Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

pt 2 is on the draft table

Just a note to say that part 2 of my how to make adoption more human is in the works. I am awaiting permission to use a quote from a special friend of mine.

 Should be ready to post by tomorrow.

September 3, 2006 Posted by | Hello World | 1 Comment

Adoption: Is there a way to make it human? Pt:1 A look at who profits

 I’ve had something rolling around in my head for a long while now. It concerns my feelings about adoption. (What a shock!)

Because of my experience with adoption, I have to say that I hate, HATE it! I really want to say that all Adoption is bad! You will never know how much I want to denounce the whole adoption industry. And it is an Industry. Then logic steps in. I have to tell you, sometimes I really hate logic. I know that it is not possible to eliminate all adoptions or the need for adoptions in some cases. I realize this because of my ill formed logic. And that realization makes me angry. However, I have to live with this logic now and resign my thinking within it. So swirls of thoughts of how adoption could be made to be more human roll around in my head.  So to tell you my theory of how adoption should be, lets start with the basics of how it is. Who are the participants of this play we call adoption? There is the mother, who will all to soon be dubbed by the industry as nothing more than the birth mother. Then we have the potential adoptive parent/S (who perhaps are a couple who desperately want to parent a child but for what ever reason are unable to have one of their own.) and then there is the adoption industry. (The lawyers, adoption agencies, and CPS) And unfortunately, thought of last, always said to be first, but truly thought of last, is the child.Out of these (players) in this huge play we call adoption, who stands to benefit? The mother? NOT EVEN A LITTLE! I don’t care what anyone says, the mother who looses her child to adoption does not ever benefit! Even when she buys into the “go on with your life” hype, and finishes school and becomes a successful person in society. She did not benefit from the loss of her child. Is there one person who can prove that if she had kept that child and had some support that she could not have achieved the very same things while parenting her own child as she did without her child? Show me proof! There is no way to prove or disprove this, because we will never know what would have happened to that mother if she had chosen/ been given a chance to parent her own child!

Of course, everyone knows that each decision, large or small or HUGE effect our lives in ways that we sometimes don’t even see. But even though if that mother had parented her child instead of chosen adoption, her life would have been different, prove to me that it might not have been even better! Prove it, I dare you! I can tell you with straight up confidence that it would have been better on some levels. Because she would have never suffered the agonizing pain of loosing her child. And I don’t care what anyone says, you are not going to make me believe that there is any woman who had her child adopted that hasn’t suffered untold horrors of pain. I don’t care what she says, or does, she is in pain at least parts of her life and for the rest of her life. Even if her pain is hidden by denial, it is there and it is real and it does effect her, sometimes without her own knowledge. So I think it is safe to say that the mother does NOT benefit from adoption.

So that takes us to the next player in our little play. The potential adoptive parents. For the purpose of this paper, I am going to say that the potential adoptive parents are a successful, very loving couple who desperately want to share their over-flowing love with a child but for what ever medical reason have not been able to have children of their own. I’m talking if there is a such thing as a completely successful adoption, this couple would be the adoptive parents. If they receive/ “get” a child through adoption, they will love that child unconditionally and nurture the child with love and honesty. Does this couple stand to benefit from the adoption? Well, yes.. In many ways…They would “get” a child to share their love and life with. They could have a “family” that they so desperately want, even if it is not a traditional family it is a family. But on the other hand, they have some issues that they will have to deal with, (or ignore) throughout this child’s life. How do they balance their love and their desire to call this child “their own” with truth and honesty that this child is of someone else’s womb, someone else’s blood?

If their’s is an open adoption, which I believe should be the only type of adoptions where any of the biological family of the child lives, then how does this couple balance the openness with their child to the child’s heritage and their own fears that somehow they may loose this child that they have come to love so much? How do they get past their fears and do what is best for the child, which is for the child to know who his parents/ and biological family are?

How do you tell a child, I am your real mother, and this woman who gave birth to you and who loves you is your real mother also?

 If nothing else, no matter what any adoptive parent might say, adoption is not just like having your own child! I know that is harsh, but it is the plain fact of life truth! And if the adoptive parents choose to ignore the fact that this child was adopted. That this child they love so much is of someone else’s blood, then they will pay for that mistake later. When the child grows up and learns of their “lies” by omission they will suffer the anger and heart break of their child.

Yes, the adoptive parents benefit, but not without a price.

Here we will get out of the original order of “players” as I listed them. Lets skip over to the child. Again for the purpose of this paper, we’ll pretend that the child is in what would be considered the “perfect” adoptive situation. We won’t even go into the many many children who are placed in homes where they are abused. For this writing, I will only be talking about the child who is adopted by a successful, loving couple who would give anything for this child’s happiness. And for all the wonderful things that the child’s adoptive parents provide to nurture and love the child, it can make it appear that this child has indeed benefited from the adoption. But is this true? Tell me how you come to the conclusion that this child’s life has indeed “benefited” become better, because he was adopted rather than raised by his own mother?

There is no way to know, after the fact, if the child truly did have a better life with the adopted family, than they would have had if they had been parented by their own mother. I assure you, the child did indeed have a “different” life. And hopefully, it was a good life, but was it better? There is no true way to measure this. In fact, I feel so confident in this thought process, that I would say that I believe that in almost 100 percent of adoptions, where the first parents still live, there is no one that can prove the child’s life is better for not remaining with that family.

