Friday, September 23, 2011

How we got here

A couple of times people have asked me if I have contacted my agency or social worker about acting as a liaison to help me with my desire for more contact with Brit's family.

The answer is no.  Simply because we don't have either.  Brit's parents and I were matched privately, through a mutual friend.  All of our interaction was on our own terms.  Completely unfacilitated.  We had an attorney draw up the paperwork, but that was just a quick meeting.

As far as the "open adoption agreement", we don't have one.  And even if we did, our state does not enforce them.  All open adoptions are left to the adoptive parents to honor if they so choose.  Even if it is written in some type of document, it is unenforceable, because birthparents have no rights.  They are terminated immediately and irrevocably in the State of Kansas.

But following is how we got to where we are today. 

(If you are Brit's family or friends of them, please do not take offense.  This is my perspective.  My story.  And completely one-sided I'm sure.  It is definitely skewed because of my emotional involvement.  There is absolutely no way I can be objective.  Please accept my apology if the following is offensive to you.  It is not inteded to be.)

When we were choosing adoption for Brit, none of us had been down this path.  Our families had little or no experience with it. My first husband was adopted in a closed adoption and has no desire to seek his birthfamily.  I have a friend who has an adopted son who does not have any relationship with his birthfamily.  I don't think Brit's parents knew anyone who had adoption experience.  We were all far from experts.

Brit's mom and I did some online research and read some books.  But to be honest, not nearly enough reading and research.  It was only after Brit's birth and my complete disintegration as a person that I researched intensively.

My statement to them during my pregnancy was that I thought we would just let it go and see how our open adoption developed.  I never wanted to intrude on their life with this child.  I wanted them to feel like they were the parents.  I expected that we would continue our friendship and interaction that we had developed during the pregnancy.  We never talked about visits or had a formal plan.  We talked about it being child driven.

You see, while I was pregnant, we talked all the time.  On the phone, in person and via email.  Brit's mom went to every single doctor's appt with me.  I included her on everything.  I shared when Brit started to kick (we matched very early in the pregnancy), when she was giving me fits at night and we always talked about the silly hiccups she constantly had.

We went to dinner a couple of times with Brit's parents.  We were great friends.

We didn't make a plan, because honestly I never ever dreamed I would need one.

I had made a new friend.  She seemed like she was one of my sisters.  We got along great.  There was absolutely nothing that made me think that would ever change.

At the end of the pregnancy I did say to Brit's mom that I would love for all of us to have a get together before school started again in fall (Brit was born in March).  I thought it would be neat to have Brit and her family get together with us and our families.  Brit's mom never indicated that she had no intentions of that ever happening.  (Looking back now, I think she never intended to get together.  But I don't think she was going to say that to me at that point.)

I should have realized that Brit's mom might not be fully open with me when she declined my two FB friend requests while I was pregnant.  I never said anything to her about it, because I wanted to respect her privacy.  But looking back now I wonder if that should have given me an indication that my interaction with her was always going to be limited.  And please don't take this as any kind of accusation.  I know she chooses to be private, so I let it go.  Not everyone likes to be friends with everyone they know on FB.  So I justified her actions with regard to this both then and still today.

During the hospital stay after Brit was born, we had her parents stay at the hospital with us.  The first night BF and I kept Brit.  The second night they kept her.  Their family came in and out of my hospital room all the time.  We even all had a pizza party.  Me in all of my post-partum glory hosting a family get together with Brit's parent's families.  Brothers, sisters, and parents.  They were all there.  It felt like we were all in this together.  I was happy.  This is exactly how I envisioned our relationship.  One big extended family all loving one child.

The last day there, we didn't even have Brit's pictures taken by the photographer because BF and I said we would just let her parents have the pictures taken by their friend.  We figured we would get some.  (We got some emailed to us of a photo shoot that they did with her that didn't work out too well.  But never received any actual pictures ever.  If you can't tell this is something I regret deeply.  I have never had a professional photo of Brit and I would sure love to have one.)

So we left the hospital, they thanked us for Brit, gave each of us a gift and we parted ways at the front door.

Not another text message.  Not a phone call.

