I chose this title because I’m about to talk about hard stuff, and difficult feelings, and things that make me cringe a little. But the reality is, I am who I’m supposed to be. I know this and I’m okay with it. More than okay, really.
The things you read today might sound like I’m frustrated or unhappy or take issue with my life, but you’ll have to trust me when I say that’s not the case. I love who I am, who I’ve married, and how our children came into our lives.
With that being said, in the vein of Secret Thoughts of An Adoptive Mother, here are a few of my own thoughts that rear their ugly heads from time to time. (Please note: it’s been years since I’ve read this excellent book, so if any of these are similar to those in Wolff’s book it’s purely coincidental.)
** Sometimes it’s so hard to be the adoptive mom. People often believe I’m on the sunshine end of this dynamic; I came out of the situation with a child, after all, but there is so much more going on here. My relationship with T-man’s birthmother walks a very fine line and, deep down, there are times when I’m jealous of the permanent biological tie she has with my son. I know we’re family and that I’m T-man’s mom, but I’ll never be able to claim that history of having carried him in my body. I can say “love makes a family” a million times, but there is a tiny part of my heart that wishes we had that blood tie, too.
** Sometimes it just plain old sucks to share my children with people outside our own families. All of the pep talks I’ve given myself over the years don’t temper this emotion a bit. I’m well-versed in upbeat perspectives like more love for my child is always a good thing, knowing where you came from is far better than having a gaping hole in your history, and feeling love from their biological families makes the kids feel more secure about their adoptions. I do believe that these are all true. So though it may sound selfish, there are times when I’m frustrated that so many people have their hands and hearts in my family.
** Waiting for the other shoe to drop is torture. When is my kid gonna hit me with a “You’re not my real mother” bombshell? What will I do when they come home having made bad choices or questionable friends or gotten crazy drunk and throw “My real mother wouldn’t freak out” in my face? When are they going to start asking “Why didn’t she keep me” and not be willing to accept the half-and-half answers we’ve provided so far? I can tell you what we were told and I have an educated guess about the rest, but at some point my answer is probably going to come across like some glib answer from a Why Was I Adopted? picture book. What will happen then?
** There are times when I feel remarkably stupid having to tell people “I don’t know.” Family medical history? Allergies to medicines? Any important biological information? Parents should know these things about their kids. The first four years or so were one long string of telling various professionals that I couldn’t answer their questions, and just when I think I’m past that stage I find myself in another room, staring blankly at one more doctor who needs information. This year it was if there was a family history of glaucoma; next year it’ll be something else. And I Still Won’t Know.
** As my ob-gyn so delicately said to me once, “It’s not right. I’ve got women high on crack, rolled in here handcuffed to their gurneys while they deliver their babies, and you can’t even get pregnant.” (Yeah, not exactly Mr. Tact.) His delivery may have been abrupt but it struck a chord because it was so true. Teenagers get knocked up. Drug addicts get pregnant. Hell, two women have delivered babies when they were 66 years old. It can be a hard pill to swallow.
** I’m incredibly proud of my children and love how our family looks, but there are times when we’re out running an errand and I simply don’t feel like being a poster parent for adoption that day. Strangers who stare, comment, or question me on those days make me feel like we’re a zoo exhibit.
So these are some of the thoughts I chase around my head. Not all the time, and some more than others, but they’re there. I’m sure some more will find their way onto the blog again.