Friday, July 18, 2008

I Wonder....

....If my Natural Mom really DID love me. Like REALLY love me. The way a Mom is supposed to love her child. Or, like Juno, did she just view me as a "ball of cells", an "it"? I have seen more than one teenager get pregnant and choose to parent her child. I have seen these same teenagers become young adults almost instantaneously as they look into the eyes of their innocent and helpless newborn baby! Babies do miraculous things to those young women so many consider too young, too immature, to poor... So I just wonder if the same was true for MY Mom? Did her life and priorities change when I was born? Did she truly love me with that same love that I see these young women, who were equally not ready to be parents, give to their babies?

....If my Natural Mom made the decision to relinquish me in her own time, in her own way, on her own terms. Was she coerced? Convinced that she was failing me by some government bureaucracy? Was I taken away by cover of darkness? Dragged out of her arms as she pleaded for one more chance? Or did she just throw her hands up in surrender and relish the thought of a future without the burden of ME? What was that day like for her? For me? Were we happy? Sad? Overwhelmed? Relieved?

....What happened my first 2 years of life, in which my Mom chose to parent me. Was I a good baby? A happy baby? Did I cry a lot? Did I make her life stressful? Did she nurse me? Hug me? Hold me? Tickle me? Did we giggle with one another and make each other smile? Did I know her as Mommy? Who was she to me, and who was I to her?

....About my personality, my character traits, my talents, my looks, my history. Who do I look like? Who do I take after? Where did I get my musical talents? Where did I get my red hair and freckles? Why am I shy, quiet, introverted? Was my personality formed through nature or nurture? Am I anxious, fearful, worried as a result of my adoption and those things that happened later in my life or as a result of heredity? Do I love to laugh, play, have fun because I was born with those genes or because the parents who raised me did so in a carefree, fun-loving manner?

....If my Mom thinks about me, wants to know me, told anyone about me. Did she move on with her life? Did she graduate from High School? College? Did she have other children? Get married? Divorced? Married again? Is she even alive? Has she tried looking for me? If I were to find her would she welcome me into her life and her family or would she request no future contact? Where is she? Who is she? Is she still my Mom or is she just a woman who happened to give birth to me 34 years ago and has since forgotten about that part of her life?

....If I have any siblings. Do they know about me? Were they too relinquished for adoption never to be known or heard from again?

....About my grandparents. Do they know about me? Did they try to help raise me? Did they encourage my Mom to parent? Or did they lean her toward relinquishment? Did they love me and spoil me the way grandparents do or was I a burden to the entire family?

....About my Natural Dad. Did he EVER know about me? Did he care? Where is he? Who is he? What happened? Does he think about me or has he long since forgotten I ever existed?

....Why? Soooo many why's they cannot even be covered in this single post. Why was I relinquished? Why after 2 years rather than immediately after I was born? Why did my Mom not fight to keep me, to raise me, to love me?

The WONDER of it makes my head spin and daily brings tears to my eyes! Will I ever learn the answers to my questions? Or will I be left to wonder? I guess, as with so many other questions in our lives...only time will tell........................

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What It Means to Be Adopted

I used to think it meant love - an amazing love shown to me both by my Natural Mom and by my a-parents. I used to think it meant chosen and special - a precious gift meant-to-be for a family longing desperately for a child to call their own. I used to think it meant happiness, joy, laughter, and fun - things I never would have felt were I not adopted. I used to think it meant honor and privilege - I received something those less fortunate than I never had the opportunity to experience - the love of a family who truly wanted me and who was more capable, thanks to maturity, marriage, and money, of caring for me than the adolescent who gave birth to me.

I used to think a lot of warm, fuzzy thoughts about being adopted. And sure, many people might still argue that those things listed above are still true. But as I've aged and as I entered the arena of adoption for the 2nd time in my life (this time by choice) I've learned that being adopted means SO much more than what I used to think.

Being adopted means...

Losing my family
Losing my history, both personal AND medical
Losing my identity with people who look like me, sound like me, SMELL like me, act like me
Losing the right to MY own documents, including a factual Birth Certificate naming the woman who gave birth to me as my mother
Burdening others with my own desire to know more and have more
Searching not only for answers about my life prior to my adoption, but also searching for who I am and who I might yet become
Guilt for wanting more and for not always feeling grateful to my a-parents for rescuing me from a life "on the streets"
Fear of hurting the people I love including my husband, my daughter, my a-Dad, my Natural Mom
Fear of the unknown and of what I might find should I ever choose to search
Looking at my daughter every day KNOWING that someday, if not already, she too will experience these same feelings of loss, depression, sadness, loneliness, pain, heartache, grief, shame, self-loathing, disappointment, guilt, and fear

No, adoption has not ruined my life. My life is a roller coaster. There are ups and there are downs, as with anyone's life, whether they were adopted or not. Some days I hurt more than others and experience more negatives than positives when viewing my life as an adoptee. Other days I carry on barely spending a moment's thought on adoption.

It's a double-edged sword, really. I once wrote that I have chosen to not let my adoption define who I am. I have now come to the conclusion that I am, in reality, the person that I am today because I was adopted. I LIVE adoption. I BREATHE adoption. I AM adoption. I see it, hear it, KNOW it every time I look in the mirror, every time I look at my daughter. I love who I am, what I have become. I thank adoption for that. I hate how I feel, what I think. I thank adoption for that, too.