When I couldn't stand it anymore and I sent an email to Brit's mom the first of May (Brit was about 6 weeks old).  She replied and it was nice. She  included a couple of pictures of them at home with baby.

A couple of weeks later, I got us the courage to ask if Brit's mom in an email if I could meet her for lunch with Brit some day before she had to go back to work.  That is when she emailed back and said she didn't mean to be disrespectful, but they weren't comfortable with that yet.

That was one of the very worst days of my life.

I left work, went home and cried hysterically.  The kind of sobs that shake your entire soul.  My best friend lives about 40 minutes away and she drove in to hold me.  It makes me cry right now remembering that day.

That was the beginning of when I really recognized that we were purposely being kept at a distance.  Without going back and recalling the exact timeline of how things happened, the basics of what happened after that are:

In September, (Brit was 6 months old) I completely lost my mind because I was getting less and less interaction from Brit's parents (they didn't reply to monthly email exchanges, they would just send an update and even if I asked a follow up, Brit's mom wouldn't reply). So one night I sent an email to Brit's dad and asked what I had done that had kept Brit's mom from emailing me.  She used to be the one who talked to me all the time and then the updates stopped coming from her and started coming from him instead.  It was blatantly obvious that she had stopped interacting with me.

He called me the next morning and it was a real eye opener.  I found out that Brit's mom was dealing with infertility grief, a struggle with feeling like she was completely bonding with Brit as her mom, and the crushing idea that Brit might be their only child.  He said that they had found themselves very protective of Brit. 

It was after that phone conversation with Brit's dad that I realized that I was just going to have to wait until they were comfortable with being Brit's parents before they would ever consider any kind of personal interaction with us again.  BF and I offered counseling for all four of us and they declined.

I also received an email back from Brit's mom (in response to my email to them about why I was no longer being interacted with) and I found out how pictures I was sending her of my kids and me made her realize Brit looks like me and it upset her.  It was that day that I realized that my new interaction with them would include them emailing me when they wanted to, and I was no longer free to share pictures of our family back with them.  (Another heartbreak)

HYSTERIA ensued.  Privately of course.  And it lasted weeks.  I was debilitated with grief.  Completely lacking hope.

Looking back now, I also realize they were actively pursuing pregnancy at this point.

From that point forward I promised to not ask again to see Brit.  But I was very clear that I desperately wanted a visit with her and if there was ever a day or opportunity I would immediately be open to it.

It was then that I tried to stop focusing on what I didn't have and instead be a bigger person.  I sent a birthday gift to Brit's mom in October.  I just waited for them to email me (always on the 25th).  I replied kindly, without pictures and always thanked them for continuing to share.

In November, a day before I would have normally received my monthly email, I emailed Brit's dad (who I was primarily corresponding with at this point) and I shared with him information about the benefits of open adoption and why I thought Brit and our families would benefit from more openness.  He thanked me and told me he would consider it. That was the extent of that conversation.

For Christmas, BF and Brit's dad got together and had a drink and BF gave him our gifts for Brit.  I got a nice email back from Brit's mom a couple of days later saying Brit loved the gifts.  This was particularly hard for me as I know that Brit is only 10 minutes away.  But I can't take her a Christmas present.  I had to have my BF meet up in a private meeting with Brit's dad for the gift exchange.

Monthly emails came in Jan and Feb.  Finally, March 7th (yes I know the day), Brit's dad emailed and said they were ready for us to have a visit with Brit for about 2 hours.  We worked out the details and finally on March 20th (THE BEST DAY EVER), Brit and her parents came over to BF's house and stayed for 2 hours.  It was that day that we first realized they were pregnant (with twins).  Something they had never shared that with us up to that point.  I found out by seeing her walk in the front door with a distinctively pregnant tummy.  She was about 6 months pregnant at that time.

Right after our visit, Brit's parents were somehow turned on to my blog.  After reading it, they were upset and wanted to meet with us.  Not even BF knew about my blog so I am still not sure who told them, but it completely doesn't matter anymore.

We met at a restaurant just the four of us and discussed how I really wanted more interaction with them.  They said that they had never considered a relationship like that with us but they would think about it.  That was the last face to face (or phone) interaction I have had with them.

