Friday, December 27, 2013


Wow, it's been a year since I've written here.  2013 was a very, very difficult year.  Closed a business, got very depressed, panic attacks came back after 10 years, started a new business - which is good, but very stressful financially- and you guessed it, went back to therapy.

When I showed up at my first therapy appointment, I was a hot mess.  I was having panic attacks everywhere; sleeping, in the shower, while I was out running, riding in a car.  I was about six weeks into a bad bout of agoraphobia, crying all the time, desperate for some medication and some serious healing.  It took her about a month to get me leveled out so the panic attacks were no longer ruling my life, and then we started on the hard stuff.

I had chosen this therapist because, A.) she took our insurance and B.) she listed adoption issues in her list of specialties.  I was a little nervous that her version of "adoption issues" would be more along the lines of "what a great gift you gave someone" which might inhibit her ability to help me overcome my issues.  It turns out, I had nothing to fear.  She has been compassionate, intelligent, unbiased and present with me for this whole process.

I have learned so much over the last eight months and I have done something I never thought possible.  I have forgiven myself.  For the last 34 years, I have been angry, depressed, guilt-ridden, bitter and pained beyond belief over the loss of my son.  Couldn't see how it would ever be possible to forgive myself for doing something so heinous.  Didn't clearly understand that my sons birth and his adoption was that line that changed everything in my life.  How I felt about myself and my family.  I felt like there were two voices in me as an adult.  The one that was confident, smart, capable - talented even - and the one that secretly knew what a fuck-up she was.  I couldn't let go of the seventeen year old, the girl that had done something so despicable as to give up her own son.  I hated her, and therefore I could never, as an adult, fully embrace myself.  No matter what good I have done in my life, I have always had that scared, messed up girl's voice in me, undermining it all.

This has been a long and arduous  road.  It was weeks and weeks and weeks of me just bawling in her office.  Then I went weeks and weeks and weeks of bawling and anger.  Then I went to weeks and weeks of talking, accepting and learning.  I must say, there is something besides the therapy that has helped put that scared seventeen year old girl in perspective.  My daughter is now the age I was when I gave birth to my son.  There are days when she is so mature, making great decisions for her life and then there are days when she is driving straight into a brick wall with absolutely no clue how to avoid it.  I've seen first hand that a seventeen year olds brain is not fully developed and that they are not always capable of doing the really difficult things, you know, like standing up to their parents and the adoption industry and saying they want to keep their baby when they have no education, job, money or family support.  That the decisions my daughter makes for her life now will not be the same as the decision she makes five years from now.  That she will make decisions now that she will regret and that  this whole process is normal for a girl in her late teens.  The "poor" decisions she makes now, should not define her for the rest of her adult life.  That's where I got stuck.  The decision to not raise my son was so brutally painful that emotionally, maybe even developmentally, I never really moved on.

I've learned that self forgiveness does not negate my accountability.  I love my son deeply.  I still feel sadness and regret that I didn't raise him.  I just don't hate myself as much.  As difficult as this journey was, ( and trust me, I still have a ways to go) I am so proud that I have gone through it.  Not just for myself, although clearly there is a great personal benefit to all of this.  I needed to heal so I can be there for my son, if he ever chooses to actually communicate with me.  I need to be in a healthy place so that if he ever needs answers to questions or needs to unleash some of his anger in my direction I am capable of helping him.  I need to heal for my daughter so that she can see that you can make huge, life altering mistakes and recover from them.  I need to heal so that my children can develop a relationship that doesn't have a huge, dark cloud hanging over it.  Maybe I even needed to heal so that other first mothers can see that it can be done.  Maybe sharing this will give one person the hope that healing is possible so when she gets that phone call or letter she can stand and embrace it instead of running in shame.

