Sharing my heart, my reality...even in my joy and love...there is still great loss and emptiness.
3 weeks ago today my son that I placed for adoption was able to come and stay with my family....for 4 days. I have a few things that have been weighing on my heart.
I had an amazing glimpse. A glimpse into what it would look like to have my son in my home day after day. A glimpse into a life of caring for and loving all of my children together. A glimpse into his world and all of our similarities. A glimpse into a powerful sibling bond and relationship.
A glimpse into being his mother.
And it wrecked me.
I am deeply blessed that I have the opportunity to grow in an open adoption relationship. That my children get to know their brother, that he gets to know me and that I get to watch the mother of my son raise him into the amazing young man that he is.
12 years ago, when I walked out of the hospital empty bellied and empty armed I had NO idea the journey that was coming.
When I said goodbye to that 3 day old baby boy I had no choice but to treat it like it was my last glance. I memorized him, cried over him, begged him for forgiveness and tried to calm that nagging and deep rooted fear that I would never see him again and that he would hate me forever.
What I learned was that I had my own journey to take before I could come back to him.
3 weeks ago when he was here I found myself memorizing him, crying in my bed as he slept in his, my heart pleading and begging quietly. I know I will see him again, but when he left....after 4 simple days in my home....I was empty all over again.
I feel like my adoption journey has been like receiving a guilt verdict when I am innocent.
Do I get to see him and know him? YES
Do I know that his mom and dad love him deeply? YES
Do I believe that he is happy and adjusted? YES
Do I believe that I made the VERY best decision that I could when I was pregnant? YES
DOES ANY OF THAT MAKE THIS BETTER OR EASIER? NO.
It is all a consolation prize for not doing my best.
Am I lucky? YES
Am I blessed in my life? YES
Have things "worked out" for me? YES
DOES ANY OF THAT MAKE THIS BETTER? NO.
I think one of the biggest lies that we tell ourselves is that TIME HEALS. I don't believe that to be true. I think God heals, and I think we heal and circumstance heals.... But I believe that time plays ugly tricks on you. Let me see if I can break that down.
Grief. I grieve my son today as much as I did when I left him at the hospital. I miss him daily, I think about him daily, I would love him with me daily. I don't know how to live in a world where my heart doesn't pull to him.
BUT I have expanded. God has worked in my life. I have learned and healed and found acceptance and understand my triggers and how to best cope with the emotions that arise. I have EXPANDED around the grief...but for me, the grief is the same, I am the one that has changed.
Here is where I think time is dangerous. A simple glimpse opened a window to all the "possibility" of what my life could have looked like. BUT that is a lie. If I had parented my son, what I was able to experience is not what my reality would have been....
I wouldn't have moved to Nashville, I wouldn't have met my husband, I wouldn't have become a mother to my two other children, and I wouldn't have the joy I have in my life. I know these concrete facts to be true.
BUT at what cost? The loss of my son to achieve all that is wonderful in my life?
I have been wrestling with that question all month!!!
Reflection is powerful, understanding how far we have come is motivation to keep moving forward but looking back....telling myself that I COULD HAVE DONE IT...I could have parented him. It is not a fair sense of reality. I am saying that I could have parented him NOW, with everything that is working in my life.
AT THE TIME that I was pregnant I was NOT in this space. My circumstance has changed.
Could I parent him now? YES
Is that reality? NO.
IS THAT HELPFUL FOR MY LIFE? No.
So here we are. Processing this month. Reflecting on what could have been. Understanding and accepting truth about my life and what brought me here, the choices that have made up my reality and learning to expand more and more.
THE MORE I EXPAND AROUND MY GRIEF THE MORE ROOM FOR LOVE AND OPPORTUNITY.
Until next time my dear. You are in my heart. You are always with me, a part of me. I see reminders of you around my home in pictures and gifts and origami birds that you love to make for the kids. I can't ever make it what maybe it should have been...but here we are, doing the best we can and making it work. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for wanting me in your life. No matter where this takes us...I am here. I don't deserve it and you don't owe me anything but I am honored to be in your life, to know you and to be able to share my life with you. I love you, care about you and am always wishing you the very best...
I don't know. People say this is an easy out. That by placing my son for adoption I am dumping all of my responsibility on someone else because I was too selfish to step up and do it myself. Maybe they are right.
Or maybe my personal hell is a punishment that out ways the verdict.