I continue to send Mothers/Fathers Day cards, and we even sent a 4th of July care package for Brit (she had just become a big sister at the end of June, so we wanted to send her something special).

To this day, we continue to receive monthly emails.  We do not receive phone calls, cards or anything else.  No mothers day, fathers day, birthday or any other acknowledgement.  But I have gotten past that, and I am OK with it being one sided.

I don't want to stop doing those things because I consider them friends.  They may not share the same sentiments, but I have had to come to terms with that.  I decided that I wasn't going to let that change how I feel and acted toward them.

So there you have it.

We live 10 minutes away, but are continents away in our desires for our open adoption relationship.

My counselor who I see regularly keeps reminding me that HOW THINGS ARE TODAY IS NOT NECESSARILY HOW THEY WILL BE FOREVER.  So I am holding to the hope that as time goes on, this will get better.  And hopefully easier.

And I know that absolutely none of this takes any of THEIR feelings into consideration.  I cannot even speak to that because I am not them, and I don't know what they are really thinking or feeling.  We don't have that kind of relationship so I just have to speculate.

After re-reading all I have typed here, I also realize I have not given justice to the kindness I receive from Brit's parents in their email correspondence with me.  Brit's father is particularly kind and gentle with me.  I have spoken to this before.  The man who makes my adoption bearable It is very appreciated.  But both of them are always kind and seem to understand I am dealing with grief.

So there you have it.  How we got here.  I own my part by not being clear from the beginning about what I wanted post adoption to look like.  I had no idea.  And they had no idea how they would feel post-adoption either.  We had no way to know what was about to hit all of us. If only we had. 

So for those who ask if I am angry because Brit's parents haven't honored our open adoption agreement, that is not true because we didn't have one.  We just had a relationship.  A relationship that wasn't ready for the pressure that was about to ensue.  No one has 'changed their mind' about our adoption openness, because it was never defined prior to birth. 

Prospective birthmother's reading this - PLEASE DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE!  Potential adoptive parents, please realize that no matter what a birthmom says right now, she may want and need visits more than once a year or whatever else you all think will be just fine.  And if you remain flexible, it might just be the greatest gift you could give your child.   A real relationship with his/her birthfamily.

So moving on...

Now I am ready to start the chapters about how we progressed from the history to the happier ending.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Two years ago today

Obviously this is not me on the phone and there was no
hot man in the waiting room as I made my call.
 Two years ago today I was sitting in the hospital with my youngest son as he battled some undiagnosed virus.  He was very sick and it just had to run its course. 

I was tired, pregnant and still reeling from all the decisions I had made and still had to make regarding this unplanned pregnancy (which at that point was still a secret to everyone but me and BF).  Top that off with 3 days in the hospital with a sick child, and an ex-husband who was in and out of the hospital with us, I was a bit frazzled.

But it was this exact day two years ago, I had a very important call to make.  And I knew that it could not wait any longer.  So I excused myself from my child's room, went to the waiting room and called Brit's future parents. 

I got her mom on the phone and apologized for the late phone call (we had promised to call them on Monday and this was a Tuesday).  Her mom had a serious apprehension in her voice as she graciously accepted my call being a day late because of D's illness.  But I knew that all she could think about was that I was about to either make her the happiest future mommy or a devastated hopeful parent still wondering how their family would be built.

When I uttered the words that BF and I had chosen them to be parents for our child she almost came through the phone.  She said that when we didn't call on Monday they had prepared themselves for the fact that we must not have chosen them since up to that point we had always followed through when we told them we would.

I remember her excitement continue to rise as it started to sink in and she said "I have to call (my husband)!  I am going to get ahold of his principal because I have to tell him right now even if he is teaching!  I have to tell him right now!  He is going to be so excited!"

It is amazing how it brings a smile to my face even as I type that right now.  The unbelievable joy in her voice.  The way the words that I had just spoken had given her a hope that she had not had for years.

Two years ago today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Give me a chance.

