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.