Friday, December 30, 2011

Digging my Way Out

It's been a year, well almost.  Eleven months to be exact.  I have to find a way to start digging myself out of this hole I'm in.  This is not healthy for me.  I've written his amom a letter.  I think it's a good one.  I'm almost done with the blog that I've been saying for months that I'm creating for him.  The next steps will be the hardest.  They could be the last steps I take on this journey for a very long time, or they could finally open a door.  The former is scarier to me.  Where do I go if/when this turns out to be a dead end road?  The only choice left to me will be to erase him from my life for a while.  Remove pictures of him from my computer, exercise self-discipline and stop checking his Facebook "just to see."  I have to try to get back to that place I lived for so many years before I found out who he was, the place where he popped into my head every day, but I no longer cried, no longer felt pierced by the pain of it all.  The place where I learned to live with it all.

I still have a little hope left.  I'm hoping that his amom responds to my letter,  I hope she sees the gratitude I have for her offer of their information, the gratitude I have that my son looks happy and loved and that she is responsible for that.  I hope that my son will get some of the things he needs from this blog.  He'll see pictures of people he looks like, learn of his heritage, gain some medical information, maybe see some videos.  Maybe this will peak his interest a little.  If not, maybe it'll answer some questions for him without the pressure of having to meet me.  I guess that's a gift I can give him.

I think 2012 is going to be a pivotal year for me.  I had a lot of crap that got cleared up in 2011.  I still have some crap left to clear up, but overall I feel like there are a lot of monkeys off my back and I'm ready to move forward and start enjoying life again.  It's a choice you make, you know.  Positive, negative.  Half full, half empty.  Hope, no hope.  Push through or quit.  I'm pushing through this to find a good place for myself again.  Hopefully I won't be at the end of this alone.

Happy New Year to you all and may 2012 bring you peace, joy and fulfillment.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Make You Feel My Love

This song just speaks to me.  Actually, it makes me weep sometimes.  It just seems to express what a mother will do for her child.  The two most relevant verses for me are in purple.  Enjoy.

Adele - Make You Feel My Love

When the rain is blowing in your face,
and the whole world is on your case,
I could offer you a warm embrace
to make you feel my love.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
and there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years
to make you feel my love.

I know you haven't made your mind up yet,
but I would never do you wrong.
I've known it from the moment that we met,
no doubt in my mind where you belong.

I'd go hungry; I'd go black and blue,
I'd go crawling down the avenue.
No, there's nothing that I wouldn't do
to make you feel my love.

The storms are raging on the rolling sea
and on the highway of regret.
Though winds of change are throwing wild and free,
you ain't seen nothing like me yet.

I could make you happy, make your dreams come true.
Nothing that I wouldn't do.
Go to the ends of the Earth for you,
to make you feel my love

Friday, December 23, 2011

This is gonna be ugly

Okay, it's the holidays.  I own a retail store in a small town in the worst economy in 80 years.  I'm stressed out, and exhausted doesn't even begin to describe how tired I am.  I haven't had a day off for three weeks and I'm tired of hearing about all the crap people are willing to put up with at the malls just to get a "good deal" and all the excuses they give for not shopping in their locally owned stores.  I need a very long vent just on this issue alone, but this blog is about adoption.

I want to remind everyone to count their blessings at this time of year.  There are those of us who have nothing in the reunion area.  If you have contact and it's not what you hoped for, or it's painful and difficult to manage, be grateful for the little that you have.  At this point all I can hope for is that the "fuck you" that might come from my son is handwritten so I can at least see his handwriting, so I can have some part of him that is personal.  None of this is good, none of us get what we want here.  It's the nature of the beast, isn't it?  On that note...something has got to be better than nothing.

That being said, I sincerely hope that you have a great holiday season.  I am grateful to have read your blogs and your advice on mine.  I, daily, learn an immense amount from all of you.  I have eight more work days left in this year, after which I will be taking four full days to sleep.  I will awaken on Jan.5th, 2012 with bag-free eyes and a clear ( although menopause fogged) brain, ready to face the world again.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Coming out

I think we should have a National First Mom Coming Out Day.  All this hiding, lying, covering up is damaging everyone.  It has left us, as first mothers, ashamed, grief stricken, defensive and damaged.  It is unfair to our relinquished children.  In some cases we have rejected them to protect ourselves.  It must feel like we are throwing them under the bus again and again, for what?

What are we so afraid of?  We've already lost the most important, most painful part of us, our children.  Are we afraid of the judgement of others?  The rejection of others?  That we'll lose the love and respect of our friends?  Family?  My friends know all about my son and do their best to understand my loss.  Although through this process they have been concerned about my emotional health, and have asked some very difficult questions, they have never once turned their back on me.  Those are true friends.  The people in my life that may not be able to handle my truth around all of this, are not people that should be in my life in the first place.

From now on, when people ask me how many children I have, I will answer three, a son who is 32, a step daughter who is 27 and a daughter who is 15.  That is my truth, and I will hide from it no longer.  I will find the courage to tell my family how the "shame" of this has made me feel over the last 32 years, and the moment I get his permission, I will post all over the world a picture of my son and proudly proclaim him as part of me.  Any one care to join me?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Close, But No Cigar

Several times a week, I go to my son's Facebook page and check in (as much as possible) with what is happening in his life. Okay, I know this might seem stalker like, but I just can't help myself.   I desperately want to know him, I'm not a psychopath and I won't cause him harm with the things I learn on there, but I am driven to know.

We now have three friends that have friends in common.  Tonight I saw a woman on his page that is friends with someone I have known for about 30 years.  Two of my friends from high school have friends of his on their pages.  I'm dying to call one of them and query after these friends that know my son.  Please can you ask your friend about him?  How do they know him?  What is he like?  Does he talk about adoption?  About me?  Is he okay?

If you met me in real life, I'm not a desperate person.  I'm not this weak.  I'm not outwardly this heartbroken.  I don't know how to fix this.  I don't know why my friends have connections to him, but I can't.  I am lost.

HIs Father

About a year after I had my son, I was riding the el in Chicago, on my way home from somewhere.  As I was getting on the train, I looked down the aisle of seats and saw D, my son's first father.  He and I had never spoken after my son was born.  I had always wanted to, but never had the nerve to pick up the phone and call him.  As I started to walk over to him, he glared at me, switched seats with his friend (so he could sit next to the window) and deliberately turned his back on me.  Can't say I blamed him, after how he had been treated, but it completely threw me for a loop.  I started shaking all over, somehow managed to get off at the next stop before I burst into hysterical sobs.  Not sure how long it took me to get home that night but suffice it to say that D and I never spoke again.

