Posts filed under ‘adoption’

MY APARENTS SUCK

There really is no other title that I could think of to suit this post. For those who read my “1st xmas sans afamily” – well, the saga continued and has now ended.

Before I go into it, I want to give a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to my friends IRL – which to me means all of you. You are all part of my real life. Those who I get to see face to face and those who I only see a picture and read your words. I cannot express how wonderful it has been to have the support, encouragement, shoulders to cry on, and love that you all have given to me. Some of you were even able to make me laugh when all I felt like doing was cry. I’d honestly have to say I’m grateful. Yep, now I know what grateful feels like and I am, grateful, to all of you for helping me get through such a horrible day.

I heard from my parents yesterday in the form of a piece of mail. My husband got the mail and I hear him say “wow” – or maybe more of a “whoa” from downstairs in my office. He comes down and hands me an envelope and says “I didn’t expect this.” I’m sure at that moment we both thought it was a thank you card, probably something simple, non-emotional or maybe even guilt laden. I really wasn’t ready to deal with her guilt at that moment and made a comment about my day being ruined. Little did I know what I was about to deal with.

I opened the envelope and in it was a folder 8.5 x 11 piece of paper wrapped around the gift card I sent and the pictures of my son. Typed on the paper in bold letters were two words – NO THANKS.

I went numb. I cried. I went numb. I cried. I went back and fourth. Hubby hugged me. Part of me wanted him to leave so I could just break down and have an all out bawl.

We talked and talked for hours – trying to figure out how to handle it. He wanted to call them and give them a piece of his mind. I honestly think he was more pissed than me. I told him that doing that would only give them the opportunity to hurt me more. We still have not come to a conclusion on how to respond or if to respond.

Thing is, I kind of expected it. I thought they would send it back unopened with “return to sender” on the outside. That would not have surprised me. For them to accept an olive branch after they calliously ignored our birthdays? That is just too much for them. That would mean admitting that their daugther “did the right thing.” That would mean shallowing their pride. But the fact that they opened it, looked at the pictures of my sweet little innocent 17 month old son – their only grandson – and returned them is totally beyond my comprehension. And the cold and calculated maneuver of typing those two words instead of hand writing them – sheesh – I don’t even know how to process that.

What kind of person does this? What kind of person punishes a child, their only grandson, because they are mad at their daughter? It takes a cold heart in my opinion. And mad at me – for what? For sheepishly standing up for myself. For saying “hey mom, I love you, but could you please respect my ability to make good choices for my son and stop criticizing me?” Could you please offer me some support as I’m trying to recover from a c-section, handle a colicky baby, learn to breastfeed, and attempt to go back to work at my home office way to soon but out of necessity? Could you do that mom? Obviously not. She is not capable.

If she is not capable of that, if she is not capable of unconditional love and of putting her childs needs first – and her grandchilds – than why on earth did she adopt me in the first place. I am not a possession for her to control and manipulate – I am a human being with feelings – feelings that have constantly been ridiculed, mocked, ignored and beaten down.

Or maybe, as one of my favorite adoptees has suggested was the case with her – I was supposed to be a band-aid for her fertility problems and I just never lived up to that baby that died. A few years ago, during a political debate with her and discussing trial lawyers and the right of parents to sue doctors, she told me that if her doctor had not screwed up 30-some years ago she would have had a different child. That comment landed me in my therapists office the next day.

A dear sweet online adoptee who I greatly admire said “Stop handing them a loaded gun and saying, shoot me again.”

Well stick a fork in it mom – I’m done. I’m done with letting you hurt me. I’m done with listening to you make fun of me. I’m done with your self-centered behavior. I’m done with your bullying. I’m done with your manipulation. I’m done with your controlling habits. You crossed the line when you denied my son. It is your loss.

Today is a new day. I made it through the worst, with a lot of help, but today I move on. Today I learn to walk proud. Proud of the mother I am, proud of the person I am, proud of the friend I am to others. Today I start to heal.

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January 4, 2007 at 1:25 pm 20 comments

Mirror Mirror

When I was a young teen I used to sit in front of the mirror and try to imagine what my mother looked like. I would squint my eyes, morph my face, imagine myself older in order to get a glimpse of what she might look like. Sometimes I would even pretend I could walk through the mirror and meet her, step into her house and sit down and have a conversation.

