So this past weekend, I attended my first adoption event. Can I just say WOW!!!? Southwest Regional Conference for Families Supporting Adoption put on a two day event to share the positive side of adoption. What an amazing experience! If you follow me on Facebook, you know I have had plenty of great things to say about the people I met, the stories I heard, and the deep appreciation I have of the people who worked so hard to put it all together. There were so many positive experiences, and valuable lessons, and tons of great things there. And in all honesty, the BEST cake I have ever tasted. Major high fives to whomever made it!!!
Hopefully I'll pop up on some other blogs with my wonderful shiny, happy views of the whole thing. I don't want to write a "play by play" post because those are popping up everywhere, and I am a lousy narrator. And in no way, shape, or form, do I wish this post to take away from everyone's hard work and effort. Here, on my personal blog, I am going to talk about the personal revelations that I had. The little epiphany's that I had over the course of the weekend.
When the class schedule came out, I scoured over every class, looking for the one I felt would give me the most answers. When I saw "Communicating and Negotiating with Your Adoptive Couple", my heart did little flip flops. For those who know me, you KNOW I needed this class. Recently, my not-so-open couple suggested a visit, and I was elated. Not wanting to repeat the "Bank of America Notary Signing" incident, or the "Let's have strangers look at us like we're crazy in the Bagel Shop" visit, I suggested that perhaps they could come to my home for lunch. Casual, calm, nothing formal, and most importantly of all, private. Privacy so that I can ask the questions that are eating me alive. Privacy, so that I can FINALLY snap a picture of me with the baby. Privacy, so that I can try to work out a picture/letter schedule that works for both of us. That should have been easy considering that L* and M* are such privacy freaks. And yet, it's not. Late Thursday night (right before the conference), I received an email telling me that they would NOT come visit here, but that a public park was fine. Needless to say, I blew it. I am still livid. And I am NOT going to a park...people deadly allergic to bees have no interest in playing outside. So I went to the conference, trying to smile and be happy for it, but carrying such a huge disappointment upon my shoulders. Hoping against hope, that this one class was truly going to teach me how to negotiate with my couple. Praying that there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Wishing that the Holy Grail would be in that class. Fingers, toes, and all crossed for some answers.
None if it was there. When I heard the couple teaching the class tell their story, I was excited. They too had a birthmother who thought she wanted little to no contact afterwards. She too changed her mind about it, leaning towards a far more open adoption. I thought, "THIS IS IT! THEY'LL KNOW!!!!". But they didn't. Their birthmom changed her mind at the hospital. I changed mine in month seven. They missed the delivery and she had a full day with the baby in the hospital before they were allowed to come. Mine were in the delivery room, and M* cut the cord. I never even got to hold her because they wouldn't put her down, and I was so out of it, I never asked. They have a close, loving relationship. I am at the level of a third cousin, twice removed...thought of only when it is convenient or when a dear friend chooses to make an attempt to help me open it up. They couldn't answer how to negotiate or communicate, because when she asked, they answered. What she wanted, she got. They went to the light side, mine went to the dark. The situations weren't the same. They said that their birthmother was on the younger side, and kind of looked at them as mother and father figures. I got upset, because in my situation, we are all full grown adults...we should act better than that (which was the point I was trying to make when I broke out with "crack whore"). At one point, I freaked out...made a weepy ass of myself...and still did not find the answer I wanted. But what I did find was clarity.
Aaahh...sweet clarity. I love you and I hate you. You teach me that the answer I want is not necessarily the answer that's needed. What I walked away from that class with, other than a headache and really puffy eyes, was that the only place I was ever going to find the answers to my problems, was in L* and M*. And "at this time" (their single most used phrase), they don't have any. They may never have any. They may NEVER educate themselves to learn that their actions are killing me, and will possibly do some damage to Lauren at some point as well. But there's no way to know, there's no way to tell, and nothing will change until THEY are ready to.
The second biggest lesson I learned was a tough one. It is easy to blame others for your suffering, and much harder to realize the suffering you cause to others. When we arrived home after the conference, I was telling Perr about the disappointment of the class, and he FREAKED. Not just kind of freaked out....major freak out, and in front of Kelsey, none the less. I was SO SO SO embarrassed. And then I stepped back, realized that he was not only talking about adoption....he was making valid points. And from the rant if all rants, I had yet another epiphany...
Building another person's family should not destroy my own.
(Pretty profound, huh? I am going to write a post in a few days titled that. I truly have a lot to say about it. Just not now.....)
And as with all lessons in life, it should have been common sense, and yet it wasn't. As I listened to him rant and rave about all the time I have spent in the last two years staring at the Internet to find answers to questions that have no answers, and about his concern as to who was going to step up and advocate for the three motherless children we have here, and about how much pain and suffering I have passed on from the pain and suffering I have gone through....aaaahhhhh.....damn you clarity! You showed me yet again what a clear mind can do.
I have plenty, plenty more to say, but as part of my "recovery program", I have solemnly sworn not to sit in front of this computer all day, so I will come back to it. I have deleted myself from Adoption Voices, so you can find me here, or on FB. I may in fact be entering a new chapter in this adoption journey of mine, and at this time, I really don't know which direction I will go. But I'll be back. Blogs are forever....and I love you all.