Lisa loving on Princess
You might recall that I keep a baby every weekend.  I refer to her as Princess here in the blog land.  She is the daughter of a friend of mine who originally planned adoption for her child, but decided to parent instead.  I have felt a strong sense of commitment to this little girl because I know how much support her momma needs to be able to make this all work out.  I am glad that by my little bit of weekend childcare, I am able to help her parent. 

Selfishly, I am glad that my support has helped her not have to deal with the birthmother grief that I have.

So all around, our relationship is very symbiotic.  Princess needs care, I have love and care to give.

Most of the time I don't find myself comparing or associating Princess with Brit.  At least not consciously.  They look nothing alike and I am so busy when I am caring for her, I don't have much time to reflect.

But this weekend was a bit different for me.  Princess is developing a personality.  She is 9 months old and changing so quickly.  She scoots across the floor, crawling sometimes, just scooting most of the time.  She pulls herself up and is so proud to be standing.

I found myself thinking about how Brit was walking at 9 months (just like I did as a child).  I wondered what Brit's personality was like at 9 months.  Did she like the same silly things that Princess does?  What did her laugh sound like?  What does it sound like when she says mama?

I missed it all.  I gave it away.  I will never know.

(Yes, hateful anonymous commenter, I know that was the default I chose when I chose adoption. No need to point it out.  I'll save you the time it takes to comment by acknowledging it right off the bat.)

So back to time with Princess.  While I have her, I take tons of pictures.  I send them to her mom's phone while she is at work so she can see her precious little girl during her breaks.  I also take videos of her doing random things (first time on the sit 'n' spin, finding a milk jug and playing with it like a toy, laughing at the boys, etc.).  I want her momma to know that she is happy.  I also want to share these moments with her momma because she is her daughter.  She should get to enjoy those moments even if she can't be there.  I want to make sure it is just like she was there with us.

Being a birth mom, I am pretty sure I am hyper sensitive in this area.  But looking back, I have been this way with my nephews too.  I have always loved taking cute pictures or retelling cute stories to their parents of the little things that they did while mom and dad were gone.

Reflecting on my actions with Princess, I definitely think I am emulating the behavior I wish I was receiving.  The joyful sharing of a child. 

I make sure I take picture of Princess wearing the new outfit her grandma in California bought her, so her mom can forward them.  I try to be thoughtful about what things her mom might like to see or share with the rest of their family.  I want to be a blessing to them by being there and loving a child that they wish they could care for, but circumstances have kept them from being physically present.

I am thankful that I get pictures of Brit once a month.  Pictures that I spend countless hours inspecting, looking for every detail I can possibly see.  I wonder what that bit of food was on her cheek.  Or what it looks like to see her run in the backyard like they say she does.

Secretly I wish they would occasionally send a picture of her playing with the toys we sent, or the gifts we put much thought and consideration into as we chose them for her.  Because we don't get time with her, the only way we can show our love to her is by sending gifts that we hope will bring her joy.  I also think that if they sent pictures like that, it would make me feel like what we try to do for her matters.  That they recognize it and appreciate it.  It might make me feel like we matter.

Every day I obsess about seeing her again.  I want to physically hold her.  Hear her voice.  See her play.  Even listen to her whine.

I try to fight off the icky thoughts.  The ones that come into my head and cause me to focus on what I don't have, versus what I do have.

I think about how I am a perfectly trustworthy person who not only cares for my own children, but someone who cares for someone else's child.  I am seemingly normal, well-adjusted and the only addiction I have is to Diet Coke. 

Yet, I am not worthy of a relationship with the child I carried for 9 months. The child whose future I wanted to include two married parents.  The child I chose parents for so she could have more than I thought I had to offer. (oh, to go back and talk to that Lisa...)

Now, I am kept at a respectable distance.  Sure, I get pictures and an email update.  But there are no phone calls, no continuation of the relationship that we had prior to birth.

I know that I could handle boundaries.  When Princess's mom comes to pick her up on Sunday nights, I hand her over with no hesitation.  I don't have any 'crazy' in me that wants to keep her.  I respect my role in Princess's life.  I love her while she is with me, but she has a momma to whom she needs to be with.

I read today on another blog that adoptive parents in open adoptions are reminded by couselors that there may be times when  birthmother will need to pull back and can't have a close realtionship with their child.  And I see blogs where adoptive mothers are so sad that birthmoms have distanced themselves.

