Welcome to the craziness that is my life!

This is my story in pieces. The good ones, the bad ones, and everything in between. It is messy and flawed...just like it's author. I am not a selfliss person...I am not an angel...I am a loud, opinionated, most of the time crazy, Mom. I write here the things I cannot discuss in my "day to day life". These views are my own, from my own journey. Adoption has changed my life forever, some for good, some not so good. If you don't agree with me, that's fine. It's not your story...it's mine. Consider it a manual on "How Not To Act/What Not To Do When You Are Pregnant and Considering Adoption". If you learn nothing else, learn to educate yourself to the long term affects on yourself, your family, and the child you chose to place.

Oh...and please, don't call me "bitter". I prefer the term "enlightened".


***DISCLAIMER-I don't speak for anyone but me...in this story or in life. It is here as an educational tool if anyone chooses to learn something. I appreciate comments always.***

P.S. Just because I don't actively blog doesn't mean I still don't LOVE comments. Yes, I still check them. I guess I would just rather hear YOUR thoughts, than share mine.

If you missed the story, start reading the "Posts of Some Significance" located directly underneath and to the right of this. That's the story in a nutshell.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Placement and Signing those Horrible Papers

So I have been dreading talking about this because it was such a low day in my life, but eventually all things gotta be let out before you can heal, so this is how I handled giving away my heart...

Arizona law requires at least 72 hours after the birth before you can sign papers. In those 72 hours, I ran through every possible emotion you can think of. Satisfaction in myself-for building a family, for staying so calm, for not making a scene, for keeping my word. Guilt-for not holding her, not hugging her, not naming her, for sending her away as if she were less than my own three, and even for my children, who were stuck with me instead of having the opportunity to have more than what I could provide. Sadness-so strange to feel so empty, no more late night dance sessions with her little feet, and above all else I felt ANGRY-at myself for being an idiot and not demanding alone time with her, at my husband for not wanting to talk about it, at my Aparents for wanting her in the first place, at my stupid "friends" who never called to see if I had made it out alive, and then at myself again...I genuinely was BEWILDERED...I knew I made a good choice in her parents, I knew adoption was the plan, I knew I did the right thing...but WHY...WHY was I such a wreck? I would love to blame it on hormones, but I have never had them hit me like that, and I did give birth three times prior to this. I could not understand why my heart was running in one direction, and my head was in the other. I was so angry at myself I could literally feel it oozing out of me. I felt like an egg that had just been cracked, or like the ground in the movies where you see the hairline crack start running off getting bigger and bigger until whatever it finally stops at drops to the ground. I would close my eyes in those three days, a million times, and visualize myself dissolving into little pieces. Those three days were the longest ones of my life, because so many times during them, I thought about taking her back. Just calling and saying, "Ok. Enough. Can't do this". Of course I never did. Why would I? No matter what I felt, the circumstances hadn't changed any, and I could not even imagine what would have happened to L* & M* had I acted on those thoughts. They were primed, prepped, prepared, BY ME to be parents. I couldn't do it. So I bled, and I cried, and I waited until it was time to go...


I have read on so many posts about how signing was done at a lawyers office, or a church office, or in someones home, or in a court...but have yet to find someone who actually had to suffer the humiliation that comes with sitting at a notary's desk in the middle of a bank. That's what I did. I signed away my heart at a Bank of America. A run down, crummy bank that I have to drive by every single day on my way to and from work. I am past the point of wanting to burn it down now...so I am making progress. I think the visit on November sealed up most of those insane feelings...but I digress.

Anyways, we all had to meet there...even my super reluctant husband. Not for support, not for love of me, but because they needed his signature too. We got there first by a few seconds, and I remember thinking that there was no way I was getting out of the car. They were going to have to bring the papers to me...in the car. Drag the damn notary out there if they had to. I had done enough. I was not getting out of the car. And then I saw their truck pull in, happy faces all around, and guess what I did...I got out of the car. Stupid Michelle.

It took them forever to get the baby out of the car (I remember those days), and her new Daddy proudly presented her to us as "L--*". I remember thinking, "L--*"? WTF?" They had gone through a million names, some that I had really liked, but I am pretty sure I didn't like that one. And then I calmly reminded myself that she was not my baby. She was theirs. And then I began to breathe, slowly and deeply, not wanting to make a scene, not wanting to embarrass anyone. The tears sat in the bottom of my eyes, and I just stared forward for a long time.

