Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What does REUNION mean to you?

Don't get excited.

Those of you who might follow my blog because I occasionally post about my life as a birthmother, there is no reunion in my future.  Yes, this is another one of those posts.  But, sad to say, it is not an inspirational, full of hope post.  Right now I am in a sad, almost bitter kind of place.  I try to keep these kinds of moments to myself usually, because I really don't like being this way, and I know you guys don't really like reading poor me posts.

Letting go.

Letting go does not mean to stop caring;
it means I can't do it for someone else.

Letting go is not to cut myself off;
it's the realization I can't control another. . .

Letting go is to admit powerlessness;
which means the outcome is not in my hands. . .

Letting go is not to deny,
but to accept. . .

Letting go is not to adjust everything to my own desires;
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it. . .

Letting go is not to regret the past;
but to grow and live for the future.

Letting go is to fear less and live more.

I can't do it.  I know I said I was going to let it go.  I guess I lied.  It is not so easy.  And though I try to stay away, it seems like every time I start wandering around on the internet, I come across stories of birth parents being reunited with their birth children.  And I don't get to have that.  And it makes me mad.  It makes me furious.

You see, for the past 18 years I have walked around holding onto this notion that the day would come when both of us (myself and her family) would run back into each others' lives.  We would be so grateful that the agency policies could not hold us hostage anymore.  Enough time would have passed that we could re-establish our relationship.  I know I am the only one guilty of selling myself this crock of you-know-what.  I am the one who convinced myself all those years ago that it was all okay because some day we would meet again.  And I really did believe that that someday would be sooner rather than later.  I didn't think that they would be one of those families who were afraid of their child's birth mother.  I thought our relationship was strong enough to survive the agency-imposed separation.  I thought THEY would want to know me again.  I never thought they would say they didn't want me in their lives.  I believed in a fantasy.

Actually, I think at some point, they were buying into that fantasy, too.  Or at least her dad was:

June 11, 1994

Dear Amy:

I hope life is treating you well.

I hope this day passed for you without too much event.  It was a lovely day for us, but somewhat bitter-sweet, too.  I thought of you quite often as we celebrated the life of this wonderful little girl.  I can't believe it has been a year!  I guess today isn't just a celebration for her, but it's also a day in which we celebrate you, too.  You have allowed us to expand our possibilities and see and experience something in a way we couldn't otherwise.  Now, we can't imagine life without this child, or without you for that matter.  You have become a part of us.

So thank you, again.

I looked over my shoulder and it's been a year so quickly.  It's been a good year filled with a lot of wonderful living. . . .

Still, it has surprised me how quickly life leaks:  You can't fully grasp it (even though you try), you can't completely cherish it, you can't entirely look at it, but you do love it nevertheless.  The final constant is it doesn't stand still no matter how much you'd like to.  It slowly leaks onward in some unshapeable fashion, never allowing you to stay in the same place.  You can only look back once you've lived--and not for very long.

If you're like me, you'd like to try and shape life more, but the verity is you're shaped by it.  After a while you smarten up and just drift with it and don't fight it.  It's part of a plan you have faith in.  Anyway, I can't believe she's 1 year old today. . . .

It's absolutely wonderful and absolutely difficult to see her grow up.  It must have taken a lot of courage for Heavenly Father to let us leave the pre-mortal existence, knowing what we had to face.  I'm not sure I could have done it if I had the power to control all things.

What a year it's been! . . .

Shifting gears.  How's your writing going?  I really enjoyed your stuff.  I've since read it again.  I've kept a file with all your letters and literary works.  I just got a new fire-proof gun safe which has guns in it, of course; the videos we've taken of her and Mouse; and I'll be transferring our correspondence--along [with] copies of all our letters.  I think they'll provide an interesting history of our association.

I really don't know what the official LDS Social Service Rules are about pictures and letter writing.  Things in this field are shifting so fast to meet the needs of both sides it seems that nothing is etched in cement.  For example, things we are doing now would be unthinkable, out of bounds and against the rules, when we got Mouse.  For the record, we have greatly enjoyed our relationship.  You don't threaten us or worry us.  You are our friend and partner.  We love sharing what's going on and are very interested in what's happening in your life.  We hate to see stuff start to shut down at the arbitrary deadline, the one year mark.

We want to keep in touch!  So let's do it . . . (his ellipses)

. . . I guess I better run.  I need to go help "Holly" with the dishes.

Please keep in touch with us. (his italics)

Your life is part of our life, now.  I can't quite bear to sever the connection or our relationship.  I'm really looking forward to meeting you face to face again.  We've some catching up to do.  Please take good care of yourself.   Keep to your high goals and don't get discouraged or weighed down.  I'm pleased you've got the first leg of your schooling done.  Go on and do whatever it is you want to do.  I hope you'll keep writing.  You've got a great talent for it. . . .

I hope you enjoy the summer.



And this from her mother:

. . .We love you and hope the memories have not been too painful for you.  It's still hard knowing that so much pain had to be endured for us to be so happy.  We're eternally grateful to you for all that we've been given this last year.



Another from her dad:

. . . As you know, we think you are really swell.  Please keep in touch with us so we can update you on all the latest developments.

Another from "Holly":

. . . If possible, please let us know what is going on with you.   We'd love to hear from you.

And from the last letter I ever received from them (written by Holly):

A while ago I asked "Cozette" what she would like to tell you.  She wanted you to know she loved you and wanted you to come visit our house.  She talks about her birthmother rather matter of fact--as if everyone has a birthmother like her.  It takes some people by surprise at first.  I'm glad she seems to understand the concept already.  She talks about it with "Mouse" every once in a while, too.

Wait, actually the last letter I got from them was a Christmas card later that year:

We want you to know how much we really do think of you.  The mouse is jealous because we met you and not his birthmother.  We're very thankful to have this rambunctious, constantly on-the-go blonde "extremely a little girl--constantly changing clothes, trying to be pretty, wanting lipstick, wanting to be pretty, etc. etc--girl in our house.   We are so grateful for the sacrifice you made to allow us to enjoy her.  She has blessed our home so much.  We will never be able to properly express our love and thanks to you.  We are trying so hard to bring her up in the right way--to love the Lord and to love His church.

Okay, so maybe my hopes weren't completely delusional.  It's too bad they are now.  That is what makes me angry and unhappy.  My expectations were for something else.  And this nothing that I'm stuck with now, it hurts.  It hurts that we can't get back to where we were.  I truly thought that was what we all wanted.  How did we get here?


Anonymous said...

For my curiosity please clarify:
Was she born on June 11, 1993?
Did she have an older brother that was also adopted?

MariAnell said...

Yes. Her older brother was 5 or 6 years older than her. And her family has met her brother's birthmother, according to the counselor I spoke with.

Anonymous said...

There used be a show on the SciFi channel named Farscape. One of my favorite quotes was:

D'Argo: Do you know what troubles me the most? I did my best...I did the best I could, and it wasn't enough. I still lost them both.

John: My grandmother used to say, that... life is... a great wheel. Sometimes it grinds you down into the mud, and other times it lifts you up into the light.

D'Argo: Are we strapped to this wheel?

John: That's a given. Point is, is that most times you get a second chance -- you just gotta wait for the wheel.