Monday, December 24, 2012

If Only They Knew

If only they knew how heavy they weighed on
Our hearts
Our minds
Our souls

If only they knew how much a part of
Our thoughts
Our prayers
Our lives
they are

If only they knew that they are with us for every

If only they knew that they are part of
Every breath we breathe
Every thought we think
Every moment we live

If only they knew these things
Then they would know
That they are loved

Until then
We are lost

For my son,
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Disappointment and Tourist tips

Well, it's probably time to face the facts.  My trip to Chicago is just not going to happen.  I kept hoping that the right combination of plane fares, income at the store and a little time off would magically come together for us.  Alas, it wasn't to be.  The closer it gets, the sadder I am about it.  I would have really enjoyed adding my time and energy to this cause and meeting some of the people that I have grown to respect and admire so much over the last year.  On the other hand, if I were to refer to my favorite saying "What's for you, won't go by you," maybe it's not the right time for me to come out of the closet on this issue in the town where it all began (or ended?!) for me.

My son lives less than six blocks from Ed Debevics.  It's been four months since the promise of a letter from him was made.  I'm still waiting to hear from him. My stats tell me that he has been checking the blog I set up for him. I've posted a few more things there, mostly updates on his sister and birthday wishes for him, so I know he's not completely detaching from all of this, but so far he hasn't made the leap to write that letter.

Could I be in Chicago, my hometown, his home, and for the first time in my adult life, speak out openly (live and in person) and loudly for adoptee rights and not have a mountain of triggers crash down on me?  I don't know.  I'd hoped that over the last four months I would have more contact from him, some idea of what he's thinking and how he's feeling about all of this.  I'd hoped that I would have had the opportunity to tell him my feelings regarding the civil rights that were denied him when he became an adopted individual.  It's not something I want him to read about in the paper or see on local t.v.  I don't want to accidentally run into him while I'm having lunch in his neighborhood, nor do I want to drink that extra martini and think I should stand in front of his building for an hour in hopes of catching a glimpse of him.

So, while I'm really disappointed that I won't be a part of this, showing my support and meeting really great people, maybe everything does happen for a reason.

For those of you going to Chicago, I hope you are able to make a great impact on the legislators and their staff members.  Enjoy that gorgeous city and the warmth of the people that live there.  Here are some of my favorite places to go:

Pizza:  Must eat at either Uno's, Due's or Lou Malanati's; the BEST deep dish pizza around.
Music: Definitely hit the blues bars, they are amazing!  B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted is a tiny, packed bar with GREAT music (okay, I'm biased, I worked there for three years) across the street is The Kingston Mines.  They are open later and much bigger, usually have two bands at night there.  Buddy Guys and Blues Chicago are good choices for downtown.  The Checkerboard Lounge on the south side has great music, but it's in a really bad area of the city, wouldn't recommend traveling there, the other bars are all great and much safer.
Comedy: The late night improv shows at Second City are fantastic.  It is, after all, the home of scores of famous comedians and improve artists.  The pictures on the wall alone are worth the trip.
Hot Dog:  The Wiener Circle on Clark Street is a blast late at night.  This would be a good place to go if you are hungry after hitting the Mines and B.L.U.E.S.  Be prepared, it gets a little crazy in there, but the food is good and it's worth the experience.
Shopping:  Michigan Avenue is a must.  There are some great boutiques on Oak Street as well.  I should probably say browsing instead of shopping as this area is very expensive, but every designer imaginable has a place on Michigan Ave and it's so fun to check out how the other half lives!
Museums:  The Art Institute, The Field Museum, The Museum of Science and Industry, the She'd Aquarium are all top notch.  Can't go wrong with any of them.
Beach:  If you get a chance to walk along the beach DURING THE DAY, do it!  Oak Street heading South gives you beautiful views of downtown.  Also, from the Shedd Aquarium walking North is amazing as well.  Please don't do this at night.  It's just not that safe, especially for tourists who don't know where they're going.  Perfectly fine during the day, though.

Hope these help!  Can't wait to hear all about it.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today He Turns 33

I can't believe he's 33 years old today.  I can't believe how much grief there still is.  It just never ends, does it?

I hope he has a great day.  I hope he's surrounded by his wife, his mom and his friends that love him.  I hope he takes a minute out of his day to think of me and I hope when he does, he feels all the love that I am sending him.

