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Similarities Ive never really noticed...

Ever since I gave birth to V I have always been fascinated by genetics and how much of our personalities and temperaments are inherited. Even adoptees in closed adoptions who eventually reunite with their lost family can have striking similarities that are not just physical but personality quirks the are so much like their first families.

When my daughter was growing up her adoptive Mom use to tell me the V had this certain expression that looked just like me and would tell her that when she did it. Growing up I never knew my Dad and my Mom would tell me the same thing. Once I had my second child I noticed he had a certain expression that I realized looked just like one my Dad was then I made a connection, we all had an inherited expression that we received from my Dad. I thought it was an amazing testament to genetics and how even the littlest things can be passed on by genes!

In my recent visit with my lost daughter there were mannerisms I had never noticed her doing before that I know I do as well. I think because I noticed them it made the trip a better one for me because I've felt so disconnected from her and realized that just because she doesn't really look like me doesn't mean she didn't get some big things from me.

One of the biggest things things I had noticed before but didn't realize I also did it was when talking with someone is that we initially will make eye contact but then our eyes wander...almost like its too uncomfortable for us to continue eye contact. For me its not that the eye contact is painful I think sometimes I am so deep in my thought of a conversation that I'm trying to concentrate. So as we talk we tend to look down and to the side a little bit. I've known she has always done this but didn't make this connection that bot of us do until now.

A little thing we also do I find amusing is when we eat, we put our food or utensil down in between bites. I didn't bring attention to these little things because I feel like she doesn't like references to similarities connecting her to us. I know, I know. I shouldn't assume what someone else thinks or feels without asking them outright. This is the next thing my therapist and I will be working on for my trip out after the baby is born, actually talking to her about my side of her adoption and how she feels about it.


Forced, coerced?

One of the things I've been working on in therapy is forgiving that young girl who didn't know any better, who trusted the adults to do what was right. To not judge her for things she didn't know about the world or her innocence and naiveness.

Tonight I just want to scream. I want to be heard. I want to be validated. I don't want people telling me I didn't have a gun held to my head to sign those papers...hell I didn't even know I was signing TPR when I signed it! I was young and just did what I was told to do because I had made a huge mistake and needed to redeem myself and lift the shame on my family. I didn't KNOW any better! How could I have? I lived in a very religious and sheltered household. I didn't go to public school until 8th grade and even then I was restricted from having friends at school and was so scared of the evils that could happen to me that I really didn't make but a few friends anyway. No wonder I finally rebelled at 17 and had sex...without knowing how to prevent pregnancy because those things weren't talked about in our house...and became pregnant.

I know all these things so why is it so hard for me to own them? Why do I still blame myself for things I think I should have known better about but didn't?

I find it amazing that I could go from feeling like I was in a place where I could start moving forward again back to this in one day over one thing someone I dont even know said to me.

The Baby Shower...

Well it wasn't as horrific as I thought it would be!! The wedding (pt. 2) had hit me like a brick and blindsided me that I assumed the baby shower would do the same. But it didn't. Between gearing up for it with my therapist, some inner work and support from my incredible first Mom friends (you know who you are!) I sailed through it.

Of course there were a few difficult the talk about what they are naming the baby and others comparing pregnancy notes, the rest wasn't too bad. I walked in like it was just an ordinary day, hugged her adoptive Mom and the conversation between her, her friends and I just flowed. When the pregnancy and childbirth came up, at first I began to clam up, but then I realized...hey this is reality sitting right here! I gave birth to her and I'm not hiding or pretending that I didn't!! So I joined into the conversation a little bit! It was quite empowering and no one gave me any looks.

My fear of facing her mother in law again was high on the list and that went well too. When she approached our table my back was to her and I think I took her by surprise when I turned around and said in a cheerful voice like I was happy to see her and a smile, held out my hand and said oh hi!!! No dirty look this time or looking me up and down.

Also as I was walking past one of her mother in law sisters she stopped me and asked (nicely of course) who I was. When I told her she got a huge smile and hugged me saying something to the effect of..oohhh really??? She was very glad to have met me!

So overall it was an incredible trip. V and I totally reconnected with each other again and I hope this is the start of a new relationship with her.

I wonder if because over the years of being a first Mom we automatically revert back to when things were the most painful then expect to feel that way when put in a situation like this.


What bond?

Something I've been pondering lately...A bond is something that implies that there are two parties involved in the act. When people say they have a bond with their child that will never break, what does that really mean? Mothers bond with their babies when they are born, but when they are separated by adoption it is my belief that the mother child bond IS becomes one sided. It is the Mother who feels the pulling of her soul for her child, the child eventually "forgets" it's Mother and the bond they once shared.

Even though infants who lose their Mothers also have their grief, it's the Mother who continues to feel bonded to a child that won't feel the same about her once they meet again...she virtually become a stranger to her child.

A Mother will always love her child more than the child will ever know.


How could I not have known.

I haven't posted in a while. Although I have quite a few drafts I've started, I've not been able to complete a thought process on any of them. In the last few months I've found an excellent therapist who deals with loss and we have actually been coming quite a distance in this short time.

