters parents are her mom and dad. I am her mother. I have a relationship with her. I have been accepted as her mother by her mom. I have been invited to their home, which I never thought would happen. I have shared my story and deepest pain with women I do not know. I have passed along information in an attempt to open the eyes of women on the other side of adoption. I have thought, pondered and blogged about the pain an infertile woman must feel and how it differs only slightly from the pain of a surrendering mother. Bottom line it is the pain of empty arms. Something women from both sides can relate to and come together on if they try.

Now I have decided to try and bring women together from both sides of a child. That's what it is basically. One side is surrender the other is infertility and for some reason it pits them against each other. Something I honestly believe was started by the all too uncaring agencies. Something I see as being completely and totally unnecessary and I am out to prove it.

In order for this to work I think I need to put myself out there, vulnerably. So here's your chance. What ever you write I will post unless it is descriptive of me naked. That's a visual no one needs and it means your probably my neighbor in which your opinion doesn't count.

I'm looking for women to tell me what they think.

Am I on the right track?

Am I wrong?

Do I live in a fantasy world?

Is my reunion a farce?

Are all these stories of abused adoptees, baby brokers, baby farms, human trafficking, surrendering mothers pain, a fabrication?

What do you think is in the best interest of an adopted child? Why?

Would an adoptees relationship with two sets of parents be a good thing, a bad thing, impossible? Why?

Are you afraid of International Adoption ending? Why? What does it mean to you?

Do you think the system is broken? Why?

If I can accept and acknowledge your pain can you accept and acknowledge mine?

Am I missing something? What?

Can we become responsible for changing adoption together in the name of what is best for the children AND for us?

Now for the DISCLAIMER: I'm looking for honest opinions on ways to bring women together. I am not discarding men. I am focusing on women. If men want to put in their comments they are more than welcome to do so. I welcome ANY male perspectives. I want real stuff though, if you have a strong opinion one way or another, THAT'S what I want to hear. If you think I'm an idiot okay, say so and move on, don't give me 40 paragraphs on why I'm an idiot.

If you have suggestions, I want to hear them. What do you think needs to happen before women can come together and make adoption a functioning system that is in all actuality a win win win situation.

All I ask is that you be "at least" from one side of adoption. This includes extended family. Grandparents especially, but also Aunts Uncles, siblings. If you have something to say that is within the broad and very laxed guidelines, I want to hear it.

FYI: I want people to understand that finding my voice came directly from the people some seem to think are the root of the problem. "The Ungrateful Bastards" If they had not been so patient with me over the past months (I'm sure out of respect for my daughter) I would not know what I do today. I surely did not know all this a few months ago. Do I have the utmost respect for them? YES. Should this be a problem here? NO.


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UGH, I think I'm one of THEM........  

While having a casual conversation with a dear friend of mine not too long ago, the topic of reunion and families came up. She is also an adoptee who searched and found her roots. Good, bad or ugly, she finally had some answers in her life.

As we chatted about nature vs. nurture, the importence of just knowing and general rights we, as adoptees, are denied, I made a passing comment about my daughter. A comment that would lead to a huge revalation for me and haunt me.

Let me give some background, so you can understand.

At the ripe age of 17 I became pregnant with my daughter. I was a senior in high school and was college bound-or so I thought. Her father was a quiet one, a far cry from my outlandish and loud personality. It wasn't exactly love at first sight-to be honest-it wasn't even like. I actully didn't care for him much. He was too quiet, too brooding, too mousey. But as I got to know him I found his true personality and was slightly smitten. We dated casually for some time and I became pregnant. I was scared but was determined to keep my baby. I called him to break the news. After a 15-20 minute conversation-I delivered the blow. He became quiet....he stammered a little....then he said it "ummm, WHO is this? I think you have the wrong number, I don't know anyone by that name. Sorry" >>click<<>

So it has now been 18 years. I have never attempted to contact him, I did not push for him to be in her life. I couldn't, what if one day he grew angry with her over me? What if he resented her and treated her poorly? I would not take that chance.
Years passed, and every so often I would see his name in the paper for some crime he commited. Drunk driving, larceny, wasn't often, but enough to make me catch my breath each time. He sent word via a mutual friend that he had moved to another state, but there was his name in black and white in our local paper.

