And So the Story Goes
When I discovered I was pregnant: 3 months into my pregnancy, I wasn't sure what I was going to do! I had been raised in a strict religious home, and so abortion was out of the question.(except for that one minute of "it would be a quick fix") Having spent the first 5 yrs of my life in a foster home, and enduring unspeakable abuse and neglect, then being adopted by a single older woman, who only wanted someone to take care of her, I was sure that giving my child up for adoption was out of the question. As my pregnancy progressed, and it became harder and harder to hide it, I struggled with how I was going to raise a child. I knew my adopted family would freak out when they discovered I was pregnant. I also knew that my childhood had sucked and that the relationships in my adopted family were unhealthy, to say the least. I continually came back to the fact that I couldn't give my baby away, but didn't know how I was going to support us. I was a waitress and the birth father was a cook but neither of us had any post secondary education to gain employment that would ensure a healthy financial future. The birth father and I had broken up just before I had discovered I was pregnant so we were struggling with being friends for the sake of the pregnancy and I could see that co-parenting was not going to be an option. When my adopted mother found out from a relative, who had given me the option to tell in 24 hrs or she would tell my mom, she had already before she had even talked to me. I was told that I obviously wasn't responsible enough to save myself for marriage so I wasn't responsible enough to make the decision of what was best for me and my child. So I was shipped off to a cousins home in another country. I came to realize that it was a better option, whether I realized it or was brain washed I am not sure but I can see that it was the best solution.
My son was born, in the early morning, of a bright May morning. He was a beautiful healthy 7 lb 8oz boy. I held him for a few minutes and then the nurse took him to the nursery. The next morning I walked down to the nursery to say good bye to him, as he was soon going to be going home with his adoptive family. I prayed with hope that he would be loved and taken care of better than I was able to. I cried with a aching heart and aching arms, knowing I had done something I vowed I would never do: repeat history of my birth mother.
As each year passed I struggled to come to terms with my actions, I agonized over my sons well being. I wasn't able to have a healthy relationship, because of my guilt and my low self esteem. My adopted family had forgotten about him and about my experience, immediately. I felt like I had very little support. I eventually left the religious organization that my believes were based on, felt that I could never be what they expected of me, because I was damaged goods now. I was in and out of counsel ling throughout the years and only found one counselor that could even begin to understand my loss. Not just the loss of my son but also the loss of myself and the the many childhood losses I had endured.
It took a number of years for me to understand that I am a worthwhile person and that I deserve to be loved and deserve to love. It wasn't until the last four years that I was able to learn to understand my anger and my inability to accept love.
About nine years ago, I received a call from the Social Services in my home province. They informed me that through my registering and my birth brothers registering they had matched us to the same mother. I had no idea that I had any brothers. I had my foster care records, and I had a bit of a inkling that I might have an older sister, but no evidence that there had been any other siblings. As it turned out, my birth mother had given birth to 11 children, all of whom had either been surrendered at birth or like I; seized and placed in foster care. I have since met six siblings, of which I have consistent contact with two. We have so many similar characteristics, both physical and physiological, unfortunately one of the main genes that was passed on was my mothers addiction gene. We also are all affected by varying degrees of FA SD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) and the traits that are associated with it. It has been such a roller coaster getting to know my siblings, and accepting that my birth mother had died before I had a chance to met her. I don't know who my birth father is, and I am not in a place yet that I am ready to embark on that journey.
About three and a half years ago, I contacted my birth son. It was again a roller coaster. He had a lot of anger towards me and his birth father. We have kept in contact but we are definately not as close as I once hoped for, but we are able to have a conversation without our disappointment and hurt getting in the way.
The reason I felt compelled to share my story is because I wanted to let anyone who may be going through the adoption experience from any side of it, know that they are not alone, that it is okay to grieve, that it is okay to be angry and it is even okay to still be suffering or barely coping years down the line. We all do what we have to, even if it isn't necessarily what we want to. I know that it is a hard journey, from all angles. The hardest part has been learning to love myself. I also had to accept that, even though I wasn't wanted most of my life, I am not a horrible person, I wasn't a unmanagable teen, and I wasn't a unlovable child. My only hope is that my son and my siblings know that I love them for who they are, and all the hurt and anger doesn't destroy the unconditional love I have for them.