Biology matters to me. I know to some people it doesn’t. Those who have not walked in our shoes, to me, have no right to claim it doesn’t matter. They have had the luxury of knowing who they look like. Those who have been down my path and say it doesn’t matter, well, I have to respect their position but I totally do not understand it. It was torture for me to not know who I looked like. When I finally got that first picture of her, just two years ago when I was 36, it was not what I expected. See, I had always just imagined her as my twin. In fact, as odd as this sounds, I imagined her younger than me because she was frozen in time as a 20 year old. She was 20, she was my mother, she relinquished me and I never saw her again so therefore her existence froze in my mind until we could meet. It was odd to open that envelop and see an older woman. There were things that were very familiar, very similar, but she was not my twin. She didn’t have my thick strawberry blond wavy hair or my fair skin – both of which I got from my paternal grandmother. She did have funky glasses, a fun hairdo and was dressed in black – very similar to me. But physically I had to reach a bit.

My father thought I was the spitting image of him. In fact, he sent me a picture of himself as a child and we do look a lot alike. But I don’t see it as adults. I see myself as a combination of both of them. But at least I see myself fitting well on either side.

I have a wonderful photo of me standing between my mom and my aunt – and I fit. I fit perfectly. I can SEE it and I’ll tell you, it’s an amazing site. In a sense it even validates my existence.

To me my son looks like a combo of me and his father. Other people have said he looks exactly like his dad. He does have my hair color and my trademark dimples (one on one side and two on the other). But I’ve had so many people comment on this – even one relative say “boy, I bet if you hadn’t been there at his birth you wouldn’t even know he’s yours” – blech. So it’s very endearing to me when I get those few comments about how he has this of mine, or that of mine. Both of my husbands brothers are in town this weekend and one of the first things one of them said to me was that he could see both of us in him. That he was definitely a combination of the two of us. Now I know, and I tell myself regularly, that my son IS his own person. But I have to admit it’s nice to be recongized in him and it’s nice that it’s a combination because we both love him so much. I hope someday he looks in the mirror and likes what he sees – being a little bit of both.

December 31, 2006 at 2:36 am 4 comments

1st xmas sans afamily

My relationship with my aparents has ebbed and flowed over the years since I was a teen. Basically as long as I am being the good daughter and not questioning them, everything is okay. Shortly after my son was born I decided to stand up for myself after one to many criticisms from my mother. This didn’t go over very well and basically, we have barely spoken since.

I did go to their house for xmas last year but afterwards was accused of being cold. I guess since most of my attention was being paid to my son, that makes me cold. The only thing I had asked for for xmas last year (as we are required to make lists) was a couple of baby pictures of me. I don’t have any baby pictures and for some reason my mother has always been oddly possessive about photos yet keeps them in a shoebox in the back of a desk in the basement. Being adopted and always wondering who I looked like — my desire to compare myself as a baby to my son was something I looked forward to doing. I had wanted to make a triple frame with E’s picture in the middle and a pic of me and my husband on each side. I never mentioned the big bad “adoption” word to my mom, just stated that I wanted to make a frame with the three of us. So when it came time for me to get my present, I get handed a big box. I open it and it is filled with pictures of me from adoption to teen years (even the duplicates), my old report cards, drawings I did as a child, cards that I made for them and my baby book. My mother said “there you go, there’s your life in box.” Um, hello, I still have a life. It didn’t end when I moved out. I don’t know, maybe I took it the wrong way. I didn’t say anything in the moment but it just felt like they were trying to purge themselves of me. I just wanted a few baby pictures, and they gave back cards I made for them? I guess they didn’t want them anymore. Or maybe they were trying to say “see how much you loved us when you were a good little girl.” It was all I could do to hold back the tears — both of elation for finally seeing a picture of me as a baby (two months being the youngest pic, all I had seen before that was a year old), of sadness for that little baby, knowing she had recently lost her first family and of feeling rejected by my parents.

My parents birthdays both passed this last summer. I sent them presents and called to wish them happy birthday. My son’s 1st birthday was also this summer and they sent him presents and I called to thank them and sent them pictures of him. That is the last time we have spoke. Both my husband and I had birthdays in November and my parents chose to not even send a card. No card, but a pretty big statement, huh? I debated how to handle xmas. After much thought and discussion with hubby, I decided to send them a card with multiple pics of our son and a combo present for both of them. Well xmas came and went, no card from them, no phone call to wish us a Merry Christmas, no gift for my son — their only grandson. You know what, they suck! It’s one thing for them to be mad at me and take their anger out on me by not acknowledging my birthday but it’s another to punish my husband and worse yet to not even acknowledge their grandson on Christmas. How’s that for good Christian family values? And the thing is, at this point, I hope they don’t call because I don’t even know how I would handle it.

December 26, 2006 at 9:06 pm 11 comments


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