Sunday, July 29, 2007

Phone Solicitors

It's Sunday morning. I live in a Bible Belt state. The phone rings. I can tell it's going to be someone asking for money because there was that delay as the computer assigned the call to an operator since a person had answered, and I became instantly annoyed.

A man takes a moment to figure out which of the two people on the list in front of him I am, yeah, the female, point for you buddy! He then proceeds to tell me he's calling from the State Firefighters Association, or something like that. My response of, "On Sunday morning?" was was met with, "Uh ..., yes, ma'am?". Having caught him off guard I followed up with, "I'm sorry, but we don't accept these kind of calls on Sunday morning," and I hung up.

Who was that girl who answered my phone? I thought she lived only inside my head.

(And points for my husband, Gentle Southerner or Southern Gentleman that he is, who, rather than remaining quiet or passively reprimanding me for my Yankee outburst, said: I wish we never accepted those phone calls!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Not Shame, Just Naive Hope

It's not that I am ashamed. It's that it hurts.

Some birthmoms display pictures of the children they lost to adoption. I don't display my son's pictures because I don't have the relationship I want with him or his adoptive parents. There is no give and take, there are just my unanswered letters and requests. For all intents and purposes there is no connection between us, no relationship.

From my perspective, having pictures of him for anyone to see would be like displaying framed pictures of a celebrity in my home. Yes, I know his image and a few things about him, but I don't really know him. And he doesn't know me. I don't want to have to explain this to anyone who asks who he is.

And I don't want the constant visual reminder of what I don't have, of how his adoptive parents are snubbing me.

Knowing him is my hope and dream and I am just not ready to display that for all to see, for everyone to watch time continue to march on without him in my life at all.

I really thought by this point that there would be some communication, some relationship, that I could display his pictures with a confidence in our relationship, the players and what their roles are, so if someone asks I could say, "Yes, that is my son who was adopted by M&P and who I correspond with a couple of times a year. He's been raised by loving people, had the chance to grow up with a sister and we're all great friends." Without any communication, there is too much ambiguity and I am not ready to say admit that my expectations should be lowered because all I could honestly say about his picture now is, "That is my son who I gave away and who I desperately hope will want to know me one day." That is too sad a story. So I keep his pictures in a special place along with my hope.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I received an email indicating that this lack of response from adoptive parents during the teen years is normal and just wait it out. At first I felt good about that in the sense that it was "normal" for me to be dealing with this right now.

The emailer also indicated that contacting the attorney would probably not be productive since he would only relay the message and that anger might result on the part of the adoptive parents - something I've already considered.

Basically all signs point to the fact that they do not want a relationship with me so why should I care about possibly angering them by contacting the attorney? On the other hand, after this "sensitive" teen period passes, lingering resentment could hurt any reunion that involves them.

But isn't that my eternal hope poking through again? And is that worth continuing to be a wallflower? Maybe they'd respect me a little more (and even respond!) if I stand up for myself rather than continuing to wait quietly.

Friday, July 20, 2007


I hate change. And when it comes to my daughter, I feel like I have to do it the way my mother did or it isn't right. Why do I have so little confidence in doing something different? For example: baby book vs memory binder.

I know it's perfectionism to feel that I have to always do things the "right" way, and I look to how others have done things because then it must be right.

Even though I have come to realize that there are not nearly as many hard and fast rules in life as I once thought, I still find myself living in a much more limited way on a daily basis than I should.


And I'm scared to death about calling the attorney/adoption agency about not receiving a picture since Dec 2005 or responses to my Christmas 2006 and Birthday 2007 letters, which is par for the course, but no longer acceptable. I told myself (and this blog) that I would call this week and I didn't do it. Why? Besides being a coward, I can't figure out my approach.

What should I say so I don't sound like a sniveling beggar or a demanding bitch? I don't want to be easily dismissed as a pushover:, "Oh, I was just wondering if there was anything I could do about getting a picture as I was promised? Oh, no? Okay, thanks. Sorry to bother you." Or pushed out by being too pushy: "I haven't gotten a picture and the communication in general has been way too sparse and I want to know what you're going to do about it."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I often catch myself looking at pictures of my daughter during her nap time or after she's gone to bed and I love looking at them, even though I've spent the day with her and she's just in the next room sleeping.

Maybe it's because of all the memories attached to those pictures. I really know the baby in those pictures - she's not just a 2-dimensional image in an unfamiliar setting, someone else's memory taken within a context completely unknown to me.

Maybe it's because of my two children, I can peruse hundreds (okay more than 2,000) pictures of her any time I want. Yeah, that's it. And it's wonderful.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The anger is building

I haven't yet called the attorney's office / adoption agency - that is planned for later in the week. However, I am, as usual, increasingly angry about the lack of response. It occurred to me the other day that my son has long been old enough to write thank-you notes for the gifts I send, gifts I agonize over increasingly since I get no feedback and have no idea whether he likes them. Don't you think upper class folks in one of the richest communities in America who send their kids to private schools and tell me, when they do bother to write, how they "think of me often", would teach their son how to write a short thank-you note? Don't you think he has been trained how to thank other people who give him gifts?

I hate writing to M because this anger always, always happens as I desperately hope for a response. I bitterly start thinking of how I am just not going to bother anymore, but then I don't want to give the impression that I've "moved on".

At Christmas, assuming I still haven't heard anything or gotten the promised picture, (ha! sucker that I am for even thinking one might show up, even after a reminder), I think I'll send a gift to just my son. There will be no card, no letter, no gifts for the rest of the family. That seems to be a good compromise - so he, who means so much to me, is still acknowledged and remembered. This seems especially important right now because my therapist (who I'm not seeing anymore) said that adolesence is the time when adoptees generally start to sort through their feelings on being adopted and are more sensitive about it.

The letter writing to M and the note writing to him will stop because I'm not putting myself out there anymore since I really feel like they're laughing at me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


On July 4th I was hunting for the only bathing suit I am willing to wear in public and came across my son's photo album. When I looked through it, as I always do when I see it, I found myself feeling the same feelings of love for him that I always do, and for once they felt the same as the love I now have for my daughter.

I've read that you cannot move past a loss until you get past the chronological time of that loss. However, I lost him at 4 days old ... and I am just now coming into the unreserved love for my daughter 21 months after that milestone. I am glad it has finally come, but I do wonder why it took so long.

And I made a decision this morning. I'm giving M until the end of the month to send a picture and/or contact me somehow and then I'm calling her attorney.