In late spring of 2010, I was having a searching moment (I had those periodically every year!) and decided to google D's name.  Low and behold, I came up with his mailing address.  I thought maybe it was time to send that apology that I'd wanted to give so long ago.  I composed a letter saying how sorry I was that he was so left out of the decision making in 1979.  Sorry that he had to hear about his son from my scary, strict Italian father.  I told him I was searching for our son and wanted to know if he would like me to share his information with him if I found him.  I told him that he hadn't had a choice so long ago and that I wanted to offer him the choice this time around.  I gave him my phone number and email and asked him to contact me when he was comfortable.

About three weeks later, I received an email from him asking to have a phone conversation with me.  We set a date and time and I prepared myself for the verbal apology I wanted to give as well as the inevitable tongue lashing that I was sure was coming my way.  We got on the phone and after a few nervous moments, he said, "Well, should we make more small talk or should we get to the elephant in the room?"  Being all about that elephant I chose to cut to the heart of the matter.  I said my apology for how he had been treated, which he accepted.  Then he said, "You know we did the right thing, don't you?"

Hold the presses!!  Did you really just say that to me?  First of all WE didn't do anything.  YOU weren't there remember?  Okay, admittedly that wasn't entirely his fault, but still.  Second of all, how can you think all of this grief, not raising our son and him not knowing his parents was best for any of us?  Then I realized, his journey in all of this was completely different than mine.  He didn't have all the emotional baggage around this that I did.  He never saw our son, never felt him kick in my belly, never got that attachment to him as a living, breathing human being, like I did.  He asked me why I was searching now, what was special about this time?  I told him I had hoped since the day we signed the papers that I would find him and that I had been actively searching since the day our son had turned eighteen.  I realized then as well, that this was not the everyday heartache for him that it was for me.

Unfortunately, D didn't want to talk about the emotions related to the "past."  I was disappointed about that, I think I really needed him to tell me how he felt about it all, now and then.  I needed his honesty to help me heal.  I still feel like there is an elephant in the room between us.  Before we hung up, D said he's happy to do whatever our son wants.  If he wants to meet D or email or talk on the phone, D's fine with that.  If he doesn't want contact that's okay too.  Then he asked me why I thought our son wanted to be found, after all  he has our names, they're on his birth certificate.  Crap.  I had to explain to him about adoption and amended birth certificates and how we were basically erased from our son's life, that there was no way for him to find out info on us.

I talked to D on a Friday night, on Sunday I got the email with my son's name and some contact info.  I still have not told D that I have found our son.  I guess  was hoping to talk to our son before letting D know.  My guilt was running the show, and I wanted our son to hear why his father wasn't there for him (or me) from me.  I pushed D out of the situation.  His lack of commitment and involvement was my choice, I wanted to be the one to tell my son that.  Since I haven't had a response for a very long time, I think it's time to tell D about my discovery.  To be honest, I'm not sure how interested he is.  I've never received any communication from him asking if I've found anything.  I could probably get away with not telling him, but that just seems dishonest to me.  I've been holding out long enough, time to at least send him the first picture I found of our son online.  Yet another layer of adoption crap to deal with.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I have a couple of posts I'm working on, but I'm too tired to finish any of them tonight.  I thought I'd just post this:

I hope that wherever my son was today, that he a great day.

I hope that he had time to enjoy watching the Bears beat the Eagles on Monday night.

I hope that he's thought of me once or twice over the last several months.

I hope he's happy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Self Forgiveness

Last night I watched two programs on television that had to do with our soldiers who are bravely fighting our wars overseas and the very serious PTSD that many of them are suffering from when they get home.  As I watched these  men describe the issues they were facing, a consistent theme started occurring to me.  Self forgiveness.  The heart of the matter for most of these men was that they have not been able to forgive themselves either for doing things that they were ordered to do, but went against their moral or human grain, or for not being able to save someone, or in the case of a medic, many people.

As Oprah would say, I had an AHA! moment.  I realized just how difficult forgiving yourself for something you feel deeply in your soul was wrong for you to do,  is.  How a person can become stuck in their guilt.  How it can affect how you view yourself, your world, the people you love and how it can completely destroy your self worth.

I'm not convinced that self forgiveness can be fully achieved.  I think that by speaking about the ideas in our heads that we feel are the worst of the worst, the things so bad that if people knew about them they would surely hate us or worse, by speaking of those things to someone, anyone, we free ourselves to go on with life, to grow, move forward and start to heal.  I don't think that that means that we forgive ourselves fully.  I think that complete self forgiveness requires accepting that you did the best that you could at the time, you did all that you were capable of for what you had control over.  Therein lies the problem.  For those of us that struggle with self forgiveness, there is always a part of us that knows we could've done better, there had to have been something else we could've done, something we just didn't see at the time.  That's the part that will never go away.  If you can get to the point where you can accept that you did the best you could at the time, and there is nothing you can do to change the past now, you have to learn to live with the "what if's?".  I think for most of us, that is the most healing we're going to get.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's Those Little Quirky Things

You know those quirky little things that pop up in life.  Sometimes your reaction is, "Wow!  Cool!  How exciting!"  Sometimes your reaction is "You're kidding, right?!"  This is one of those you're kidding, right? moments.  It's a minor thing, as many quirky little things are, but still...

I have a Mac.  Love it.  Everyday when I go online, the Apple website is my homepage.  For the last month (or few weeks at least) there's been an ad for the new iPhone 4s.  On the white phone, which is the one in the center, is shows a reminder something along the lines of Remind me on May 19 it is dad's birthday.  Here's the quirky little thing, May 19th is my son's birthday!  Everyday, several times a day, I see that and think "Really?  You had to pick that date?  You couldn't have chosen May 5th, May 12th, May 26th?  How about November 2nd?  My birthday would be easier to see than that!"  Jeez!  What is the universe trying to tell me?

