It is so hard to find other birth mothers. I want to pick their brains. Learn their stories. Compare notes to see how “normal” I am. We are a rare breed; at least in blog world.
It has been nearly 6 months since my daughter shut the door on our relationship. My daughter. She IS my daughter. She always will be.
The me now wishes she could go back in time to the me then. Come bursting in like the Terminator; tell my Podunk little town “hasta la vista, baby.” My mission would be to voice my opinion. Be loud. Very loud. Not the timid girl shamed into cowardice.
I knew then that adoption would kill me. I knew I was much too sentimental a girl. Much too analytical for something so traumatic to just blend in to the background of my life. I had Tori Amos and Fiona Apple running through my veins. Adoption would not be a cakewalk for me.
I let people convince me that I would be a worthless mother. I had no money. I had no career. I was nearly a kid myself. I got caught at something I had been told many times to “just not do”. So, this was my penance. Losing my daughter was payment for my shameful act.
I resigned myself to death. It took the last month for me to completely isolate from the world. I knew that what faced me would take tremendous focus. So, for that last month, I stayed at home preparing my mind and my arms for that moment of release. I willed myself to die once she was handed over. I believed and hoped that my body would be so physically overwhelmed that my heart would simply stop beating.
Except that didn’t happen. I released a long breath expecting it to be my last, but another took its place. Somehow my body didn’t get the message. Each day I woke up again. I hadn’t planned for my post-adoption life. I had planned to die instantly from emotional pain.
The years went by. Many were very painful. I married for the second time around. We lost a baby halfway through a pregnancy. We have two more that I get to take care of at home. My eldest daughter came to me through social media a few years ago, but has just as quickly gone away. She said she needed “space”. Yet, that’s all I’ve ever had with her. Space.
Its been 6 months. I relive her being taken from my arms every night. It feels like I’ve lost her all over again. The memories flood and pour over me in color. Her pink velvety jumpsuit I had bought out of excitement when I was 4 months pregnant. It would be the outfit she said goodbye to me in.
There is never closure with adoption. I think I’ve managed to survive all of these years because I held onto that promise that was sold to me. I would bide my time for 18 years. Be patient. Be involved. In 18 years, she would come back to me. We would have a relationship. I don’t know what exactly I envisioned as an 18 year old being sold a load of garbage. I had no choice but to buy. So, for the last 17 years I’ve died a thousand deaths, but there was going to be that reunion moment. If I could just hold out until that reunion.
But then, she needs space. And its not her fault. I’m a stranger to her. I’ve missed every amazing and crappy part of her life. I wasn’t there when she was hospitalized for asthma attacks. I wasn’t there for her first dance recital, nor the many that would follow. I have missed every late night talk. Every warm snuggle. Every moment of teenage rage. Its edging on 18 years, and I’ve missed an entire lifetime.
We don’t live in the same geographic region, much less the same country. We hardly have any common life experiences. We speak the same language. Other than that, was I simply made an egg donor? Have I held on to nothing for this long?
I know that the human spirit needs closure. With death, as gruesome as it is, there is closure. With adoption, there is no such thing. I fight myself. I try to trick my mind into believing that she is long gone. Yet, I still find myself seeking her on social media. In moments of weakness I google her name just to see if she is dancing. And that’s not who I want or need to be. Its obsessive and borderline stalker. Its not healthy; at least I’m willing to admit.
This is why people need closure. To have the ability to move on. So, I’ve decided tomorrow that I just have to move on with closure. I have numerous pictures around the house with her in them. I’m going to have to put them away. I’m going to have to ban myself from searching her. I’m going to have to convince myself that she is no more. The child I lost 17 years ago no longer exists. She is someone else’s child now. Let her live in peace.
My 18 year old self would be proud that I’ve become a good mother. Something I always knew I was capable of being. Right now, I think being a good mother to her, is accepting her wishes. She is gone. I can’t keep obsessing. I have to move on with my life. In order to do that, I have to make closure. I desperately need closure.