Opening Boxes

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
– Leo Buscaglia

I am beginning preparations for my trip to Philly next weekend. I will meet with Thirdmom.  We will begin developing our joint presentation for AAC.  I am excited at the prospect of seeing Thirdmom again, at a weekend away, at a an opportunity to see my friend Joanna, maybe my friend Robin. Will likely be a very busy weekend. 

Yet, as is the norm for me, the classic Gemini, with the good feelings come the negative ones.  Thirdmom mentioned that she was going to dig up her own adoption process papers to use as a reference for our discussions. This prompted me to think about bringing "the box" to Philly.

The box is a fireproof box that contains my only copy of the papers I signed to surrender my daughter to brokers. It contains the magical "waiver of confidentiality" (I really have to blog about that magical waiver some day for it wasn't so magical after all), photos of me, my daughter, her father, books, videos, poems, the profile I was given of my daughters prospective adopters, printouts of my first correspondence with my daughter in 2005 and more.

I am quite confident that this material will be very helpful to my meetings/discussions and eventual presentation. I am also confident that upon opening the box I will hear the sounds of an eighteen year old mother weeping in pain over the loss of her child. It is a sound only I hear. I open the box, the whimpering starts. I close it and it stops. I open it wider and the whimpering starts and is louder.

I must admit pulling it off the top of my bedroom armoire is akin to loading a gun for a game of Russian roulette.

I never know what pulling the trigger will produce. Will I get shot in the heart or will the barrel turn up empty? Can I flip through the pain in those papers like I might wash lettuce or will the tears begin to fall? Will I lose my breath and be unable to function?  Can I share this information, discuss it, in a clinical manner with Thirdmom and others or will I be in need of men carrying white jackets?

I know Thirdmom is worried about me. She is worried about this presentation being triggering. She even asked if I wanted to rethink it. I responded with an emphatic NO. I will do this. I must do this. I must do this for me, for my daughter, for any future children my sons or even my daughter may have. I must do this for my grandchildren. I must do this for the mothers and children I don't even know.

My pain cannot change the past. It cannot get my child back. It cannot make her care about me or make her want to meet with me or be part of my life or be sensitive to my feelings.

I do believe it can change the future. For me and others like me others that may be doomed to be like me.

I must believe.

If I can change ONE life with my sharing, it is worth it. Save one mother and child from my lifetime sentence and I save generations of that family from a lifetime of unnecessary pain.

I must.

I will.

For in attempting to help others, I somehow help that 18 year old mother whose cry emanates from The Box.

13 Thoughts.

  1. I do hope that in helping others you’ll help yourself. I also know you will help others. Thank you for that.

  2. Ditto the excitement, Suz – and you are right, I am worried that this will be simply too hard. I’m equally hopeful that by opening these boxes, but going to this place and time together, we’re able to convey something to the audience at AAC that starts them thinking in a while new way.
    You are absolutely 100% the best for even considering doing this session, never mind actually doing it.
    I’m coming prepared to cry a lot, with you, for you, for my children’s mothers, for them and what they’ve lost – and also for the future, in the hope this is a step in that new direction.

  3. Suz, thank you for all you do to help other mothers and children. I hope that sharing your pain brings you some peace as well.
    (((BIG HUGS)))

  4. Suz,
    As a mother who had her son taken for adoption in California in 1966, I have NO papers, nada, not one legal paper.
    Wondering why WE mothers of this time, not only had our babies, taken, we have no papers, no lawyers to look out for our rights, no courts, no judges, just the way they were able to pull this injustice off in 1966.
    Just a backroom, where social worker, Arlene Evans, did her work, for the adopter, and her social work was in not helping me his mother, but in helping a stranger, who was next on a list get my brand new baby.
    Healthy white male was premium according to her guess that was my counseling. What a travesty of injustice to the millions of mothers who went through this social experiment.
    My son was “not” taken in a private adoption where they did those kinds of things, hiding things, changing birth dates, etc.
    His adoption took place in Los Angeles County, Social Services, this is where I was taken by my mother to rid herself of my baby.

  5. Suz: Just a paragraph from you is like a masterpiece! You are inspirational as well as informative, those feelings, emotions are all valuable.
    Gale who wrote above: I also have the same memories and when I think back I never got a piece of paper, a signed doc by anyone. Nothing! they erased me as quickly as they took my child.
    You, Suz can help to change the mappings of these horror stories and to all the gals who are facing this dilema right now.

  6. Gale – Yes, I realize BSE received no papers. This fact was hammered into me quite clearly by my social worker who told me I was “LUCKY” to receive a copy of the one paper I signed as well as a handwritten copy of the prospective adopter profile.
    Lucky. Real lucky I was.

  7. WHEN ARE YOU COMING???? it’s this weekend right??? I definitely want to see you if you have time!!! I’ll stalk you and Joanna if I have to. Don’t make me do it. You know I have tracking skillz. 😀

  8. Suz,
    So according to the social worker you were lucky
    because you got papers?
    Sounds like one of those uncaring monsters who could do the kind of work they did taking babies from their mothers.
    I do want to get my papers, the hospital has told me the records are destroyed, this was a private big hospital so I still don’t believe it.
    In fact it is where the Octo mom just had her 8 babies!

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