I’ve struggled lately to put one cohesive theme into a post, anything more than a paragraph just isn’t working, I get off-track like I’ve done in this post, because, somehow, they are all inter-connected. And, I’ve come to the conclusion that even in my writing, I’m struggling with that old familiar feeling that waits in the shadow to pounce in a moment of weakness, or when you let your guard down for a minute, fear.
I wish I could banish anxiety, and its closest collaborator fear from being ever-present, it’s been my companion throughout my life, sometimes more, sometimes less, but always waiting to appear. I know it has a genetic component and that my mother worried over everything, I’m also sure that being born and left gave it legs to begin so long ago, because lets face it, that is what my mother did, all our mothers did, whatever the reason, whatever the intentions, whether they wanted to, or not, we were left. Some got to meet their mother before she disappeared, others like myself never did, and some like me, never will meet our mothers, while others will.
And that first loss has been woven into every aspect of my life in some way, whether I’m aware of it or not, it’s always there in the background. It is reason why I struggle against the push to create this false narrative of how beautiful adoption is, how there is no downside to adoption. Even those who recognise that their child may have to process what being adopted means, may still believe that infant adoption is something that needs to expand to keep up with the demand for newborn babies to be adopted.
And yet while I push back against how people view adoption as beautiful (only), I can happily scan in family photo’s (adopted) to share with other family members (biological) and post them on FB, enjoy the memories told, comments made, and it’s all good. At the same time, the flip side is me seeing pictures of my family (biological) posted, and I wonder if it’s okay to like the photo of my sibling, aunt, cousin, and sometimes I’m feeling brave, and I do like them, but I’m still outside looking in, in a way that can never be changed, because I wasn’t kept, I have no shared memories to reminisce about together. Family, but not family either, but should be.
So, I push back because the price paid is high.
I push back against the move to push for more expectant mothers to climb on board the ‘birthmother’ forever train, and new birthmothers seem to be leading the cheerleading train for the adoption providers to put forward as their best advertising. And it breaks my heart because what sort of counselling creates birthmothers who’d want other mothers to give their babies away too. I think, perhaps, it’s a form of denial that makes you need to prove you did the right thing, and what better way, than to get others to do it too. It also keeps you on that pedestal in the adoption community they put you on while you were expecting, that seat at the table where everyone lauded what you were choosing to do, that pedestal that disappeared the day you signed the papers and you became just a birthmother, not a mother, the day you were replaced by another mother.
And then, it all collides into your reality, and it really hits you in the gut when you read another adoptees words of grief, grief mixed with bewilderment, pain, isolation. It hurts, and that never changes, so if adoption doesn’t need to happen, it shouldn’t.
I don’t know how to grieve this loss either, it’s still sitting unresolved in me more than a decade later on how to grieve my mother who I never even met after I was born, yet is part of me. This type of grief doesn’t work like it does normally, where you gradually find a level of closure that comes after you’ve gone through the throes of pain after someone dies, then you get used to them not being there anymore, and you get used to a different version of life as you know it, you remember, you miss them because you can’t talk or get together, but you move on. That normal grief process doesn’t exist for us, the loss of my mother still exists in me as it’s always existed, a hole, deep inside, that should never have existed to start with, but is. I know this, yet, every time I go on Ancestry I go to my father’s tree, and then search the SSDI to see if he’s passed away, why I have no idea, because alive or passed, the grief is the same, unresolvable, forever, yet I need to know he’s still alive, and I fear the day he’s not. Why, I can’t explain other than I fear loss, every type of loss.