Adoption; Ten Steps In, A Hundred Miles Back Out

Whoever wrote the Miranda Lambert song, “I Just Really Miss You”, must have had experience with adoption.

It is a perfect illustration of adoption, but the most poignant line to the song is, “It’s ten steps in, and a hundred miles back out.”

No one told me it would be this hard. No one told me that nearly 17 years later, I would sob on a regular basis as vigorously as I did the day I let her go.

My mother was the driving force in the relinquishment of my daughter. Suffice it to say, we have had a turbulent relationship over the last almost two decades. I fight between the natural emotions of wanting to love my mother, but simultaneously hating every fiber of her being. I have to be truthful. Its my “blog”.

Hate is a strong word. But realization mixed with unresolved emotions is where I currently reside. I began to chip away at the realization of the manipulation when my daughter was around 7 years old. I had lived so long in “crisis” mode, that it took a while to sink in. My pregnancy was made a crisis by those around me. I was on scholarship in college. I was a Dean’s List performing, working, law-abiding, addiction-free new adult.

The boyfriend, after talk of marriage, bailed early on. The marriage talk was fine with my parents, but the single-mother talk was unacceptable. I was told very early on that if I planned on keeping my baby outside of marriage, I would not have a place to call home. Words that have resonated over the years. Words that I hope never dream of leaving my mouth in the direction of my own children.

For the remaining 8 months I tried every which way my naïve 19 year old self could do to indeed keep my baby. If I had only come across a large bag of unmarked bills, my daughter would be sleeping in her own room tonight under my roof. She’d be pissed at me because I wouldn’t let her go to a Beyoncé concert and neither of us would know the pain of adoption. We would be oblivious to The Great Suck.  We’d both know the pain of something else; maybe single motherhood, maybe lower living standards, maybe a deadbeat dad. In my honest ignorance, none of those scenarios seems comparable to my reality. But she is thousands of miles away with strangers because I had no leverage and my mother was a steamroller.

I lament lost motherhood. I have two precious angels sleeping in the bed with my husband tonight as I face another night of insomnia on the couch. If an adoptee were to read this, from this birth mother’s experience, there is no forgetting. There is no true letting go. I think of my daughter daily. I dread the night because I know that’s when she visits me with her accusations, her rage, or even worse her silence. I play it over in my mind, if I had only had one ally back then. Just one person to offer me hope. Yet, I had none and I had nowhere to live. How could I have left a hospital with a baby and nowhere to live?

I was preyed upon by all those around me; my parents, the agency, my pastor (who gave me a sales pitch for his own childless brother), and a “counselor” who happened to be associated with an agency. What could have been a manageable situation with a 19 year old adult, was turned into a “crisis” that would define the rest of mine and my daughter’s lives. She would be sent to another country, coordinated by my mother, and I would go back to college with a new pool installed a month after her birth. My mother’s materialistic fix-all.

The only thing I demanded, as I felt I was in such a position of weakness, was that the adoption had to be open. I must say, getting pictures over the years does seem much pain “less?” than not at all, but it remains a deep, primal pain nonetheless.

My daughter contacted me of her own volition when she was 15. We kept in touch frequently at first, but I noticed that her messages would get shorter and more impersonal as time went on. I felt like I had been a passing curiosity that had lost her interest. It hurt, but I was willing to take the table scraps of her life. Just having the open connection worked wonders for my well-being. Then, two months ago, she told me she “needed space”. I felt like I was in some Twilight Zone Parallel Universe break-up scene. I obliged and sent one last package to her including some items I had hoped to give her in person and a long letter pouring my heart out. I’m sure her adopted parents, whom I’ve always had a respectful relationship with, think I’ve gone rogue as I haven’t heard a peep out of anyone.

But she is nearly an adult herself now. It can’t remain a secret that adoption was never my plan. And if I was going to get one last word in our relationship I wanted it to be the truth.

So how do I move on without her? Again?

I’ll be listening to a lot of Miranda. I’ll be listening to some John Mayer as I “dream” with my “broken heart”. Throw in some Coldplay Scientists admitting that “no one ever said it would be this hard.” Maybe a dash of Cam as I “try to take what’s lost and broke and make it right.”

I didn’t plan on blogging about adoption. I wanted to blog about gardening and books. As always, The Great Suck commands its presence be known.


2 thoughts on “Adoption; Ten Steps In, A Hundred Miles Back Out

  1. I AM LIVING THE SAME LIFE RIGHT NOW! 3 years ago I was given the same ultimatum by my mother in a hospital bed. I had just found out I was pregnant and also that I was almost ready to deliver. Big shock as u can imagine. But ultimately I laid in bed clueless to what my mom had been scheming up at home. Soon my room is engulfed with social workers and before I knew it her new parents were there in the hospital before I even signed any papers. As I awoke from all of the medication and haze of an induced yet non epidural working delivery of a young woman with preeclampsia, and I decided I wanted to change my mind, the new family was already formed in my maternity wing… Oh and I’m also adopted. So I hold the same anger towards my mother as u and only u may really understand, but I also have a crazy guilty dinamic that took control over my feelings entitlement or lack of, in their home already, and than to think they were gunna let me have my baby there too??? How dare I right?! Is that what we would want our daughters to think in their new “perfect” homes? It’s all so messed up, we need to talk! I love everything u write, u may be the Only one who would understand me completely as I do with u. Thank you for sharing and informing on so many different aspects of this awful hidden reality from the devil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happens EVERY day. And I’m so tired of the justification for this behavior. Especially from “Christians”.
      I don’t know if you know Lynn Johansen with Saving Our Sisters. She really has an awesome thing going where she helps moms/families try to untangle themselves from the agencies. Find her on Facebook. If you want to find me specifically, I don’t mind you asking her to point you in my direction. As of now, I kinda want to keep my blog anonymous due to my child being a minor. After that, I won’t be as concerned with anonymity.
      Words cannot express my sadness over your situation. Not only are we overwhelmed with the loss of our child, but the loss of those who we truly believed would look out for our best interest. Sorrow on one side; Anger on the other. Its unimaginable grief.


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