About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When does the Winning Begin?

I can't count how many times I've heard "adoption ... it's a win/win situation."
Well, please tell me when does the winning begin for me.
Does it begin at birth when I held him in my arms and said goodbye?
Does it begin when I walk out of the hospital in so much pain it hurt to breathe?
Does it begin when Thanksgiving rolls around, and no one sets a place for him?
Does it begin when searching through all the lovely wrapped presents under the Christmas tree, but none have his name on it?
Does it begin on Mother's Day, and I look in the mirror and feel hollow because I am not mothering my son?
Does it begin when a pregnant gal is talking about her experiences and then says, Oh, you've never been pregnant! You wouldn't know/understand?
Does it begin when I get invitations for baby showers for my friends?
Does it begin when I search the rack of cards, and have to pass over the ones labeled "to my SON"?
Does it begin as I spend hours searching stores and the internet trying to find a birthday gift that might be meaningful to my son, whom I do not even know?
Does it begin when I go to church and see the proud parents holding their child on 'child dedication Sunday'?
Does it begin when he got his first tooth, and I did not put it under his pillow?
Does it begin when he rides his bike for the first time?
Does it begin when he smiles sheepishly as he heads off to his first day of school?
Does it begin when he runs in the house and yells a loud cheer that school's out and summer's here?
Does it begin when he has his 16th birthday, and I don't get an invitation to the celebration?
Does it begin when he has his first date? His first sweetheart? His first innocent kiss? and I've never met her?
Does it begin when he walks down the aisle in his cap and gown, and I'm not in the stands trying to figure out which one he is in the sea of graduates?
Does it begin when he decides if he wants to pursue college or follow a different path to his dream career?
Does it begin when he's 18, and he can search for me, unless his aparents are insecure and question his loyalty?
Does it begin with a reunion when two strangers look each other in the eyes and find out this 'relationship' is a lot of hard work?
Please tell me, just when will it begin.
In my mind it feels like a sensationalized sports game. I walk out onto the field, no helmet, kneepads or shin guards. The lights are flipped on, and I'm blinded by the brightness. You can feel the tension in the air.
Out on the field I see the opponents. Those who told me I would get over it. Those who told me how brave and selfless I was. Those who told me my baby deserved better than me as a mother. Those who sold my child to fill their profit pocketbooks.
On the field I see legislatures who were wined and dined to change the laws. Laws to reduce the number of days a mother could bring her child back home with her. Laws to keep these precious children from ever knowing their heritage by blocking them from their own records. On the field I see NCFA, laughing and sneering at my tiny frame.
I can hear the murmur in the stands. I turn and see that the stands are filled with fans, cheering, jeering, and chanting. But they are not fans for a natural mom who lost her son to adoption. No, they're cheering for the ones already out on the field. I turn again to look at them, all lined up. They are enormous, and intimidating. Their expensive uniforms glimmer in the lights. They're energized by the commotion from the stands.
I step forward, and walk up to the line. I stand there, one small lone woman, against these heartless giants. Not one person from the stands dare walk to my side.
I hear the announcer yell, Let the Winning Begin! There is a roar from the stands. I'm nearly knocked off my feet as the referee thrusts his hand through my chest. I can feel the death grip on my heart as he pulls it out and tosses it high into the air.
Being experienced, my opponents grab it right away. They kick and throw my heart all around the field. They’re screaming with delight every time they score point after point after endless point.
Of course the points are based on all my losses based on the 'winning' questions above.
Please tell me, when will the winning begin for me?


  1. Beautiful writing.

    The phrase "when do I start winning" is just... heartbreaking.

    Could I quote you on occasion at Yahoo Answers (without linking your blog because I don't want people to come in masses and leave hurtful remarks)?

    I think what you have to say is VITAL.

    If you would prefer that I not copy and paste some quotes from your blog, that is perfectly understandable. I have linked you to my blog as well.

  2. Adoptee's have the same question. Thank you for writing this.

    1. thank you for taking the time, Peach, to share this. It is so important to hear from Adoptees as well.

  3. I don't believe in making more laws, especially more adoption-esque laws, but it would be nice if every mom considering adoption would read this. My guess is that most adopters wouldn't really get it, but maybe some who have a heart would change their mind.

    1. Thank you, Comic-mom for your comment. It would be nice if every mom considering adoption was provided with something like this, or other blogs that show the REALITIES of the after-life.

  4. I'm not sure it's even a win for the adopting couples as they never truly get their hearts' desire - we are never really their children the way a bio child would be. Certainly it's a win for the adoption agencies and lawyers.

    1. thank you Beth for your comment too!
      "win" - yeah it's a flippant word, that doesn't really apply, unless you're on the receiving end of the paycheck, as you point out.
      your comment about never being their child the way a bio child is ... there was a time, I would have dismissed that idea, but knowing what I know now, I've heard this expressed way too many times :(

  5. I cannot believe I am getting comments on a post that is five years old!
    it is very poignant to me, because some of those things I mentioned five years ago, have come and gone. 16th, birthday is gone, I did not even get a Senior picture let alone go to his graduation, and he is now in college - moved to another state further away.

    a sincere thank you everyone for your recent comments...

  6. And what of those who are the victims of Forced Adoption? Who had no say in it and no control over the situation...who wanted to keep their babies yet were forbidden, prevented...and who didn't know the people in control didn't legally have that control...until years later...that powerlessness that was forced upon them can never be removed...the knowledge that your Human Rights were breached and you have no recourse, brings with it a feeling of helplessness and it's own daily reminders...I have a loving relationship with my daughter now, but I can't rid myself of the sour taste the whole thing leaves me with

    1. thank you for commenting, RoadRules.
      I am glad to read you have a good relationship now with your daughter. And it is completely understandable that what happened to you still affects you.

  7. You relate such a heartbreaking event in such a poignant and eloquent way. You are able to bring people, whether they have experienced adoption or not, right into your mind and heart in such an honest and insightful way. Thank you for writing and baring your soul. You are definitely getting your point across, even years down the road!!

    1. thank you, Melanie for your comment.
      it is my hope that by expressing my heartache that it will prevent other mothers and families from experiencing it too. I also hope it will help others find comfort and support in knowing THEY ARE NOT ALONE - it is not something wrong with 'YOU' but it is the very nature of what happened to you. It seems there are many adoptees that at some point feel that the mothers simply walk away unaffected, and that is largely not the case.