Sink or Swim

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Some questions are bigger than others...

I've been thinking about this post over at American Family all morning. It is impossible not to wonder about E's story, and what the situation truly was with her birth parents. And it is heartbreaking to think that we will probably never know. On Mother's Day, it crossed my mind that I hardly ever think about my own birth mother anymore. But this lack of wondering only happened after I met her and knew my own adoption story. E isn't likely to receive that gift. I know what it is like to wonder, romanticize and even at times dramatize a birth story that is unknown. I was a child who often made up stories (ok, truth be told, I was a bit of a liar), and being adopted lent itself to some whoppers. In one, I related that I knew my birth parents had ended up getting married, and I probably had full siblings out there somewhere. I think this stemmed from my lack of connection at the time with my own sister. In another, I fabricated a near abortion drama, and a last minute change of heart. Of course, I knew nothing at all. My mother had a little index card where she had carefully written down the few precious details Social Services had shared. I knew that both of my birth parents were of German decent (30+ years later, I learned there was a lot of Polish heritage too). They both had brown eyes, which was remarkable since I have blue-green eyes. They were relatively tall. She was 20, he was 18. I envisioned two college students in love; torn apart by strict parents. Turns out I was so very off the mark. Ah well. I know what it is like to wonder, but I don't know what E will wonder about in her own birth story. The situations are so incredibly different. Will she wonder if it was a coerced situation? Will she feel like she was stolen from her home and her heritage? Will she feel anger toward her birth parents for abandoning her? I try to read blogs and other writings from adult international adoptees. I know that I cannot assume that E will always be happy with her lot in life. I don't want to over-dramatize the situation either, but abandonment is such an awful word and concept. How could a child not have intense and complicated feelings about a story that starts with being abandoned? An abandonment that was very likely not the desire of the birth parents. An abandonment that ideally should not have had to happen. My birth mother made a choice, a very conscious choice for adoption. She later made that same choice with a second unplanned pregnancy. The more I know and love E, the more I ache for her birth parents. They will never have the chance to know this amazing child they created. And if it breaks my heart, how could it not break hers?


Blogger Emanual said...

Just last week - I wrote the "story of the day you were born" in Gabby's lifebook/baby book. Gabby girl if from a remote rural area, where it was lively poverty driving her abandonment - so that helped me tiny bit. But it was still just exhausting to write. 20 drafts, and many tears later, I still feel my heart in my throat at the thought of my daughter having to digest that particular page. I pray for grace, for us all.

5/22/2007 12:51:00 PM  

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