“Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power. ” – Blaine
A dear friend (adoptee around the age of my daughter) has been randomly checking on me since my daughter requested no contact. I smile every time I get a note from this friend as it makes me feel loved and understood and cared for. I told her I am fine. I really am.
For me, in my case, being denied access to my daughter by my daughter isn’t all that life changing. Let me explain.
Sure it makes me sad. Sure I had hoped for something different but the reality is that her telling me to go away is not that different from my parents, the agency, society. I don’t say that for dramatic effect or in the case of boo-hoo poor me, but rather that this is a place I have been before. This is a place I have survived. I am okay. I will be okay.
The difference this time (and it is a huge ginormous difference) is that it was my daughter that “sent me away”. That is oddly enlightening and even a bit empowering. It wasn’t Easter House that said NO. It wasn’t my parents, or her adoptive parents, or some religious institution. It wasn’t some governing body that told me she was better off without me and I without her.
I am not going to debate the merits of her statements or what might be behind them. I am not going to challenge them or try to say I understand them. I dont. I cannot. I dont know what it is like to be adopted. Only she knows that. I am suggesting that it feels good that SHE is the one in the place of power and not someone else.
Does that make sense?
I offered my daughter her medical history. She doesn’t want it. Nor does she want her OBC, her story, her first family. Sad? Perhaps to me, maybe to you, maybe not to her. But look at the power here. The power that she has that other adoptees don’t. I offered my daughter everything I could and she chose to decline it. She did. Not anyone else. For once in my life since my daughters birth we are defining our relationship. It is not being done by others.
Perhaps I am losing you. It is rather hard for me to explain. I am simply happy that I found her, offered her everything and she had the choice to decline. And she still has the choice to accept in the future. She knows my name, where I live, where I work, the names of her brothers, her father, and more.
We have the chance to define our relationship on our terms not those dictated by others. (Yes, someone may suggest that my daughters decisions are being dictated and influenced by external forces but we don’t know that for sure so we should not assume).
Additionally, quite candidly, I find my situation easy compared to others I know. In my opinion, accepting reunion, working through it, sharing the anger, the feelings, working at the relationship, integrating your dual selves (the mother/notmother and the two sides of the adopted adult), admitting the ugliness that can come with adoption THAT is the hard stuff. What I am dealing with is not hard compared to what many of my friends are working through.
I have unfollowed my daughter on twitter. I took her blog off my feed reader. I took her name off of my google alerts. I took her off my family and friend contacts on Flickr. I concluded I am not sending her any notification at all for her birthday. I will continue my practice of donating in her honor and proceed with the formation of a scholarship fund. But I wont tell her about it. I admit I still randomly visit her blog and her lookbook but I dont comment. I realize she can see her stats and likely CT coming there. Hopefully she sees those going down as I am doing it less and less. Hopefully very soon she will notice I abided by her wishes completely. As I have said before, motherhood does not come with an off switch. However, I am finding for me, it does come with a dimmer switch. I am slowly turning the knob.
And I am okay.
As I have said many times, my daughters refusal to acknowledge me or my love does not cease either from being. I am finding peace in knowing that I have done all I could to date and for now, I am, moving onward, upward and very much forward.
Thanks again to my friend for checking on me.