Emotional Burpees

Update received!!!!!!

Better late than never? In this case, yes. In this case, a thousand times, yes. It was a daily passing nightmare to realize I was at the mercy of the a-parents’ desire to uphold the legal equivalent to a verbal agreement. Might as well be a pinky promise.

I’m very thankful for the message and the pictures. He’s a darling child. Cutting teeth and growing in the 100th percentile range in height—my little golem :). This is, again, a process of continual growth and trust. I have no problem with continual growth…but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I have serious trust issues. There’s no immediate mend to that, but I’m making what strides I can in a handful of ways in my life. Leaving anything of consequence to me in the hands of someone else scares the hell and high noon sun out of me. Putting my heart in someone’s hands? Hoping someone holds their end of a bargain? Making partners in a lifelong decision?

Dear lord, I’ve made a pact bordering on a parallel to marriage…. :facepalm:

The more I cycle through the mechanics, I realize this was overall a bad situation for me to get into. Undoubtedly this is the hardest lesson I’m going to have to learn and re-learn. I’m seeing the ugliest and hardest consequences of making poor decisions and not clearly thinking (from conception to relinquishment). This part of my heart will remain in figurative purgatory for not making the adult considerations that I should have well before all this had to come to be.

All typical-of-me mumbo jumbo aside, he’s healthy, beautiful, and happy. That’s what matters.

And I could use a lesson in birthmother patience…if that is humanly possible. These grueling up-downs are so incredibly tiresome.

Pure Hell

Did I really willingly sign up for this? What in the HELL was I thinking?! I know that I’m a control freak and worrier…even more so a worrier when talking about a child.

I’m in a blank space. I feel like I’m being forcibly weened off interaction revolving around Maxton. I feel an unspoken “This is for her own good” sentiment — and nothing makes me angrier than trying to MAKE me do anything. What’s worse is that I was never outwardly made to make this decision to part with my child. However,  I’m punishing myself  and getting an administered detox from elsewhere.

I’m already tired of this. Not even a year of this and I’m sick of it. I have about twenty years to go. I don’t want pity, sympathy, or anything….I want to see what’s becoming of my baby. If I didn’t, I’d have chosen closed adoption! I want consistency and continuity from his new parents. I want to not feel like I’m taking a twenty year walk-of-shame for making a self-deprecating decision for the sake of his future.

Attach whatever spiritual or religious sentiment to how I should cope all you’d like…the fact remains, I’m supposed to just shut up and deal with these feelings. And for so many other scenarios, I’m GREAT at shutting up for the sake of everyone else–my mouth can cause irreparable damage. But in this case, I don’t want to shut up and deal. To best describe this, I feel like the girl who was guided into bed with months of “I love yous” and then dumped the next day. I feel like the woman who never noticed the tan line on a man’s hand who suddenly has a future she’d built with someone ripped away when the lies are brought to light. I feel like a woman who was promised things that mean the world to her and then left wondering what happened.

I did everything right and everything still seems to have gone to shit. I replied relevantly, with interest, without ownership, and in aching consideration of their role in his life. What went wrong?

Contact agreements, if they exist, don’t mean a damn thing after finalization in my state. Nor do they mean much in other states. The legality is fleeting and is overridden by parental control. To a custodial parent those words are empowering. To a non-custodial parent or birthmother, they can be hell.

Adoption agencies don’t have legal power to enforce contact agreements after finalization.

The lack of guarantee is bothersome. Leaving the well-being of your child to entities or people who can disregard the pretense of an open adoption is a possibility I would have thought about more had I not been thinking of the 35 million other things I was when I did this. Duress doesn’t apply in adoption; that seems sound and mad all at once. I don’t like loose ends and I don’t like being pacified for any non-mutual gain.

As it seems, I have two options given how I am… I can begin burying Maxton’s existence OR I can let my subconsciousness keep eroding at the worry and wonder of the entire situation. But I’m extremely effective at forgetting people to save my feelings. People have commented at how truly unnerving it is. I doubt even my Jedi mind trickery is going to be effective in removing an organic piece of me from myself.

Reality Check

Finding that you’re just pushing through each day just trying to get to a Friday or past a Monday is a sad thing. It means you’ll eventually find yourself hundreds of Fridays and Mondays down the road wondering where precious moments in between have gone and what you could have done with them.