Friday, November 4, 2011

I wish

I wish I was in a place in my reunion where I could write about how I feel about adoption politically.  I want to write about how infuriated I am that adoptees can't have their OBC's and I want to write about how shocked I am that people completely unassociated with adoption have no idea that altered birth certificates exist.  I want to write about how many children are stuck in foster care, children who desperately need and want homes and yet they are ignored because it is too much work for families to adopt them.  I want to write about how adoption should be solely for those children who have no options, who are abandoned, abused, discarded; how we as adults should be brave enough to step up to the plate and bring them into our families and love them, nurture them.  I want to write about how wrong I think it is that adoption has become about what is the best way to heal infertile parents instead of what is the best way to heal emotionally injured children.  I want to write about all these things, but I can't.  Not yet.  I can't seem to get past all my pain yet.  I still need this blog to help me heal.  I can't seem to write about others until I can see light at the end of my own tunnel.  I wish it was different, but it's not.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I want my baby

I read a post on Adoption Truth (the post is Tricks Without Treats if the link doesn't work) that reminded me of something.  My kept daughter (can I just say how much I hate having to differentiate between my two children like that?)  was born nine weeks early, weighed 2 lbs. 15 oz. when she was born.  I was really sick when I had her.  I didn't get to see her for almost 48 hours after she was born.  I was kept in a room with no lights, no music, no tv, no phone, no stimulation until they could stabilize me.  The first time I saw my daughter was at midnight, two days after she was born.  They wheeled me in on a gurney and I saw my beautiful, half- baked daughter, tinier than anything you can imagine. She was beautiful.  I had toxemia, and all things considered, we were very, very lucky.  Here's the thing though, the whole time I was in  the hospital (five days on the mag bag with no stimulation allowed, around the clock cbc's , constant blood pressure monitoring and way too many ultrasounds) I kept thinking the worst.  Something horrible is going to happen to this baby because I gave away my son.  This is what I deserve.

Isn't that awful?!!  Yeah, I know, it's ridiculous.  But I always felt that I was being punished for the choice I had made so long ago.  What better way to punish me than to hurt the thing I loved most in the world, again.  Twice in my life I've had children and twice I've left the hospital without them.  My daughter stayed in the NICU for six weeks after she was born.  I was there every day, twice a day for hours.  I  got released from the hospital about a week after she was born.  I remember standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes and just starting to sob hysterically. My parents were out from Chicago to help us manage and my father asked me "What's wrong with you?"  I  sobbed/screamed "I just want my baby!"  Boy, if that wasn't history repeating itself!

What Cassi wrote about the other day regarding her granddaughter's attachment to her mom while in the NICU struck a huge chord with me.  Everything you are taught in the NICU is the polar opposite of what you are told in adoption.  In the NICU they stress the importance of the mother/child bond.  So much so, that there is something called kangarooing where you put your preemie child against your bare chest and cuddle them, so they can feel your heart beat and smell your scent, which helps their physical and emotional development.  Hmmmm.

In adoption, you are told that the best thing for your child is to give them to someone else, who is better able to care for them.  Oddly, I was encouraged to visit my child, hold my child.  I was also asked to carry my child downstairs and hand him over to the new parents attorney.  I could do none of these things.  I had already instantly bonded with my son when he was born.  The first time I held him, I went from scared teenager, to mother.  I knew that if I saw him again, or held him, I would never be able to do what was "right" for him.  I would never be able to walk away and give him a "better" life.  I certainly was not going to hand him over to someone else to take home.  I guess the big disconnect for me then, was that nobody would really acknowledge that I was his mother.  Everyone danced around it.  I was his mother, but I wasn't considered capable of being his mother.  Hold him, but make sure you hand him over to people who are older, more capable, better than you, to raise him.  Hold him because that is what is best for him, then break your heart and hand him over because that is what is best for him.

I guess the glaring difference from the NICU and adoption, is the long term bond that is allowed to be formed.   In the NICU, the goal is that you are prepared to take an incredibly small, somewhat fragile child home and that you are fully bonded and empowered to care for that child.  In adoption, you are asked to do what is "best" for your child.  Hold him, bond with him, because that is what is best for him and at the same time prepare him to go home with someone who is better than you are to raise him.  How can both of these theories be correct?  You are the most important person in his life, you must be fully prepared to care for him and you are the least important person in his life and you must prepare him to be raised by someone else.  How can you expect mothers to do this and not acknowledge their immense grief?  How can you ask a new mother to develop that bond, only to have it broken a few hours or days later and not expect it to deeply affect both mother and child?  Maybe it's because in the NICU, the mother isn't dispensable.  In adoption, we are temporary, disposable, only there for the birth and then shoved aside and erased for eternity.  A bookmark until the "real" parents show up.

By the time my daughter left the NICU, I could change a diaper the size of a cocktail napkin on a baby covered in wires.  I could burp a baby that was so small that my hand covered most of her body.  I held a baby so small that her hand could not wrap around your pinky finger, and I gave a bath to a baby that fit in the small little bin they put by the side of your bed in case you throw up.  I was a well prepared, empowered mother.  If they had done all those things for me when my son was born, he would have come home with me.  That is the difference between the NICU and adoption.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Wonder What He Thinks

I wonder sometimes, what my son thinks about adoption.  Is he someone who was greatly affected by it?  Is he someone that has connected the dots of his life and have some of those dots led him back to me?  Is there anger or pain there?  Is there curiosity?  What about denial?  Is he someone who will deny that adoption has caused issues in his life?  Is he a "happy" adoptee?  Has he ever tried to get his OBC and is he frustrated in not being able to?  Will he be one of the adoptees trying to get his OBC on Nov. 15th in Illinois?

I hope one day to find all these things out.  For today, I'm just wondering.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bringing out the Snarky in Me

I saw this link on the Adoption News and Events page that I follow on Facebook.  What is it they say about not learning from the past and having history repeat itself?  Here are a few "facts" from their Info page:

Advantages to Closed Adoption:
-sense of closure and privacy for birth parents: Wow, not knowing where my child was, what his name was, how he was, etc. created a real sense of closure for me over the last 32 years.  And I'm oh so happy that he couldn't find me EVER, not to mention medical facts about himself because of those privacy protecting closed records.
-reduced fear of having to explain reasons and prevent confrontation: God forbid anyone should have to explain adoption to their adopted child and even scarier, to have to confront, I don't know, anger? confusion? fear? from their adopted child.
-protection and less threat to adoptive parents: That's right, better protect yourselves from those hatchet waving, crazed, grief stricken birth parents who I'm sure are going to call you every chance they get and threaten you.

Why Keep Record Closed:
-opening records causes more birth parents to debate if adoption is the right decision.  Well, that is definitely a no, no.  Wouldn't want birth parents thinking too hard about this.  They might actually *gasp* decide that raising their babies is the best thing.
-invades personal privacy that birth parents were promised:  Hellooo???  How many times do we have to say this?  We were never promised privacy!!  This is a myth of, oh, I don't know, mythical proportions? Not only were we not promised it, most of us don't want it.  Personally, nothing pisses me off more than someone using me as a poster child for something I DON'T WANT!

