Search This Blog


The Wedding Part 1

A few months after they announced their engagement I got a call from her adoptive Mom. My daughters adoptive Dad has had issues with his leg from an infection he had the year before and really couldn't walk well. Someone came up with the idea that her adoptive Mom and I walk her down the isle instead, if her adoptive Dad couldn't.  I was sooo honored I was crying. That I was considered to be this included was way more than I ever dreamed in my life!

So imagine my shock when things began to develop the week of the wedding. 

I arrived a little bit before so that I could help her with any last minute things that needed to be done. A few days before the wedding her friend came by to pick up the centerpieces and V went over the seating arrangements.  She told  her friend to make sure that the special covered chairs for the parents were in the front...two on each side. That stung a little.

Several times in the previous months I clarified with her what my role was in this. She always reassured me that I was "one of the mothers of the bride". I didn't want to go there and make a fool of myself like I thought I was more than I am to her. I didn't want to seem presumptuous.

The night of the rehearsal dinner I was a little nervous. I would be meeting his family and I didn't have a clue as to what they thought of their soon to be daughter in law's birth Mother having such a prominent spot in her wedding. I thought I would get the same reaction we/I got from most people..saying how wonderful and unique it was that we are all together like that. Well I found out pretty quickly that isn't how they feel. When I was introduced there were no smiles, not even a nice to meet you, I don't even think they shook my hand. They both looked at me and said-oh hi...and turned to someone nearby to talk to. It was noisy in the room so I thought maybe they didn't hear who I was and that's why I was brushed off. 

The dinner continued and when the toasts were made by her adoptive Dad and his Dad I was never mentioned like the other two moms and family were. I just wanted to disappear. I felt like a fraud.

To be continued...



I debated on writing about this but I think it's an important thing to get out there. There are so many things about open adoption that hasnt been figured out yet because most adoptees of open adoption are still kids or teens. 

My daughter is pregnant. I feel wrong to to have the feelings Im experiencing. Of course as I mentioned before I knew they were trying. I knew this was coming. But when I was told it kind of hit me in a weird way. 

One thing that came to mind was that I almost, for the first time ever, wished that the adoption would have been closed. Now before anyone scoffs at that let me tell you why. For a lot of closed adoptions reunions dont happen when the adoptee turns 18...they are after the adoptee has had their children. Coming into a relationship with your lost child after they have had their children is different than having to watch it all happen from the shadows. Yes even as open as our adoption is/was I am still watching from the shadows. Her adoptive mom is receiving the congratulations on FB and from elsewhere...I am not even a blip on the radar. So I am being relegated to the back. 

I really am trying to be ok with this. I will be attending the baby shower and will have to put on my happy face...happy to be the Mom who wasnt, and still isnt, good enough to keep her daughter with her. Smile as I watch friends and family make a big deal about this grandbaby... who is mine...but not really... I will go see them once the baby arrives and will have to pretend this is such an awesome thing...and thats just it, I dont want to have to pretend.  I truly want to be ok with it. I guess thats one of the reasons it takes nine months for a baby to everyone can adjust to the changes.

Before anyone says anything about closed vs. open adoptions I just have to say that of course I know having them in my life is a blessing and Im lucky to not just have known where she was and safe but to be active in their lives. I know that. I just couldnt help feeling like wishing I didnt have to play a role in this...from the sidelines...again.

Waiting to see what the next 6 months will bring.


Open adoption

Something has been rumbling around in my head for a while now.

What is a open adoption to us birth moms? For those of us who's adoptions are truly that. It's a chance to be someone real to our children as they grow up. It's knowing they are safe and loved. It means not worrying and wondering where they are.

But I think it can also mean confusion in separating our joy at knowing our children and our sorrow for having lost something so very dear to us. How can we have such deep grief if we havent totally lost our children to the unknown?

I can imagine that a lot of birth Moms in this age could feel they have no right to feel the full brunt of their pain because they at least dont have it as bad as Moms from the closed era. I see it sometimes with young birth Moms and how they cling so tightly to feeling that because they have such a great relationship with their childs adoptive family they deny the pain that runs so deep. It truly saddens me because I can imagine what is in store for them in the long years to come.

