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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

His picture

Since we moved to our little house on the mountain, we've had an annual cookout on the 4th of July starting in 2007.

So for the past few weeks I've been getting things ready.

I have my lists of things to do, must do, have hubby do, to buy, to clean, to throw away, and to make.

I've shocked myself that I actually made and mailed out invitations this year. They turned out very nice, if I must say so myself (yes, Cheerio, they look very patriotic!).

Tonight I'm tidying up the room where I'll have the drink station and food table setup -- the Family Room, as I call it. The plan is to work on this room next, now that THE WALL project is complete.

This room is just a concrete slab (because we had to rip out the flea infested carpet when we moved in). We originally planed to put in new carpet, but then found out how dirty coal and wood is. So now our plan is to put in a hardwood floor to match the kitchen flooring.

This is also the room we installed a coal stove - the 2nd love of my life!!!
 Hubby's Dad and my Dad put in the slate hearth. Then I helped mix the mortar for them to build the brick wall behind the stove and stovepipe. So that area has a lot of memories I'll cherish.

In this room we reinforced the sagging roof. Put up drywall on one wall near the wide panoramic windows. This created a wide windowsill which I originally envisioned our kitty will love to sit and watch the birds.

Just so you know, Cheerio STINKS at interior decorating!!! (It took me over a year here to put up a clock!) I am also very lame with putting up pictures.

 But after we found our two lost nephews last year, I have pics of them up. So I felt like I'd better put out pics of Hubby's neice and nephew. Well, I have a group family pic of my mom and sister and her family. So, I found a pic of Hubby's mom and dad to put out. I am going put all these pics (even though the frames don't match this year) on display on the wide windowsill.

So, right now, this very moment,
I am saving a school pic of my son to my jump drive,
 so I can print it.

Then I will put it in a decorative metal frame I like.
Then I will put his pic on the windowsill with the rest of our family.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rich and Poor,both in the same heart

No 'agenda' behind this thread.... it's just that, well, I miss him. Today while at work, I was thinking about him and glanced at my bookmark. It is a card my husband gave me last year on our 13th wedding anniversary.

"Rich is not how much you have, It's who you have beside you."

Rich - "who you have beside you." I AM RICH with the treasure of the man who is beside me. Rich Indeed! But it begs to ask, if Rich is who you have beside you, then what is it when someone who should be beside you, but isn't there? My guess? That would be Poor. My life is Rich with my wonderful husband beside me, yet at the same time, without my son, life is poor - it is definately underpriviledged and deprived what it could be (for all of us - him, his father, for me). . . . sigh . . . I just miss him. I want to look into his eyes. I want to hear his voice (for the first time). I want to give him a big warm hug. I hope for warm hug in return. I want to watch him walk across a room, to just see him in motion. my heart aches the tears well up in my eyes and threaten to spill over just thinking about him ohhh... how I miss him ...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

the closet doors I've opened wide

I am an open book on-line. But in real life, that isn't exactly so, especially regarding adoption. The experssion I've used is that I'm still an in the closet original mom. Many of you know that at one time I was pro-adoption, even to the (now nauseating) point of helping bethany (non!)christian services rape other expectant moms of their babies. So, if you don't like me, that's ok - it's not like I deserve any kindness. The journey of me stumbling out of the adoption fog is only 3 years old, and there are a few things I'm still trying to figure out. One of those things is, how to break the silence of secrecy regarding my teenage son, whom I lost to adoption nearly 16 years ago. I desperately hope for a reunion with him. I know now that adoption has wounded him (in ways that he may not be aware of or acknowledge right now in life) and I don't want to hurt him any further in our reunion someday. I frequent an adoptee forum, where the whole purpose of the forum is for adoptees to find support. I read over and over about how it affects the adopted person that their original mother tries to keep them a secret even after reunion...her husband doesn't know, or her children don't know, or even her family does not know. I read how hurtful to them that is each and every time, to be unacknowledged over and over again. How can an original mom meet her child and 10+ years later STILL not introduce her lost child back into her family? Yet it happens way too often. What I don't want is, I don't want that to happen to my son. I don't want to perpetually twist the knife that has already pierced his soul by denying him again. And yet, and YET every time someone asks me if I have any children, and I reply with, 'No.' I am doing the exact same thing to him, I am denying him - even though he is not there to audibly hear it with his own ears. And every time I deny him, it hurts me inside, because I know that is what I am doing -- even if it is not my intention. So, exactly how does someone all of a sudden pull back the drapes and open the window to allow the fresh breeze of truth to flow? How do I all of a sudden invite people into this 'hidden room' of my heart where they would discover that Cheerio has a teenage son? Long story short? I'm going to tell them one person at a time, one opportunity at a time. Today I was by myself among a group of people I didn't know. One person asked the inevitable ... "do you have any children?" I started to reply with my standard answer, "I have a cat," pause "and a son who does not live with us." And so, today is a new beginning for me, for us. While the rain is pouring down outside, and the clouds darken the skies, inside of me the sun is shinning, because today I did not deny him!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mother's Day Madness

It is June now, almost a month since Mother's Day has come and gone. 
I was afraid to write how I was feeling, for fear that it would jinx me. 

