Monthly Archives: September 2007

What’s going on in YOUR area?

For those of you blessed with loving and the ability to deal with bureaucracy…

anger & infertility

My first pregnancy was so untimely, just turned 16. Days after I confessed my condition to my parents I noticed bleeding during P.E. The school nurse sent me home when I complained of severe cramping.

I cried. Even though I had not wanted to be pregnant, I was grief-stricken at the loss. The doctor told me to be happy and relieved. NO ONE recognized the loss. My last pregnancy was planned, but ended in miscarriage as well. That evoked plenty of sympathy and indulgences.

In between I’ve had three children. The adoption loss was the reference point of my life, the point around which the rest of my life revolved. I felt that I was born to mother, that I was a mother regardless of family circumstances, mothering is what I did. Since my child was not present I found other ways to express mothering, caring, nurturing friends, strangers, school children, abused children, the environment. It was twelve years between the loss of my firstborn to the birth of my first kept baby. It was thirty-five years before I got to celebrate my firstborn’s birthday with her.

I’m drifting off message here. All I really want to say is that infertility is not that big a deal! Of course easy for me to say. I’ve got three kids. Yeah. I got lucky. God put three babies in my tummy and out my vagina. Three real babies, my own flesh and blood. Yeah, I love it. That’s my life. Somebody else’s life is not so great in the baby making department. But you can make something else for God’s sake. Get creative. Get over yourself and how you have so much love to give. If you have so much love, just give it. There are people all around you that need it. They are right next to you. If your love is only for babies, volunteer at the nearest maternity ward. Help young mothers take care of their babies. Do child care! There are lots of ways to give love to children without trying to replace their mothers.

When I see or hear people talk about how they want to love and care for an adopted child it still makes my skin crawl. I’m still hurt and angry. I’m sorry. I want to be coherent and thoughtful and recognize they are doing the best they can based on what they know. But all I’ve got is that infertility, miscarriage, the part I know of it, is just not that big a deal — to me. Yeah “failed adoptions” are a serious disappointment, when you’ve allowed yourself to become over invested in something that is totally NOT REAL. If you IMAGINED a baby was growing in your heart and really put a lot of energy into what you were going to do with, for, to that baby; then you’ve got a lot more imagining to do. We are all responsible for our creations. I am trying to be respectful to that imaginary grief.

Try to imagine what it’s like for a mother to relinquish her actual, physical child.

Twisting & turning toward Thanksgiving…

I’ve been reading and mulling over gratefulness. I love gratitude, the feeling of thankfulness. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love feeling abundant, like a cornucopia. I remember Cris Williamson singing(from The Changer and the Changed) “filling up and spilling over, it’s an endless waterfall. Filling up and spilling over, over all…” So with gratitude being one of my pet things, the adoptee rejection of being grateful grated on me when I was introduced to it. Basically I didn’t know anything about it, consciously at least. I remember Joy telling me someone told her she should even be grateful to me for giving birth to her. When she told me that, I just kind of duh… huh? She asked me if I thought she should be grateful to me. WTF? No. I told her I wanted her to be grateful to be alive. I think being alive is cool. I am grateful to my creator. I am grateful to be alive Life is sweet.

So, no, being grateful to the people who birthed you or the people who raised you or any other people in the world is worldly stuff. And if it makes you feel great, then great. What really connects for me is just being grateFULL for what is, what is LIFE.

But a funny thing crawled back up through my memory recently. One of the first things I did after Joy called me the first time, at the outset of our reunion, was write a thank you note to her aparents. I didn’t know much more about them than their name and address and that THEY were the ones that got to take her home and change her diapers and watch her grow. But I was so grateful that she was alive, that she had survived, that she had called me, I felt compelled to express myself in a thank you note.

I still kind of wish we could be friends, her aparents and me, these people that got to know her knobby knees and missing teeth.

Ode to Joy

Catching up. Been on hiatus, I guess– coming into peace, acceptance — growing up again. Talking with my eldest daughter last night brought something to speak of, the richness, the bounty, the abundance she has brought to my life.

I was a frightened child when she was born, as was she. She was left alone in the nursery, one nursery after another, my tender, sensitive, vulnerable babe. She was given food, clothing and basic schooling by her adoptive family as best they could manage. They were dealing with a fantastic, wondrous creature that was beyond their understanding.

At our reunion, after the birth of her own son, my teenage trauma returned. I fought it, perceiving my failure and weakness could dishonor or discredit mothering my two younger children. It’s taken many years to get to this last year, which has been so refreshing, where I’ve risked owning my own life. It took a lot of baby steps. The biggest ones were to stand and look at what had been unbearable, unspeakable, intolerable– to bear it by speaking and acknowledging it. Sometimes I have to close my eyes for a little while, check my breathing, know I am still alive, allow the loving to rise up inside me again, knowing I always loved her. She grew in my belly physically, but she lives in my heart. She always has, always will. Always.

And now, she is still shaking some things loose, and she is part of my ‘routine life’. She’s met the family. Everyone knows she is part of the litany of what’s going on with my kids these days. And she’s brought me healing through the ability to own my life, to trust myself with my own life, instead of being afraid of being found incompetent again. I was incompetent. I failed with my first babe. But she came back to me.

I am richer and stronger for it. I am more wholly, holy, myself. I am grateful.