So it makes me wonder. What if they go on and never deal with this pain? Do they become bitter old women? Are they really ok with all of this and that makes the rest of us somehow inferior?

That is exactly what it makes me feel like. A birth Mom who never got over it and is bitter and angry. That so isnt the case though. It makes me feel that I am seen angry and bitter because I will never reconcile the fact that I was forced to walk out of that hospital alone and the shock waves it caused with the happiness I have with having had an open adoption. Im not angry. Im not bitter. I am regretful and have negative opinions of adoption but why does that make me seen as an angry person?

And since this open adoption business is such a new thing Im sure it will be years before any of this is figured out. Look how long it took the Moms from the closed era!


Something lost...

I was keeping an anxiety attack at bay lat light. We have a small fireproof safe about the size of two shoe boxes to keep important, and some replaceable, papers as safe as we can. In this safe is a package with the adoption papers I signed and memorabilia from my daughter V's birth...along with her original birth certificate (OBC), the one that is sealed away for eternity, the ONLY copy that exists on the planet.

I had to go into this safe last night to retrieve something for my younger daughter so I thought I would take a walk down memory lane and look at my precious items from my oldest daughters arrival on the planet. One thing I was feeling I especially wanted to look at was her OBC...well it was not in the package. I tore that safe apart three times thinking, wishing, that maybe I slipped it in with some other pack of papers. Nothing. It WAS NOT in there!!!! My irreplaceable connection that said to the world that she was mine for a moment! I never realized just how much I treasured this piece of paper until it was gone!!

Trying to hold back tears I went downstairs to where I keep scrapbooks of all my children. I opened the small pink one of V's hoping maybe I put it in there, even though I distinctly remember not doing that because I didn't want to use any kind of adhesive on it. I looked through and behind every page and nothing. As I went to set it down a stuffed full envelope fell out with photos in it and the little hat they put on her right after birth. I had forgotten I put those there because they were things that I either didn't want to attach permanently that included photos that weren't all that great. Looking in I found the envelope for the OBC!!! BUT when I took out the thick card in there it was detached, or what I thought was attached. I started bawling and took the envelope to my room to at least have that and put it in the safe...then a this slip of paper fell out. THE OBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until this experience I had NO idea how precious of a thing this little piece of paper this is. There are so many birth Moms and adoptees who don't have the privilege of obtaining or even looking at this seemingly insignificant piece of paper. It is a visual link between us that has been secreted away to pretend there was never a relationship between the two of us. So in that short span of time I had an insight to how thousands...millions of people feel at not having this privileged. I am even more enthusiastic to do the little part that I do in helping two very important friends of mine is giving adoptees open access to their OBC's.


What is love?

I was reading comments to a post on FB and this post got me to thinking...

"It is a really awful message to send that if you love someone you have to abandon them... That isn't what love is about. Why is it in the world outside of adoption, love is fighting for the person you love and doing anything you can to keep them with you but in adoption that message is completely contradicted and mothers are told if they love their kids they will hand them to total strangers? Why can no one see how wrong that is? I don't doubt women who are vulnerable will fall for that as pregnancy is a time of great vulnerability as hormones are way up the pole and so the love for our children is used against us - if you love him/her you will give them up which sends the message that if you do the normal thing mothers are supposed to do, you don't love your child. What a head job for both mother and child. Only in adoption do we see these messages; an institution that contradicts everything we are taught from birth..."
J Blackwell

I have never before hear it stated so perfectly. When you love someone as fiercely as a Mother loves her child, you fight to the death to keep them with you. You are told or it is implied all your life that this is what loving someone is. So how is it that I love my baby if I am leaving my baby behind? I think this is something I am still struggling with. 
And then there is the opposite...
My next pregnancy after relinquishment I was so conflicted in all the feelings and emotions running through my head. I was still somewhat in a state of shock about all that had happened so I wasnt able to voice any of it to begin to heal. How could I be a good Mother to this child I was carrying if love meant giving him away...but I wasnt. I was keeping him.  Of course at the time these thoughts werent as clear as they are now looking back but I believe it had something to do with why I held back from bonding with him. I was a horrible mother