 The first m-day after my son was born, my (now) MIL gave me a small bouquet of spring flowers she cut from her garden when we were at their house for a gathering. She wanted to acknowledge me as a mother too. (this was before she had any other grandchildren) I don't remember what I did or what I said. I think it made me cry - as I did not consider myself to be a mother. Whatever my reaction was, it caused her to never do it again. 

Which is a shame, because it is what every original mom needs, to be acknowledged as a mother.

Inside I appreciated the gesture and have never forgotten it over the years. 

M-day has always been hard personally, not as hard as his birthday, but pretty close to it. There are advertisements for m-day weeks in advance. It's on the radio, tv, billboards, and all over the newspapers! It's inescapable. On m-day I'd wake up. When I washed my face I would look in the mirror and hate the woman staring back at me. M-day was a mockery of how much of a failure I'd become. 

The adoption industry wants people to believe that we 'get over it' or 'move on'. 
But we don't. 

Adoption leaves a deep wound inside that nothing can heal or mend. I often find myself riddled with guilt from the past and fear the future -if I will ever find my child again? If I find him, will he allow us to be a part of his adult life? Will he hate me (as much as I hate myself)? 

 Oh, and you can't go anywhere on m-day, not out to eat or to any stores, because everyone is so eager to wish you Happy Mother's Day! or If you're a mother, we'll give you a carnation. 

 I participate in an on-line support group for original moms only. And prior to m-day this year I posted a thread asking how others deal with m-day? On my reply about how I deal with m-day, it's been avoidance all the way! I don't torture myself by going to church and pretending everything's just fine, when I know very well it isn't. Why go and just sit there holding back the tears and wishing it was over soon! 

I don't even send my own mom m-day cards anymore - because I won't make myself go to a hallmark store and read card after card about how wonderful and loving moms are. Just can't do it. 

So I pretend it doesn't exist, at least for me it doesn't. 

Past two years my Hubby has finally seen how painful it is for me and he at least gets me a card letting me know that he loves me. He is definitely the greatest guy on earth, and I'm lucky, so incredibly lucky he's stood beside me through it all. 

 Another member of the Cheerios Group replied with a statement that immediately struck me. She ended her reply with, "...I do feel bad if I am "unacknowledged" by my daughter's amom on that day. I make a point to send her a card & letter so she will know I am thinking of and appreciating her." 

The word "unacknowledged" has a new meaning to me this year than it did former years. 

This new perspective came from the tragic loss of our baby last fall. One of the things that hurt me the most is when people did not acknowledge the loss. My company for example - 3 day bereavement didn't "count" for my unborn baby. My boss who sends flowers to co-workers when their is a loss in their family (even if it's not immediate family, such as an in-law), did not send flowers or a card or even tell the team of my loss. The 'friends' I called after losing her, and they never once bothered to check back on me - not a phone call, not a card, not even an e-mail or message on fb. 

So I am very in-tune with the unacknowledged feeling. 
It is very fresh to me now. 

What I've had to do with those people - was basically dismiss them. I had to realize that they are not true friends that I believed them to be. Therefore, I've had to bump their status in my life. For now their thoughts mean nothing to me. Their excuses are lame and as worthless as watered down milk. I don't count on them at all. So, when she responded, the Acknowledged vs Unacknowledged immediately surfaced inside of me. It was like an immediate transformation that I felt inside as I replied with the following: "unacknowledged

yeah, Mamba- - maybe that's the crux of what eats at me. I AM unacknowledged - Yes, I am a mother, but not to the majority in my life who don't know I have a teenage son 'out there somewhere'. And to the rest who know about him (mostly family) , they don't think about it. BECAUSE they don't think of me as a mother.

Thanks Mamba-. I think you helped me a LOT. This is where I can change my future...

I need to stop accepting the projections people put on me. I KNOW who and what I am. My Husband knows who and what I am. We both know what it has done to me (&us) so who cares what they think or how they do OR DON"T view me.

I don't think I realized this until now. Thanks for helping me see the forest AND the trees!" And this is how I approached m-day this year. I don't need anyone else to acknowledge my motherhood. It all starts with me. I know the truth of it all. And even if others don't consider me to be a mother, that can't steal motherhood away from me. 

An expression I've heard before is that adoption cannot make someone an unmother. 
Whether his family likes it or not, my son has two mothers, and I am one of them. 
Whether his family likes it or not, my son has two fathers, and my husband is one of them. 

I don't care if people don't know, or don't understand, or misunderstand. THEIR OPINION doesn't count to me anymore! I know who and what I am, and they (whoever they are) can't change that! Shortly after writing this, I shared it with my hubby. His reply was honest and humorous as he said, "I don't understand what you just said, but it sounds like it's a good thing." And a good thing it has turned out to be. M-day 2010 was the very first m-day I did not shrivel in on myself and wish to die and merely survive the day. I overcame it!
Mother's Day it's Their Madness NOT MINE!