As for me, I'm going to go for a run on the beach and try to rescue myself from this black hole that I'm falling in to.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Great New Experience

I had a great time tonight.  I met with a fellow blogger, Jeanette, from Heartslinked.  It turns out we live about an hour away from each other and she was nice enough to come to my neck of the woods for our first f2f visit.  I've never met another real and in person first mom before.  I was a little nervous, wondering if we would have enough to talk about, enough in common to not make our visit awkward.  Six hours later we were still going strong!  We talked about EVERYTHING!

This was the first time I've ever talked about my son with someone who absolutely, unequivocally, got it.  No shame or explanations necessary.   It was so freeing, not only to talk about how I felt, but to listen to what she had to say and completely get where she was coming from.  We talked about our individual adoption experiences, the politics of adoption, family, our kids, husbands, diets, allergies, work, and how they all linked back to adoption.  It seems most things in our lives lead back to adoption, but for the first time for me, that was okay, it actually made sense.

The only loss we felt tonight was the absence of other fellow bloggers that we respect and hope to meet live and in person someday soon.  What a great experience it will be to talk (and not type) to a group of women I've come to respect so much.  I'm crossing my fingers that I'll make it to Chicago.  If not, anyone interested in a Napa Valley Wine Tour?

Friday, March 2, 2012

His Message

Tuesday night, around midnight, I start my usual routine of getting into bed, firing up my computer, playing a stupid, mindless game on Facebook before I read a little and go to sleep.  I fire up Facebook and notice  I have a message waiting for me.  Not thinking much of it, I click on it and see my sons picture there.  For a split second, I think, "Why did I go directly to my sent messages?  That's odd."  And then I see it.  "Hi Laurie"  HOOLLEEE SHHIIZZLLESS!  Okay, that's not a direct quote, but you get the idea!  I start screaming out for my husband, who is in the other room and go running in just screaming my son's name, grab his hand, drag him into the bedroom and show him the computer.

I really want to share his whole message to me because it is so beautiful and wonderful, but I'll just share the highlights.  He started out by apologizing for taking so long to respond to "the beautiful letter" I had sent last year.  He was waiting to write a letter so that he could "devote the same amount of love, attention, emotion and time that you put in your letter."  He explained that he got engaged, married and finished his MBA in 2011 and time just got away from him.  He also explained that he never checks his Facebook, which is where I've been sending messages after my initial letter, and accidentally came across my messages as he was upgrading the app on his phone.  He saw the blog I made for him and loved it!  He told me he wants to send me a very long letter telling me all the details of his "adventurous life", but in the meantime, he wanted me to know that he had a great and happy life.  He told me that he had always had me in his thoughts and prayers and that he respected the decision I had made 32 years ago and also understood how difficult it must've been for me.  He thanked me again for the letter and the blog and said "Talk to you soon!!!"  Yes, that's right folks, he used three, count them, three exclamation points after that!  Amazing!  My favorite part of the letter was this:  "P.S.  Please tell E_____ I said hello."  Yes, he sent a little, personal hello to my daughter, his sister.

I'm still in the middle of trying to process what this all means.  I have asked my husband to make sure that I don't get myself all worked up into a tizzy of possibilities.  I'm trying to take this as it comes and not try to project too far into the future.  I'm hoping it will help me slow down and enjoy/savor every moment of this, at the same time reducing the amount of expectations I might inadvertently put on our relationship.  That being said, a girl has to dream a little bit.  I'm going to Chicago in August.  He lives in Chicago.  Just sayin'.

Now, back to reality.  I'm waiting for his letter, which will arrive when it arrives.  I feel a great sense of calm about this.  I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of me.  I told my husband that it will be interesting to see what it is like to live without the burden of the loss of him in my life on a daily basis.  I've never lived an adult moment of my life without it.  I'm optimistic right now.  I felt love in his message and he felt and acknowledged my love in the letter I sent and the blog I created.  If that's all I end up getting, that is more than I ever hoped for.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Heard From him!!!!

I can't believe it!!  I heard from him and it was GREAT!!!!  I'll explain more later as it is very late here, but I'm thrilled, beyond belief.