And then there's me.

Waiting.  Wishing.  Hoping.  Crying.  Praying.  Crying.  Longing.  Crying.  And still holding on to hope. 

Silently screaming "Give me a chance to prove to you that I can be a loving part of this child's life without being a threat."

I want a chance.  I want a relationship.  I don't just want to be the recipient of a scrapbook.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What is on the sign you wear?

I remember a sermon one time where my pastor was talking about how he wished that our sins were written on signs that hung around our necks.  Everyone's deepest darkest secret right there, the first thing you see.

"I lie"
"I talk about people behind their back"
"I am having sex with someone I work with"
"I am addicted to porn"
"I gamble"
"I hit someone I say I love"

You get the idea.  All of the dirt that we work so hard to hide.  The secrets that we keep while we walk around acting like we are fine upstanding Christians.

Because you see, it's the Christians who would be bothered most by these signs.

Society would accept many (not all) of these sins as just our free choice.  I can do what I want, when I want, as long as I am happy.

Now, listening to that sermon, I was appalled.  I was probably about 18 years old at that time.  And let me tell you, I had PLENTY of sin that I was hiding.

But the next thing he said was something I had never considered.  The pastor continued
"If we all had signs that listed our sins, we would be so busy trying to cover up our own signs that we would be less interested in trying to read other's signs."
Intriguing thought.  But probably very true.

I don't want you to see my SIN SIGN.

However, I would be interested to know what is on yours.  Because I want to know if yours is worse than mine.  I would gauge my worth upon whether I am doing better than you with my sin list.

But man oh man, I would do everything I could to cover my own sign.

Wouldn't SIN SIGNS change our lives?

I will have you know that I did wear one.  I wore a SIN SIGN for about 6 months two years ago.

I got busted in a sin.  I was 35 years old, not married and pregnant.  Let me tell you, that SIN SIGN got bigger every single day.

I teach Sunday School at church.  I sit on community committees making significant decisions about choices that will impact my community's future.  I have been a mentor to several at-risk children.

And I was 35 years old, unmarried, recently divorced and PREGNANT with a child that people knew I was placing with another family.

It was interesting to think about how I was the one CAUGHT in my sin.  I am certain I was not the only 35 year old woman having sex outside of wedlock in my community.  Heck, I am pretty sure I am one of MANY from my very CHURCH who was having sex outside of marriage.

But I got to wear the SIGN.

And the people from my community who seemed the most appalled by my big round belly SIN SIGN were Christians.  (Thankfully not my church, or at least no one from my church ever said anything hurtful to me.)

Another interesting thing about my SIN SIGN, was that rarely did anyone ask me about it directly.

Instead of asking me about the baby, they would talk to my sisters, or my friends, or better yet, to other people who didn't even really know me.  Because let's be honest, that's some juicy stuff.

"Lisa just left her husband and I heard she is already pregnant!"

And it was true.  Most of it.  But let me tell you, there were few people who were talking about it with compassion for me.

Those who were OK with the idea that I was pregnant, were usually not OK with me placing the child.
"But you're a good mom?  Why would you do that to your baby?"
I spent 6 months of my life defending myself and my actions.  I spent 6 months of my life trying to hide my SIN SIGN.

All the while, no one else had to wear one.

What if you had to wear your SIN SIGN to the store today?  Yes, to the grocery store where you know people.

Would it change how you would behave?

Would you feel differently about yourself and those around you?

Just something to think about.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My boys are pretty cool

I rarely talk about my boys here on this adoption themed blog.  But I think it is important to occasionally mention the kids that I am parenting.  The boys who are my entire world.  They consume 90% of my time and attention and to be quite honest, I think they are each pretty great kids.

My oldest just started his EMT classes at our local community college.  He seems to love the classes.  I know it is much easier to engage in classes when you can see the real life application.  I hope this is the beginning of a career path for him. 

Originally he wanted to be a paramedic, but lately has changed to criminal justice with the idea of being a police officer.  I think he is too tenderhearted to be a cop, but maybe that will be an asset to him.  I'm not too worried about it since his career ideas change from month to month. 

