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...