Even in cases where drug or alcohol addiction was involved, which is what the majority of society wants to believe is the major cause for adoption. (Even though the numbers of addicted parents in adoption is surprisingly low.) Who can honestly say that if the parent had received the proper help and support that they couldn’t have beat the addiction and learned to be a great parent.

You say that the proof is in what happens after the adoption? So the parent who was addicted to some type of substance not only continued in their addiction, but got worse after the adoption? Well, to that I say Of course the addiction got worse! If I had been an addict when I lost my children, I am sure my grief would have sent me sliding down into the rabbit hole so deep, I would have never found my way out!

So did the child benefit from adoption, I am sure that there is no way to know for sure. I do know that there is a loss for the child. Even the “happy adoptees” as some have been so pleasantly dubbed, I believe have some underling issues that they may not even acknowledge. Studies have shown that if not as a child, the adopted adult has a high chance of suffering many physiological ailments. Such as depression, low self esteem, or fear of abandonment issues. Is it really any surprise that so many adopted individuals not only succeed but excel in many areas? Could it be that they are always pushing themselves to be better, so that they will be deemed “worthy”?  

This life they were given was chosen by so many other people who played “god” to make the so called perfect life. Their identity was stolen from them for reasons they could never truly understand and they were raised by people who they had nothing in common with. No biological bond, that is. Even if some of their personality traits were formed by nurture, there were still the nature side of them that they had no one to look at and say, “Oh, that is where I get that from”

There are many other issues that I have seen from the adopted adults writings that I could site as proof that there was loss for them in the adoption. More issues that show that even if they did have great parents who treated them with love and honesty, there was loss… And no way to prove that there was gain. Let me just say here and now, that if you choose to look at some of the reunions that went “wrong” And say that is proof that they were better off without their biological parents. I, again, say no this is not proof! You can not judge a mother after loosing her child to adoption by the same standards that you would judge her before that loss. It changes you, forever. A mother who chooses/ or is forced into adoption for her child will never be the same again.

20 years later, you can not look at how she lives her life, or reacts to that child when found and say, “See, she wouldn’t have made a good mother.” Because she is not the same woman that she was when she was pregnant with that child. Sometimes these changes can be worked with and the reunion with her, now adult child, will go well. But sometimes these changes are so powerful that there is no way for the woman to go back in time and remember the woman she once was. With that, I think, that I still stand by what I said that you can not prove that any child had a better life because of adoption.

Now we come to the adoption industry. This industry includes any agency or anyone who acts as a third party to help facilitate adoption. Including, but perhaps not limited to; Adoption agencies, Adoption lawyers and CPS, (child protective services).

Do they, any of them, benefit from adoption? Well, I don’t believe that there is anyone of these that do not benefit! If I’m wrong, and there truly are some agencies that receive no profit from being third party to adoptions, please feel free to tell me about it and site the proof. Lawyers and adoption agencies receive money, in most cases, if not all, from the adoptive parents, to help them find and facilitate the adoption of a child. It is quite expensive to become a parent this way! So much so that many agencies give the prospective parents ideas of how to raise the money. There are even government grants available to many people to help them choose adoption. This high price is not only for expenses of the adoption itself, it is also for the profit of the agency or lawyer involved in the process.

And when the adoption is final, the agency or lawyer’s job is, in most cases, finished. They can then, in a sense, take the money and run. They never have to deal with the mess that the adoption leaves in it’s wake.

Now as for CPS. You may be asking just how do they profit from adoption. They are not allowed to take money for profit from the adoptive parents, right? Well, here; You may find answers that will surprise you. The federal government gives state government grants for each adoptions that take place out of foster care! This is to encourage the CPS to work harder to find permanent placement for children who are bounced around in the system. Sounds like a good idea, yes? But lets take a closer look. Suddenly, we have the CPS pushing for adoption in most cases and not perusing the possibility of reunification of the family when possible. The “what’s best for the child” goes in second place while adoption is always considered first. (let me just say that it is my strong belief that adoption should, in every case, be the last option, not the first.)

In many states, social workers working for CPS are even given bonuses for cases that they get the child placed in an adoptive home. Now, we have social workers who are not only working very hard to adopted out the children already in foster care. (instead of working to help the parents reunite with their child), now they are working to create new cases where a child is taken from their home and placed in a new home for adoption sake. Some of these new cases are from homes where there is NO abuse. Most are cases where the parents/ or parent is poor and uneducated and has no clue of their legal rights. Their families, their lives, are destroyed by a system that was created to protect the very child that they are destroying! And most of the social workers feel justified because they took the child out of a poor, struggling family and placed them in a home with people who have had education and well paying careers.

So yes, even the CPS stands to and does profit by adoption.

So looking at this information, do you still believe that adoption is “for the child’s best interest”?

So this is much longer than I anticipated. I will have to break it up into parts. So the in my next post I will go into my beliefs on when and how adoptions should take place. And eventually, I will tell my ideas for viable alternatives for adoptions

September 1, 2006 Posted by | Adoption | 3 Comments

I want my lost years back!