He also went on a mission trip this summer and came back and was convinced he was going into full time ministry.  I believe that there is plenty of time for him to really figure out what he wants to do.  He is an 18 year old boy.  I figure he will flail around for a few more years before he grows up.  Please Dear Lord, help me live with his lazy ways until that happens!

J and his friends in the Bahamas for their mission trip.  Must have been a church day since they are all dressed up.
J and a girl he met in the Bahamas when he was running VBS for kids there.

Here is a picture of J with one of his best friends.  They have gone to church together for about 15 years.  I hope they have a lifetime friendship.  She is a great girl!
Now my middle boy, sweet LanMan.  He had hernia surgery about a month ago and he is healing very well.  However, that means he can't play fall sports.  While it could have been tragedy for a child who is a sports superstar, it wasn't. He is loving the down time he now has in the evenings.  I am also happy to report that his adjustment to middle school has been fabulous.  He loves it and is ready to head to school every morning.  Which is an answer to prayer considering how last year started.

LanMan and our new puppy Grizzly

LanMan before hernia surgery

LanMan doing his favorite thing - fishing.
That leaves my adorable little D.  He is the one child that demands 90% of my parenting energy.  And yet he is the child who has the most life in him.  He lives life without limits.  Which will make him a great adult.  If we can just get him there.  He is small for his age, but cuter than cute.  He is a natural born leader.  He is 10 going on 17.  And if you were to watch him in action with the ladies, you would find he is often working the 14-16 year old girls crowd at any event we attend.  He definitely has mojo and knows how to use it.  Evidenced by the middle school cheerleader loving on him at a Jr Football game.  :Sigh:  Love that kid.  But he wears me out!

D getting a little cheerleader lovin'

First day of 5th grade - marching to the beat of his own drummer

D being the cool kid on the first day of class
Yes, my days are filled with fun and excitement.  And unlike how it comes across here on my blog, I don't miss out on the joy of parenting the boys (most of the time).  They demand my attention, and that's not a bad thing.

Love these kiddos!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The power of praying friends

It is interesting to find out, often in a round about fashion, that people I never would have guessed are reading my blog.

Most of the time, it is just silent reading.  No comments or record that you have been here.

But on occasion, I will say something that touches someone's heart and they comment.  For those of us who are bloggers, we know that those moments where someone takes the time to comment are moments of glory.  It makes us feel connected to others.

Well this weekend, I  had some interesting responses to my last blog post.

First of all, I received a strongly worded text message from a real life friend.  He told me how hurt that he was that I would not share whatever secret I have with him after all that he and I have been through together.  It caught me very off guard.  I had NO idea that he reads my blog.  He is one of the least likely people I would have thought would take the time to, even if he knew about it.  Heck, he doesn't even have a FB page.  So the fact that he knew about the blog intrigued me.  When I talked to him on the phone this weekend, I asked how he knew and I was very interested to hear how he had found out about it.  It is such a small world.

I didn't share with him my current personal struggle (but I thanked him for telling me how much he does care about me).  I will tell him someday.  But for now I have more questions than answers.  So until I come to some sort of conclusion about what I am going to do to handle this newest set of circumstances, I am going to take my counselor's advice and let this one marinade in my head and on my heart.  Oh, and I'm going to pray.  PRAY ALOT.

On that note.  I have received several blog, email and FB messages that simply say they are praying for me.  Some are from you, my blog friends, and others are from 'real life' friends.  I treasure every one.

I have a couple of blog friends who have reached out to me personally, taking time to email me privately and give me encouragement.  Thank you friends.  It has meant so much.  My sincerest Thank You to those who have told me they are praying for me and to those of you who are praying that I don't even know about.

Because of you and your prayers on my behalf (and a few I have prayed on my own behalf too), I have an incredible peace.  The kind of peace that surpasses all understanding.

I know, without a doubt, the only reason that this is the case is because God is providing it to me.  And I know that it is the direct fruits of all your prayers.

And in God's perfect orchestration, the Sunday School lesson I taught on Sunday was based on my favorite verse (this lesson plan, not chosen by me, but given to me by our SS Director).