I still haven’t gotten an update from the A-parents. I’m afraid to ask questions at this point. It’s been important for me to be the one to reply and not instigate because of how it could be interpreted. Invasive, impatient, still too attached–I don’t want them to think anything negative at all about communicating with me about the baby.

“The baby” I say. He’s not Maxton, anymore. By all accounts, he only was Max by legal definition. And I only type his given name when addressing his new parents because it’s a sore issue for me, still. He’s not my baby anymore and he’s the namesake of a monster I have spent a few years trying to forget existed.

I’m not forced to think of any of these things as often as I had been before. Hormones have gone back to normal. My fitness kick has put my body back in place. Schedules have gone back into a recognizable rhythm. Then someone who saw my swollen belly months ago ventures to ask, “How’s the baby?”

“Good,” I say with a smile.

I assume this to be 100% true. He’s fine. I’ve never felt like I was lying when I respond that way. But I do feel like my very carefully constructed walls are being beaten on. I don’t like to be asked. It’s a reminder, and the only reminders I want are photos and excerpts from the people raising him. That, I can handle. Other reminders are so unwanted that I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes. But it’s also not good to bottle myself in fantasy…to steer from reality to cope.

Perhaps I need those uncomfortable brushes with reality more often.

Finalization

It’s getting close to Christmas, New Years, and Max’s adoption finalization.

A new family is celebrating their first Christmas with their first child. There will be photos filled with his big brown eyes and chubby cheeked smiles. He’ll have toys coming out of his ears.

I’m wondering what it would have been like to have him propped in my lap as his sister and brother bounced around the living room opening gifts and “helping” him open his.  I’m smiling and nodding through my daughter’s upbeat speculation on what baby boy will be getting from Santa.

Constant bittersweetness is….nauseating. It’s a constant balancing act of wonderful pluses and sorrowful minuses. I happen to have a personality that resents repetition, so this repeated adjusting on perspective of this entire situation is wearing on my being.

The regret and grieving comes and goes. The joy and relief does, too.

Again, I find myself letting my inner circle of friends know that one thing that isn’t advertised about adoption that very much should be is the constant hurt and healing. As much as I harp on those negative feelings, they are getting more manageable. It’s just tough having them repeatedly. It’s a fight I wasn’t fully aware I was going to be warring this way.

And as the season of togetherness and family settles in, it’s a different kind of poison on my heart. To see how tall and beautiful my daughter has gotten this year. Seeing my oldest son has  grown unimaginably handsome. The progress I’ve seen my eldest children take has made it hard to realize that I will only see such change in Max through distant snapshots of his life as it’s already passed.

I try really hard not to overanalyze and not to be exceedingly critical. My eyes zoom in on cute shots and see ill fitting car seat restraints and car keys lying too close to his eager little hands. Things that are probably circumstantial, but as any mom knows can become problematic in an instant…and who am I, now, to say anything? It’s so hard not knowing what is while IT IS. It’s always going to be in past tense for me.

I love him more each month that passes. I wish the best for him more and more each day. And each day he’s closer to [legally] being the child of another mother and father. This six month period after relinquishment is one where you feel the tugs of “your baby” being lessened as “their baby” begins tolling like church bells in your head.

He’s SO Cute!

This weeble-wobble of emotions varying from contentment, agony, jealousy, anger, and happiness is nauseating.

My current state is a mix of agony and jealousy. I am wondering if an open adoption (as it stands with just photos and e-mail) is a good idea. It provides me with just enough contact to feel like I’m missing parts of Max’s life and keeps me just enough at bay to feel like an outsider being granted access that I inherently feel entitled to. I’m so thankful that he is a happy, healthy, BEAUTIFUL baby. When I share photos with my friends and family, there’s no doubt that he’s the chubby cheeked epitome of adorable.

“He is SO cute!” they say.

I know such comments are made about him in my absense. Since people tell me all the time that I look “just” like my [step] father when I’m introduced as his daughter that I know people look at Max’s A-parents and crow the same opinion….and being that people now say such things on social media where my biological father can see, I understand his perspective of his thunder being stolen. I look just like my biological father. People compliment me. Yet my step-father is the man everyone knows as my father and is granted that moment.

