"Give love and unconditional acceptance to those you encounter, and notice what happens.â€ – Wayne Dyer
The RightThing shared an interesting comment regarding her mother asking her why she loved her.
This would not surprise me at all if a first mother were to ask this of the child she surrendered to adoption.
From my perspective, as a mother, I would indeed find myself surprised if my daughter were to ever say she loved me. (Shoot, I would be surprised if she said she liked me). For me, this surprise is likely rooted in a number of things, the most obvious of which is rejection and abandonment.
When you, as an unwed mother, are rejected and abandoned by all you love (boyfriend, parents, etc.) you find yourself wondering why or how anyone could love you subsequent to that. More importantly, when so many fail you at such a time of need, you are hesitant to trust anything they say going forward. If your own family rejects you, why wouldn’t strangers? Why wouldnâ€™t your child whom you left in the care of those very strangers also reject you?
Furthermore, for many of us, becoming pregnant out of wedlock is deemed such an egregious act that we are certain we will never be loved again. We are dirty, tainted and branded. We are so bad and awful that our child had to be taken from us. We donâ€™t deserve love. We have violated our familial values, our church teaching and threatened the fabric of society. Who loves that? When your own family, the friends and loved ones that KNOW you discard you, why should your child – raised away from you – love you?
Finally, and most importantly, when you learn how horrible adoption is for some adoptees, how much our children can hate us for giving them that so called "better life", why would we ever think they would love us?
When our children are eaten up inside with anger over their adoption and we are believed to be the single root cause of that pain and anger, why would they love us? When they are adopted and abused by those adopters â€“ and we held responsible for putting them in that position â€“ why would they love us?
I do believe it is possible and can and does happen. I can use my own mother as an example.
I love my mother without question. I can share a million wonderful wacky things about her. She is a great grandmother, a good friend to her friends. She is silly and playful. She has a quick wit and a good sense of humor. She has amazing blue eyes. She love to garden. She takes care of my father even when he does not deserve it or abuses her. She makes a good macaroni salad (with tuna). She is a loving godmother to her goddaughter, my cousin Lauren. She has an infectious laugh (it is more like a very loud giggle). She frequently goes without so her children can have things they need.
I can also tell you many things I donâ€™t like about her. I can tell you some awful things she has done to me. I can tell you how she, as noted, abandoned me in my time of greatest need. I can suggest that my learned behavior of being abandoned by my mother taught me it was okay to abandon my own child.
I could go on and on with a mixture of love and angst over my mother.
But in the end, she is my mother. She is human. She may not be the mother I wanted, or the best mother for me, or the mother I dreamed of, but she is my mother.
It is my choice to love my mother. I do it for myself and not for her.
I can choose to live my life in anger and bitterness over what she did to me. I can pick apart her bad, flawed parts. I can tell her that if she does not stop smoking I wonâ€™t love her. I can tell her if she does not leave my father I will not be around her. I can give her all sorts of ultimatums intended to make her into the mother I want versus the mother I have.
But I donâ€™t.
I do for her what I would want her to do for me. I can love her unconditionally.
I can love her for all that is good in her and tolerate or manage or work around all that is inherently human and as such, flawed. When she was smoking, I just avoided the topic or her when she was. She knew how I felt about it. No need to beat a dead lung. When she catered to my abusive father, I removed myself from the room or the house so that I did not have to witness it. Again, she knew my thoughts on the matter. Continuing to insist she do what I would do in that situation only managed to upset and offend her and in the end damage our relationship. If I wanted her to respect my decisions and my life, I had to give her the same courtesy.
It is easy to love the wonderful parts of someone. For me, true love manifests itself in loving the ucky stuff.
Can, or should, an adoptee love their mother in reunion? Goodness. I hope so.
I have to believe it. I have to believe for me, for my daughter, for all our future mothers and children.
I hope so.
For what is our other option? To allow the awfulness created by the adoption industry to permeate our lives forever? To allow them to win? To prove them right that the mother child bond means nothing and can be broken without consequence? To let them believe that mommies can be replaced and that our children are mere objects to be bought and sold without recourse or emotion?
I hope not.