  I’ve been in and out of depression all month. R’s birthday has been really hard on me this year. Yesterday I broke down at work..I never do that. But yesterday I did. It was this family. The cutest family a mother and three kids. The oldest was a girl who looked to be about 5 years old. And another girl who was probably 2 or 3 and a baby. And I thought, yep, that was my family before I lost them. And I had to run to the office and cry.

I’m glad that I worked Tuesday so that I can be off today. I just don’t think I could function at work today.

My husband went to Florida on a business trip yesterday. I had to take him to the airport and wait for him to be searched to make sure they let him take his lap top. He is only going to be gone for one day, he’ll be back tonight. So to tell you the truth, I was feeling that this was best for me. I really need to be alone today and having him out of town seemed like the best thing.

But his flight was planned by someone else at work and he didn’t have much info. In fact, when we went to the airport, all he knew was the flight no. And the time the plane was leaving. He knows he will be back tonight at 7 something.. So I left the airport without knowing what time he would arrive in Florida, but with the promise from him that he would call when he did.

Well, 4 hours later, still no call. I called him several times and his phone was still turned off. I was desperately trying to stay calm and finally told Dad that I was going to bed. I sat in the middle of the bed with the phone in my lap trying to remember what the flight no. Was on the plane that I had so casually put my husband on. I was even flipping through the news stations to make sure that I would hear of any terrible flight tragedies. My thoughts were that if I lost my husband on the day before R’s birthday I would totally loose my mind. I was in tears by the time the phone rang.

He had, of course, had a lay over. Somewhere… He told me, but I didn’t hear his words, just the sound of his voice. That is all I needed to hear. He called me as soon as he was off the plane. He said he knew I was worried. He knows me too well, I guess.

After I talked to him, I laid down and cried myself to sleep. When I woke this morning, I, for just a second, thought that I was still dreaming. I thought that what if the last 18 years had been just a dream.. All of it….and somewhere out there in the “real” world were my two little girls waiting for mommie to get up.. I really wanted it to be so.

But of course, that was only a second. Then I realized that it wasn’t a dream. And it had been 18 years since I’ve seen all three of my kids. That the baby boy I had, really was born 18 years ago after I had lost my two precious girls and I had lost him also. And today my R is 23 years old. 23! And maybe she still lives in Texas somewhere and is on her own. She’s a grown woman now and I’m still stuck in the past…

 It really hasn’t been 18 years since I’ve seen R. I got to see her when she was 16. I met her adoptive mother and her new adoptive sisters. And she even called me for a while when she went home to Texas.

But then, it stopped. When she was 17 it all stopped. And I haven’t heard from her since. I have no way of knowing what happened to her after that. I know she was fighting with her adoptive mom and dad. She moved out of their house the last time she called. I wonder if she made up with them. I wonder if she had to be alone in that huge world. The world is too big for a 17 year old to be alone. I wonder if she made it to college. I wonder if she’s ok??

All I can do now, is what I did when I finally figured out that I was really awake in my own “world” That was to say “Happy Birthday, R” to the empty bedroom.

Last year wasn’t this hard. Or the year before. Not even the last few years. Why is this year so hard?! I want to meet my kids again! But more than that, I want the impossible, I want all those lost years back! I want the last 18 years to be erased. I want memories of my kids growing up! I want to have R and her sister and brother here for her birthday today! With cake and ice cream and presents! And happy memories of them all growing up together, with me!

August 24, 2006 Posted by | Adoption, if only, my angels | 4 Comments

A letter to R.

Dearest R.

Happy Birthday my sweet daughter. I so wish I could be in your life this year as you embark on another year of your life. I’ve missed so many of your birthdays. I missed being with you on each and every one of them. I miss you so much. I want you to know that. I miss you! I love you!

For your birthday this year, I wish I could give you something that you’ve expressed a great desire for. But of course, if there is anything that you have wanted greatly, I do not know what it might be and I have no way of getting anything to you. So I write this letter, in hopes that someday you will receive it.

It’s not good enough. I know that there is no way the written words in this letter can be good enough to be the present that I want to give you. But it is all I have right now. I assure you, my whole heart goes into this letter, in hopes that you could somehow feel my love for you, through the words.

My dear sweet oldest daughter. I’m sorry for not being there for you all these years. If I could take back all these years and change it!!! Oh how I would fight for you, if I had known then, what I know now. R I never, never wanted to “give you up” Never! I didn’t know how to fight.

You have to understand, I was raised to believe that people in “authority” are always on the side of right. I believed that if anyone like me, just an average every day person, were to try to fight those people on “high” the average person would always loose! I believed the social worker when she told me I’d never get you and your sister back. I believed all the lies she told me. I thought if I tried to fight “them” I would loose and just make life harder on you and L. There was even a time, when I thought “they” must be right. I did, for a minute, believe that I was not good enough to be your mother. I did, for a minute, believe that you’d never have a happy life with me. I did. I’m sorry for that also!

In the end, I chose what I believed to be the lesser of two evils. I thought there were only two options for you and L. One was to be in foster care, shuffled from one home to the next until you were 18 or I could give you a chance at being adopted into one home where you’d be loved and taken care of. Ether way, I was lost. I believed that. It was the hardest thing I ever did in my life! To sign those papers, giving up my rights as your mother, almost killed me. I want you to know that, because I want you to know that you were never, never unwanted. Never unloved. Never did I believe that I would have a better life without you. Never!