Over the years my daughter would question. She was hurt, curious, angry, confused, everything most of us are when we have a huge piece of our lives missing from the puzzle. I tried to keep the conversations light and not voice my anger toward him. It was not my place to form a poor image of her 'father' when she didn't know him. Hell, I didn't know him any more, how could I assume what he was?
Finally when she turned 16, I think, things were becoming increasingly hostile with her. She blamed most of this on the fact that she didn't even know his name. I finally broke and gave it to her.

Now this should have been a weight off my shoulders, but it wasn't. In fact it was the exact opposite. I found myself more vocal of my distain of him. I made snap judgements of what I figured he had turned out to be. I did everything in my power to keep her from searching for him. He could be very toxic to her. He may not have grown up at all. He may use her to gain for his own personal issues.

He may hurt her. He may shun her. He may deny her. He may DESTROY her.

So while friend and I were in this discussion, she stuffed my own personal blank slate of a past, in my face. She reminded me of the emptiness I had before I searched and found my mother and father. She waved the fact that my own father had a 'past' too, that he was a different person back then. I ALREADY KNEW ALL THIS. I knew because I went through it. I remembered the anger and pain I felt when I was met with closed doors at every turn during my search. I remember the questions, the gaping holes in my genetic history, the constant, nagging "what if....."

It really made me understand another side of the triad of adoption. I was doing everything I could to protect her, and I didn't even know for sure she needed protection. I was taking on the role of adoptive parent. I was battling the unknown of biology and it scared me. I was willing to deny her what I so desperately fought to attain for myself. KNOWLEDGE. I deserved to know, it was my roots and I wanted them. I was entitled to them. But when it came to taking a backseat and watching a potential train wreck with my daughter-I put on the brakes. I forgot what it was like to be the one in the dark.

I was ashamed of myself.

But with shame came a newfound respect. I thought of how my aparents must have felt. The fear of having to pick up the pieces if the reunion went sour. The worry of her liking or loving him more than me. The panic of potentially losing your child to a stranger.

I was willing to put it all out there when I was the one doing the looking. But to think of her being the one out there with her heart was almost too much to bear.

I got a heaping dose of 'humble pie' that day. I realized what I had been doing and the possible backlash of it. I realized I was the thing I hated most during my search-the one with the answers that refused to talk. The person that was single handedly robbing her of her roots.

I have a new perspective on this now. Granted its easy for me to say now, she is in a place in her life that does not involve searching. So I am safe-for a while. But I have vowed to have as much info for her as possible when the day comes. And I know it will come. I would rather give her the chance to know, then to allow her to have a lifetime of wondering. Even if its a farce reunion, she will be able to say she knows. Any adoptee can relate to the idea that knowing is usually better.

So, to you Dear Friend, thanks. I know you had no idea how much our conversation affected me. You slapped me with the reality stick and brought me back down to earth. I appreciate your honesty and understanding, but most of all I appreciate your gentle push in the right direction. I will do the right thing and help her when the time comes. Even if I hate every second of it-it not about ME, its about HER.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

I read a question on one of the popular places to go on the Internet today. The poster asked how so many can try to persuade her into keeping her child when we don't know her at all and she thinks she isn't the best thing for the child. She was irritated that so many are trying to "force" her into keeping her child. She seems to think we have no right. I usually do not boast the keep your baby scenario. I try to stay neutral to a mothers situation. I know how I felt when it was my turn to step up to the big girl plate and make my decision. I try to give the same respect but at the same time try to make sure that they ARE making an informed decision.

I have had a few women through invitation by me, email me just to talk about what it's like, how do I get through from day to day, did I make a mistake, when does the day come that my every thought isn't consumed with the ache of my empty arms? It is heart wrenching to hear the pain in their words. It is all too familiar.

There were several surrendering mothers who genuinely tried to explain what can not be explained. I have already said this but it is something you have to go through to understand and that alone is not good enough for these women considering adoption for their child. I don't want to point out the dark side, my daughter got a good home. Bottom line my daughter and I both got lucky. A luck that took 28 years for me to realize. But that's not my point.

I wanted to add to what had already been said but so much had been explained already I wasn't sure I could add anything. So I pointed out that those who dismiss adoption stories as only the doom and gloomers version and only once in a while fluke situations were not the women who had lived being a surrendering mother. That the women who had actually worn her shoes were looking out for HER. Most had already stated that it takes wearing those shoes to know how it feels. One even posted questions from that site that had already been asked by other mothers who were suffering because of their decision. I was at a loss for words so I asked her if she could live with the stories of another adopted child found dead or abused? If she was aware that not all children get the pony and the pool? That later on she may find out that her child might have actually been better off with her rather than without. Again I asked her if she could live with that?

