About Cheerio

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In general I am a cheery and energetic person. But I am enshrouded in a cloak of iron. That cloak is the weight of greiving my son, whom I've lost to adoption.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The power of being a Birth Mother

This is a very personal thread today. 

I want to show the progression of change since the last time I saw my son, 19 years ago.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and these three say it all.

This is a picture of me just after the adoption was finalized.

This is a collage of pictures of me during my son’s childhood years.

This is another collection of random pictures of me as my son was maturing into a teenager.  He is now 18 and a legal adult.  Included below is a shot around his 18th birthay when I sent him our names and contact information.

What did you notice about me throughout this journey?
What you couldn't see me in the pictures?!?!  I am there, it's just that, well, I am invisible.

1st pic of Invisible Me -- Once the adoption was finalized, the adoption agency was not concerned about me anymore.  They got what they wanted, a fresh womb-wet white healthy baby to sell.

2nd pic of Invisible Me --The aparents sent me pictures until he started kindergarten, and then I became invisible to them too.

3rd pic of Invisible Me -- My son is now a teenager and old enough to contact us when he is ‘ready’ for contact, but right now I am invisible to him too.

STOP with the marketed brainwashing rhetoric that birthmothers are brave
Or that they are heroic
Or  that they are making a selfless choice

Just stop – it is a bunch of lies made up by people who want to make money from legally selling babies – callously severing the sacred mother/child bond to fatten their wallet
We were vulnerable and exploited, so cut the pretty words and use the real ones

If you are considering adoption for your baby – be prepared for a life of being invisible.
Once you let go of your baby you will become invisible and powerless.  You are no longer necessary and you won’t matter anymore.  80% of open adoptions close - you really want to take a risk like that?  Let me guess, your social worker didn't mention adoptions closing?

The being invisible --
It stings when it comes from the agency. You blame yourself for believing them, even though they were so convincing and painted such beautiful pictures.  Being masters of deception it seemed they genuinely cared about you. How were you supposed to know they would drop you like a dirty diaper?

It hurts when the betrayal comes from your child’s aparents.  How could they?  We trusted them with our own flesh and blood – how could they          fill in the blank because it’s all happened.  With semi-open promises of updates and pictures that are no longer sent.  Perhaps, it is e-mails in a more open agreement that stop or go unanswered.  Maybe they’ve moved away, leaving you no forwarding address or information.  How could they?  The answer is simple – because we are invisible to them.

All of that is much easier to bear than when it’s from your own son / your own daughter.  I know it has only been a few months and he “needs time.”  I just can’t shove off the feelings of being invisible, insignificant, and worthless. 

Only he can decide if/when he wants to make contact.  And I have no guarantee that he ever will – none of us do. 
Will I be invisible in the casket too?

If you are considering adoption for you baby – it is nothing like you imagine.  All the doubts you’ve stuffed while listening to the sweet social worker, all the questions you refused to ponder. They’ll come back to visit you again and again, whether awake or in your dreams.  They'll haunt you.

So, if you are considering adoption for your baby, the day you let go of him or her you may as well walk to the nearest toilet and flush your self worth – because that is what adoption will do to it anyway.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ornaments, Traditions, and New Year's wishes

Eighteen years ago when I sent a package for my son’s first Christmas, I included a keepsake ornament.  I bought two that year and it became a tradition each Christmas I would buy two ornaments, sending one and keeping the other.  There was only one requirement when selecting the perfect ornament – it had to have at least two characters (symbolizing both of his original parents).

This is a picture of that first ornament. 

Such detail and it captures the complete opposite of what happened that first year, Baby’s 1st Christmas.  Instead of him sleeping all snuggled in his crib while his daddy and look on in awe, wonder, and love – he is sleeping in some other crib and I am miles apart unable to sleep, tormented, and bawling my eyes out every night.

If the New Year could bring wishes, I wish everyone that thinks adoption is beautiful could see me now.  Not just see me with their naked eyeball, but to see me with their eyes closed, to sense and feel what I feel right now.  Do you imagine serenity and peacefulness like a freshly fallen snow?

It is January 8th.  Another Christmas has come and gone. 

Christmas is just such a painful time.  For others it may be a time for celebration, but for me it is a time of intense and deep sadness without my son.  I hate Christmas.  I hate decorating.  I hate getting the ornaments out.  Putting them away is even harder. 

I am at home by myself as I begin to take the ornaments off the tree.  The ornament boxes are laying out on the couch – in chronological order by year, waiting for me to put everything back into storage for another year. 

As usual I begin taking down each ornament, beginning with the current year and work back in time, until they are all carefully put it back in their boxes.  This year it is more painful than most.  I found myself pondering each ornament and thinking about why that ornament was selected.  I wondered if what he thought of it (if he even got it at all).  It stings.  Each ornament hurt more than the prior one so I quickly removed them all at once from the tree. 

Every ornament symbolizes a year of separation – not just a separation of measured distance or periods marked by the calendar, but a separation of our relationship growing further and further apart.  I don’t know if or when that separation will ever come to an end.

My heart is crushed and pained at how much I miss him, pierced to know I’ve wounded him. 
Once again, this is all there is ‘of’ my son.

Lifeless eyes painted on cold unmoving plastic, and silence.

 If the New Year could bring wishes
I wish everyone could see this adoption pain