I literally just spent every spare moment I had for the last few weeks reading the blog at sisterwish.com from beginning to end. And it has truly broken my heart. And made me question my relationships with my sons even more than I did before.
I was reunited with my sons as each turned 14 years old. I had not seen them since they were 1 and 2 years old. The two reunions went very differently, as they had two very different kinds of parents. The people that adopted Christopher (I will never be able to call them parents) were the kind of people that owned the child. That expected everyone to do as they said when they said and if you didn't then the adoption was slammed shut. Even if you did do as they asked, they found a reason to close it again anyway. They did this repeatedly for 3 years. Then at 17 they signed guardianship papers to someone else to keep him away from me. That crazy lady did the same thing for the next year, until he left walking and came home to me. When he came home, he called me mom. He got a job to help out since I was struggling. He was just my son. We had fights. He moved out a couple times, and he always came home. I made a point of telling him he had just as much right to be there as his siblings, and his little brother stayed in a lot of trouble for trying to cast him as the outsider. I answered all of his questions about the adoption. I apologized for not being stronger. For not being able to fight longer. For giving up, even though I never wanted to do that.
Jeremy's parents agreed with me that Jeremy should lead the reunion. He decided when we would meet, when he would start spending nights at my house and when he would move back in with me, which he did, shortly after Christopher did. That was the first time I had all of my children together. When Jeremy lived with me, he would ask permission to go to his other parents house, just like he asked to come to mine when he lived with them. If his mom wanted him for a weekend, she would call and ask me if we had plans, before asking if she could take him. She would also take Christopher and put him to work. We were literally co-parenting. I often likened it to a divorce where the parents actually got along and put the child first. He eventually moved back home with his parents and is now raising a daughter of his own. My sweet granddaughter, that I am not limited in involvement. A baby that will not have to "find" her biological family. We will always just be here.
Then I read Kat's blog. And my heart broke. Have I made my sons feel like they are really loved? Do they hate me? Do they find it hard to connect with me? We are now the only family Christopher has. And I know he loves me. And I know he knows how much I love him. But when given the chance recently he was quick to move in with my sister. I am pregnant now with his last sibling from me. And he is about to move 4 hours away with my sister and her family. He seems to be able to connect to her and her kids better than he can to me and his siblings. And now I think I know why. And I don't know how to proceed really. I cried so much reading A Letter Never to be Sent. And it made me want to write my own letters. My kids know of my blog, but I don't think they ever read it. But either way, I want to write this for them. I don't know if I will ever send it. I want to. But it's hard to put myself out there like that. And I'm sure it's even harder for them.
My Dearest Sons,
You two really are my world. I know it's hard to talk about adoption, but it is such a big part of our lives. It's the reason we are who we are today. There are other things that have shaped us, but that is the biggest one. I want to tell you some things. Because I feel that you may never ask. Some of it I have told you, but I want to tell you again, because it means so much to me for you to know.
I loved being pregnant with each of you. Christopher, you gave me the happiness of being a new mother. You gave me the promise of a bright future. Someone I could love and protect. Someone I could teach and watch grow. Someone I could protect like I had never been protected. A way to make myself worthy. And I should have never looked at it that way. You should have never been my savior. But you were. Jeremy your pregnancy was just as wonderful, but it was also fraught with worry. I had already lost your brother, and I was fighting to get him back. My pregnancy with you was full of joy while I was awake, and full of nightmares of losing you when I was sleeping.
The day each of you were born was magical in it's own way. Both instances brought tears. Tears of joy at this perfect little human that my body had grown, and fear of not being good enough to raise you right. I never had the fear that I wouldn't raise you at all. Even though that turned out to be the case.
During my last visit with you, I had my dad and his girlfriend there. Along with my husband and 3 step children. I didn't talk very much. I cried a lot. I kissed you a lot. And I whispered that I loved you and begged you to remember me. I promised that I would never give up hope of finding you again one day and letting you know that you were never forgotten. I promised I would always love you and miss you. And I promised that you would have a good life.
I tried my best to move on. To tell myself that you were both loved and happy. But I couldn't move on. I quit having fun. I refused to have fun. I didn't deserve it. A woman not raising her children shouldn't be having fun. And I ended up with severe social anxiety. I am getting over it now. But it crippled me in so many aspects of my life. With each of the pregnancies after losing you I have had nightmares through the entire pregnancy and for months after their births. I wondered how I would be able to tell you that I raised so many other kids and couldn't raise you. I wondered how much you would hate me for that. Especially considering I didn't give birth to them all.
I hate what adoption did to my life. But I am just the mother. My biggest concern is how did it affect you? I know it has to be harder on you than on me. How can I make it better? Is that even possible? I wish I knew. And I wish I could tell you that I am open to answering any questions you have. I wish I could tell you that I understand if you hate me. And you are free to tell me that. Your feelings are so much more important than mine. I wish I had the answers. Are you uncomfortable around me? Is it hard for you to connect to me and your siblings? You seem more connected to Alexia than Joshua. Is that because you have known her since birth? And Joshua remembers you not being there? Does the age affect the reunion? Kat said it is easier to connect with others. Is that true for you too? Is there anything I can do to make it easier to connect to me?
I love you. Always.