I hope one of us got through to her that not all adoptive parents are necessarily better than a mother who has low self esteem issues. And that we are actually looking out for her.

DISCLAIMER: By no stretch of the imagination am I intending to disrespect good adoptive parents who love, care for, and try to understand what is important to their child. I am trying to find the words to express how it feels to be me.

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My views on Infertility  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rachael and I have both been so busy lately. Rachael is always busy, I have spurts. But none the less it is by no means rare form for either of us to miss the first two days of blogging in the month long quest to bring awareness to adoption.

Come to think of it she probably doesn't even know I signed us up for this. She will find out when she reads this post. I have wanted to take the time to post my views on infertility and I have been afraid to take the time. Why? Because I understand the pain and I haven't wanted to take the time to find just the right words.

Words are everything. Language is everything to adoption. I understand this, but most of my emotions, in depth feelings, and compassion, struggle to come out in proper words. It's like trying to describe how it feels to be kicked in the gut really hard. Something that has to be felt to understand. This is how I feel about my side of adoption, the surrendering mother side. If I could find the right words I'm sure anyone who ever read them would never surrender a child. It has to be the same feeling to find out that a person is infertile.

There has to be that indescribable feeling of inadequacy. The feeling of being cheated, left out, passed by in the line of particular body parts. I understand this. I can't pretend to know exactly how it feels, but I can through my own experience understand that there are no words that can describe the emptiness. I would imagine it would create a feeling of empty arms similar to what I felt as a woman who was fertile, suffered the nine months, and went home from a long, nightmarish ordeal of a delivery with nothing to show for my fight. A three day long fight that left me physically scarred from a C section.

I also understand the anger felt toward women who feel that their or their mates infertility entitles them to a child from other means. I understand why adoptees see these woman as selfish. Their medical circumstances has blinded them to certain aspects of adoption. The human factor seems to have gone out the window and the must have desire in them seems to have taken over.

I do not profess that all infertile women posses this quality. In fact it seems that things are slowly changing. More openness and respect on behalf of the adoptee has seemed to bring more infertile women to a point of listening at the very least. Some still resist, but it seems to me that more and more each day are reading the things that adoptees and surrendering mothers have to say. It seems that adoptees have in fact found their voice. They have found the words to express what it feels like to be adopted. I on the other hand still struggle with the words. It brings me back to the kick in the gut. Something you just have to experience to understand.

My hope is that if I can express in some small way that I understand your pain, maybe you will give me the benefit of the doubt and try to understand mine. To never be able to conceive, carry, feel the movement of a child growing inside you must be a devastating blow. To never have the back aches, heart burn, swelling from head to toe, lack of comfortable sleep, huge leaking breasts, raging hormones, and the physical PAIN of delivery that compares to no other, is truly something you are missing out on and my heart aches for you.

Try if you can, after several months of bonding with, forming love for, and parenting your child brought to you through adoption, to imagine what it must be like to go through all the things you will never experience and go home without the child you yourself have grown to love. It doesn't matter what a woman was, abusive, neglectful, addicted, abandoned or alone, the feeling is still the same for most. Her social status, bad choices, dealt cards mean nothing. Whether she surrendered freely or had help from her peers, society, church, the feeling is still the same. Whether she deserves the child or not, the feeling is still the same.

Why did I post this? In an attempt to bring mothers together. To show mutual respect for one another's misfortunes in life. To try an stop the madness that has become our modern day adoption which pits mother against mother through lies, deceipt, and money, and does nothing for the innocent, struggling child.

Was I wrong to try?

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Another Plea for Opened Records  

If this doesn't say Opened Records what will? Worth the 7 minutes, please watch.

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The Words of Another Mother  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I have her permission to copy this here. I wanted others to see more than my opinion on what it feel like to be who I am. The one aspect of adoption that has not changed is the surrendering part.

Melissa writes;

In 2007 this girl I knew graduated high school with honors. She received a full ride to college. She was going to study business, travel, maybe get married, have children in her mid 20s and build a huge house in North Carolina or Georgia. She had everything planned down to the floors, Brazilian cherry by the way. That Melissa is no longer. I feel crushed and I can't forgive myself. I'm the skipped CD that refuses to move forward. I waste my time reflecting on events and decisions that can't be changed.

Thank you Melissa for sharing your words with me and the rest of blog world.