I love you more than you’ll ever know. I want you to know, I am still here, for you. Always. I don’t have all the answers, but I think I have some of the answers you may need and I want to give them to you. I hope some day we can be… Together… In some way. In what ever way that would help you.

I wish I could say something profound that would make everything all make sense. But I can’t. All I can say is Happy Birthday, R, I love you.

Love mom.

There is more to this letter, but I edited it out because it was just too personal to share with the world. I hope someday I can share it with my daughter. I miss her so much. The pain is like the beginning and I can’t handle it any better now than I could 18 years ago. Are birthdays easier when you are in reunion? Maybe I’ll be in reunion before R’s next birthday. If I am, will it be easier? Will I still feel this crushing weight on my heart? Will I still want to drive into the brick wall in hopes of ending that pain?

Or will I finally be able to celebrate R’s birthday with her?

August 19, 2006 Posted by | if only, my angels, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

All I have of my daughter… Memories…..

As I said in previous post, this year, birth months have been particularly hard on me. With R’s birthday rapidly approaching, I find my memories of her penetrating my every waking and sleeping moment. The bitter sweet memories of the child I had and lost seem to be somehow tangible. As if I could reach out and hold her in my arms again. Sometimes, like last night, I do reach out in my sleep for her, only to find the motions of my physical body wakes me from my sleep and R is no longer there, reaching for Mommy.

So this morning, I would like to write some of those memories of the brief time that I had this wonderful child in my life. She is no longer a child, I know, 23.. Wow, it’s hard to comprehend that my daughter is going to be 23 years old this very month. While I am forever locked in her childhood, because she was so violently ripped out of my embrace and I was never allowed to see her grow into womanhood.

Even though I did get to see her once as a teen, my dreams are always of that five year old girl who I so long to hold again and make it all better. I wonder how this will play out when (I no longer allow myself to say if, it is when) I do finally get to meet her as an adult. Will the five year old girl grow up in my dreams? How will this happen, when I never got to see the process of that growth? Maybe my dreams will just suddenly change from five to adult.

But as for now, my memories are all I have. My memories of that beautiful baby growing so quickly into such a beautiful child, inside and out. I was always amazed, with both of my girls, how quickly their personalities seem to start forming. When they were just babies, they started showing their own unique personality that grew with their physical and mental growth.

Even as a tiny baby, when R was first learning to focus on objects other than mommy, showed signs of amazement of the world around her. That “amazement” never went away, it only grew into a wonderment for all the beauty she saw in almost everything and everyone. Seeing the world a new, through her eyes, helped me see beauty that I had forgotten.  With nature, R saw beauty to be equal in a fresh new rose bloom as she did with a weed that had popped up through the cracks in the sidewalk. All of God’s earth was beautiful in her eyes. “Look mommy, pretty!” was a statement I heard from her many times a day.

It was no different for her with the people and animals she saw ether. I had a hard time teaching that child about the danger of stray animals and strange people, because all she saw was the beauty of life. On any of our outings, when a stranger would stop to talk to her, as people often do to young children, R would stare at them intently, drinking in every nuance of their physical appearance and their mannerisms. No matter what they appeared like to others, to R they were “pretty” just because they were alive.

When someone said, “My aren’t you just the prettiest little girl.”

She would reply, ” No,You pretty.” and some would engage her in a mock debate over who was the prettiest. She’d always win, as most adults are busy with life and can’t out argue a toddler. LOL

 R also had some of my personality traits, that she took and happily bent to suit her own personal beliefs. She had my sensitivity. She would just as easily cry for the poor spider that was stepped on as she did the stray dog that got ran over by a car. She got her feelings hurt easily as well, like me. That was unfortunate because of the way she saw the world. If someone dared to disagree with her about the weed being “pretty” she would be heart broken that they couldn’t see it’s beauty.

She was only four years old the first time she ever saw a homeless person. We were grocery shopping and he was laying on a broken down box in front of the store, sleeping. She asked me why he was sleeping there, why didn’t he go home to sleep?

I told her, in the best way I could explain to a four year old, that he didn’t have a home. She cried. I cried. We cried all the way through the grocery store. I let her pick out a few things to give to him to eat in the store and along with the pre made sandwiches, which was something she loved so naturally she picked them, she chose some candy bars and a teddy bear. She said the teddy bear would help him feel safer.

She often, even as a baby, would try to mock me in motherhood. Even before her little sister was born, R seemed to be the “older” sister. She would love on her dolls and toys and feed her toy cars when “they were hungry” and teach them things that I had taught her. Like the alphabet song. Even though she had trouble with the proununciation, I would catch her teaching her stuffed animals and correcting them if “they missed a part” with so much patience. That patience was not reserved for her imaginary friends. When her sister came into her life, she showed the same patience with her. She never lost her temper with her baby sister, never. It was amazing to me how they never seemed to disagree at all. Maybe because they were so young, or maybe because it wasn’t in R’s nature to disagree. She couldn’t stand to see other’s hurt.

