I’ve finally been able to get through a solid 24 hour period without crying. Given the fact that I’m able to cry at the drop of a hat, I consider this a great thing. I look at photos of my 13 day old child and not instantly shed tears. The first 12 days of his life were spent in a period of wayward sadness and bittersweet joy.
The end of the sporadic tears doesn’t mean I’m not sad or do not miss my baby. As my body heals and changes I’m reminded that he was once a physical part of me. I almost feel guilt for having been so ready to give birth two weeks ago because I was uncomfortable. It’s only now that I realize that the pregnancy was time with him and I shouldn’t have looked at it from such a selfish perspective. I’d resented the pain his size had caused and spent many nights sleepless due to his Hulk-ish movements. Discomfort now seems like a small price to pay.
At the same time I know that when he wakes up crying in the middle of the night that there’s probably less than a 3 minute wake time before one of his very happy adoptive parents is swooping him out of his bed and into their arms. 3 minutes may actually be too long in reference to their attentiveness, although I really have no real clue. It’s simply one of the many ways I get past time–I imagine how much he was being loved on last time I saw him and it helps ease my mind.
Being the overly observational person that I am I took in their mannerisms, tone, and demeanor when handling my baby. I studied them as they interacted with Max (my name for him, not theirs). They probably sensed that I was slightly off from the first time that I met them, but I couldn’t be the cool, calm person I was in the restaurant that day. I had to make sure that the “right” I felt then still felt right in those few hours before I signed my agreement and my child left with them. Although they showed signs of heightened possessiveness that pricked my nerve endings a handful of times, I understood it and still felt nothing stood out as a red flag. Maxton would go home with them and be a happy, well clothed and fed baby. I imagined that he would have a few moments in school aged life where he might get teased for acquiring his new parents’ mannerisms, but he’d be cute, personable, and witty enough to come out on top of it. He’d grow into a smart, caring, handsome teenager. He’ll be a loving, well-rounded, and handsome man. Of those things I’m fairly certain, but only time and positive reinforcement will tell.
Point is, I trusted my instinct and my choice. I respect and actually like the man and woman who will raise my baby. If you knew how hard it is for me to like people I’ve known years, you’d know this significance. It’s hard to even use possessive terms to describe Max, now. He is my biological child and I love him, but it’s hard to describe the alignment that seemed to occur as his new parents bonded with him. Despite my anger during my pregnancy I always had the feeling that my baby was here for a reason. I’m not deeply religious. Coming from a family with very religious talons I felt it more beneficial to be spiritual. Even still, I felt like my child had a path to cut into this world. Between this, my almost immediate connection to the adoptive parents, and the many fine details that connected all of us I’m surprised that my decision still weighs on my heart like it does.
I miss Max. I always will. His brother and sister will, too. But his absence isn’t calculated in my mind as a loss. Just like my choice to place him for adoption wasn’t a decision to “give him away”. I’d had this thrown in my face numerous times…that the baby was family and how dare I “give him away”. The childish and spiteful behavior that I have been subjected to since leaving the hospital all but solidified some of the underlying reasons I settled on adoption with such comfort. As close as my family is it’s also very caustic at times. There can be love and comfort flowing one day and fire and brimstone flying the very next. I knew that whatever familial difficulties awaited Max in his future was not going to impact him the way I’d watched it impact the younger members of my own family. I loved him enough to not want to subject him to certain parts of my life that I was still a part of and trying to fix….and if I can’t fix them, he doesn’t have to be a part of the separation that will come into play.
Thinking of this and so many other things I can’t help but to breathe and be thankful that one thing I can count on is that Max is in good hands. As I start unwinding this emotional ball of barbed wire that I live I am glad he is not part of the aching process. I’ve gotten through rough times with my other kids and they seem happy and well-balanced regardless of those times, but it’s so comforting to know and be able to look forward to seeing how Max will grow without those factors.
There wont be a two-day no crying streak. I killed that possibility two lines into this entry, but getting to the end here makes me more likely to make it through tomorrow in the right frame of mind 🙂