There are more beautiful tidbits on their page, but nausea has taken over, and I feel a threatening rant coming on that I might have to explain to someone.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

Well, I meant to post this the day after my last post, which was a bit of a much needed pity party for myself.  When I was dancing professionally, I had a rule for myself.  I gave myself one day of pity partying after an audition if I didn't get the role I wanted.  I would skip ballet class, eat mac and cheese and ice cream, cry, watch stupid tv, sleep and basically give myself permission to mope.  Usually, towards the end of the day, I would start to ponder what went wrong at the audition, things I did well, things I could've done better, why they may not have cast me, etc.  Next morning I was (usually) ready to hit it again and was regrouped.

Same thing happened here.  I was really low the other day, not sure exactly why it came on when it did.  Towards the end of the day I started taking advice that I'd heard on here (thank you!) and started configuring a plan of sorts.  I'm a planner.  I can go with the flow as long as there is a general plan in place to keep me focused.  (Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that's why I got so blue.  My original plan wasn't working anymore, time to come up with a new one!)

So, I'm going back to the private blog for him and I to share.  I'm going to create pages for photos and info on family members, a page for medical info, and a page for my thoughts.  I mentioned doing this before, but was really having a hard time coming up with the "right" opening post.  I've finally realized that there are no "right" things to say if they don't include my truths around this.  Dancing around issues and trying to phrase them in a way that's pc is not my style, so what I was writing just felt contrived and fake.

I've finally come up with a letter that I'm happy with.  It speaks to my hopes for him that he's had a great life, but it also addresses my feelings around not having raised him.  I addressed the fact that not having raised him made our lives different than what they would've been.  No way to know now if it was better or worse, just different than they would have been together.  It made me feel good to say that to him.  It's my truth around this.  I've come to accept that I can only control what I do, not how he reacts.  If I have any hope of a relationship with him, acting and speaking in an honest manner has to be where it starts.  It's better for him to understand that about me from the beginning.  Maybe it'll help him be honest with me as well, even if it's what I consider to be "bad news."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Feeling like nothing

I've been absent from blogging for about a month.  Part of it was that I was just really busy with life.  The other part is that I'm just depressed and distressed over the lack of communication from my son.  The complete lack of response from him in more than nine months is leaving me feeling like a big fat nothing.  Non existent in his life, which is the reality he seems to want to stick to.  I've seen pictures of him on the internet.  He looks happy and healthy.  That's what he's supposed to be, right?  I gave up my rights to enjoy that with him, right?  From everyone else's perspective this has all worked out as planned, right?

Thirty two years later and I'm still shedding tears over this.  Is there going to be a time that I will feel like I'm not going to be punished for this decision forever?  Is there going to be a time when my friends and family will truly understand what this feels like?  When my husband doesn't look at me like I'm turning into a scary stalker instead of a mother desperate for information about her son?  Will I ever get to see my two children meet and maybe share a laugh together?

I know in the past I've said we could take it on his terms.  It would be helpful if he would tell me what they are.  As you might be able to tell from this post, I vacillate between being sad and weepy over this and actually becoming quite a bit pissed off about it as well.  This leaving me hanging thing has gotten really old.  If you don't want me around, tell me to fuck off.  Trust me, there are days (many of them lately) that feeling shattered would feel better than feeling this vulnerable.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he's healthy and happy.  I'm just ready to stop feeling so insignificant.  I mean really, I even enclosed a SASE for him to send back the letter if it wasn't him, or if he didn't want contact.  He doesn't even have to walk to the mailbox!  He can hand it to the doorman on his way to work and it'll get mailed.

Some people may think I deserve this because of the decision I made not to raise him.  I don't.  I deserve at least an answer, even if it's "i'm not sure" or "you're the last person I want to know."  Being rejected at this point would be easier.  At least I'd be worthy of something.  At this point, I'm just a big fat nothing, not even worthy of rejection.  Sucks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ah, adoption life!

I've been absent from here for a while.  I'll get to that soon.  Just wanted to share an experience that happened last week.

I was standing in my store, my daughter and her best friend had just arrived from school.  An older woman (I'm guessing mid-sixties) came in asking me if I sold postcards.  I have a boutique for women, clothing, accessories and shoes, not a postcard in sight.  We live in a lovely small town outside San Francisco, on the water.  Should be a big tourist town, but it's the best kept secret in the Bay Area.  You would think there would be postcards all over the place, but there aren't.

Sometimes I feel a little like a bartender.  People come in my store and and out of the blue start to tell me details of their lives.  This woman tells me that she was really sick last year and that her brother is waiting in the car for her.  This is significant because it's only the second time she's ever met her brother.  You see, her mother had given her brother up for adoption when he was born.  Really?!  I look at my daughter and just smile.  I tell the woman that I hope she enjoys her visit with her brother and hope that she finds those postcards she's looking for.

When she leaves I look at my daughter and say "I really hope you're not that old when you get to meet your brother."  "Mom, when I'm that old he's going to be like 80."  "Yep", I answer, "and I'm going to be long gone."  Really hope she gets to meet him before I'm 80.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So Confused

Tonight, I read a friend the letter that I sent to my son eight months ago, expecting to get a great response from her regarding how eloquent, mature and controlled I was.  I expected her to praise me for containing my emotions and telling my son that he was loved and that I always wanted what was best for him yada, yada, yada.  Instead, I got a reaction from her that completely threw me for a loop.  I was chastised for being unfeeling and too mature and strong.  She told me that I needed to share my seventeen year old self with my son first, let him share the vulnerability and insecurity that I felt when he was born.  Help him understand the circumstances of why I couldn't keep him, so he could have compassion for me, so he can understand why.  She told me that I needed to share how I really felt as a scared seventeen year old with no job and no support and no options.  UGH!  I'm so confused, I can't even write this freakin' post!

What exactly do you say the first time you reach out to someone whose life you unalterably changed?  Do I slit myself open for him?  It's not something I'm opposed to doing, I've been slit open for years.  I'm just not sure it's the place to start.  What the hell am I supposed to say to him to get him to listen, to catch his attention, to help him hear me?  Which layer do I choose to peel back first?  Do I really say to him, before I've ever met him, that I did everything wrong thinking that I was doing the best for him?  Do I admit to him that I still feel, at the age of almost fifty, that I was too incompetent at the time to raise him?  Do I admit that I devalued my love so much that it made me feel I wasn't worthy of raising him?  Do I really say this...?

Here's what I really want to say.  There hasn't been a day in 32 years that I haven't thought of you.  There hasn't been a moment that I haven't wished I could hug you, touch you, kiss you, mother you.  There have been very few moments that I haven't regretted my decision.  There is nothing I wouldn't do to change this/make this up to you.  Giving you away completely changed my life in a negative way, changed how I felt about myself and the people who I thought loved me, made me feel undeserving of anything good that life had to offer.  I can't change this, I can't fix this, I can't make any of this better.  I love you, that part is simple and true.  