R was not, however, a good child to learn from in the sence that she was the first and I had no clue how to teach her some things. When her little sister was born, it was like I was still a first time mother. Because most of what R had to learn in the early days of childhood, she learned almost on her own, with little help from me.

Not that I didn’t want to help her, she just didn’t need that much help. As in winging her from the bottle. When the time came that I thought she was ready, apparently, she thought so too. I put away all her bottles and she never cried for one, she would just gladly except her sippy cup. I didn’t know that you could wing them slowly by only allowing a bottle at bed time for a while. And R never complained about it at all. Never had trouble going to sleep. It really was just that easy.

Or potty training, Just before I lost my girls, I was struggling with ‘Tish to potty train, because I had learned nothing about it from R.

When R became able to follow me, that is exactly what she did. She followed me. I no longer had to put her in her crib while I went to the bathroom because she followed me. I learned quickly that going to the bathroom alone was a luxury not afforded to mothers. I didn’t care. I loved it. I loved spending every minute with R. Sometimes at night when she was sleeping, I was very lonely without her.

So from the very beginning of her life, I always gave her names of objects and events. These names evolved as she learned more understanding of words. “Whea we go?” she’d always ask when I started somewhere, “Mommy’s got to go potty.” I’d answer. Evenually, I purchased a potty chair, R had just started walking at the time. I put it on display in the bathroom, right across from “mommy’s potty” I did this, knowing that she was too young to potty train, but it was my introduction to her. And I talked about it. I talked about someday she’d wear pretty big girl panties and use the potty instead of using a diaper.

To my amazement, shortly after I began the “talking” phase and without actually showing her the “pretty big girl panties” of which I spoke. One day when she was “helping” me fold laundry. (which really means she was grabbing my folder laundry and wadding it up. ha.) She picked up a pair of my underwear and said, “pretty panties. I wear!” Oh man, I can remember that as if it were yesterday. I can see her in my mind, her face all full of exitement.

I think I explained to her that she would have to use the potty to wear panties… What exactly I said or she said after that is a little fuzzy. But it ended with me pulling out her “pretty big girl panties” that I had already bought and put away and she never wore diapers again, except at bed time. And truly, she had very few accidents. Most of those few accidents were my fault. Because she would cry if I tried to put a diaper on her when we went out and I would always give in to her. Then I sometimes couldn’t find a bathroom in time, when she “nee to go potty”

 I know that all parents tend to exagerate how smart their child is. But honestly, I don’t have to exagerate about R. She was that Amazing. Of course, this my memories of her, and it’s bound to be a little bias. Of course, she did, like all children must, struggle at times to learn new things. Sometimes she stumbled and might even fall, but she always, as they say; “Got right back up” and kept trying at whatever her task of learning was until she had it down pat. She was so eager to learn new things. And when she did learn them, she never forgot. She would hang on to her new knowledge tight, even as she forge ahead to find a new knowledge to gain.

Oh how my heart aches for her now. I didn’t see that in her when we reunited while she was a teen. Did being ripped away from her mother rob her of her desire to learn or her love for beauty…Or perhaps, I wasn’t with her long enough to see those traits. Are they still there? Does she still see beauty in a weed? Does she still feel compation for a stranger? Does she still know how much I love her?! I want to know that more than any thing else. My sweet R. I love you still! I ache for you to be in my life. My heart, my soul cries for the loss that we both had to endure.

August 6, 2006 Posted by | past, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Who is She?

I am the woman who hides her tearful eyes behind the sunglasses.

I am the woman who offers on a weak smile to the stranger’s greetings in passing.

I am the woman who walks in the shadows to be unnoticed.

I am the woman you bump into because you didn’t know she was there.

I am the woman who watches her feet, for she fears the passers by

Might see the stamp of shame on her forehead that isn’t there.

I am the woman who has been judged by society,

Without trial or truths and found to be unworthy.

I am also the woman who is your nurse, that always smiles and greets you by name.

I am also the woman who sits next to you in art class.

Who is working two jobs and going to school.

You know, the one you brag about at your lunches with the “girls”

Because “she’s trying so hard to better herself and I encouraged her, so surely if she succeeds it will be from my thoughtful words…”

The one that if you knew the secrets she held in her heart, you would be talking bad about her to your friends instead of good.

Yes, I am that woman.

I am your neighbor who never attends your Tupperware parties,

Who never stops to gossip and offers a slight nod and retreat into

Her home if you try to speak to her.

I am the manager of your local fast food joint,

You know the one you yelled at today,

Because one of “her” employees fixed your order wrong.

Yes, I am that woman, who still smiled a sympathetic smile,

While you screamed at how incompetent she and “her” staff were.

I am the one who apologized to you sincerely, after you cussed her

And made your food right.

Did you notice that her eyes were filling with tears?

Did it give you pleasure that you made her sorry for

Such a horrendous mistake?

Oh, Yes, I am that woman,

Who went to the back to hide after you left,

Who cried because once again she had been judged,

For the mistake of another and found to be unworthy.

I am the woman who hides from the shame,

That should never be…

Because society has found her guilty.

For surely, if the government said it to be,

Than it must be true.

I am the woman who committed the crime

Of loving her children while being poor.

