Per my previous book review – I want to stress that adoption is not just a once-off and simple process. There is so much more to it that I am certain the average Joe doesn’t realise. It simply does NOT end with placement! I want people to be educated on this! The book I reviewed will do that! And then some…
You don’t just get to take your baby home and live happily ever after. You don’t just have the usual parenting woes that a “normal” (for want of a better word!) family has. There is a constant awareness; a white elephant if you will.
Moreover, every adoption placement scenario is different. Completely different. Not all of them are happily ever after either.
When we embarked on our adoption journey, I struggled with wondering how, just HOW, I would go about raising “another woman’s child”. Would I be stricter? Would I be too complacent? Would, when the child did something ‘wrong’, I think to myself “if this were MY own flesh and blood, he/she would NEVER have done something like that” or “oh, if only they had inherited my (example) creative genes”. The biggest and most painful thought I had was that *I* was the infertile one and I failed at giving Travers his ‘own’ child, with all his genes…
My fears extend further than that and remain a constant. I’m petrified of the day she might say to me “you’re not even my real mom” in the heat of an argument. Those words are going to cut me to pieces.
What if Isabella has underlying feelings of being rejected? I see it now already, how it affects her, when she is excluded from certain circles of friends. This is why my protection of her – and more specifically THAT aspect – is so fierce.
I’m incredibly sensitive in my parenting style, to the fact that my child is adopted. I’m fearful of making mistakes that will impact her as an adult. She will have enough issues to cope with as she grows older and I do not want to make matters worse by not being the parent to her that I know I can and should be.
You must understand, someone CHOSE you to raise the child that they cannot. That, in itself, when you pick it apart and really think it through – that is just so huge.
Isabella knows she is adopted. She’s always known. To her, right now, at the tender age of almost-six, it’s really not that much of a big deal. It’s “normal”. It is not a taboo subject in our home.
My personal view on parenting is based on trust; call it the hub of the parenting wheel. These little sponges, naïve little souls trust us implicitly; why break or meddle with that? We did not want Isabella to find out about it any other way than from our very own mouths.
We talk about it often; we mention her Birthmom’s name often.
While reading the book yesterday, I turned to her to ask her if she would ever want to meet her BM. A strange thing to ask such a young child, but I know my daughter – she’s deeper and more intellectual than I give her credit for and I would never have asked her such a very significant question if I knew it would affect her in any adverse way. She looked up at me with those soulful brown eyes and said yes. So I asked her what she’d say and her response had me in tears: “I will say thank you to her for looking after me inside her tummy”.
I’m completely open to them meeting; Isabella has every right to that option, I feel. I don’t know whether her BM would be open to that though. And therein lies yet another fear… what if she’s not? What if she doesn’t want to see Isabella, for her own set of very personal reasons? Will Isabella feel rejected by her and what kind of emotional state will ensue from that? Will she come to hate her for that? This is something that I do not want for either of them.
The book touched on whether the adoptive mom feels threatened by the BM. This had me thinking long and hard about if or when Isabella finally gets to meet her BM. Would I feel threatened by it? Would I feel threatened if they were to establish some form of relationship and keep in contact? Would I want to “piss on my territory”? Would I feel like a third wheel? Would I be the one to feel rejected? Would the BM feel threatened by ME?
I had no answers to those questions, no matter how many spewed around my head. Not one. Because I just don’t know. I cannot and will not stop this highly likely inevitable process.
Sharon has an open relationship with one of their own BM’s and they are in contact. When I first found out about it, my thoughts were scattered all over the place. I was scared – for both of them; but I was also a little envious of it. I wondered what I would do and how I would cope if our BM was in our lives in the physical sense (because really, she IS in our lives anyway). I wondered how she would ‘cope’ with seeing all the constant updates I post on social media. I think it takes some kind of special to have that relationship in place and I take my hat off to both Sharon and her BM for that. That really is an amazing space.
I know her name and I have popped on to her FB page (though we are not friends). I am certain that she knows my name and I’ve often wondered whether she has done the same.
And then… I do wonder whether she knows of Travers’ passing. I remember, a few days after he died, Sharon sat down with me and in tears told me of her anger at the situation; particularly because THIS is not what should have happened; THIS is not what the BM would have chosen, had she known. She’s right and last night, I wondered if things would have been different…
The book also carried a lot of synchronicity for me; there were events and place names mentioned that are significant to my life too. And then I started to really sob, because all I wanted was to share this book, these thoughts, with Travers. As I sat crying, my hand that was placed on the book suddenly turned icy cold. Icy, icy cold, despite the heat from the fire I’d made. And I knew that it was him, telling me that he WAS right there. Since his death, I have never wanted my husband more than at that very moment. I wanted his reassurance that this was all going to be okay and that, so far, I was doing an okay job.
The way I have been and still am, raising my adopted treasure precious blessing is to literally shower her with love. There is just SO much love in this house, that you could swim in it. I reassure her every day that I LOVE her and that I waited so long for her and that she is my GIFT and that I will always be there for her when she needs me.
I live in hope that the awesome relationship that I have with her, will carry her in good stead through any trials and tribulations that adoption brings. It just seems so much harder doing this on my own. I cry now still when I think of everything. EVERYTHING and EVERYONE involved.