The two Daddy's were talking back and forth about baseball, as usual, smiling and joking. The amommy had turned the carseat away from me (though I don't think on purpose) and I just sat there staring at the back of it. I remember thinking crazy violent thoughts about smacking her in the face for doing that. I remember thinking that it was my God Given Right to stare at the baby if I chose too, and how dare she....and then I remember I just started laughing at my own craziness.

We had to wait forever, and finally it came our time to sign. We sat at the desk and signed paper after paper after paper, and I remember being so self concious about sitting in the middle of this bank. It made me feel so so low. And Amommy sat on the very far end of the desk with the carseat tucked on the side, so now I couldn't see the baby at all. I was getting more and more and more pissed off at this totally innocent act from the Amom, when the notary stopped everything, and asked my for my marriage certificate. I had forgotten to bring it with me, and so my husband and I had to leave to go get it. Embarrassing...but it did give me time to calm down considerably.

After we got home, and retrieved the certificate, I remember saying that I wasn't going back to the bank. If I never went back, I couldn't sign anything, and they couldn't have her. I thought about how long they would sit there and what they would do if I refused to come back. I asked my husband how long he thought they'd sit there. 15 minutes, an hour, until it closed. He told me to calm down, do the right thing, and get in the car. I got in.

Driving back, I remember feeling so ashamed that I would even think about taking her from them. I felt as if they'd see all of my swirling emotions on my face, and know my secrets at that point. I was ruining my own happy ending. Now I understood why Lauren's mommy had her tucked way off to the side. I was insane. I could feel it, I am sure I looked it, and she was simply protecting her baby. Like a Momma Bear would her cub.

I went back in, apologized for keeping everyone, and signed as fast as I could. I remember hesitating for a brief second at the last signature, and waiting when I was finished for a weight to lift off of me. Or for balloons to fall out of the ceiling. Or for her parents to start jumping up and down in satisfaction. But none of that happened. I was the same as before.

Afterwards, we were handed a check for the reimbursement of living expenses, while the Adad waited for us. Mommy had gone to put her baby in the car, and I remember feeling a huge mix of hatred and satifaction at the same time. When the check was cashed, I started bawling...no holding it back. The three of us walked backed out to the cars and started to say good-bye. Mommy came around after securing the baby in the car seat, and I remember wanting to hit her in the face again for doing that. I guess I had wanted a huge scene, with my holding her and yelling, "Why Me? I am sorry!!!" and other craziness, but with her safely locked in the car that wasn't going to happen. In all reality...that was for the best.

We hugged and talked, and then my husband said, "Wow, you're not going to have your little friends anymore", meaning L* & M*, and I lost it. For the first time it dawned on me that I wasn't going to see them all of the time, and that our friendship was going to be reduced to emails. And I was so sad...equal if not more so to the sadness at realizing the baby was going away now too. I felt as if my heart had broken to nothing at that point, and then the gifts started flowing.

My Aparents are two of the world's most amazing and thoughtful people. I love them like I love no one else on this planet. They always did right by me, went above and beyond, and NEVER did anything to hurt me. A lot of the sporadic hostility I have felt towards them if from my own lack of education, or reality. When we were done saying good-byes, they handed us some amazing gifts, including a spa day at one of the biggest resorts in town. They got engaged there, and said it would be a great way for us to spend our anniversary. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever recieved. And I loved using it that May.

But, as we walked away from them and they drove off, I remember feeling like they had received the world, and I was merely left with the consolation prize. I think I even said that to my husband, at which time he told me I was crazy and that we did the right thing. And to get in the car, because I was still bawling in the middle of the parking lot and people were starting to stare.


That's all I can write on that right now. My heart is hurting a little remembering it all. And its still very early in the day...miles to go before I sleep.

