He called her.
And now . . . I still have no answers. No idea of what to think, what to do.
Is there hope or fear in what she had to say?
I hate this! I hate having to see my son go through this. I hate knowing this is what adoption – the amazing loving option – brought into our lives.
And I want someone, anyone, who told me adoption was the “best” choice for him, that it would give him the better life, the one I couldn’t even hope to offer him, to answer me now. To stand in front of my son and explain to him why they believed being raised by his adoptive mother would be so much better than staying with me. Why facing this is what he deserved, what gave him the perfect life.
Because I still don’t have answers. I don’t’ have any idea what to think, what to do. And DAMNIT, I want somebody, anybody, to tell me how this ever was the best thing for my son.
And it’s hard to explain even what is bothering me about their conversation. I keep typing and deleting, trying to make sense of it here while it still doesn’t make full sense in my own head.
Because I know, in honesty, I face two fears . . . one of my oldest son being lied to again by his adoptive mom. The fear that she is “presenting” a side of her that is not real to bring him back into her life that will then change and place him again in an abusive relationship with her.
I fear her claims of no longer drinking, of his adoptive family, with a history of doing all they can to avoid one another, suddenly so close they love get-togethers with any chance they have, and her claim that his cousin and step-siblings, from her second marriage, are now upset because he doesn’t talk to them (though they have all had the information to get a hold of him and haven’t done so and were not viewed as close by my son) are games she is playing because she still sees it as a competition. A need to prove who is the “good” family. A battle between who my son wants in his life, instead of understanding he will always have two families that are a part of him, no matter what happens.
I fear she wants him to feel as if he has to pick the “better” side because she talked of how wrong it was, and how angry she was, that his first father and brother (my husband and youngest son) ever made that first step at reunion by going to the restaurant where he worked almost three years ago (when he was almost nineteen.) That she tells him after everything we have done to her that she wants nothing to do with us or ever speak to us again and is worried about how he is doing and how we are treating him, especially since he has come to the decision he no longer carries a belief in God. (Just not in the mind set to link to it right now, but there is a previous post on my blog about why my son lost his faith in God.)
But there is also that second fear, born in my own insecurities, that she will be able to show that we are terrible people and that he isn’t happy with us and that I will again lose my oldest son because I am still not good enough for him or have failed him in some way or just don’t know what it is to be what he needs.
And so that makes me no better than her because it is her insecurities, I know, that bring about much of her actions as well. And I hate it.
I hate it.
I hate it.
I hate it.
I dream of relationships like Dawn at This Woman’s Work has with her daughter and her daughter’s first mom. And I find myself wondering, what if . . .
What if it had been that way?
What if his adoptive mom and I could have formed such a relationship?
When my son and I first reunited, I had visions of the moments his adoptive mom and I would share. This was before I knew of the abuse he had been put through. When I had not yet let through all the pain and anger I carried from her closing his adoption when he was five.
But I used to think of that, imagine family celebrations together, holidays shared. I could see us together when he got married, when his children were born. I created fantasies of a bond we would create in the joy of watching our son together, growing and living, becoming a man and starting his own family. And I did this, even during my realitzation and decision to speak out about the darker truths of adoption. Even while knowing that I needed to make a change for other moms and understanding what happened to me when I went through the clutches of the adoption industry.
And even now, there have been times when I have let myself believe that someday, somehow, maybe she will beat her addiction. She will reach out to our son and let him know that she wants things to be better. She wants to do what is best for him, and we will find that chance again at having a relationship between all of us, a part of the ups and downs of our son’s lives. Being together as moms, sharing how much it means to watch the milestones of our child.
I want my son to have all of us in his life, in a healthy, good way. I want to stop fearing that he will face more abuse from his mother. That she won’t push for him to choose between his families and will allow him to have both in his life. And that her games won’t take him away again, convince him that I am the mom who couldn’t offer him what he deserved and that he must choose between us instead of be allowed to have both of us in his life.
I want this confusion, this doubt, this fear that both of us are hurting him, denying him of what he deserves because of our own selfish actions, to end, to be a memory, replaced by a life where my son can happily say he has two moms in his life to watch over him, without ever facing more abuse, uncertainty, or feelings like he is trapped between us, forced to go one way or the other.
I just want something!
And I want to know why any one of us deserved this? Why did we have to be the ones who know about adoption? Why was it our lives that it had to come into, change forever? Why couldn’t we just be a normal family where these things never even were thoughts to be had.
Somebody just tell me, PLEASE! Where am I helping, where am I failing? Am I letting my own selfish desires harm him in the same way I get angered at his adoptive mom for what she does? Are my fears controlling how I react to what she said, restricting me from seeing good in what might be to come?
I just want an answer, an explanation I can understand. I want to know that this time what I do, the decisions I make, won’t set my son on another path of pain. I’ve already done that to him before. I can’t do it again. But I don’t know if I already have or am setting it up for it to happen to him in the future.
I can’t put him through it all over again. I can’t let my actions cause him harm for a second time.
But how in the world do I know how to avoid this?
Damn! I just hate this! More than I can ever say.
In Other Words: Susan Harness and Sandy White Hawk
25 minutes ago