Today is Sunday 5/9/2021 – mother’s day.
I spent the day yesterday with my son and his wife (beginning our 3rd year in reunion). I always, ALWAYS enjoy spending time with them. It was an invitation to visit on “mothers day weekend”. The kids (as I call them) planned some very special surprise activities during the day creating incredibly sweet and thoughtful memories, we went hiking, played games, and had good food. I received so many gifts that day – the gift of their love, the gift of their time, the gift of us making memories together, A special gift that demands a post all of its own, and the gift of story time.
During the day my son asked if I would be willing to share his birth story again later in the day.
Hasn’t he heard his birth story before?
Twice, kind of.
Knowing that adoptees often feel like their life’s story starts on chapter two, I wrote out his birth story in a letter on his birthday when he turned the same age I was when he was born, before our face to face reunion. And then just about two months ago he asked if I would be willing to share it with him. At the time I was caught a little off-guard and was really nervous sharing his/our story.
When I was actually sitting across from my own son and his wife telling him his birth story for the first time, I was wrapped in shame and regret, my heart was very heavy. I wanted so much to tell him a birth story the way most mothers would share with their children, family, or friends. I wanted the story to be happy, and full of celebration, and joy. Which is how it should have been – but the cold hard fact is - it wasn’t. His birth story culminated in the tragedy of our separation, and there is nothing but sadness in that fact to me.
So that first time of verbally telling him his own story, I started at the beginning, literally from when I went to the Dr’s for the blood test until the hospital stay when he was born. In that first telling, I included why I “chose” adoption and what I believed then vs what I know now, such as realizing the blank slate theory is a lie and the disguised coercion of adoption. It was so difficult telling his story that time. I was not able to have other children so that is the only birth story I personally know and it ended up sad, so very very painful and sad.
At the end of that telling, he made some kind of statement like “…the past…and…moving forward.”
It got me to thinking that, yes our separation was sad. The coercion and brainwashing were awful. But not everything was sad or awful, after all HE was born, perfect, and beautiful, and healthy. So, since that first telling I started making a list of fun or interesting facts about my pregnancy and our early months together so when he asked to hear his birth story again, it did not have to be total doom & gloom (which was the reality of my heart before reunion & without him). And so that brings me back to yesterday. I am having lunch with my son (lost to adoption for so many years, and is now including me & his original father in his life) and he asks if we can do “story time” again later in the day.
And this time I was ready for him.
We were all four of us (me, my son, his original father, and his wife) sitting together on the couch eating our chocolate pie dessert for “story time” of his birth. This time I did not feel a need to start at the the beginning. I pulled up my notes on my phone and talked about where I worked while I was carrying him, the apartment “we” lived in, the very mischievous young cat/kitten “we” had, “us” taking walks along the river, all 3 of “us” going for ice cream, and how he got his given name. He was sitting right beside me and I was able to smile and say “I spent as much time as possible with you during those first three days” and “I love you.”
And so here I am on mother’s day reflecting on yesterday and all the meaning it had for me, for Mr Cheerio, for our son and his family. I have ALWAYS loved him, ALWAYS, ALWAYS. That has been a constant through all the years, and that love has never ever faded.
Looking back on his birth story/our story it is so inter-twined with love and hate.
This is what you don’t hear about adoption. It is not about us loving our child “more” than ourself -- it is about making us hate ourself and love ourself LESS.
The adoption professionals wanted and needed for me to hate myself so they could pitch “a loving couple” solution – to something that was never a problem.
Why do we, as a society perpetuate the loved so much, without recognizing that it also promotes self-hate so much…in a nutshell, that’s adoption.
love you, hate me, that's adoption