This time of year is hard for me. I’m reminded of my child’s birth and relinquishment constantly. This year seems to be even harder than last, though I thought the first year was supposed to be the hardest.
What a load of crap that was. The agency counselors made it sound like I would be sad for a year but then I would be so happy and grateful that my son was living a “better life”. The damage believing a lie like that does to you…. well let’s just say that it’s hard to come back from.
If I’m being honest, I’m tired down to my soul. Not just in a “I really need a nap” way, but more of a “I don’t know how I’m supposed to grieve like this for the rest of my life” way. The grief has gotten continuously worse, both as I get to know the person my sweet baby is becoming and as contact slows down. During our last visit I realized how perfect he is, how much he would fit right in with my family, how much I would have enjoyed being his every day mom. That realization has knocked me down and I’m struggling to get back up. I disassociated for about 10 days after leaving and didn’t feel anything at all.
It’s a special kind of torture to not know where your child is or what they are doing. Things are fantastic when I’m there and we’re all together in person, but once I’m home I feel like I’ve been forgotten. Weeks will go by without communication, and though I thought it would get better after this last visit it really hasn’t. I just want to be able to have a window into his life more often. I could look at pictures or videos of him for hours and it would never be too much. It never really seems to be enough.
I’ve made sure to up my work with adoptive parents lately. If I can’t ask for something in my own relationship, I’ve made sure that the adoptive parents in the group I run give it abundantly and freely. I challenge them to send pictures and videos, I’ve helped set up photo sharing accounts, and I’ve written letters for them in hopes that communication will bust wide open. While I’m thrilled when a relationship benefits from my help, there’s always a bitter longing for what could be. I could work myself into the ground and it still wouldn’t heal this gaping hole.
Being away from your child is exhausting. It’s a grief that you can’t shake no matter how hard you try. Send the first/birth mama’s in your lives some love today. Make sure they know that they are wanted and needed.