And maybe this isn’t for adoption. Maybe it is for all those that found themselves on a different path than they planned.
When I was growing up my father used to tell me that he could see me in a New York City court house, in a designer pin-stripe suit, going off on opposing counsel on a huge case.
Lawyer, Interior Designer, owner of the largest Flower Shop on the East Coast, study Art History in Europe, Fashion Designer, a model….
I wanted it all, I had all the necessary tools to make my dreams come true. I had looks, personality, brains.
I never applied myself. I did packets to graduate high school. I didn’t know.
I had a powerful conversation this past weekend with a woman from a very different path than my own. A woman that in her own “unplanned” pregnancy chose to parent. As we processed knee to knee we found one very huge universal truth...
We were grieving who we dreamed we would become but never got to be. And the guilt that went along with that.
For a lot of Birth Mothers, we forget that we had a life BEFORE the pregnancy. We forget that we had dreams. We forget that we had a life that we saw….something we wished for, worked for, desired…deep, deep, deep in the very core and heart of who we are.
Before I share more, let me be VERY clear! This is not my son’s fault. I am NOT mad at him because I didn’t get what I wanted when I was 26. My pregnancy was not his fault. I am mad at myself and my circumstance and that I didn’t love myself more. No matter how you spin it, it did not take away from how much I love my son. I hated that I found myself in that position….I didn’t hate him.
BUT that doesn’t take away from how much that pregnancy changed my life, put me on a different path, made me look in a different direction and forced me to let go of what I wanted BEFORE that decision took place. Everyone, no matter your life path, had a life that they had to grieve.
BUT have you grieved it??
Did you know you are allowed to grieve it?
Everyone wants to tell me to accept my life, look forward, you can’t go back….to let it go.
I get it. I am living an amazing and blessed life. I have a husband who I am madly entangled, I have two incredible children that I get to parent, I have an amazing open adoption relationship with my son and his family….I get to travel and bring VOICE and HEALING to Birth Mothers nation wide….isn’t that awesome??
Yes. It is awesome.
Is it what I saw for myself?
Is it an awesome life? YES.
Is it who I always wanted to be?
Maybe not, but maybe who I was meant to be.
But in this self discovery there is a loss that takes place. A loss that says because of this ONE defining moment, or mistake as many will tell me, that I am no longer the person I saw for myself.
It is ok to grieve the loss of the life that I dreamed of. It is ok to grieve the desires of my younger heart. It is ok to grieve the ASHLEY that I thought I would become.
I sit daily in the biggest contradiction of love and disappointment with one statement. “Is this seriously my life?!”
It is a horrible conflict within to be angry, resentful, pissed at your life that you are living because it is not what you dreamed AND still love the very life that you are living.
As I travel the country, sitting with so many women, I find myself back there, a young woman dreaming of a life, a life where I could be anything and realizing that when I got pregnant I didn’t get to be anything….I just had to survive. I just had to figure out grief and loss and life post placement….
Maybe that is it….maybe I just didn’t know how to accept that my life would be ALWAYS trying to figure out co-existing with my loss. No one told me that.
To all of those in the triad….I see you, I see the picture you had painted for your life…all of the glorious colors and brush strokes and expression. The most amazing work of art…
And I see that sometimes we aren’t always living that masterpiece.
But we have a blank canvas. It isn’t too late. Maybe, it is too late to recreate the life we wanted…
but maybe we can move forward working to create the life that we want to live…from here on out!!