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, October 13, 2010

Clarity from the FSA Conference.

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.

12 comments:

  1. I love you! I just sent you a fb message. xo

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  2. And with that, you learn another great lesson. Sometimes listening can be the answer. As a witness to what you speak, I am so proud of you for taking the words that were spoken and learning from them. I will admit that it was an uncomfortable situation to witness, but in all the rant that happened there were valid points that were made. You took those points and helped yourself heal a little more. You took those points and opened up to see another opinion of what was happening around you. You took those points to heart and now you are finding out more about yourself, more about your journey.

    It may have been embarrasing to you, but for me it was good to be reminded that I am not alone when it come to matters of the heart! What you and your amazing man had words about is exactly what so many of us forget: that we are left with so many who love us no matter what we have done in life and that they too hurt as much as we do.

    I wish that the pot of gold would have been there for you as well. But in the absence of that pot of gold you got something else. You got clarity from an unlikely source, perhaps one that you did not figure would be so profound, so insightful. I hope that this experience has helped you realize just how much you are loved and appreciated!

    I loved this past weekend. Not only did I get to meet many, many kindered spirits but I also got to meet the real you, the torn you, the loving you that I have fallen for over the internet! Being with you and meeting you in real life was a bright spot in my year and I am so very thankful for the opportunity to spend time with you! And to tell you the truth, I am grateful that I WAS there if for nothing else to help the two of you have that conversation. I think that this will be the beginning of many more thought provoking posts from your brilliant mind. I think you have turned a corner and that hallway that once seemded so dark just may have some soft carpeting beneath your feet to help you balance what is around you. Nice, I just made a corny reference to carpet...how did that happen????

    Love you and love this clarity post!

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  3. I am new to your blog (found it through Kelsey's). I am an adoptive mother working toward an open adoption with my daughter's birthmother. Thank you for being willing to share your experiences, expectations and lessons. I know not all birthmothers are the same or expect the same things, but I hope that through your stories I can gain better insight and be aware of the perspective that birthmothers have. I want to be the best mom I can be for my daughters benifit and for her birthmother. Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable and real.

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  4. This is my first time reading and I'm moved beyond belief. I honestly don't even know what to say beyond - I'll be back.

    But now that sounds like a threat! :)

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  5. I'm sorry about your pain of the lack of openness of your adoption. I call it the "bait and switch" when adoptive parents act like they will do one thing(or whatever you want) and then don't follow through. I think adoptive parents need more education prior to adoption about what it's like to be on the other side and I really have tried as an Adoption Specialist to teach that. I could go on but this is not the place.
    I think you are a hero. I wrote a post about the neat expectant and birth moms I have been lucky enough to know. I'd like to share it with you. http://gfornicoia.blogspot.com/2010/10/heroes.html

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  6. I wish we could have met at the conference! I have heard so many wonderful things about you. I taught the same class to the adoptive couples and stressed the importance of having an open adoption and being honest and truthful about everything. I hope they took some good information from it.

    Norma
    nvillareal.blogspot.com

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  7. the beauty of adoption conferences like this is that they provide a vehicle for this kind of clarity to come ...and come while we are surrounded with support from others that understand where we are truly coming from.

    i hope you end up going to the park anyway ...and i hope you ask them the toughies. i will be cheering for you. and if you want, i can come and wait in the car with an epi pen ready. ;) (and a camera too. i would love to take some pics of you and the babylove.)

    xo

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  8. I'm not sure if my comment came through or not.. stupid blogspot! But.
    AT THIS MOMENT.. I love you! I think I'm falling for Kelsey too! Her comment her made me tear up and I"m looking forward to hearing more about everything that you experienced at the conference and how it's impacting you. AT THIS MOMENT.. I am humbled that you chose me to be one of your Fab Five because you trust that I will never say.. AT THIS MOMENT.. to the emom/bmom that decides to bless me by choosing me. You have touched so many lives and helped so many to learn about this adoption journey and about ourselves while giving use the privelege of learning about you.

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  9. sur·vive
    1. To remain alive or in existence.
    2. To carry on despite hardships or trauma; persevere:
    3. To remain functional or usable:
    4. To cope with (a trauma or setback); persevere after

    Lest you forget, I love you. Again, thank you for showing the world how to pick yourself up. Thank you for being REAL. Thank you for being YOU.

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  10. We can't forget the people that are here while mourning for those that aren't.

    I'm glad your husband ranted and I'm glad you heard. So sorry it's like this for you all.

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  11. i agree with gina- the bait and switch lure- I just want to smack some couples and say... SHE SIGNED THE PAPERS- NOW... BUILD YOUR FRIENDSHIP ON TRUST not FEAR!
    You are right- you have to accept them as they are - hopefully they will realize that Openness is awesome and NOT harmful in your situation.
    Keep on recovering as well! Fab. Post!

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  12. My heart just breaks in a million pieces for you. When I read that you were going to get a visit with your sweet baby girl and get a photo of her I was so excited...and then I saw that you said you blew it. And I feel so sad.

    As an adoptive mother I can tell you that our agreement is semi-open but because of the circumstances of our daughter's adoption (her birth mother had an adoption plan, got talked out of it, and then went back to a plan AFTER parenting for 12 weeks) we are on the record as being open about progressing into a more open adoption plan. At this time our daughter's birth mother isn't sure she can handle it. But as a woman who has 4 biological children I KNOW exactly what she gave me and as long as I'm in charge, she is going to have every opportunity to see our daughter until/unless our daughter says she doesn't want it.

    Now that you know where I stand I hope I could say something else to you that would NOT bring you more pain, but that I pray may help you see another side. It is always BEST to meet at a neutral location and its not very neutral to be at your house and can be intimidating for a couple that is obviously already intimidated and afraid. Where is your social worker in all of this? Some libraries have private conference rooms as do churches that might serve as a more private YET NEUTRAL setting. Is it too late to ask about that?

    I hope your daughters adoptive parents will begin to feel more secure in their role as Lauren's parents and less afraid of what a relationship with you could mean. In our situation our daughter also sees us as "parents" (she is young) and quite honestly, that makes it easier. But to your point that you are all adults----you could impress upon them that you KNOW they are her parents now and that you don't want to usurp their authority but that you are going through a grieving process and it would just mean so much to you if you could a) have a photo b) work out a photo/letter schedule so you don't have to go through life wondering how she is doing. Impress upon them that those things REINFORCE your belief that the choice you made was the very best for your daughter.

    Personally, I think if they are NOT educating themselves they are ultimately doing a disservice to their daughter.

    I would never want our daughter to feel like I threw her birth mother under the bus. Just like I can love 5 children our daughter can (and will) know and love many people. I am her mother. But, lets not kid ourselves, she had a FIRST MOTHER (I prefer that term to birth mother)who gave her life and gave her our family. I would hope that she would have some love and respect for the woman because I sure as heck do!

    I loved what you wrote when you said, "Building another person's family should not destroy my own." I said something along those lines to our social worker. I said, "I can't walk into this adoption knowing I've left a train wreck behind me." In V's situation we helped get her into a program that will ultimately give her the same chance at a full life that she gave our daughter.

    I pray that Lauren's parents will see that it will only benefit their daughter to help you through the grieving process so that later in life when/if she does desire more of a relationship with you----there won't be all this baggage.

    Who knows, Lauren may end up having questions of her own.

    Did I ramble too much? I hope not. I'm just so upset to hear this. But if it helps you at all. Your blog really helped prepare my heart for V.

    I thank you for that. Our whole family does.

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