I don't know how to have this conversation.  It seems many of us don't know how to have this conversation.  Can we as first moms and adult adoptees find a way to guide each other down the yellow brick road?  Is there an adoption Oz that can give us a heart to feel love, the courage to express love and a feeling of home with two families?

Help me, I'm so confused.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Story, part one

I've been waiting and waiting to post my "story".  It terrifies me to make this public.  It's not a pretty picture.  Makes me feel somewhat like a monster.  All I can say, is that I was so, so, scared and so, so, alone and so, so, young.  There was no planning, no processing, all there was was panic.  In order to get past some things, you have to acknowledge them and face the fear.  That's what this is about.

(The timing and some of the details are a little blurry, but the overall experience is in tact.)

Well, deep breath...

I was at the end of my sophomore year in high school when I met D.  He was 4 years older than me, his best friends were dating my best friends, it was kind of a natural hook up.  He really was a lovely young man.  He was smart, funny, hard working, kind, a good guy who hung around with the bad guys.  My parents loved him.  He came from a not overly wonderful home life, was working at a gas station and going to school on his own dime.  I remember there being some talk from my parents about helping him out with school.  We were in love.

The summer after my junior year, I went away to an 8 week long, intensive ballet camp.  We stayed in dorms at the local university, snuck out at night to buy donuts, snuck into a bar or two, got caught and kicked out (almost got kicked out of the program, too!) snuck into weddings for free food and drinks (we were ballerinas, we were starving!).  We danced hard eight hours a day, and played just as hard.  D. drove down to see me for the weekend.  He stayed at the hotel across the street from my dorm.  No, I didn't stay with him that weekend.  Wanted too, but we were too scared.  The first weekend I came home (around the middle of August, 1978) I talked him into having sex for the first time in my bedroom while my parents were out.  Yes, let me just say this now, I was a wild, rebellious child and I wanted it BAD.  We did use protection, but inexperience led to an ineffective result, if you know what I mean.

I don't really recall have any morning sickness, but I must have, because I remember my mother taking me to my pediatrician to find out what was wrong with me.  I remember him asking me something to the effect of "have you been a good girl?" or something passive aggressive like that.  I can't imagine why he didn't have my mom take me straight to the OB/GYN.  It was the first misstep in a long list of missteps which enabled me to keep the secret.

My most visceral memory was the panic I felt when I realized I had missed my period.  Even though I was a dancer and pretty thin, I had never missed one before, so I knew something was up.  I kept this to myself, thinking maybe it was a fluke and lets wait until next month before I let true panic set in.  The next month came and went without my period and panic was at an all time high.  (Insert aforementioned doctors appointment here) My first thought was "I have to get an abortion, my parents cannot find out I'm pregnant."  At the time, there was a big abortion scandal all over the newspapers.  Girls were getting abortions and hemorrhaging to death.  In my screwed up, terrified, sixteen year old brain, I thought, "I can't get an abortion, if I bleed to death my parents will know I was pregnant."  Seriously screwed up logic.  Don't know what I thought would happen nine months later after I did nothing about it.  But that's what I did.  Nothing.  I broke up with D. because I knew he'd want to do the "right" thing and get married, which I knew deep down neither he nor I wanted.  Broke the man's heart to protect him from me and my Italian born father.  Didn't answer his phone calls, wouldn't come to the door when he showed up begging to see me.  Lied and told him I had met someone else.

I may sound calm now, but I was nothing of the sort then.  I was in tears constantly.  Wherever my family was in the house, I was not.  I stayed in my room, or in the attic watching t.v..  I still went to ballet class in the early days, try hiding a pregnancy in a leotard and tights.  To make matters worse, I was taking dance with my friend at a studio downtown as independent study for school.  She must have known, they must have known, again nothing was said.  Eventually, I just quit going.

My parents asked me a couple of times if I was pregnant.  I lied and told them no, I'm just getting fat.  They would fight about it with each other, but they never took me to the doctor again.  How do you spell d-e-n-i-a-l?  In my third trimester, I was cutting school just about every day.  I would ride the el back and forth from school all day long.  Sometimes I would go to school for a half day, I would walk around school with my books and my coat covering my belly, pretending like everything was alright.  It wasn't.  At school, I did have a couple of people ask me if I was pregnant.  One was my music teacher who I wasn't very close to, the others were friends.  I was too afraid to admit it.  There were teachers there that I would've let help me, I just couldn't get the words out of my mouth.  What I needed to hear was, I know you're pregnant, it's going to be okay because I'm going to help you.  I was incapable of asking for help.  Couldn't even say the phrase "I'm pregnant" out loud.  I spent my whole pregnancy alone, afraid and ashamed.

I was at school when my water broke.  Had no idea what was happening.  All I know is I went to the bathroom and an ocean of liquid spilled from my body.  I freaked out.  I took the el home hoping no one was home yet, so I could go hide in my room.  Okay, my head was so far in denial, let's not even go there.  My mom had a dance studio and they were having their recital that night.  She asked me if I was going and I told her I wasn't feeling well.  I remember some sort of a fight between us, I think she was trying to make me go.  Little did she know I was in LABOR.  I pretended to be asleep when they got home, which was seven hours since my water broke.  I waited until they all went to bed and started my night long journey of quietly walking between my bedroom and the bathroom trying desperately to find a place to become comfortable.  Around 6:15-6:30 in the morning 15 hours after my water broke, I woke my parents up and told them I needed to go to the hospital.  I told them  I was either having a miscarriage or a baby.  They of course totally freaked out.  Luckily we lived about 7 blocks from the hospital. I don't even think they had time to exam me.  My son was born at 7:15 a.m. on May 19th.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thinking of Chicago

I know it's a year away, but I'm excited that the next Adoptee Rights Day demonstration will be in Chicago.  It's my home town, we still have a lot of family and friends there and try to go back at least once a year.  I think that it is fitting for me to "come out" so to speak and support adoptees having access to their OBC's in a town where everything about my pregnancy and my son was so secretive. 

So, barring any unforeseen calamities, count me in for Chicago.  Who knows, maybe there will be a very special someone demonstrating with me?  A girl can hope.

I have an idea

So, it's been a long time since I sent the letter of intro and still have heard nothing from my son.  I had an idea and wanted to know what people thought about it before I take the plunge and let him know about it. 

I was thinking that I would set up a private blog just for he and I where I could write about the people he's related to, give him medical info, tell him about myself, ask questions about him and his life.  He would have the choice of just checking in and learning without responding or using the blog to post back and forth.  Basically, I'm trying to give him a way to learn about himself without making the commitment of getting to know me or speaking to me, since he doesn't seem to be chomping at the bit to do that.