I am the woman who lost her children

Because she didn’t know how to fight.

I am the woman among you.

I am everywhere.

The tears I shed,

You shall never see.

 I am the woman who suffers

A life time of pain, in silence, so that you

May be comfortable in your life.

August 2, 2006 Posted by | Adoption | 7 Comments

Yelling or Silence?

One of my favorite bloggers that I visit whenever I need a lift, is Crazy Aunt Purl. She’s an amazing writer, who sometimes knits.. As her blog is classified as a knitting blog. Her post are not always happy and upbeat. She’s been through some pretty tough stuff with her faithful blog readers along for the read. But her style and wit in writing will surely bring a smile or a tear to your face each time you give her a visit. She gets pretty deep sometimes too.

As in this post. Where she talks about her neighbor who is, it seems always yelling at the people in her house. Her husband, her kids, sometimes one can not even be sure who this woman is yelling at. But she is yelling and loudly enough to be heard by the neighbors. In the under current of “Aunt Purl’s” post you tell that she has sympathy for this woman. As she knows that there must be something in this woman’s life that is pretty bad to cause her to use yelling as her form of communication.

And I agree. I think most of the time when a person is yelling, the words they are using are not the words that would give knowledge to the “real” problem in their lives.

Ok, yelling isn’t always some sign of a deeper problem. Probably not for the occasional “yeller”

As in, you’ve worked all day. You come home and have to work some more. You are tired and hot and think you feel a cold coming on. Then your child brings in the wet dog, after a half bath, on to your freshly mopped kitchen: And you yell, “Get that wet stinky dog out of here!” What does that mean? Well, it probably means get that dog out of here. 

We are not talking about the occasional yeller here. We are talking about the ones who are full blown, “We’ll she ever stop yelling?” people who go into loud rants on a daily, even hourly basis. I used to be one of these people.

I didn’t like it, I couldn’t control it. Sometimes I didn’t even know it. I would just get so overwhelmed with what ever emotional outburst that I was having at the moment that it would just all come pouring out of me in that loud, insane tone reserved only for the most out of control.

What goes on behind the scenes of a compulsive “yeller”? When the woman yells for thirty minutes at her husband because he didn’t put his socks in the hamper, what is she really thinking? Is she so overwhelmed with her job and the house work and wondering why her husband stopped helping her. Does she feel lonely in her marriage because it seems that her husband is suddenly taking her for granted and not taking time to be with her as he used to do. Is she wondering why it seems that her husband is suddenly so un attracted to her?

Or when a husband is yelling, again, at his wife for buying yet another pair of shoes. Is it that she owns too many shoes or that he doesn’t think she deserves to have some nice things if she wants them? Or is it that he really wants her to be more involved with the family’s household budget, but he doesn’t know how to involve her because his father never involved his mother in such things as money. And he’s really upset that he didn’t have a better role model to teach him how to be a good husband…

Maybe it is nothing that you could possibly think of that is making this person yell so much. As in my case (and so many others I’m sure). I would fly into a rage over the smallest of things and at the drop of a hat, I would be yelling at the top of my voice until my lungs would completely run out of air and my face would be red from the effort. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU FORGOT TO BUY SOME COKE FOR ME ON THE WAY HOME FROM WORK?!… YOU KNOW THAT COKE IS THE ONLY THING I HAVE TO DRINK… I ASK FOR ONE THING…. BLA BLA BLA”

Until finally the effort of the yelling over came me and I would slump into the nearest chair panting for air. My head would be spinning. I’d feel dizzy and sick from the lack of oxygen. In this example, if you used simple logic, perhaps you might draw the conclusion that I was hurt because the person I was yelling at was being inattentive of my needs. That I was feeling that I did oh so much for this person but he couldn’t ever seem to do anything for me in return. It seems all very logical to draw this conclusion doesn’t it.

If that’s what you would think would be in the under currents of this tirade, you’d be wrong. Back in those days, “my yelling days” there was only ever one thing in the “under current” during my rants. It didn’t matter if I was yelling about forgotten drinks or the lack of money to pay the bills. The only one thing that was really going on inside me was the loss of my children.

I’m not even sure that I knew that then, but I do know it now. If I was yelling, screaming at the top of my lungs because there was dog hair on the couch, what I really wanted to say was: “THEY TOOK MY KIDS AND I CAN’T GET THEM BACK AND I MISS THEM AND I HURT SO BAD THAT I DON’T THINK I CAN LIVE ANY MORE!” But I couldn’t talk about that so instead I said, “Where’s my coke?!”

Yes, it might be easy to see that someone who yells “all the time” Is really hurting deep inside. But it is not always easy to know what is causing their pain. But at least it is a sign that something is wrong. If only the people around them would know that it is a sign and take action to find out what the true problem is. The other type of person, on the opposite end of the spectrum is another problem indeed. This is the type of person I am now. The person that never yells.

I don’t know when I became this person. I don’t know why the yelling stopped, or how. I just did. I stopped yelling about anything. In fact, I stopped talking. I don’t mean that I never speak. I just mean that I never speak about anything that bothers me to the person that has done the thing that bothers me. How do you know that something is wrong with someone, if that person never complains about anything?

