Monday, August 27, 2007

Baby Steps ... forward, backward, nowhere

Last week, the same day the box came, I had a conversation in the morning with the woman who works for an adoption agency. She had come into the office again. This time she had her near-grown daughter and the baby she adopted. After a little small talk, I took a breath and said, "So, does the birthmother get pictures?" She does. I am so relieved.

I am relieved for the baby's birthmother, and I'm relieved that the conversation flowed naturally rather than being awkward. It didn't go too far and there was no tension (for me, inside my being, like there was when I found out about her connection to adoption). You would have thought we were discussing diapers or any other kind of baby-related issue.

It made me breathe a little easier about adoption.

And then I got the box that contained no pictures. I haven't been able to re-read the letter like I often do, which puts off the processing of it all. I am glad for the information in the letter, but there are a lot of hot points in there which I'm not ready to face yet. For example, "I was beginning to worry that you weren't going to have a family of your own .... "

I am just not ready to deal with all the layers of emotion that would surface when I do re-read statements like that. But oh how I treasure the things she did tell me, like how my son still keeps part of his "blankie" under his pillow.

My daughter has no attachment to anything at all. She didn't use a pacifier, doesn't need a particular blanket or doll or animal as a "lovey". But my son - even when I did have him the four days - was a champion with his pacifier. I have wondered for two years now if anything I've learned about my daughter as I've watched her develop and grow is similar to my son. The blankie was confirmation that they are definitely different in the attachment department!


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