Monthly Archives: July 2010

I’ve got to pay attention now

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.  ~ Paul Valery

Round and round and round we go.

DD introduced me to blogging about adoption in 2006, a safe place to explore myself and adoption issues was a revelation.  I learned a lot through reading others’ experiences as well as hashing through mine.

Now, the more things change, the more they stay the same. If there was a honeymoon in our reunion,  it came in late, when I started blogging. It also marked the first time I really tried to integrate DD into my now grown up family. Things seemed to be starting to resolve. Some heavenly moments fed delightful fantasies.

The fantasies fed delusions about my ability and influence.

I’m weary of reacting. I’m looking out for a new vantage point. Getting up off my duff and letting go of the way I thought things were supposed to be.

While I’ve been waiting for things to “get better” I missed a lot.  I wish I’d taken more risks and worked my relationship with my grandson separately from my relationship with his mom.  It wasn’t entirely up to me. But I could have taken more initiative. I could have been more courageous. I could have been more courageous in a lot of reunion issues.

Hoping things will get better, waiting for things to get better, expecting things to improve in reunion is wearing thin. I found myself thinking maybe I should quit blogging — until things get better in our reunion (!?!)  Those anticipated future fantasies aren’t real.

I have spent more time and energy trying to figure out how to build, improve, nurture reunion than I have on  anything else in the world. Yet the sense of trust and safety DD & I have with each other seems to see no improvement. We do truly love one another and we don’t get on well.  Are we too much alike? Or too different? I don’t know. For one reason or more, the damages or the differences or the whole shooting match, it’s still beyond me.

It is time to quit waiting for things to change. Time to embrace reality. This is our reunion. This is our relationship.

Part of our blogging deal is to be secret, an outgrowth of the original adoption pact; to never know my own daughter.  Secret identities have been part of her entire life. Secrets are not my forte. For a while I thought one thing I did right in the beginning of reunion was not keep anything a secret. But actually that didn’t go right either. I revealed too much.

This period of secret identities has been a different way of paying attention in the world, going public but undercover. Blogging about my personal adoption experience has  lessons  about being more disciplined and thoughtful. Even though I kept a secret identity, the blog has been selfish, just for me — And for myself I work at figuring out how my expression and exploration may impact DD. When the impact appears negative, I’ve wondered if I could write for her rather than for me.

Nope. She speaks for herself and I must speak for me.

This very personal blog of my own confounding reunion provided an opportunity to express and learn. I’ve learned that I don’t know what’s going on. I’m feeling complete in this space.

I am newly in love with Janelle Monae. And whether I’m high or low, I got to tip on…

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shaken and stirred

My DD took offense at an impersonal pronoun in my last post. I screwed up. I was tired when I read her comment and should have left it alone. But I was going to be offline for at least five days and didn’t want to ignore her. So I jumped in and said something really stupid and hurtful.  I’ve been re looking at it for the past 5 days.

That would be HER, not IT, thank-you.

At first I didn’t read carefully enough to distinguish between her comment (above) and my own words (below) which were posted along with her comment.

“Or if they really loved their first grandchild they sure had a strange way of showing it, huh? If they loved that baby unconditionally they would have clung to it and kept it safe themselves rather than cast it out to the unknown world of people in better circumstances, better able to provide for this healthy white infant. That’s what some people say.”

It was late and I was shaken by the  capitalized pronouns, (representing a frequent accusation that I’m thoughtless and lack empathy).  I reacted foolishly. In the morning I quickly edited the post without grasping what I was doing before leaving town.

In a rush and feeling awkward and misunderstood, I had changed that paragraph from talking about my parents and an abstract baby, to be more directly about her. I hadn’t intended to be that personal.  Becoming more personally about her, I took it personally too, which can be quite troublesome. I hadn’t wanted to touch into the rawness of my reunion.

That is exactly what I was  looking at when I started the previous post. How to love unconditionally and personally? How do I love what is just the way it is? DD, just the way she is? Can I love my whole family unconditionally? Without getting confused trying to suit other people’s desires or distracted by conflicting requests?

I know from long experience feeling *guilty* is more disabling than motivating. The burning regret that I had misunderstood her and reacted inappropriately again was overshadowed by getting my feelings hurt too, feeling ignored and  insulted when I thought reaching out to her would be easier than it is.  I keep moving to find the sweet spot where I can see what’s going on and interact with compassion rather than guilt.

It takes a lot of attention. I have to stop comparing myself to any measure of reasonableness – stop  justifying choices made out of fear, jealousy or greed. Being afraid of losing her means I’m losing myself. She will always be a part of me. I just have to be open to who she is, whether she *likes* me or not.

When I am secure with myself, I see her with compassion. When I’m out of balance, the shaking wakes me up to how far I’ve drifted. I have to steady myself to look and see who my daughter is, to accept our reunion as raw and awesome and changing. Our differences, our similarities are all valuable. The beauty of who we are stirs me. And I can see her more clearly.

Reaching out and touching no matter what, that’s part of it. There is something about shaking it off and getting up and getting going that is refreshing too.