Thursday, May 24, 2007

No Greater Act of Love…Or So We are Led to Believe

I entitled my blog “No Greater Act of Love” because IMO the single greatest act of love that I have ever experienced was the day my b-Mom decided to place me for adoption. It’s not a moment I remember or even care to remember and I pray it’s not a moment that haunts HER, though I fear it might. I consider my relinquishment an act of love because that is what I was told, which giving them the benefit of the doubt, might also have been what my AP’s were told. Poor, neglected Irene…left alone in her crib for hours and days on end, until…poof…one day my fairy Godmother came along and whispered in my b-Mom’s ear that I deserved better. That she could not handle the responsibility, so why not give me to someone who could?

I have so many mixed emotions as I think back to that day, that moment in time. How was she feeling? Why, after 2 years, did she make this decision? What circumstances in her life changed? Was this an act of love, an act of desperation, an act of coercion? Who did she turn to for help? Was there anyplace for her to go? Why…whywhy? So many questions yet who is there to answer them?

As I have gotten older and reconsidered my naïve acceptance of the “truth” I have begun to wonder whether this really was an act of love. Certainly as far as my AP’s are concerned it was…for them. They loved me the moment they set eyes on me. They couldn’t imagine loving another child as much as they loved me. And you know what…I don’t doubt this for a second. And what about for me? Well…if I take the story I was told as fact then yes…it was an act of love. I was neglected for 2 years. When my AP’s adopted me I couldn’t talk and at 2 years of age barely tipped the scale at 20 pounds. I needed a family not necessarily for love or even material things…I needed a family for SURVIVAL!!! So it was an act of love in THAT respect.

But then again…a child loves unconditionally. At 2 years of age, regardless of the hell I might have lived in I am sure that I was very emotionally attached to and in love with my b-Mom. And what did leaving her mean and do to me? Did I not talk for my first year in my AP’s home because I was in shock from the trauma of being ripped from the only home I knew? And what about my b-Mom? I now know that there is no possible way she viewed this as an act of love. No matter how much she felt I deserved better, losing me after trying desperately to care for me for 2 years must have torn her heart and soul in two! She may have only been 16 when she finally made that decision, but she was ONLY 16! Perhaps, for the first time in her life, I taught her what it was like to be loved and depended on, and in the blink of an eye, in the single beat of a heart, I was gone. Out of her life, never to be seen or heard from again.

Yes…I was loved by many people but the act of adoption itself is not one shrouded in love. It is one to be reflected on and learned from, and for many people involved, viewed as an act of pain, heartache, grief, and especially LOSS! And to think that I once considered this an “act of love!”


Possum said...

oh my goodness - your first mum was only 16 when she relinquished you - and you were 2 then????
oh my goodness.
Wow - that is enough right there to mess with your brain a great deal.
Your first mum was only a child when she had you.
A child that is only 3 years older than my own daughter.
Sending you HUGE hugs sweety.
Take things REALLY slow - and look after you. K?
Poss. xxxx

Jeanette said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am a mom of three girls who came into our family thru adoption. Your blog has been helpful as my oldest girl is 14 and is processing alot of her adoption thoughts. I am in awe as I listen to how she views things and works to process things. I have learned to totally respect how she is feeling and love her exactly where she is at and she has taught me so much. We recently had a discussion at her b-mom. She was adopted at 1 day old and I am in contact with her b-mom and have pictures...she gets bday presents and cards. Her b-mom is amazing...she was 19 at her birth and not ready to be a mom. My daughter for now is having a hard time loving her because she feels as if she was "sold" or neglected and is confused why she had sex before marriage. I shared with her how I feel but told her that she needs to feel what she feels. I have to say that undoubtedly I believe that the love involved in adoption is "No Greater Love" as Jesus mentions when he was willing to lay down his life for us. I am constantly reminded that each adopted child was a choice for LIFE in the midst of a ton of pain. There are over 1.5 million abortions a year in the US alone...most young girls choose death and abortion....your b-mom chose LIFE. Maybe she thought she could parent and was not able...but at least she chose LIFE and me - that is no greater love. So - I think if society looked at b-moms and b-dads differently and the whole adoption process - they would see the sacrifice and pain associated with it and see love. I think the b-mom even sacrifices her reputation to those around her and to her b-child as she makes a decision for LIFE and a family thru adoption. Not many people are willing to do that - most choose abortion over their reputation. ...and the older I get - the more I realize that true love involves sacrifice and pain for the good of another - just how Jesus loved us. Thanks for sharing!!