8 comments:

  1. Oh Michelle, I wish I could send you a great big hug!!!

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  2. Thank you, but obviously this has all already happened, and I'm still here. I reposted it after reading it, and being shocked at the difference in my opinion over the last 14 months. The grief I describe is still very real, but my thoughts on L*'s actions are completely different. The woman literally ran to the car once the papers were signed. If ever a post I wrote gave some future Aparent some inspiration or guidance...please let it be this one. Do not do this. Her actions were abhorrent, and I should have listened to my inner voice when it was screaming at me in the face. If I had been in the right frame of mind, I would have gone back and ripped up the consent when she went running out of the door with the carseat. Perhaps one of these days, she will realize that as well. :)

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  3. Michelle, I just came back and started rereading through your posts -- yes, call me STALKER!

    My heart aches yet again. I want to reach through the past, grab L*'s face and say, "Look at the woman! She needs a hug; needs to hold her baby; needs you to LOVE HER BACK! It's okay, you'll never regret it. Ever." I think I'm determined to take our future birth mother in my arms and hold her until she can't take it anymore. . .not suffocate her, but hold her and cry together.

    Every day I'm amazed at your survival skills and the strength you have gained. Love you, Woman!

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  4. This makes me incredibly sad.
    I think the word 'numb' was running through my mind as I read your story. It seems you had turned off all feelings just to get through it all, again so sad.
    BTW, I am an adoptive mom, three beautiful kids, but I can no longer say that I am a 'fan' of adoption. After seeing the painful experience you describe over and over, no warm fuzzy feeling are left.

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  5. I just found your blog and began reading your story. Thanks for your transparency and honesty. I know many people on either "side" (hate to use that word, but hope you know what I intend) of adoption will learn from your experience. My husband and I are in the waiting process (already have three beautiful kiddos) and it really does help me to hear from moms like you.

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  6. As I was reading this I kept thinking of the novel that I wanted to write back to you. I am humbled by the beauty with which you record your thoughts and feelings. I feel this crazy desire to give you the same in return. I'm not usually a crazy blog-stalking-freak ... but in this case I can say that I feel a connection to you and I wish so much that I could "adopt" you and be the aparent that you deserve ... who would love you and be open to you and embrace you into my family.

    It is so extra sad to read these early posts after starting with your latest posts. To hear how much innocent love and faith you showered on these people. It breaks my heart to think how they've treated you.

    The hardest thing for me to get past when considering adoption was the idea that it seemed very much like organ donation to me. I am the one who requires a transplant. I wait and wait and wait and one day my beeper goes off and it is such a joyful day because it means that I will live! But at the same time I must face that it is the most painful of times for some other family, because it means that someone they love has died. This is indeed a hard thing to face.

    The ONLY way that I could face this and move forward with a feeling of acceptance is if I felt like my birth mom was loved, supported, and treated with every kindness. I love her. I love her in a way that I cannot describe to anyone else in this world. She is the end to a horribly painful road for me, but I am the beginning of one for her. This is hard to swallow. The only way I can do it is by loving her and supporting her and doing EVERYTHING IN MY POWER to help her be OK.

    I wish your aparents had done that for you. I wish somehow I could retroactively do that for you! I would have you hold and cuddle your daughter as much as you want! My birth mom sounds in many ways a lot like you ... very concerned with US and wanting US to feel OK and comfortable. It is so sweet but sometimes I want to shake her and make her understand that that's how I feel about HER! She has insisted that she doesn't want to hold the baby after birth, doesn't want time alone with the baby, doesn't want us to stay past when the baby is ready to be discharged ...

    I told her that was all OK with me, but ONLY if she PROMISED that if she felt like she wanted to do ANYTHING differently that she would tell us, knowing that it was OK. I didn't want her to worry about making us sad, angry, scared, or anything else. I wanted her to do WHATEVER SHE NEEDED to be able to move forward.

    I wish you had been able to hold your daughter, and smell her, and whisper to her and cuddle her and spend as much alone-time with her as you wanted. I'm sorry they didn't make you feel comfortable to ask for that.

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  7. You're not the only one who had to sign at the bank. Normally (I guess), when you sign the Relinquishment, I would think it would go at a slow pace, and I would've gotten to take a deep breath before and after each line I signed and dated. However, by the time everyone got to the adoption agency, and everyone was ready to sign, it was 4:50, and we had to get to the bank by 5:00 to use their notary. So, instead of a long walk down the plank, we flew down the road, ran into the bank, and signed the papers so quickly I was dazed when it was over.

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  8. I just found your blog--so not really sure where you are at this point in your journey. I will be reading more to find out. Your post here was very moving and honest.

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