Monthly Archives: October 2007

Building a Family

One of the images that comes to mind when I hear talk of “building a family”, is my youngest daughter as a toddler. At two years old she could open a drawer in the kitchen and pull out of loaf of bread. Then pull a dish towel off the frig door to wrap the bread and offer to let me kiss her baby. She was building a family. A few months later her skills increased. She could collect three sticks, or three rocks, or seed pods and point to each one saying, “This is the daddy stick, this is the mommy stick and this is the baby stick.”

As a university student she continues exploring family, lives in a big communal house and works in a ‘community’ coffee shop. We are adjusting our experience of family. What does it mean to have a sister that you don’t know because she was built into another family (aka lost to adoption)?

Joy and I rode our roller coaster reunion as privately as possible for a long time. In the past 16 mo. of blogging, I began to accept and express my feelings more freely and openly; and the desire to integrate my children arose. Now I have to overcome all the years of maintaining separation through my deluded attempts at protecting the younger ones from the torment that has been adoption in my life.

The notion of waiting until Joy and I are just hunky dory and everything is OK is bunk. I can accept and acknowledge my experience. I can accept and acknowledge Joy. And I can quit trying to fix or protect these young and not so young adults.  I was always trying to make it easier on everybody.  But turns out, there isn’t any easier way to do this, than  head on.  Sorry about that.

Joy is in her thirties now. Her own little family is growing up.

I just read a first mom’s blog about her daughter’s adoptive parents finding her. It was magical to read about her daughter’s adoptive parents caring to find her natural mother, to ease her needs and support their daughter that way. They took the time and energy to get to know her natural mother and to bring her into their lives. I’m a little jealous.

I wish I could have been more graceful and tactful and aware when I had my brief encounter with Joy’s aparents back in ’92 or ’93 ??? Foggy memory… I wish we could have been more successful in building our family.

I guess it’s already built. I just wish we could get to know each other better, and recognize how extensive we are.  Hmmmm….

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rights to grief

Wow. I really do feel this is my little glass house now, with so many wonderful people looking in. I feel a little nervous. Two posts back I had no expectation that I was going to be getting so much attention.

I previewed that post with someone I specifically did not want to offend. She supported me in speaking my own truth. I just had something to express, my thoughts and feelings; no intention of convincing anyone of anything. I wanted to learn if my expression was understood. It was by some who sprang to my support. And others…uh, not so much.

So I want to explain that each and every one of you has a right to your feelings. Each and every one. And yes, our feelings affect our actions which affect each other.

I’ve lost a total of four children. The last miscarriage was after the two I raised were born, and it was relatively easy to come to acceptance and completion with it. I have to say the adoption loss and suffering was far greater than anything I’ve known. It contributed to the grief of the others. It affected every thing I did for decades, mostly in an unproductive fashion.

Hormone therapy was not my experience. My understanding of people’s motivation to try that is from desperation; feeling or believing they have no other options. When asked what kind of person gives their child up for adoption, my answer is a desperate one. I’ve known that desperation.

So we’ve got one woman’s desperation driving her to mess with her hormonal balance and another woman’s desperate circumstances in giving birth. And there in lies the magic of the adoption industry, operating on (enlightened) self interest. Very selfish.

Earlier I suggested that the first desperate group get over themselves, their egocentric selves, in their search for a BABY to love. I did not mean to imply that they needed to hurry up and get over their grief. Grief doesn’t just get up and walk away. It pops it’s head in at the most inopportune times. It’s something we live with. It’s much more forever than a family. Grief is a life experience. It’s part of the real world.

My point of view:

Before trying to take care of someone else’s child, be sure you are fully accepting your own grief. Then you may be more accepting and aware of other’s grief. Perhaps then you may be more able to be truly supporting and considerate of other’s challenges and needs. You’ll find your loving manifest and express in new ways. You’ll be freer. You’ll be free to give.

I was inspired by and grateful for Lillie’s amazing post recently.