I had been spiraling down for awhile prior to closing the blog. I felt like I had been let out prior to my exit...to quote my beloved Mr. Rob Thomas. Adoption blogging, and all the feelings and people it brings, both good and bad, can really get to you. Your self esteem is a roller coaster of highs and lows. One day you are a saint, the next day you are an attention seeking liar. You forget somedays who you are, who you were, and who you might someday become. And it gets really easy to start believing the hype, regardless of which way it swings. When enough had become enough, I closed the blog. It doesn't matter why, or for/from whom. I wanted to seriously think on some things, and reflect in private for a bit. To take a real break, and see if continuing to write this blog was helping or hurting me. To see if the best way to get out of the sadness was to just turn my back and walk away. And guess what...it was. I'm over it.
Now let me explain...I am not over what adoption has done to my life. I am not over what adoption will do to Lauren's. I am simply over trying to find the meaning in it all. I am over trying to justify my actions to people who will never know what prompted them. I am over feeling guilty, and ashamed, and horrible regarding the uncontrollable aftermath of my adoption plan. I am over trying to argue with people who want to judge me or my story. I am over people who want to tell me how fantastic I am when they don't know me at all. I am most certainly over people who want to grind me into the ground when they have no clue as to what has gone on in my life in the first place. I am over trying to explain my sins to people in general...my life is between God and I. And I am over self righteous people declaring all adoptive parents saints for taking these poor children like mine in.
I have thought about it in great detail, and there is zero reason for me to write. My story is over. Lauren's story will be written by her. The therapy aspect left when her parents started reading it, and everything else is just noise. I have nothing to gain by writing, and everything to lose while sitting like a zombie in front of this screen.
Filling in the gaps that not writing this blog created was easier than I thought, at least in the big picture aspect. At first, I read a lot. "Fast Track Adoptions" was not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's a how-to guide for getting a baby quick, just like dozens of other books. While I don't agree with any of it, I was not pushed into suicide like the birthmom that the "Ever So Perfectly Happy Ending" book was written about. "Restorative Grief" made some good points, but was written in such a fashion that I personally could not wrap around it. The author is great, and I loved the book because I am sure it has helped many people, but it couldn't help me. I do not have that "type" of faith. I continued to read blogs, write a few non published posts on some hot topics, and linger at the fringes of the online adoption community.
It then dawned on me, rather abruptly, that nothing I had been trying to do was going to help me.
For almost two years, I have scoured the internet, looking for someone that had my exact story, my exact situation. Someone married, raising children together when all hell broke loose. Someone stupid enough to go on Craigslist, disillusioned enough to think everything would be fine when it was over. No agency. No lawyers. A mental breakdown (or two). That didn't happen. I can't identify with someone who felt they were too young. I can't say I wanted her to have a Mommy and a Daddy...she would have had them. I wasn't prompted by God to find her more spiritually sound parents. I wasn't coerced. I placed out of desperation. Not too many people will say that. Common sense would dictate that we each have our own life, our own journey, that no two snowflakes are alike, but you've heard the phrase "Misery Loves Company", and I wanted to find that company. I figured that since there were enough common themes running around in bloggy land regarding adoption, that someone would be just like me. But no one was. I can identify with many of the common themes...loss, guilt, regret, depression, ambivilance...and on and on...but I could not find one single person that had made my exact mistakes, or walked my exact path, or could give constructive critisism on how to get out of the exact abyss I was in. What it felt like to me (and my selfish little inner voice), is that in the world of Birthmother's, I am an oddity. And I am sure many of us feel that way...unified but alone. Similar, but different. Seeking, but never finding.
I also went through a major phase of "WHAT NOW???" as well. As I looked around at other's stories, it seemed like so many other people were going to be able to go and do great things with their lives. Or had gone on and done great things with their lives. Meanwhile, my crazy little inner voice was screaming, "What does a 30+ mother of three do with her life after adoption? I don't get to grow up and meet Mr. Right and live happily ever after with more kids. I don't get to go to school, and have an amazing career. I don't get to advocate positively for the wonders of open adoption. I just get to sit here and wallow, neglect my kids while I am grieving, with the same uncaring husband, and crappy job...." and on and on. Isn't it funny, that no matter the situation, the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side?
Finally, after a while of all this "not actively participating, but just participating enough" and realizing that I was still hurting far too many hours a day for nothing, I tried walking away. I printed out a calendar and wrote one major "Honey Do" project a day. My first project came at the advisement of a blogger buddy, whom is an Adoptee. In one of the most touching and meaningful emails I have ever received, she wrote:
"You have the very hardest of jobs, raising other kids after adoption.It is no wonder so many mothers do not go there or cannot.For their sakes and yours you need to try to go forward and you need to honour the past.Thought of creating a special little spot somewhere to do that? It could be outside or inside, private and hidden or not whatever you feel you can do.You can visit it when you need to and then try to restrict your thinking about her to those times, the rest of the time concentrate on your other kids.Might work for you and put some boundaries around what tasks you have - raising kids and coming to terms and forgiving yourself for adoption.I'm guessing there, tell me if I'm wrong or it doesn't fit.Small thing that might have a big impact."
Her words struck a huge chord with me. Moving on, trying to move forward from it, doesn't mean forgetting it. It doesn't mean not caring. It means living. I had this crazy looking broken monster fountain creation (left by the landlord) in my backyard, and spent a week cleaning it out and turning it into the most beautiful planter ever. I hand planted tons of seeds, including Forget me Nots, and have lovingly taken care of them. They are finally sprouting little green buds, and I can work out there on days off, while the kids are at school. I have found that I love gardening, and so does Logan. We bond together over something that once was a solo pain, and instead of tears the backyard is filled with giggles.
I also started a 100 day challenge photo blog, which chronicles various things I've done and will do, and has little if anything to do with the "A" word. It's been amusing to say the least. I am currently on Day 29. With each new picture, or old one, I am reminded of the life I once lived, the things I liked to do, and that because there was life before the black cloud, there will be life after it. I have restarted crafting, redid all of the kids rooms, and have the cleanest house ever. LOL. I stay off the computer. The weather is beautiful, and we play outside every day. I can focus at work. I don't cry myself to sleep at night. I don't stress about what people (save for my family) think of me. My inner voice is silent. I am no longer holding my breath...I am breathing.
One thing I will add in closing though...I have taken to praying. Not the, "If you just do this one thing for me, I'll never (fill in the blank) again!" praying...but the real kind. And with praying comes forgiveness and peace. As I mentioned earlier, my "sins" are between God and I, and I feel like there has been some divine forgiveness there. I knew things were on the right track when I woke up one morning and didn't hate L* and M* anymore. Or more importantly, didn't hate me anymore. I still don't agree with many things that they or I have done, but it is refreshing not to feel the hatred burning in me all the time.
I am less than a week away from Lauren's second birthday, and pleased to say that this year will not be like last. She will have her cake, her party, and while I will not be there, nor probably see a picture of it...it will be enough to know that SHE had it. As for me, instead of crying or blogging...I will be out and about with my kids, enjoying another beautiful day of peace.
I am leaving this blog open, for anyone who wants to refer to it, or from it. It is my goal not to use it again, at least not unless it's needed again. My hope, is that this is the final post. Good Luck to us all. :)