So recently, when "THE EMAIL" showed up...things changed yet again. I'm not really interested in getting into that at this point, because I really want to showcase all of the things that happened between when it was sent, and when I finally made up my mind on what I thought of it. "At this time", let's just say that there was a HUGE evolution of thought processes and personal growth, and over the course of the month, you'll get to learn all about it. There was an awful lot of emotion behind receiving it, and hearing what those that sent it truly thought. But let's be honest (especially to those of you who know me in "real" life)...I was initially pissed. And even pissed is an understatement.
So into my "secret support group" I went, tears streaming, cheeks red, hands shaking, and I shared it's contents with those closest to me. Initially, almost everyone I love most was pissed with me. And then when the anger wore off, as it always does, some really neat perspectives began to pop up. I will write about the others this month, but here is one of the most interesting...actually sent from another birthmother who has been in a similar situation as I am in now. Here's what she wrote....
"Don't be offended... but I was just wondering... when was the last time you read this?
What changed since then, to you not being happy and at peace with the relationship anymore?
- Learning about how open other adoptions are?
- Comparing L and M to others like your 'fab 5'?
- Getting told over and over how 'If you had placed with me i would treat you blah blah blah/give you blah blah blah'?
- Coveting that which you dont have in comparison to other birthmom stories?
- Have you convinced yourself that THIS wasn't enough after all?
So I sat there and thought about it for a long time. And I reread the post. And I reread the comments. And I rethought the day of the visit...especially on Saturday, when we could have been visiting again...all of the awkward pauses, and how weird the whole setting was, and about how pissed I was the Perr had refused to go with me, and most of all about how it took everything in my power that day not to lean across the table and punch her in the face as hard as I could when she asked me if I was surprised that they had brought the baby.
But instead of reflecting on how I felt about something the year before, I simply focused on the questions in front of me. And thought about if for many days. And thanked her for saying it to me. And above all realized that in between all of the other labels I bestow upon myself, and others bestow upon me...I am now, in addition...a COVETER.
So what are the answers to these tough questions.....lol???
Learning about how open other adoptions are? I walked into adoption uneducated, and managed to find people who were not educated enough either. It is easy to wipe the blame, and say that they knew EXACTLY what they were doing, that they took advantage of my lack of education, that they are horrible monsters....but really? They're just normal people. And they are going to do what feels right to them. But here's where the rub lies for me...I have read the research on the benefits of open adoption. I have read the blogs, listened to some adoptees views on open adoption (both the positive and the negative). I have read the myths...seen the myths dispelled. I have read, and researched, and learned enough to know that we (the four of us) are doing an injustice to her by not offering this to her. And that bothers me. It is perfectly OK in this life to make mistakes...it is not OK (to me) to continue to make them, when there is research or evidence that shows what we are doing by having no relationship is wrong. Old fashioned adoptions are out of date for a reason. I worry a lot about how she is going to take it when she realizes that while lots of other adoptions are happy and healthy, hers is stunted. That fear, or insecurity, or just blinding ignorance is preventing her from having everything that could be available to her.
Comparing L* and M* to Others Like Your Fab 5? I wonder, why intelligent, decent human beings like them cannot take the time to learn about the benefits of open adoption. The people on my Fab 5 are there for a reason. I think each and every one of them is extraordinary in their own way. (Once upon a time it was a Super 7, but two amazing little families have already been made) I don't want to share the reasons why they are on that list right now, because I plan to do a post on each one later this month. But what they all share in common is simple...they all realize Adoption is a long, hard process...and above all else, a journey, not a destination. And they each have taken the time to learn all they can about it, and all of them continue to allow other's viewpoints to help shape their experience.
Getting told over and over how 'If you had placed with me i would treat you blah blah blah/give you blah blah blah'? Surprisingly, this was the only NO answer I could give on her list of questions. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I have now truly seen what desperation will do to a person and their moral standards, and rarely, if ever, will I ever take someone for face value again. I could care less what others would have done...I only care about what mine won't. Even though, that makes it about me...not Lauren, right now. Which is yet another point that she brought up in another conversation...and was a very valid point. And something that I am working on as we speak. (Did I mention adoption is a LONG process of self discovery....)
Coveting that which you dont have in comparison to other birthmom stories? I have a whole list of bloggers I covet. Among them, Rebekkah at Heart Cries. I don't always agree with everything she writes (though I LOVE most of it!) but seeing the first birthday pictures of her son was enough to piss me off enough to wish that I had put "Ability to take fantastic pictures" on my list of traits I was seeking in Adoptive parents. LOL. And she's not even a birthmom...she's an Adoptive Momma who feels torn at times between the joy she lives, and the grief that it has caused in her son's birthmomma. She actually cares. And writes about it. And I covet the heck out of her for that. There are many, many others that have more openess than I could ever dream of, and there are others who will never know half of what I know about Lauren. It's a double edged sword of sorts...I am thankful for the little bit I have, and hateful for the whole lot I dont. But yes, the more stories I learn, the more I wish I had a similar situation, and the more angry I get. The trick is working through the anger, and then finding peace and clarity from it. Accepting the things you have, and the things you cannot change. And realizing when to step back from things so that you don't become bitter.
Have you convinced yourself that THIS wasn't enough after all? At the end of my July post regarding would I do it over again I wrote this..."And knowing what I know now (referring to all I now know about open adoptions and the benefits for everyone involved)...if they truly wanted me to disappear, and not be a part of their lives, then I would have chosen differently. There are many healthy, productive open adoptions out there. I wish I had known about them when I was making my adoption plan. If I had, I would have insisted on nothing less, and if L & M were not on board, then no amount of love for them would have made them the right choice for me."
Imagine how heartbreaking it was when the words came through the computer that simply read..."When we first looked into adoption, long before we met you...we never envisioned having a relationship with the birth family."
But that my friends, is another post.....
In the meantime, I gotta work on the simple commandment...
Thou shalt not covet.