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Seeing How The Other Half Live.  

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Anyone who knows my story knows I had a hard time for years after letting my daughter go. I suffered silently, self medicated, and tried to kill myself literally more than once. I have always supported women's choice, concerning birth and abortion. I have defended blindly the pain and suffering of a first mother in the circus called adoption.

But one thing I can not wrap my head around is not wanting reunion. How can a woman not want to see the child she carried and surrendered?

I understand not wanting to relive the pain. Not wanting to go back to that time when you were so distraught, so helpless, so hopeless, with no support, no one to talk to, no one to understand. I just can't picture not wanting to heal yourself after all those years of silent torture. If anyone can put it into words without sounding shallow and self centered I will listen.

I listen to adoptee's who have been denied reunion by their mothers and it breaks my heart. A second rejection, what a blow.

If you could hear what I hear, if you could know what I know, if you could feel what I feel, I have no doubt you would change your mind, but how to get that information to you. How do I get you to understand what you are doing to a living breathing human being who wants nothing more that to see your face, know where they come from, feel your warmth, have a connection for the first time in their life.

I won't say that reunion isn't painful because it is. It hurts, but so did letting my daughter go. I can't say that reunion is all smiles and instant forgiveness, it's not. I had to go back to places I never wanted to go again. I had to say out loud, things I was afraid to say. I had to face my demons, all of them, be they by my own hand or not.

But the end result was a saving grace for me. I finally felt like a person. The weight that was lifted from me was enormous. I no longer had a dirty little secret. I no longer felt like that nasty little girl who got herself into a mess that she had to clean up.

And my daughter, oh my God, how wonderful she is. Short tempered, quick witted, insulting at the drop of a dime, everything I would want in a girl, or a boy. No seriously, she is a wonderful woman and she says she feels like a whole person now.

I remember how afraid I was that she would hate me, she doesn't, she loves me insanely. I gave her half the missing pieces of who she is. She finally knows who she is. The face was a mystery but the torso, the hands, the gestures, mannerisms, humor, all fell into place.

When we met her father again after 35 years, she found the rest of her. Her face, hair, eyes, and so much more.

My question to those who do not want reunion is why? Why do you refuse to free yourself from the pain that adoption has brought you? Why do you refuse to allow another human being to move on to the next level of their life?

Can you not see what you do? Have you given no thought to how much this second rejection hurts the child you bore? What are you afraid of, loving your child? Having a relationship? Being found out that you had sex as a teenager?

I listen to these grown adults speak of how much they would love nothing more than to see your face, hear your voice, tell you they are not angry with you, and you reject them. You put your own pain or embarrassment first. You expect them to remain your dirty little secret for ever. Never upsetting your perfect little world.

Your world is not perfect, just protected, and from what? You protect yourself from your child. I do not understand.

Have you listened to the agency too long? Did someone tell you that you would forget? You have not forgotten, I know you haven't. Your just afraid. Afraid that your secret will change what you have. You have lived in fear all these years and the one thing that can free you is knocking at your door. Why can't you face them? What about their fear, all their lives they have lived in fear. Fear that you will reject them again, fear you will die before they find you, fear they won't be pretty enough or successful enough. Fear they won't be good enough, the same fear they lived with all their lives. They weren't good enough that's why you didn't keep them. You know that's a lie. You know they were good enough, but they don't. So you reinforce that self esteem killer by rejecting them again. Why? They have lowered themselves to look for the one person who was never supposed to let them go and you reject them again.

I have never felt more whole than the day I laid eyes on my daughter. She was a grown woman with a family of her own. I had missed so much. My grand children are great. My daughter is a well adjusted woman who can think for herself and doesn't need me to survive. She needs me to be me. No more no less, just me. She needs to see where she comes from, feel the familiar surroundings, smell home.

Her parents are still her parents. She has never denied them their status, nor have I. She still confides in them on important matters, respects them as the people who raised her and the only family she has ever known. Her father and I are a bonus.

How can you deny another person the opportunity to know where they come from? How can you deny them other family? How can you think of yourself first when someone has waited so many years just to know you, see you, feel your touch? How would you feel if you were someones dirty little secret? How would you feel if it were you who knew nothing about your origin? If it were you who saw nothing familiar when you looked in the mirror?

Someone please help me to understand how one can cause so much more pain to another human being who wants so little.

I hurt on behalf of your children and I am embarrassed by your selfishness. I also know how wonderful it feels to be free of the pain that has caused your fear.

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