I've discovered in our sessions that I blame myself for not knowing better and trusting the adults in my life and giving my child to strangers. I was a naive 17 year old yet somewhere along the way I began telling myself I should have known all that I know now of life after adoption. This was a profound realization for me and I think it's the area I need to figure out how to forgive myself for. I believe this is where some of my shame is from.

But how does one forgive themselves for something so horrendous? How can I get to a place where I understand that the 17 year old me could never had known what my life would be like from that one single signature? And yet I blame her every day for this incredibly painful life I've lived.


Signing the TPR

When V was a little over a year old, a social worker called me. I don't remember the phone call or the conversation. All I remember was having a meeting with her in an old building used for public services. My step Mom has recently told me that her and my Dad drove me there but I don't remember any of it. I have a vague vision on being in a parking lot with them but I'm not sure if that's where we were.

I had no idea what I was signing was the termination of parental rights. I know it had to do with the adoption but I just didn't realize they were THE papers. I recently had married my husband and I remember going on about it and making a big deal about my name change. The social worker kept having a look of confusion or concern on her face and looking back now I realize she was trying to make me understand what was happening and making sure I knew what I was signing. But I had no clue...until a little while later in a phone conversation with V's adoptive Mom.

A few months later V's adoptive Mom and I were on the phone when I brought up the court date. For some reason I thought I would be there with them and at that time was when I would sign papers, she would become theirs and we would all share tears of happiness. I don't know where I got this idea from so when I asked her about when we were going to court she said they had already gone. I heart dropped. She must have sensed it because I remember her voice going soft and questing me gently about my meeting with the social worker. The rest of the conversation is a blur with the exception of us setting up a was the first time I had seen her since our parting at the hospital.

Was I just blocking it all out or being naive to what was going on around me? I was still in the mind set that I was beginning my happily ever after life and that things would work out beautifully. I still believed in the things I was told, that by giving her up I would find a respectable man to marry me and life would go on as if the deep pain of my sacrifice was in the past and didn't matter. Boy was I wrong.


Great. Im an angry birth Mom.

This is a little rambling as I am trying to sift through a few things and let them all fall into place...

This past weekend I attended a birth Mom retreat. I was so looking forward to meeting friends I have made over the past year online and maybe learn a new thing or two. What I experienced has shaken up something in me that I didn't realize I've been trying to suppress.

There were three guest speakers, an adoptive mom, birth Mom and an adult adoptee. Each was to share their experience in adoption, which is fine. The adoptive mom went first. I wont get into the details of what she said but I will just say she was using adoption language that was insulting and hurtful while trying to tell her "happy sunshine" story. Not to mention she kept bringing God into it and that can be a huge trigger for me. As she was talking I kept feeling myself begin to seethe with much that I felt my face heat up. I was texting my husband what was going on and told him I wanted to walk out. All I needed were the two little words from him...he said then do. I felt my eyes fill with tears and I stood up, walked towards the back door and out into the hallway.

As I opened the door I felt a rage fill me. I became so angry at all the people in this world who are like this woman. In the name of God they think they have rights to other peoples children and have no qualms about taking them away from women who would most likely have been awesome Mothers. They praise God for "their" little blessing. It was people like this who made me feel so shameful and told me I wasnt good enough for my own baby...because it was a "sin" to be an unwed Mom.

One of my friends came out to check on me and as we walked towards the parking garage to get some air she began crying. Once outside I just kept railing on about the things the adoptive Mom had said. I was so pissed! When I calmed down a bit my friend was still crying and it was then that it hit me. I am angry. Really really angry. I see my birth Mom friends cry and on one hand wish I could cry like that and have that release and on the other hand it makes me angry that if I let go and let loose I am some how weak and have let people who put me in this situation have power over me again. Like if I let myself cry it would mean I don't have a handle on this thing that has cursed my whole adult life. I'm angry that at this point in my life I am still feeling all these intense feelings. It was people like that adoptive mom who caused this to happen to me...and all in the name of God. I'm pissed that these people are still the cause of so much hurt in my life!

I've realized through one of the sessions that I have put a LOT of weight on the deal making I had been doing with myself over adoption all these years. I have tried to think time and time again if I had ever gone through the part of grieving where you bargain with God and I realized that I had made bargains with myself. My biggest deal I made was that I live my life a certain way and be a perfect Mom to my other two kids, have a certain kind of house, drive a certain kind of car, basically live a fairy tale, well what would look like a fairy tale to outsiders, then her and I would have a wonderful relationship when she was an adult. That she would admire me instead of resent me.

Her side of Mother/child bond was severed the minute I walked away from her at the hospital. The reality is that for most adult adoptees and their first Moms that bond does not repair when they reunite or when the child grows up. There are instances when this isn't true and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that wouldn't be us. I thought I had some sort of guarantee because it was an open adoption and I tried my best to live up to the deals I made, to be perfect so she would love me and not be angry that I abandoned her.

I feel like I have nailed down a few things I need to work on finally. Thankfully I have a therapy appointment on Wed!