Thursday, May 31, 2007

Conversational Surprise

I was training at my new job today. A woman came in who made a comment about dropping off her younger daughter on the way there. To be conversational, I casually asked how old the daughter was and she said, "10 months, and I'm in the process of adopting her."

My heart caught and I asked if it was through the foster system, praying the answer was yes because there really are a lot of neglected and abused children that need good homes. (I personally cannot understand how someone, and especially a mother, can neglect or abuse a baby or child, that is just so beyond me.) But no, it wasn't through the foster system. It turns out this woman works for an adoption agency and apparently "gets" the babies once they're about 36 hours old and keeps them for a week or two until they are placed, but with this baby, she's had her since she was just over 24 hours old and "it was different" and now they're adopting her even though the Mom has two teenagers.

I just didn't know what to say which was okay since once she started sharing she didn't stop. Many emotions ran through me and I so desperately wanted to ask about the baby's birthmother and how birthmothers were treated by her agency, etc. etc. etc. But of course I kept my mouth shut.

I had such conflicting feelings, strongest of which was that I didn't like her which was battling with the fact that I knew that wasn't fair. It made me mad that I couldn't bring myself to say outloud what was running through my head: "How sad for the baby's birthmother that she couldn't raise her," or "it must have been really hard for the birthmother to let her go," because I was afraid that would make her mad.

I can't help but wonder what she thinks of birthmothers as she appears to bop along in her side of the adoption world, every day. And of course I'm making assumptions about her, about her baby's birthmother, and about everything for that matter.

She named the agency when she was happily spouting out all the information she did share and so I may call them to see if they have a birthmother support group. Somehow I doubt it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


As the Birthday approaches I am reminded of how I gave my son to M and P so that he would have a better life, not because I didn't want him. I hate the assumption that adopted babies are unwanted. I suppose that could be true for some people, but for many of us birthmothers, it isn't. We were convinced, somehow, that others would give our children a better life and what mother doesn't want the best life possible for her child?

And it hurts to not be his mom. I grieve not knowing the mother I would have been to my son. I know I would have been a different mother than the one I am to my daughter. Not worse, not better, just different. But I'll never know that person. I hope to someday know my son.

I was standing in line at the post office at the end of my lunch break. There was a TV in the corner to distract customers from how long they are actually waiting for one of the grumpy clerks. While I was standing at the counter waiting for my credit card to process, my back to the TV, a commercial for one of those "Feed the Children" type of charities came on promising that your $22 a month would help a specific child and you would get a letter a picture once a year (or did the announcer say twice?) about your child.

I'd pay more than that to get a picture and letter once a year about my son.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I didn’t realize how much of my life was dominated by the authoritarian way in which I was raised. I was reading a book about organizing (yep, I still have my clutter problem) and came across a section that described the various reasons why some people have issues with taking care of clutter or cleaning. It turns out that I totally identified with the description associated with an authoritarian parent. Basically, whatever I did was never good enough and as an adult I just feel defeated before I even start. Yep, that’s it exactly.

When it dawned on me that I was actually living my entire life this way, it was VERY freeing to all of a sudden realize that I wasn’t going to get anyone’s approval for anything AND I didn’t need it. That may sound like a no-brainer to some folks, but having been raised by parents who approve or disapprove of your every move and expressed thought, you just assume there are always going to be folks out there expressing their approval and disapproval over your thoughts and actions.

The thing is, I don’t really matter enough to anyone else. While this used to bother me, I now recognize that it’s a good thing because that means no one is paying attention and I am free to be me. And WOW what a difference that realization has made for me! Sure, I’ve had to remind myself a few times, but basically I am free to take care of myself as I see fit, I am the only one responsible for myself and my well being, and ALL the pressure is finally off of me to be so damn perfect. *whew*

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

... to ALL women who are, in one form or fashion, mothers.

I think this post does a good job of recognizing all mothers and the significance of Mother's Day. The only type of mother not specifically mentioned is the one who is separated from her children due to divorce or similar/related broken family issue.