Some of my questions are, would this seem too pushy?  I would simply send him a message on Facebook, giving him the address.  It would be up to him to check it on a regular basis.  How much info should I divulge?  I thought I would keep it light at first, this is your sister, this is your grandfather, you look like him, etc.  I'd like to post some questions for him, don't want him to feel pressure to answer them, but also don't want him to think I'm not interested in his life, because I am very interested. 

I've said before that I have a hard time sitting around doing nothing, I guess this is a way for me to do something positive towards a reunion that might never happen.  Maybe he'll get what he wants through this. He'll get to know where he comes from if he wants that info, and not have to have a reunion with me.  Maybe, just maybe, he'll get to know that I'm not a psycho, weirdo, (let's not mention to him that I'm in menopause right now!) and maybe he'll take a step towards me sometime.

Whatcha think?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm Coming Out!

Okay, I was on another natural mom's blog offering whatever support that I could.  All the responses to her were compassionate, except one.  Not a word of compassion offered to her about what she wrote, instead this person decided to slam another responder for offering compassion to this particular person and not offering compassion in other places.  Really?  What's the point of that?

I've been hiding behind a moniker in my responses.  I'm not sure why I decided to use it in the first place.  Maybe a little self protection from possible attacks?  As if the words someone might hurl at me under a different name might feel better than being hurled at me under my own name.

I've noticed over the last few months that I've joined this blog world, that many of the nasty-sayers, drama stirrers, post under "Anonymous."  That's kind of like playing cyber ding-dong ditch, don't ya think?  "Let me go stir things up, insult people, get a public reaction and then I'll go hide behind "Anonymous" when people come back and want to have a real discussion about whatever it was that I was so bent out of shape over."  I don't play that.

So, here I am, Laurie.  Proud enough of what I say, how I feel, and how I treat others that I can attach my real name to it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Doing the Best With What you Have

It's been a while since I've written anything.  We've had quite a lot of upheaval happening lately, none of it adoption related.  Five years ago we had a very large fire at our house.  We were home and everyone was okay, but we lost 1/2 our house.  We hired a contractor who decided to royally rip us off.  We have never been able to recover financially and this past month have short sold our house and moved into an apartment.  It has been an emotional, humbling experience.  For me it has been a lesson in letting go of the past, accepting where I am and sorting through the things I've had control over and the things I haven't had control over.  I've made some serious mistakes that were compounded by someone else's greed.  I've realized that simply acknowledging my mistakes is not how I will fully learn from them.  I have to actually act differently, make a concerted effort to change my behavior, stand straight and communicate.  I must learn the lesson that sticking my head in the sand gets me nowhere but in deep doggy doo-doo.  I must start at where I'm at now and do the best with what I have to move myself and my family forward.

Is any of this sounding familiar?  These are the same issues I need to deal with regarding the role of adoption in my life.  I can't correct the mistakes I made in the past.  I have to acknowledge that I thought I was making the best decision with the choices I had at the time.  Would I do it over again?  No.  Would I want my daughter to make that same decision?  No.  But I can't change the decision I made then.  I have to do the best with what I have now, which is his name, address and a picture from his Facebook page.  I have hope that one day he'll send an answer to my letter.  In the meantime I can do my best to prepare myself for that day by getting myself as emotionally ready as possible.  I can write and share and learn.  I can make doing the best with what I have now, my mantra.  I can start with what I have, use the things I gain along the way to get me to me dreams. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Elephant in My Room

It's been seven months since I sent the intro letter to my son.  I haven't heard anything back from him and my secret fear is that it has a lot to do with the elephant that has been sitting in my room for almost 33 years.  That elephant knows way too much of the truth about how I felt about being pregnant.  It knows that my loneliness during that time, that I speak of often, was somewhat self imposed.  It knows that I was angry, terrified and ashamed every day for nine months.  It knows that not only did I not want to be pregnant, I prayed for it all to go away.  Guess what?  I got that prayer answered, only by the time it was answered, all I wanted to do was keep him. 

This elephant has to be addressed, he has had his weight felt in my life for way too long.  I feel such shame for how I felt then.  It is something I have not been able to forgive myself for.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive myself for it.  I understand the logic of how to heal. For example, I know that when you know better, you do better.  I know that I was sixteen/seventeen and reacting with a sixteen/seventeen year old brain.

I also know that how I felt then is unforgivable to me and my elephant knows it.  He is here to remind me of it whenever I think about hearing from my son.  My husband tells me that my son just got married, he has a lot on his plate, he's just not ready, when he's ready, I'll hear from him.  My elephant is there to remind me that I don't deserve to hear from him, that those feelings are what my son knows of me and that he wasn't there for the part where I loved him. My elephant knows that I'll never hear from him.

I'm stuck here, with this elephant.  Don't know how to get rid of him.  Maybe I'll never be able to.  Maybe I'll only get rid of him when I can say to my son that I'm sorry that I didn't realize what a gift he was until it was too late.  Maybe I'll never get the chance to.  In that case, maybe I should rename this blog "Laurie and Her Elephant."

Monday, July 4, 2011

In a funk

Happy Fourth of July! bah-humbug I woke up this morning in a serious funk.  Now I know some of this is the fact that I am having some serious menopause related insomnia (oh yes, I caught up on ALL the adoption blogs last night!)  I'm also going through some personal stuff that kinda sucks.  But really, what is making me a not very pleasant person to be around today is the fact that yet another holiday is going to pass without contact from my son.  It's been seven months since I sent the letter and nothing.  Now, I have a theory as to why there is no contact, but I'm saving it for another post. (really not the post to write when I'm already in a funk)  Regardless of my theory, this solo, emotional roller coaster ride sucks.

I'm tired of hoping, wishing, crying, trying to not be too disappointed, trying to talk myself into not giving up hope, trying to keep myself from putting this all back on my safe little shelf and moving on with my life.  I'm tired of putting on the brave face, trying to not talk about it too much, trying to pretend that it doesn't bother me, that I only want "what's best for him", "on his time", "whenever he's ready."  Noooo, what I want (I think) is for him to put me out of my misery.  Stop this waiting game, which is just torturous.  Of course, I'm totally petrified that I'll get a big kiss off and then I'll wish that I was still waiting to hear from him!  UGH!

I want to be be able to say that I have needs here to, and to not feel guilty for acknowledging them.  I put my feelings aside 31 years ago in the "best interest" of him, look where that got me.  I want what I want to be important enough, finally.  I want to get to meet him, hug him, talk to him, apologize to him, share his sister with him, his family, his heritage and I want him to be happy about it. I want to read other people's reunion stories and be really, truly happy for them.  I am really, truly happy for them, I just wish I wasn't so envious.  I don't like feeling that way, it's not my nature, but I can't seem to help it these days.