Yes, wanting credit for an attractive, healthy, or smart child is desired. It’s one of the many superficial and sentimental reasons people are drawn to the idea of parenting. I am filled with pride when my eight and seven year old are lauded for different attributes and accomplishments. However, I’m just as proud when they are both just being goofy, silly children. And I’m not allowed either with Max. I can already tell from the bright awareness in Max’s eyes that he will be intelligent. Genetics wont be the factor people attribute this to…it will be his rearing.

It feels petty to feel slighted for certain things yet having made the decision to place him. It’s a double edged sword for doing what I knew to be best and feeling like I’ve copped out for doing so. The contradiction is as annoying as knowing that the reasons I find to be aggravated are small-minded. Chastising myself gets old, but I’m going to always see this gorgeous little boy in photos and see a reflection that he wont cognitively connect to himself….

Mommy Issues & Help [Right Over a Cliff]

I’m a young mother. My mother became a mother young. My daughter has a higher risk of becoming a mother young, but I’m doing what I can to decrease that risk.

Going through the hell of relinquishing an unplanned child for adoption reduces the likelihood of my reproducing before I choose to significantly. There’s a specific statistic that, I think, puts this percentage in the low to mid seventies. I found it disconcerting that birthmothers’ reproductive habits were more highly impacted than mothers that had aborted. Consequences of actions are weighed in a completely different manner.

One manner is trust. For some reason, society has designed men’s role in reproduction to be subjective. Women are supposed to ward off advances, think on behalf of both parties, and make decisions based off circumstances that the other party voluntarily or involuntarily contribute to. Being that things are this way, after coming to terms with consequences that are life, death, agony, grief, loss, struggle, and maybe bittersweet joy of course family planning takes a predominant role in a woman’s life. We are conditioned at that point not to trust everyone just because they sweetly ask us to, yet to let a politician work us over much the same way…total chaos.

But those are all patterns that have been influenced by relationships and interactions that we didn’t always have complete control of. Don’t get me wrong…I believe as adults that we are accountable for OUR actions. But we cannot be held accountable for the actions of the adults who molded us or made manipulative impacts on our lives. From the way things seem to be going, it’s no wonder why fear is such a commodity in media today. We fear from lack of trust. We fear from difference. We fear what we don’t know and understand. And those fears also contribute to our decisions.

My family was not happy with my choice to give my child up for adoption. They were actually very supportive of the idea of me keeping Maxton. However, I knew [some of] their support to be a double edged sword. I grew up knowing that some people did things, not out of kindness, but because they’re investing for the sole purpose of a return. I’m quite careful about who I owe things. And while my dad was sincere in his desire to help with baby 3, I didn’t want my responsibility to be his burden because he does so much to help everyone else. He helps to the point of enabling, actually. And I didn’t feel like I was in a parenting position to be able to totally commit to my role for Max. My other children get what I think to be “just enough” of me. It wouldn’t have been fair to deny any of them time, love, affection, or ability. I had seen how frustrations from parenting made my mother with the three of us girls. I had seen how it translated into a sense of fault to us. That was NOT going to happen again.

So, while mother and trust issues played into the decisions and consequences surrounding Max, I was looking at many other things. It stung to be considered so petty that my mother would accuse me of placing him for adoption to spite her stance. It stung because I so outwardly and sincerely love my children that someone would have to be intentionally blind or delusional to make such a claim on my character. I knew that I COULD have raised Maxton. I knew even more that I shouldn’t. Not just as I am and where I am in my life. Between family and society giving and taking from the scope of ability and accountability to fit whatever stance they had on a given day on the subject of being a woman, a mother, a child, and a human, it just seemed like what I wanted was/is being shuttered out from selfish opinion.

After my second child had surgery two days ago, I was in a really strange place again. I had family trying to force “help” down my throat and was berated with questions of why I wouldn’t accept said “help.” I didn’t want or need it. At the same token, I knew I’d need help to raise Max…preferably from a loving father figure…but I did what I had to to keep the lack of at my hand from impacting his life. Changing tires, playing nurse, being career oriented, and being a hobbit are simple. I get this overwhelming sense that people want to help me now because I’m getting into a position to be able to help them…and that just seems disgustingly shady.