So this is where I am in my self analyzes. I sit here crying alone in the dark because my husband can’t see that I’m in pain… Feeling so alone, that soon it isn’t about being depressed any more, it is about hurt feelings that my husband doesn’t see my pain. My focus shifts from the original cause of my depression to my feelings that I have an insensitive, unfeeling husband who doesn’t care if I am in pain as long as I wash his socks.  When the truth is, how could he even know? (a friend helped me ask this question. {thanks OW}

I’m so busy trying to hide my depression from the outside world, such as the people at work, that I have learned to put on a pretty good face to everyone. Including my husband. And even yet, while writing this, I realize that my husband has noticed…. He just didn’t know what he was seeing and confused my expression with another expression that I have. He calls it my “bed face” (which is how my face looks when I am really tired or sick)

I didn’t think about it then. But now I recall it. I was deep into thinking about how sad I felt. I was feeling so alone and tiny. When I went through the hall toward the bathroom, I met my husband coming to the kitchen. He looked at me, paused, kissed me and said “you have bed face.” I thought how strange that he would think I was going to bed that early. But I didn’t think he can see “it”! And I waved off his comment by saying, no, we haven’t even had dinner. And with that we went back to our respective locations in the house, doing each our own “thing”. Hubby working, and me back to my sadness  in silence.

So while I would not like to go back to those yelling days of yesteryear. I would like to break this habit of silence.

“Silence is Golden” …. Except in silence, we suffer the pain that we do not share…

July 31, 2006 Posted by | if only | 3 Comments

Can’t afford a child? Consider this!

This was sent to me by a friend. I have to share it! If you find yourself pregnant and don’t think you can afford a child that you know you would love…. Consider this….

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to

18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker

shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year,

* $741.38 a month, or

* $171.08 a week.

* That’s a mere $24.24 a day!

* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don’t have children if

you want to be “rich”. Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get

for your $160,140?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

* Glimpses of God every day.

* Giggles under the covers every night.

* More love than your heart can hold.

* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites

* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how

your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,

* carve pumpkins,

* play hide-and-seek,

* catch lightning bugs, and

* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,

* watching Saturday morning cartoons,

* going to Disney movies, and

* wishing on stars.

* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets

and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in

clay or Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero

just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,

* taking the training wheels off a bike,

* removing a splinter,

* filling a wading pool,

* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never

wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:

* first step,

* first word,

* first bra,

* first date, and

* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree,

and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called

grandchildren and great grandchildren. You get an education in psychology,

nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no

college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the

power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a

broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them,

without limits, So . . one day they will like you, love without counting the

cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

July 30, 2006 Posted by | Hello World, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I “keep on going”

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So, I’ve been a funk for several days now. Not that this is any big news… I get this way… We all do….But this time I seek to know what has caused this particular “funk”. Sometimes I know, sometimes I don’t. This time, I didn’t… Until I started letting my mind have it’s own way. And I realized it is getting worse, the close it gets to August. My oldest daughter’s birth month. I fear that this year it will be very hard.

I know why. It is because I’ve put all this “adoption/ adoption loss stuff” for most in my mind of late. I may not write in my blog on a regular basis, but I do make it a part of my regular daily schedule to read other first mother’s/ adoptive mother’s and adopted adults blogs. So this year, I spend each day searching these sites, one because many of them I feel a kinship to and I want to see how they are doing and two, I look for insight from their experiences into my own psyche .

 Shaping this daily routine has had it’s benefits to me. I don’t feel so alone any more. I now understand my feelings better, after seeing them through other people’s eyes. But it also leaves me more open to the “triggers” in my life. Such as birth months. For many years, the birth months have been only pain full for a week or so surrounding the actual birthday and of course the worst day being the birthday of each of my children. Oh yes, when it was fresh, in the years of the beginning, it was painful even a month before, when someone would say “oh, wow, it’s almost August… School will be starting soon.” I would cringe and think, I have no children to send to school now… I have a daughter who will be…(what ever age my oldest would be on that year) but I can’t send her or her sister and brother to school any more, ever!

As the years past, however, and as I forced myself to “go on with life” by pushing the pain down, the amount of time before and after each birthday that was hard for me became smaller. Sometimes I would get depressed a week or so before a birthday without even knowing why until the actual birthday and then it was always like slamming my body into a brick wall at car fast speeds, without the car to shield my body of course.

But not this year. This year it feels like it did in the beginning. Or maybe it is like a wound that has formed a thin scab and I’ve ripped the scab off. Causing the wound to once again bleed. (ok, that’s a really disgusting visual but it is what it is.) I think that is how it must be for mother’s who have lost their children to adoption. In the beginning, the grief is just like anyone else that has lost loved ones… But eventually you have to come to terms that the wound your heart has will never truly heal. It may scab over from time to time, making it slightly less painful, like an itch that  you can’t scratch, but then some trigger comes along and rips that scab right off and you have this huge wound in your heart again.

So here I am, with this giant wound in my heart, in my very soul. It is opening up again, getting bigger by the day and I’m wondering how I will manage to “keep on going” this time. And also, I’m wondering, why should I? Why can’t I just lay down and sleep. It seems the only time I feel ok right now is when I am sleeping. Why can’t I just sleep until it goes away?

