I moved my bed and found the adoption documents I’d hidden before I wanted anyone to know I was even pregnant. The parent profiles were there. I swaddled myself in blankets and began reading them again. I feel like a psychopath for not realizing sooner in my negativity tirade that I had chosen Max’s parents for a reason…that they were exactly as they read on paper. Candid, loving, open, and real. I really like them. They love my baby and I think he has a good chance of blooming as a part of their family.
I had been analyzing all these ridiculous things. Now having said that I hate Max’s new name, I would feel awful for that name to be from someone who helped mold either one of them into the people they are today.
Though I tried to clarify that I don’t resent them, it’s pretty obvious that I’m jealous of them. Besides having a great family and relationship, they get to have the precious moments with my child that I’ll miss. I don’t feel like I chose to give up those parts of Max’s life. I feel like I chose to ensure that he had a good life. Even though I was raised in a home with both parents, I know how it feels to not have a connection or to be unsure if one parent even cares about you. And after my first two children began asking about their estranged father plus Max’s father being so willing to disconnect, I did not want that for him.
Had I kept Max, I would have made sure his basic needs were met. I’d have done everything I could to make him happy, but there’s something very fundamental and beneficial about being a part of a loving two-parent household. While I don’t feel like Max’s older brother and sister are lacking much by not having their father around, they are missing out on having the balance and love of a second parent. As a single parent I will defend any man or woman who has been left to care for a child or children on their own; it’s tough. But having the easily identifiable difference in the warmth of the relationship I had with my dad and the coldness of the relationship I had with my mother, I realized how much it sucks to have a parent (either in the house or out) that you’re not sure where you fit in with. This thought also lead to the anxiety I had of Max becoming an adoptee. Even if his a-parents love him to the moon and back, I know that adoptees wonder about their biological roots. I want him to be sure that I love him very much. I don’t want to have to explain that I don’t think his biological father has a heart to even make him capable of loving another person.
With Max’s new family, there’s a great history to their love and it’s obvious that their love hasn’t stagnated at all… I am glad that he has that as a base and not a story like his siblings to dwell on. The story of mommy and daddy’s love, your name, what type of relationships your parents had with their own parents, and the lifestyle your parents live have significant impacts on how you develop and grow. From what you learn from those instances to how you behave based on those things to how the world around you responds to the formers, development is key.
I’m never going to stop missing Maxton or wondering what I’m missing in his growth. I’ll always have a feeling of guilt, shame, and fear for what has been (for me to come to the decision of adoption) and what could be (as a result of the adoption). There is no doubt in my mind that he was meant to be in this world. So many things along the journey of my pregnancy made that glaringly clear. The way he came into this world wide-eyed and conscious of nearly everything around him also made that clear to me. No matter what my heart wanted that day or the day he went home with his new family, I did what was best for him. Keeping him would have been what was best for me, but as I learned with parenting my first two children, parents come after the kids. And I have to make sure that my emotions are not misdirected at people who were just fulfilling functions of their own lives.