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.