I guess what I'm really looking for is a way to move forward.  I hate being stuck, I'm always looking out for what's coming next and being in limbo land for this long doesn't sit well with me.

Thanks for listening to me whine, now let's get out there and enjoy some humbug fireworks!

Whoa, Nelly

I don't like being attacked and I don't like reading about people attacking one another. I know that there is so much loss on all sides of the adoption triad. I know that there is a lot of anger out there.  I know that the adoption establishment has set us up to point fingers at each other, while they take our children's rights and identities away from them.

Even though I am a strong willed, independent thinking, determined woman, I hope that one of my best qualities is that I am a compassionate human being.  Even though I haven't lived it, I understand the pain that an infertile woman feels, the longing for a child to love.  Even  though I haven't lived it, I understand the pain an adopted child can have, the longing for connection to heredity and nature.  I have lived through losing my child, having someone else raise them and the feelings of insignificance and incompetence that led me to believe that I wasn't capable of raising my son.  I understand the pain and loss that other first moms experience.

I may not agree with all the choices people make, but I have not spent a second in their life, feeling their desperation, loss or pain.  Who am I to judge or correct them?  I have learned a few things in the almost fifty years I have been on this planet.   One of them is that you cannot change someone's mind if they are not open to having it changed.  It is a waste of time and energy to try to change them.  I own a store and people ask me all the time if I think about my customers when I am buying.  I don't.  I buy what I love and the people who share my taste are my customers.  The people who come in my store and don't get it, are not.  There is nothing I can do to sway the non-believers to my side.  The same in the adoption world.  There are people who want to learn from, grow from, understand and support each other.  There are those that want to blame and hate each other.  If we spend time trying to change the minds of blamers and haters, we waste energy that could be spent healing ourselves and educating the public/legislators that can help us attain our goals.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good, healthy debate as much as the next person.  It is certainly possible (and preferable) to be respectful and debate an issue at the same time.  There are fence sitters out there that can be educated from our experiences.  What I don't want to participate in any longer is the drama that goes along with being able to express an opposing position only by personally attacking someone.  Sinking to that petty level only fuels the fire and there is never a winner in that.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Lately I've been thinking of putting my birth/adoption story to paper (or computer!).  Kinda freaks me out a bit.  I've told it pretty often, most of the time in bits and pieces, to friends, during liquid courage cocktails at home.  The nice thing about telling it is that you can edit all the really deep, crappy stuff and just stick to the facts.  Writing it down, with no one listening intently, gives me way too much time to ponder all the feelings and emotions attached to that year.  It also gives me a chance to chicken out and do my favorite avoidance dance.

Just thinking about it recently has brought up all these visceral memories. There are times when visceral memories are really great.  Like smelling the hot fudge when you walk into the ice cream store in the small resort town your family went to on vacation when you were a kid.  Or for me, watching major dance companies or musical theater.  I used to be a professional dancer and when I see great dancers, my body remembers and feels what it is like to move that way, to feel the emotion you're projecting through your movements, feel the energy from the audience, etc.

The emotions I've been feeling lately have not been that pleasant.  As I've started to think about where to even begin telling my story, all these vignettes keep popping into my head.  Like the panic I felt every time I went to the bathroom and discovered that there was something clearly wrong.  My cat, Thomas O'Malley Found in the Alley, becoming my best friend and comforter.  My water breaking at school and taking the train home.  Walking back and forth between my bedroom and the bathroom, trying to find a place to be comfortable during full blown labor while trying to be quiet and not wake anyone up.  The fear of going to see him while I was in the hospital; the complete incompetency I felt inside completely overwhelming the intense love I felt for him.  Going to sign the papers...well, that's a whole can of worms in and of itself.

The one good memory I have is when they put my son in my arms for the first (and only) time.  I was shocked at how beautiful he was, saw the clef in his chin that he got from his father and remember telling him not to suck his thumb because there was no way I could afford braces.  I wish I had more memories like that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How I feel about his A mom

I was reading one of my favorite blogs the other day and saw a post about how your child's adoptive parents make you feel.  I was writing this as a response to her question, but it got so long I decided to use it as a blog post instead.

When I signed the paper's for my son's adoption, his aparent's attorney said that his clients were willing to share their contact info with us if we wanted it.  I was so shell shocked by the whole experience and that offer, that I turned them down.  I was too afraid.  It was 1979 and no one was talking about open adoption then.  I was terrified that I would turn into a stalker and show up at their home wanting my child back, that I would secretly park in front of their home just to catch a glimpse of him.  As time went by I became so grateful for that offer (I did take them up on knowing their last name) and rather disappointed for not taking them up on it.    I used that offer to console myself over the years.  I figured they had to be kind, open-hearted people to make that offer and that my son would be well loved and well cared for.

I sent my son a letter about 6 months ago and haven't heard anything from him yet.  I was fooling around on Google the other day and found a posting from his amom regarding a child she gave up in the '60's.  Explains a lot.  Maybe she understood the loss I was going to suffer and wanted me to have a way to find them when  I was ready.  It might sound odd, but I feel a strong kinship with this woman, even though I've never met her.  I have had a lot of grief over my son's adoption, have shed millions of tears over it.  Somehow over the years, the thought of someone raising my son who was compassionate enough to tell me who she was at a time when that wasn't done, has comforted me and helped ease the worry that adoption loss causes.

I have no idea what she feels about me, if we'll ever get to meet.  There are things I want to say to her, that I hope to get the opportunity to say.  I hate that I gave my son up for adoption, I don't hate her because she adopted him.  I hope she loved him and that he filled a little of that gaping hole we all feel when we've lost a child to this crazy adoption thing.  I hope that if she spoke of me, that she spoke well of me.

How I feel about her is complicated.  There is a part of me that wants her to hold me and heal me, that offer of knowing her identity felt so nurturing to me, somehow I want the task to be completed by her (I'm sory if that sounds weird.)  Part of me is grateful to her; that she gave that nurturing and love to my son when I wasn't there.  There is also a part of me that wishes she didn't exist.  The part of me that longs to have kept my son and raised him.  She needn't have existed if I had been strong enough to keep him in the first place.  Maybe she wouldn't have needed to exist if she had been allowed to keep her child in the first place.  Who knows?  this adoption thing is so complicated.  Seems the further you dig the more elusive the clarity gets.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To Share or Not to Share

It's been about a month since I started blogging and one of the most nagging questions I ask myself is whether or not to share this blog.  On the one hand, I want to be able to write what I'm really feeling and thinking about and not have to be concerned about other people's feelings. Also, I'm not really sure I'm ready to have haters people commenting here yet.  I posted something on one of the forums I check into now and then and had  my comment turn into this long discussion on birth mother rights.  It was an interesting discussion, but left me feeling pretty beat up when I all was looking for was some support around the fact that my son had not replied to my letter of first contact.  Don't really want to repeat that experience, especially on my own blog.

