I’ve been pondering on a conversation my husband and I had the other night, sparked by a question on a game show of all things. Something about how long is too long for your in-laws to visit. Long story short, he didn’t like how mom treated me, how she always seemed to find a way to put me down.
And it’s true; I never could live up to her expectations with one exception, while the other’s could do no wrong, or if they did there was a valid reason to explain why they did that, acted that way. They’d be so good at something, I’d need to practice more, be a certain way, things like that. Never anything deliberately mean, no yelling, just never living up to what she thought I should be, and yes, I felt it.
I also always understood who she was and why she was that way with me.
I always have and still accept her for all of who she was. She was amazing, hardworking, caring, stood up for people, seldom faltered, she also never wanted to adopt me. My older siblings were her chosen ones, I was dad’s chosen one. And that’s the reason for this post, because if mom had been any less than who she was, she would have made my life hell like you read in other adoptee stories, believe them, it’s different when adoption is part of the story.
Mom didn’t treat me bad, instead, she tried very hard to be a good mom to me, she showed that over and over throughout the years. She always had my back whether she agreed with me or not, and it was mostly not, but that didn’t matter. When I got sick, she drove over an hour in snow each way to see me when I was in hospital, talk to my doctors and to make sure I was taken care of, so she could reassure dad, who, by then, wasn’t mobile.
At the very end of her life she told me: I didn’t think you’d be able to step up, but you did. That was both a slap in the face, and yet, also the highest compliment she ever gave me. We all have our challenges in life, parenting me was hers. It is what it is, I bear her no ill will, she tried hard, she was a good person, loyal, strong, hardworking and caring and I’ll never say otherwise. She was also human and my mom.
The two takeaways from my story:
If you adopt, both of you must be full onboard with adopting that specific child as your child, or you just don’t adopt. The price of adopting a child because your spouse wants to will be born by the one adopted.
Believe the adoptees who tell stories you just can’t believe, because, to you, who would be that way when they chose to adopt. It’s never that simple and you need to see behind the story to understand.