Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I can still be happy

One of the hardest things in the beginning of being a birthmom was allowing myself to be happy.  I didn't want to be happy.  I didn't want to feel better.  I wanted to wallow in grief and never come out.

Now 16 months after Brit was born, I am finally feeling like I can allow myself some moments of joy.  I can do things and not immediately remember that I am a birthmother.  Now the moments are fleeting, but at least I am having them.

Of course I never ever forget about Brit, just like I don't forget about my parented children.  But little by little I am allowing myself to move forward with my life, in spite of the pain.

I had a first date last night and had a wonderful evening.  Thankfully he is someone I have known casually for a couple of years and he knows my story.  Maybe not in its entirety, but he knows I had a child last year and he knows she was adopted.

So I didn't feel like I had to hide anything.  Which in itself is freeing.

I cannot fathom what it will be like if I ever date a stranger.  How will I ever explain my sweet Brit?  I would want it to be known right up front, but I also don't want it to be the only defining part of me. (Even though it consumes me.)

I need to think about how I will handle that in the future, now that her BF and I are no longer a couple and I do plan to date.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blogger frustration

I have two Blogger frustrations that I am hoping someone can help me with...

  1. Why can't I comment on some of your blogs?  This has been going on for some time now and it makes me CRAZY(er)!  I can't even comment on my OWN blog.  Seriously.
  2. Does Blogger have any feature that allows me to password protect only individual posts, and not my entire blog?
OK, I feel better just getting that out there.

Your comments would be much appreciated.  (Assuming you can even comment...)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today is the 25th - and I know what that means

I cry and greive because I want more relationship with my adoptive parents.  But let me say this loud and clear.  They are AWESOME about sending me a monthly update.  Always.  Without fail.  On the 25th of every month (Brit's birthday).

They now have twins at home.  Three children ages one and younger.  Yet they send an email update. Every single month. For 16 months.

How condsiderate is that?

Yeah, I know I want more.  But knowing what some of you birthmom's go through waiting for an update, I will celebrate this one area where I am so lucky.

Brit's paretns are very private people.  So I told them I would try to just share the pictures that they send me with my friends.  But I have to share this one.  Could this girl be any cuter?

She wants to feed the babies (her twin brother and sister), but Elmo will have to do for now.  Apparently they did let her try to feed one of the twins and she LOVED it.
She is so advanced.  And might I say stinkin' cute.

I just want to scoop her up and snuggle her.  Someday....

Until then, I will read and re-read her daddy's emails about what she is up to now.

How cool is it that her dad takes the time to write the updates?

Sweet baby girl.  I wish things were different.  But you are so very happy.  And really, since I can't change anything, I guess that is what I would want for you.

I love you Brit!

Don't give him your time

I was having an IM conversation with a special friend this morning.  He is the man that taught me what it is like to be truly loved by someone.

He and I have both have had a really hard time finding someone else who could replace the connection that we shared for the year we were together.

I figured he had found someone lately because I haven't heard from him in about a month.  That generally means he has started a new relationship and it is good.

So today we finally connected again, and sure enough.  He has found a girl that he thinks he might be able to love as much as he loved me.

I am so very happy for him.  He deserves that kind of happiness.  And I expect he will bring her great joy too because he is an incredible man.

I want to share something he said to me this morning.  He knows about my long time struggle with BF and his lack of commitment to a future with me.  So in our conversation today he said these most poignant words...

"Lisa, please don't give him any more of your time.  If he can't appreciate what he's had, he doesn't deserve any more."
I just loved that statement.

It meant so much coming from a man who treasured every minute he had with me.  He treated me like a queen every minute of every day.

He knows what he is talking about.

I am going to really think about those words. 

I know it is true in my heart, and I have heard the same message from so many other people.  But it is amazing how the words resound when they come from someone who loves you as much as I know he still loves me.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dreams, regret and the truth comes out

I know I have written this before, but when it comes to dreams about Brit, it is unbelievable how upsetting it is to me because they are so real.  It ruins my entire day.  I wake up a blubbering mess and generally I can't shake it.

Even when the dream is happy, I wake up in a near panic trying to go back to sleep so I can hold her again.

Last night was one of those nights.  In addition to dreaming vividly about my dear sweet Brit, I also dreamt that the BF and I had an argument.  In the dream, he told me that he was choosing to live in Vegas over continuing a relationship with me.  This conversation between us happened immediately after he and I had just had a fabulous afternoon together with Brit, her parents and her new twin brother and sister (still in the dream of course).

I know that there are real reasons for all of the dream components.
  1. BF and I are supposed to have a 'where do we stand in our relationship' talk scheduled for tomorrow.  That explains the picking Vegas over me conversation in the dream. (Of note, he has no plans or aspirations of living in Vegas.  That must be some other manifestation.)  I am anticipating that our conversation tomorrow is going to be a final end to any romantic relationship between the two of us.  So I am certain that this dream conversation is my way of dealing with what I feel is inevitable in real life.
  2. The timing of the dream argument between BF and me occurring after a visit with Brit was a real experience.  That really happened this March when he refused to talk to me after our one and only visit with Brit.  I was upset after the visit and he didn't think he could handle listening to me tell him how upset it had made me so he told me he needed a week away from me to clear his head.  I spent a week weeping and feeling more alone than I have ever felt in my entire life.  It makes me cry right now just typing that.
  3. The visit with Brit comes from the desire I have to touch and hold my little girl.  I know there is no visit in my near future, so I have been trying to stifle the thoughts of it.  It appears to be working pretty well as I have been doing better with not crying at work the last few weeks.  But given a chance, my subconscious mind reminds me that I have a primal need to touch my child.  To hold her and to love her.
  4. In my dream I nursed Brit (which I did for all of my children).  I am going to completely blame this part of my dream on my Bestest Birthmother Friend (BBF) who has struggled with this very topic.  She wished her adoptive parents would have accepted her offer to ship her breast milk to their son, which they respectfully declined.  It was hard for her to accept and we have been talking about it alot lately.  In my dream, breastfeeding Brit was something only I could do.  I am certain that is a very significant insight.
There are also lots of other parts of the dream I could explain away.  But it really doesn't matter.  What matters to me now is that I realize again how just when I think I can manage my emotional condition regarding adoption, I am sent reeling by a simple dream.

