We might have been just fine.

“Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.” – Voltaire

I dined with an old friend Friday night. It was a lovely evening.   Three glasses of great merlot, some steak, a bit of pasta, and a fantastic bruschetta.

At one point during the conversation, she inquired about my daughter.

"Have you met her yet?" friend asks

"Yes. I met her when she was born. She was lovely." I responded.

My friend smiled.

"No, you know what I mean. Have you met her since reunion?" friend asks, adding a bit more clarity.

"No. I have not." I say with some discomfort in my voice.

"WOW! Its been three years now. Thats incredible. She has no interest in you at all? How about her brothers? Doesn’t she even care about them? Isn’t that odd?" friend inquires.

"I don’t know. I really dont know how she feels about anything." I respond starting to get uncomfortable.  My throat constricts and I know I will start to cry if this conversation goes much farther.

I try to end the conversation by suggesting my daughter is conflicted, angry, emotional, maybe even at me.

"Well, she just doesnt know. She doesnt know how it could have been if you kept her" friend says.

I start to hear a crackling noise. I am sure my blood is boiling. THIS sentiment again.  This belief that everyone has that if I had kept my child I would have been a street urchin, a meth addict, maybe a prostitute. THIS belief that my daughter would have ruined my life if I raised her where my life is better because I didnt. 

What sort of message do we send our children when lead them to believe their lives and their mothers lives would have been in the crapper had they been able to remain together?  I will say it again. I got on with my life. I did okay. I surived. (I guess?) However, I was permanently damaged by the loss of my child to adoption. It was not a good thing by any stretch of the imagination.

I choke back my anger. I realize the saddness and angst of a few moments ago has been shielded by anger. Its one emotion or the other these days.

"You are right. She doesn’t know. It might have been absolutely wonderful. We might have been fine. I might have dressed my only girl in party dresses. We would have colored hair together. Giggled, discussed boys and life and literature.  A shame, huh? We  might have been just fine."

Friend knows me well enough to pick up the hint of sarcasm in my voice.

"I am sorry" she says.  I know she is saying is sorry for more than what she had implied.

"Yeah, so am I" I respond.

6 Thoughts.

  1. “We might have been just fine.”
    Or you just might even have been better.
    I must confess after a decade or two of keeping it in I am losing patients with people not getting it, with the fact that they have swallowed the whole adoption party line.
    Somehow I think Juno had something to do with my new impatience. It was one step too far on the adoption propoganda road.
    In the bar, after my writing group meeting…
    Friend: I saw Juno.
    Me: Juno is to adoption as Pretty Woman is to prostitution.
    Friend: Well she was very young to have a child.
    Me: Adoption is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
    Friend (whose father killed himself) That’s what they say about suicide.
    Me: Well they are right in both cases.
    I have decided to adopt (sorry) my own party line.
    (Full credit to the people whose lines I stole – I know they wouldn’t mind.)

  2. It’s sad isn’t it? They all mean well, they really do, but it just hurts. Everyday is a new and beautiful joy being in reunion with our 18 year old son. We talk everyday, usually 2 or 3 times on the phone and we will see each other again next week-end, his third visit since Feb 01, and we have only been in reunion since Dec 10, when my husband and I told his 11 year old sister about him. They are completely and utterly in love with one another and everyday is a gift I never, ever dared to even hope for. In someways though, it is harder to be apart from him now than it ever has been, and the fact that people who know you and love you don’t get it, hurts. And it hurts on levels you yourself had no idea even could have been possible. Because now you can see that, yes it probably would have been alright, it would have been ok, and sadly you can’t get that back.
    Your daughter WILL come home to you Suz, she will. When the time is right and it will be all you ever hoped for and more. I wish for you that that day is very, very soon!!

  3. “What sort of message do we send our children when lead them to believe their lives and their mothers lives would have been in the crapper had they been able to remain together?”
    Indeed. And when you analyze this through the entire population, the racial and economic implications are impossible to ignore. It’s a sentiment that absolutely must be stamped out.
    I’m sorry a really nice evening had to go in that direction, Suz. And for the record, you and your daughter would have been better than fine. Breaks my heart to think about the pain your separation has caused you and your daughter.

  4. Hi Suz,
    here is me, still trying to process this tidbit of “insight” from my best friend of 17 years. Yesterday we conversed by e-mail and because I have been thinking non-stop about this post since I read it the other day, I said to her that I wish someone, anyone had looked at me almost 19 years ago and told me that we would have been ok, more than ok had our son remained with us. I told her that I would give anything in the world to have that moment back again.
    Here is where the absolute crushing hurt comes, she said to me in all sincerity…”Denise, you have no way of knowing that “M” would have turned out like he has had you kept him, he could have been a serial killer!!!!” WTF are you supposed to say to that?? Especially when the person who says it is your best friend of 17 years and was the very first person I told about my son once we were reunited. The truly sad thing is that she is so great and gives me great advice all the time, she loves me, I know she does, but obviously she doesn’t get me!! A SERIAL KILLER!!!! Honestly WTF am I supposed to respond to that one and how am I going to make her understand that as you say “we might have been just fine”.

  5. Denise – I am sorry your best friend was so insenstive. However, in my experience, it really is not intended to be as hurtful as it seems. The public is so hooked on adoption koolaid – they MUST believe that it is good, and best, for if they dont, they must look at the reverse/the shadow. Doing so means they have been allowing, for generations, the rapeing and traumatizing of mothers and children the world round.
    Hugs. It is so not you and I am confident your son would have been far better off with you than without. And finally, refer your friend to Uncharted Waters – which does show that it is highly like a child surrendered to adoption will become a serial killer NOT one who is kept and loved by their mothers.

  6. Thank you Suz,
    I appreciate your insights more than I could ever say. This is new and uncharted territory for me, the validation you give to my thoughts and emotions is invaluable.

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