On the other hand, there are a lot of really supportive and positive people whose opinions I value and honestly, I'm starting to wonder if all this writing to myself is actually healthy!  So, I think I might be sending out some invites to people whose opinions I respect and others that have been in my life for years and love very much.

If you are seeing this post, I guess you'll have the answer to my decision!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


There's this weird thing about the number 17 between my son and I .  His mother is 17 years older than me, I'm 17 years older than him, he is 17 years older than his sister and on Saturday, he will get married 17 years and one day after I married my first husband.  Weird, right?  Must remember to include 17 in all lottery numbers I play...

Friday, May 27, 2011

Trying to find a name

For the last six months or so I've been reading a lot of blogs and forums from most sides of the adoption triad.  I've learned a lot and have been grateful for the sharing of both the joy and heartbreak that people have put forth.  Oddly, the one thing I have been stuck on is the name of the part of the triad I fit into.

Technically, I'm a birthmom.  We also call ourselves first moms, bio-moms, natural moms.  I keep trying these on for size, trying to see which one best suits me.  I think where I'm getting stuck is in the mom part.  Yes, I gave birth to him.  Yes, I was first in his life.  Yes he's mine naturally and yes, he's biologically my son.  What I've never gotten to do (and will never get to do) is be his mom.

To me, he's my son.  No question that I love him the same way I love his sister who I've had the great blessing of being able to raise.  I love him in that innate, soulful way that a mother loves her child.  But I've never been able to nurture him, comfort him, tease him, scold him, tickle him or any of the other myriad of things that everyday moms get to do.  Even worse, I don't even know him.  I don't know what makes him laugh or smile, what makes him angry, what his temperament is, what his favorite food is, what he likes to do for fun, what he likes to do on his birthday, etc.  I don't know what he thinks about adoption, about me, about his heritage and his nature.  In a nutshell, I don't know ay of the things a mom should know.  So, what do I call myself, this non-mom, mom?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy 32nd!

I'm off for the rest of the week to SOS Girl's Weekend Away.  Tomorrow is my son's 32nd birthday.  I hope it is full of joy and love.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oh the shame of it!

I was talking to my Aunt on Easter and shared with her that I have found out who my son is.  We had a great, lengthy conversation about my pregnancy, and all the circumstances surrounding it.  Finally, someone in my family had the guts to say what I've known all along.  My parents, particularly my mother, was ashamed of me.  She still is ashamed over this issue and I'm pretty certain that she hasn't forgiven me.  Unfortunately, I don't think she realizes the impact that has had on our relationship over the years.

In an odd way, my aunt's vocalization of this fact has released something in me.  Maybe a better word to use is eased.  It's eased the pressure of feeling like I was, and continue to be, the screw-up in the family.  For years I've felt I've been fighting an uphill battle to get my family to see me, and embrace me, for who I am, not for the 17 year old problem child who brought shame to the family.  The more I've come to know myself and realize that there is a lot here that comes together to make a really good person, the more I have slowly distanced myself from my family.  I learned along time ago that family is not where I go to get support.  During the biggest, most difficult, most tragic time in my life my family was nowhere to be found.  It saddens me to no end that this is the case, but it's what they taught me.

I was so alone during my pregnancy (I guess at some point relatively soon here, I'll have to tell my story).  I was so afraid of my parents that I hid it from everyone.  I think my family definitely wins the "Head in the Sand Award" I can't understand how they could look at me day after day and month after month and not insist on doing something about it.  They'd ask me and I'd deny, deny, deny.  They ignored the problem until it was too late.  After all was said and done, they watched me suffer the loss of my son and did nothing again.  Nothing except tell me that we would never speak of it again.  We never did.  In 31 years, neither of my parents ever approached the subject of my son with me.  Never a question about if I ever think about him, or do I think of finding him, or that they're sorry that they handled it so badly.  Just swept it all under the rug, like it never happened.  They made me the shamed, bad girl of the family and left me there.  There are a lot of things that I own in this.  The innocent mistake that created a life, the final decision to not raise my son and the consequences of that decision are mine.  But the shame of it is not mine.  I will not take responsibility for that any longer.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello Blogworld!

I'm a bio-mom who gave up my son 31 years ago for adoption. For a long time I put all the emotions related to that event on a neat little shelf that allowed me to go on with my life and function like a "normal" person.  I never hid that I had a son.  Anyone close to me knew about him. On the outside I appeared to be dealing with it all quite well. I became an expert at hiding the pain, remorse and shame.  I hid it from everyone, even myself.

Sure there were clues that all was not well.  Every year on his birthday I was an emotional, blubbering mess.  Once or twice a year I'd drink a little too much and become openly despondent over the loss.  Somehow I always seemed to rally and put it all back on that safe little shelf that allowed me to march on with my life.

That is, until the day I found out who my son was and saw a picture of him for the first time.  I wasn't as surprised by the all the emotion, I expected that finding concrete information on my son would be emotional.  It was the depth of the emotion that shocked me.  The layers of crap that I thought I had dealt with came flowing back and has spun me topsy turvy.  I guess on some level I had dealt with these issues.  I dealt with the superficial parts and buried the deep parts.  I never really analyzed all the "why's."  I'm hoping that writing this blog will help me find some answers. 

I think I'm also hoping that writing this blog will help me forgive, myself first, and others who were players in this tragedy experience.  I cross out the word tragedy because even though it has been tragic for me to not be able to love my son in person everyday for the last 31 years, and even though it is tragic that we were not allowed to be with each other, I hope that his life has been anything but tragic.  I hope that he has experienced love and joy.  I hope that he has learned how much inner strength is his by nature, to deal with life when things are not so good.  I hope he feels that his life has been blessed.  Of course, I also hope (maybe selfishly) that he will see me coming into his life at this time as a blessing.  I hope that he wants to take the time to get to know me and let me have the gift of getting to know him, let me say how sorry I am that I couldn't do what so many other young women do and keep their children.  I hope that he shares my view that having a lot of people love you is a gift, not a burden.  I hope that he will treat his younger half sister (I just hate that phrase!, she's his sister, dammit) with care and take the time to get to know her and find joy in sharing his life experiences with her.  Most of all, I hope I have the strength to deal with all that comes to me on this journey.  There will be positive and negative.  I 've got my fingers crossed that positive wins.