 Why do I always have to be “the responsible one”? I have to continue to go to work, so we’ll have money to eat with..Even though, I just want to stay home and cry. I have to spend time with my dad, so he won’t feel lonely… Even though I just want to be alone! I have to keep up with the house and the house hold bills, so my husband doesn’t have to worry about that and will be free to do his own job and have his free time to himself… Even though I really could care less if the house falls down or gets taken away…. Why do I keep going? If I stopped doing it all, wouldn’t someone say “oh, I better take care of this.” ? Or at least wouldn’t they start to notice that something was different if I didn’t get out of bed in the morning? Because they sure don’t notice anything now… Not like this.

Of course, I do wear a thin facade to hide my depression. But the key word here is THIN. My disguise is so thin that anyone should be able to see the tears clearly behind it. But they don’t.And when I go home at night and cry into your pillow, no one knows.

 It’s not that there aren’t signs behind that fake smile I put forth to the public. There are many many signs of how sad I am, but no one sees them, why? Because they don’t want to! Because people in general are selfish! They don’t want to know about the pain that other’s close to them are feeling because it might bring them down.

 Or maybe because they won’t know what to say. Maybe they are under the FALSE impression that if they know about someone close to them who is in pain, that they will need to have a way to fix it. And maybe because they can’t fix it, they don’t want to know cause then they themselves would feel inadequate.

Well, sometimes you can’t fix it! Sometimes all you can do is say I wish I could help take your pain. Sometimes all you can do is be there. Why can’t people see this?! Why?! Why can’t at the very least, My husband, say “honey, is anything wrong? Do you need to talk?”

But he doesn’t. He doesn’t see any more than anyone else that sees me on a daily basis. I can’t bring myself to go to him and say “I need to talk” because to many times I’ve done this and he’s always tried to find a “solution” where there is none. I don’t want someone to make me well again… I just want someone to say “I know you are in pain and I care.” But no one does.. So I just, “keep on going” for there is nothing else I can do.

Briefly I considered taking a break from the blogs. But I can’t do that now. It may be a daily reminder of my loss, but it is also a daily reminder that I am not truly alone in the world. These other women, who I feel a deep friendship for, even though there is little communication between myself and them help me daily, when no one else in my life is willing to. So with their support, directly or indirectly, I’ll keep on going.

July 29, 2006 Posted by | life | 3 Comments

And so for another year, I write….

A Post dedicated to my Sister… ((((K))))

So my sister’s visit as come and went. Each year, I’m so thankful, that she makes it so. She comes for one week. One, tiny all to fast week. Ahhh, it is such sweet sadness.

Each year, I get so excited at her up coming arrival that for weeks before I am a mess. I worry over everything, wanting everything to be just perfect for her while she is here. Plan so many events for her and I that I know will never take place. I am so delighted to have this stressful time in my life. My emotions are so confusing when it comes to my sister, K, my best friend.

I look to her for advise about life, and yet, I feel so good when I am able to help her with life’s little problems. She is my older sister and I look up to her, and yet I am thrilled to know that she needs me as much as I need her… And when she visits for that one week each year… Boy is that a confusing time. My hustle and bustle to prepare for her visits wear on me body and soul and it feels… Wonderful! Then she arrives.. And it’s like everything is all right. All of life’s problems slip away into dark shadows, not to be recognized for that wonderful week. Life is so perfect for that one week….(I know this may seem daunting to K. Knowing this is what she does.. Wondering how she could live up to such.) But really she doesn’t have to do anything! She is who she is and that is enough. Enough to have all my worries fall away for one sweet week of reprise.

And yet… Each day of her visits are bitter/sweet. As each day I realize that it is one day closer to the end. The week passes in a blink of an eye, and yet… While she is here.. It feels as if she has always been here. Always been apart of my household and that the week has been forever… And then she is gone… So soon.. And it is like I’m missing a part of myself again. This year was hard to comprehend her departure because I had to work. Never again… Next year will be planned much better. I need to be able to see her off. I said good bye to her the night before, when I had to go to bed and the next morning when I left for work but it didn’t seem real.

So much so that when I got home from work and she was not here, I felt surprised and confused. And lonely… Everything that had been put on hold for a week came rushing back the moment I stepped into my K free house. My Life problems, my depression, my emotions that make me hide in the corner, had been there, waiting in the shadows and when I walked into my house… No K there to smile at me and welcome me home.. Out of the shadows all these emotions jumped and stabbed my heart! I actually was knocked back a step by the force of it. My first thought was to run to K… But of course… She’s no longer here… When was it that she wasn’t here before? Was that just a week ago that she wasn’t here? It seemed like she had always been here and now suddenly without warning she was gone… Oh yes, working on the day she leaves is bad bad. I need that tearful goodbye at the airport… I need it to make it real so that when the house is empty of her presence it isn’t such a shock.

And then this morning, in my email is a letter from K. My mornings have been for years started with a letter from K and now here is my morning letter. And suddenly everything is as it should be again. And again, this is so bitter/sweet. As I shall miss not being able to hug her for real for yet another year… I will again have my morning letters and that is so wonderful. How confused am I?

July 24, 2006 Posted by | life | 2 Comments