“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” – Chinese Proverb
A friend suggested that a mothers journey ENDED the moment she gives up her child. Speaking for myself, that could not be more wrong. My daughter and I both went onto new life journeys the day we parted. Both our lives were forever dramatically traumatically changed.
Giving up my daughter, the last day I had with my daughter, began a life time of trauma. The "journey" never ended. It still hasnt ended and I dont expect it ever will. The journey has been hell. I have lived two lives. I lost my first, real, original life. You know the life that said I was supposed to go to college, live on campus, do this or that. I was supposed to have this. I was supposed to be one person. I should have married a certain guy. I should have done certain things. That entire life path was obliterated the day adoption entered my life.
Losing my daughter required me to lose not only her but the person I was then and the person I was intended to be. I lost my family, was estranged from them for years, I lost the love of my life, I lost my home. I had no where to live. Losing her was not the end of any so called journey. It was just the beginning. It was a road to hell.
I am saddened when I see adoptees state this. They erroneously believe that as mothers, our lives went back to normal, that we got over it, that our life went on just as it had before they were born. Again, utterly false. I fear this belief feeds the already festering suspicions that losing them was a good thing, that they were not wanted and we were evil.
This journey that was supposed to have ended the day I lost her has affected my marriage, my subsequent children, my career, my self esteem, my health, my ability to sleep, to bond with others, to be intimate, my sex life, my friendships and more. How is that an ending? It has been over 20 years of this so called journey.
No, sorry. It doesnt end. We do not get better after losing our children. We are never whole. Our children are gone forever. Reunion doesnt fix that. In our hearts, we still physically expect, crave even demand to have our child back. To treat them like our child, yet by the time reunion happens for some of us, if it happens at all, they are no longer children at all let alone our children.
This is not a journey and there is no end. For to imply it is a journey is to suggest there is a destination. For mothers, the destination we forever fantasize about, the destination mother nature demands we reach, is physically and emotionally impossible.
They are gone. Whether we agreed to their adoption or not, whether we were drugged, tied in restraints, or did a happy dance upon signing, they are gone.
I can never reach that destination. It simply doesnt exist and cannot exist. What does exist, is some pieced together version of mother child relationship. What that becomes, how it develops, is up to both of us. We both must want it and both must work at it.
For our lives, our reunions, are very much like photography. We must use the negatives to develop.
From the negatives, I hope to gain acceptance and to avoid the reunion potholes on the path ahead.