I don't want to be a birthmom anymore.

It hurts too much. 

And I don't want my daughter to be adopted. 

I want her to be my daughter.

There.  I said it.

I thought the truth was supposed to set me free...

Instead, I just feel heartbroken.

NOTE:  I have many adoptive mother followers and readers.  This is not about you.  I think many of you are exceptional parents and you are doing a noble job of managing healthy open adoptions with your child and his/her birthparents.  

This is also not about my daughter's adoptive parents.  I know my daughter is loved and cared for.  The adoptive parents did not cause me to make this poor decision.  I did it all by myself. 

This is about a mother who regrets a decision made that will forever change the lives of herself, her daughter and her family. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

A pretty quiet week in my adoption world

It is interesting to me how intense the feelings associated with adoption can be.  The debilitating grief.  Then all of the sudden, out of nowhere ,comes a quiet week where my heart is still and I have peace.

From what I can remember, that is how my heart has felt about my adoption situation this week.

Just still.  And quiet.

I love the reprieve.

I was even able to talk about Brit's parents to a new acquaintance last night without angst.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Looking for birthmothers who are parenting older children

Another 'older' birthmother friend and I are looking for others who have stories similar to ours.

We are seeking birthmothers who were/are parenting older children when they chose an adoption plan for their newborn child.

If you are a birthparent who is/was in that circumstance, please send me a private email or comment here so we can touch base with you.

We would like to have an online support system for others who deal with the issues that parents who relinquished later deal with (like sibling questions, parented child and relinquished child relationships, etc.)

We know you are out there, tell us who you are!

Finding the good

The roller coaster of emotion that comes with adoption can take its toll on a person.  I have seen several posts lately from some of my favorite bloggers saying they are taking time off from the adoption world discussions.  Boy, I can understand that.  I hope they return soon, refreshed and willing to share again.  But I can understand if it takes a while.

I too have needed some relief for some time now.  I see that my posts have gotten progressively more sad and melancholy.

I don't want to be that girl.

My adoption story is not all rainbows and butterflies.  Those of you who read regularly know that.  But it also isn't bad.  My daughter has great parents who love her very much.  They send me monthly updates with photos.  I know how she is growing and changing.  I do not have to imagine, because I get to see pictures and read stories.

However, I find that all I can focus on is what I DON'T have.  I don't have that intimate kind of relationship with her adoptive family that many of you share with your adoption triad.  I am held at a distance, instead of embraced.

I don't get sweet text messages and pictures when Brit does something cute.  I have never once had a friendly phone call with her parents since her birth.

This weekend I was once again reminded of how friends of friends are allowed more time with Brit than I am.  My sister found out that one of her dear friends is also a close friend of Brit's mother's sister (Brit's aunt).  I met this friend at a restaurant while I was out with Brit's BF (yes, we were out together again).  After we met briefly, my sister and her friend went out for the evening. My sister's friend was asking about my children and somehow my sister and her friend put two and two together, and my sister's friend told her how she has met Brit and knows their family well.  Really?  A friend of the aunt has spent time with my birthdaughter, and I have had one visit for two hours.

Yes, my mind went down that yucky path when I found that out.  Of course, as a nice birthmother, I did not say a single negative word out loud.  I just keep them in my head where they swirl around and create a life of their own.

I don't want that.

I want to focus on the positive.  I want to be loving and understanding.  Not bitter.

Adoption takes strength I wish I never had to find.  It has caused me to face my selfishness.  To deal with my lack of faith that God truly can make beauty from ashes.

I want to do a better job of being still and waiting.  And trusting that there is a reason for today's suffering.

The truth is I cannot do anymore to change my current circumstances.  I placed my daughter with another family.  No matter how much pain, regret and remorse I have about this now, the decision has been made and cannot be undone.

I have never before been in a position like this one.  Every thing that I have ever done or not done in my lifetime, I could do something later to 'undo' it.

Not with this decision.

So where does that leave me?

I suppose I get to choose what I do now.

So here is what I choose.  I am going to use my experiences for the good of someone else. 

What I have lived through can be used for the benefit of someone else who is either traveling my same path, or who may be dealing with that pivotal decision that could put her here.

And maybe by sharing my experiences and feelings I can also be a resource to adoptive parents to help understand what their birthmother might be feeling.

I know I am just one birthmother, and I do not represent all birthmothers.  But I am one.  And what I think and feel is real for me.

Maybe it will make a difference.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A great article about embracing birthfamilies

I read this article Adoption - Adoptive Families this morning on the Adoptive Families website. I absolutely covet this adoptive mother.

What she describes is exactly what I would desire my relationship be with the family who adopted my daughter. I want to have a relationship with not only my daughter, but with their entire family.

I love the concpet of returning to the well. What a beautiful analogy.

It is a situation like this where the focus is on the needs of the CHILD, not the adults, that reminds me again that adoption done well can be rewarding for all involved in the triad.

Hooray for adoptive families who love their children this much!