10 Things

is a funny idea. Ten things nobody told me before adoption slammed into my life. I don’t think I’ve got ten just yet, but there is a huge

NUMBER ONE. Nobody told me it could have a negative impact on my child. Nobody told me that she might grow up to feel betrayed by the first person who should have loved and cared for her. Nobody told me her aparents might not treasure each and every little eccentricity of her physical, emotional and mental characteristics or that she would miss genetic mirroring and search for recognition outside her family. Nobody told me she might appreciate any small token or remembrance from me, that I could leave her a letter without damaging her. Nobody told me there was a possibility that her adoptive parents might speak ill of me or her father – her origins. Nobody told me her “extended adoptive family” could be anything less than totally inclusive and accepting, that adoptive parents aren’t anymore perfect than anybody else. Or that the only real thing that made them more qualified to raise her than me was they had a steady income.

Ok, here’s NUMBER TWO Nobody told me that I had wisdom and experience and insight into who my child was simply because she was made from me. Nobody told me that I could get help to tide me over for the first couple years or that my child could ever love or appreciate me. Nobody told me that the judgments and rejection could dissipate if I just went ahead and did my best to keep her. No one told me that I had value or worth as her mother. Nobody told me that I could overcome the obstacles to keeping her.

I’m on a roll now. NUMBER THREE Nobody told me she might be very angry when she came looking for me. Nobody told me she might have a world of hurt and rejection to work through. Nobody told me that when she found me again I would revert to the wounded self that gave her up in the first place. Nobody ever told me that the damage of giving up a child to adoption was lifelong for both parties, that the “damaged goods” category I was placed in meant much more than my reputation was damaged; the damage to my psyche would affect the rest of my life and be an obstacle distorting communication.

Nobody told me that no one knows what the future holds, but that everything changes.

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11 responses to “10 Things

  1. I feel like I could have written this.

    • Thanks Coco,
      It felt a bit complaining. But it’s all stuff that I would want anyone in a similar situation to know before making such a choice.

  2. That was beautiful…

  3. I agree with everything you wrote.

  4. It’s hard for me to see the other side but it is SO educational. It’s why I LOVE that we have all kinds of writers and readers at GIMH. I really, really feel like we all need to understand each other a little more.

    I don’t think you are complaining. You’re just telling it how it is.

  5. The biggest thing that I was never told was how my son would grow up believing in his heart that I had abandoned him. When he was about 19, after we had been reunited for a year, he shared a story with me about how his adopters had left him alone in a mental hospital on Christmas, while they went on a 3-week vacation. I asked him if he had felt abandoned — as I looked into his eyes as the tears flowed, I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. My child had spent that Xmas feeling abandoned not only by them, but by me. I was the original source of his pain. I swear to God, I didn’t know when I was 17 that the baby boy I was surrendering to adoption was going to feel that I abandoned him. But how could he not? It’s so plain to me now… I only wish I had known that back then.

  6. I am learning so much by listening to perspectives other than my own. And this? “Nobody told me there was a possibility that her adoptive parents might speak ill of me or her father – her origins. ” As an adoptive parent, that makes me feel sick. To speak ill of anyone, ever, is… but to do so about your child’s parents? Awful, just awful.

    • I know when you step outside of the situation and look at it, it’s almost unimaginable.

      But from their point of view, what kind of person abandons their own child?

  7. I appreciate your sharing this. *hugs*

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