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".
 There you have it.  Said perfectly.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Still here

I have had a month or so of complete craziness.  Re-entering the dating world.  End of summer activities with the kids.  Beginning of school activities with the kids.  Sports.  Hernia surgery for a child.  An impulsive trip to Nashville for a date with a new suitor.  The usual work load.

All added up, it just has taken my time and attention.  And blog world doesn't rank on the priority list.

It is very interesting to me how dating has impacted my feelings about adoption.  Some of it for the good.  It definitely has served as a distraction from constant adoption obsessing, just because it has taken my time.

Now that I am no longer together with Brit's father, I can at least justify the 'it would have been hard having a child who shuttles between two houses' thought, which is immediately followed by the 'but my other 3 kids live like that and seem to do just fine'

Truthfully Brit's father is one of my best friends even today.  If I was going to share parenting with anyone, I would want it to be him.  So that really doesn't help ease my regret much.

But I do appreciate how much easier it is to date and enjoy time with friends when you don't have an 18 month old child at home.  Which is immediately followed by the thought that I would rather have my 18 month old angel at home with me than go out.

Thankfully everyone of the men I have gone out with have known me prior to our first date.  Two were friends of several years, and the newest dating interest is someone who I told immediately when we met, just because I never thought he and I would ever have a dating relationship so I didn't have any perceived risk telling him. 

I am thankful that our relationship started that way, because he is the only one I have continued a dating relationship with (albeit long distance), so he is the one who would be more likely to have to deal with the long term ramifications of my adoption grief.  He was also the same guy who immediately asked if I could get Brit back.  Interesting.

But this last week I have really had some tests to my fortitude.  Serious tests.

Yesterday was exceptionally hard.  I am dealing with a very serious personal issue that has me tormented. Life changing torment.

But during this dark time, I have been so thankful for a dear blog friend I have met out here.  She was someone I could call and be safe telling my deep dark secrets to.  No judgement.  And complete understanding of how this life crisis impacts my feelings as a birthmother.  Because she is one of US.  She is part of the birthmom sorority.

And interestingly enough, I also was able to tell the 'new guy'.  Understand, this is the kind of secret you DON'T tell the new guy.  It's the kind of secret you keep from the new guy at all costs.  But he asked, and I spilled.

And just like his reaction to Brit, his reaction to my secret was very interesting.  He offered to be a solution.  Even though he wasn't part of the problem.

His response gave me a huge wave of relief.

When I was with my counselor last night, she looked at me and said "You told him that!?!"  I said yes, he asked, so I told him.

She was shocked.  Honestly, I still am too.

But it is what it is.  And his reaction is the reason I am able to breathe today.  In addition to the wisdom that the counselor gave me about taking one day at a time and not telling another soul until we can come up with some solutions.  Between those two thoughts, I feel like I have bought myself some time.

So me and my team of confidants are working through this.  My dear blog friend, the new long distance romance man, the counselor and me.

I will take one day at a time.  Appreciating the moments that make me laugh and loving the kids I have with me right now.

On a related note, another dream last night.  In the dream BF called Brit's father and asked if we could see her over this long holiday weekend.  He kindly told BF that they were not comfortable with a relationship like that with us.

In the dream, I left and walked miles in the rain.  BF stayed at a party and watched me walk away.  We were both grief stricken, but it was interesting the difference in our reactions. 

Mind you, BF would never go to a party and drown his grief in beer in real life, but he would go on as if nothing had happened.  I, on the other hand, would do just what I did in the dream.  I punished myself by walking and crying in the rain, feeling all alone.

Dreams are very interesting aren't they.

I did send BF an email this morning and told him the dream.  He consoled me electronically.  And he told me that he is going to try to call Brit's dad and see if they can find a time to go out with each other and have a drink and chat.  He thinks if he and Brit's dad can sit down face to face, maybe he can have a heart to heart talk with him about how much we would like to have a more open relationship with them with regard to more regular visits with Brit.  Oh how I hope it works.

So there you have it. 

Random heartbreak from LisaAnne.

Yet, I still have so much to be thankful for.

I am such a conflicted person.  I must be a girl. :)