How You Do It

Tonight, on Facebook, I shared a link to a blog post of my daughters. I did not name my daughter, I merely noted the writer was a female writer I admire who wrote wonderfully about a topic/position I support.

Within the hour I had a fellow Facebook friend who is also a mother in reunion send me a private message. I have excerpted part of the message below.

“Suz, how do you do it? Other than the fact that you must be so amazingly proud of someone so articulate and creative (and beautiful) how can you stand it?? Have you reached a point of reconciliation with yourself? The big question, how do you accept it? At least accept it enough to stand looking at her? Is that weird of me to ask?”

I told my friend the following.

I had to think about her questions. I honestly don’t “do” anything. I don’t follow a particular methodology, have no particular healing approach, I don’t even have any magic joojoo. My approach is not deliberate or even thoughtful. It just is. Perhaps it has grown organically, perhaps is merely indicative of how I handle all things in my life. More importantly, one should not assume I CAN stand it. You should assume I just deal with it in my own way.

Reconciliation with myself?  Yes and no. I can acknowledge I have come to some understanding of myself, my situation, my lack of reunion.  I have learned not to take it personal and I suppose, that is one reason it doesn’t hurt as much as my friends reunion (or lack thereof) does.  I am not a bad person. I never was. I always loved my daughter and always wanted her. I want to know her now.  Our lack of reunion is her choice, her decision, not mine.  She has made that decision based on limited or completely erroneous information. I cannot make any of that personal and about me. It is about her and how her adoptive parents raised her. Sure, it is also about the very fact that she was adopted, but again, I am no longer beating myself up over that. She had the opportunity to rail against me and tell me how I fucked up her life and she has, to date (approaching six years) chosen not to take me up on that offer.  Either her life is not fucked up at all, she is the perfectly happy assimilated adoptee, or something else. Regardless, I no longer make this about me.

It is more critical and important to note, and quite likely a major contributor to my perceived acceptance, that I did not have a reunion. My friend did.  I was not subjected to any love and acceptance. I never had my daughter return to my life and then violently eject herself from it. She never participated. She has never been there. Unlike my other mother friends who have had real reunions, real painful, push pull, cry, agonize, reunions, I have not. I have not bailed my child out of jail, have not paid had her present a dinners, had her move in with me, had her call me mother, or had her chat with her brothers.  I have not made her a sandwich. It is my belief this is a massive differentiator between my friend and I.  Her pain is quite different. I cannot lament, hurt over something I never had. My friend lost her child, then got her child back, and then lost her child again.  I have not lived through that and candidly don’t know if I could.

How do I stand looking at her? I gotta say that’s the least of my issues where she is concerned. I “look” at her every day via twitter or her blog feed. I FEEL her every day in my heart. I worry about her every second of every minute in every hour – just like I do my sons.

So, my short answer to my friend? Yes, to some degree it is my own growth and my own recovery but it is that growth and recovery placed along side the type of reunion I have had.  She really cannot, and most definitely should not, compare herself to me.

Reunions are a bit like snowflakes.  On the surface they may appear to be the same but under a microscope they are their own unique beings.

4 Thoughts.

  1. Gah, got me all emotional. It is rare when I actually feel emotional about the subject of me being adopted anymore. Probably because I stuff it down deep so I don’t have to feel the rejection. My fmom and entire ffamily want nothing to do with me. It stings especially when I read this and realize that there are fmoms who DO really desire a relationship, a close relationship at that with the relinquished child. I know there are many fmoms who want this and I guess a good reason why I never allow myself to drudge these thoughts up are because I just go through all the “why me’s”. Which gets me no where and somehow I have to go on with my life and be me. Even though my fmom doesn’t want to know me, I love her and think about her everyday…hoping she is doing okay. All the while subconsciously hoping maybe one day she will change her mind.

    I wish my fmom felt the way you feel about your daughter.

  2. Suz, I will be brutally honest. Even though my reunion has gone to shit in the last few years, and it was ever so difficult for many years before that, I will never regret having met and gotten to know my son, especially how wonderful our initial meeting was. When it was good, it was damned good, and I am grateful for that little bit. I can’t know how it would feel if he refused me. I wish you those good times. At the same time, I don’t want you to suffer the pain of getting a taste and then losing it. In some ways, I think it may be better that you don’t have it now (as cruel as that sounds), when your daughter is not ready, might dive in and then pull back. She is young, younger than my son was when we reunited, and that means that things can change. They can always change. I wish you could know her and she you, because you are an amazing woman and I suspect she is too, I hope that will come when it’s meant to be. I admire your attitude about it, even though I know there is deep sadness underneath. It will happen, I have no doubt,

  3. I am amazed when I look at her and see you all over her. I don’t think she’ll ever know just how much like you she is. I see incredible talent in her photos and writing. All you can do is love her in your heart and admire the woman that she’s become. Then you can use your experience to help other birth parents try to heal…it’s your gift. Hugs!

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