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finding peace with my decision

For birthparents who have released their child(ren) for adoption.

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Postby Cheerio » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:31 pm

I am splitting this totally from the OP, because I didn't want it to seem as if I was attacking the gal who made this reply. Many, who have been here on the forum for a long time, know the background of my adoption journey. The newer folks may not.

Many firstmoms have times of the year that are more difficult than other times. Mother’s day is hard for me. But the months (yes, I mean months) before and after my son's birthday are very hard for me. Usually I start struggling at the end of the summer. Since his birthday is in the fall, it makes it hard to face the upcoming 'family holidays' like Thanksgiving and Christmas. So for me, it's hard from August till February.

When I posted about his birthday, there were a lot of hugs and offers for prayer, and I thank you for every one. There were other firstmoms who KNOW what I'm talking about, and their comments mean a whole lot to me.

The reply that has been eating at me is the -- hoping I will find peace for my decision.
I separated it from the OP because I think that is a common thought in the adoption world.
And this expression is not intended to be an attack toward any specific person.

Peace for my decision.

Here's how I look at the idea of peace. (And as you read this, keep in mind I am posting this in a Birthparents/ Natural Mom’s forum, not in a group where women are starting the adoption process, etc. And this may get touchy, because our babies are a very personal and sensitive subject. Before you reply, you may want to first walk away and come back to it later on. Please grant me the freedom for my baby to be a personal and sensitive subject to me as well. )

Peace ...
Many women have experienced losing a child to death. Some lose their child because he/she does not reach full term. Some lose their child at birth or soon after. Some lose their child when he/she was just a child. Others may lose an adult child. It's a tragic event in a person's life. Tragic - nothing can compare to it. The days, months, years afterward leave a person scarred in areas that will NEVER be the same.

Suppose you are one of the women who have been scarred in this way.
It really is tragic, and I am sorry to know you will endure and have endured much pain.
I do not take lightly any of these words.

But suppose you are one of these women, and 7 years later you find out:
- the doctors and professionals did NOT provide you with all the information that they had.
- that there were very known risks that were not disclosed to you.
- that the information provided was biased so that you would make their predicted decision(s) - that the professionals KNEW would cause you to lose your child.
- that the professions could have saved your baby and chose to do otherwise

In other words, you find out 7 years after your baby has been gone -
7 years after mourning his/her death
7 years of his/her life were not lived out
and you find out after all these years, that the loss of your child was unnecessary.

In other words, you learn years after the tragic event - which it didn't have to happen the way it did...
That today you could be holding your precious child, watching him or her grow, celebrating their mile markers of life, instead of laying flowers beside a cold gravestone. You find out it could have been different.

Would you have peace?

Suppose you learn the motive of those dr's and professionals, and find out that they were paid to give you that bad information?
To live without the child that grew inside of you is hard enough. But now to find out that your child could have been saved and very intentionally was not simply for someone to make a buck, that would make it so much harder, in fact nearly impossible to bear.

I will never have peace with the idea that my son was separated from his natural mother UNNECESSARILY. Let's not confuse it with 'right' or 'wrong' or 'best' or 'better'. It was UNnecessary!

I will never have peace with the idea that I am living a life of on-going grief because someone wanted a fatter paycheck.

I will never have peace that I have PUT UPON MY CHILD burdens that adopted children have to deal simply because they are adopted. I am now learning that my son (whether he recognizes it or not) asks himself why I abandoned him? why was he so unlovable that his own natural mother did not keep him? I cried when I learned about this.

The more I learn about the struggles an adoptee faces, the more this breaks my heart, what I may have done to my own son. I am not talking about adoption horror-stories here. I am talking about adoptees who had the best possible situation growing up, still struggle with finding self-worth and self-value. (Not all adoptees dig this deep or recognize the motivation behind some of their choices)

I will never have peace knowing that while my son is facing puberty and all the other wacky changes that come with the hormones - that he will have the extra burden of poor self esteem - because of the wrong choice I Made. That he may struggle realize how precious and valuable he is as his own person, not just because he filled a 'need' his aparents had.

I know she meant well to hope I'll find peace in my decision.
But it was the absolute worst decision of my life, and there is no peace in acknowledging that.
How could there be?

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~
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Postby Sammykat1 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:07 pm

WOW! OBVIOUSLY you are referring to me. I have PM'ed you. Maybe thats what should have been done in the first place if I upset you that much.

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Postby missednote » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:51 pm

Very well thought out post. :good: I think it was good to put out there for everyone to read, including me, a fellow birthmom. I know you didn't intend that as a "slam" against someone, but rather as a head's up for everyone who reads in these forums. We don't always know all the details of another person's situation and it is easy to make a comment that, while made with good intentions, can be harmful or inappropriate.

Sammykat1 ~ I'm sorry you felt attacked by Cheerio's post. She obviously didn't mean it that way. She said so in the beginning of the OP.

Hopefully this post is helpful to someone else . . .
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One fire burns out another's burning, One pain is lessen'd by another's anguish.
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Postby Bears Mommy » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:58 pm

Jennifer I hope you know that this is what nice, sweet, and good people are taught to say. People like you! :good: See I don't blame you for your sentiment because it has been said to me more times than I can count - people trying to say the right thing... it is a common thing to say to birth mothers. But it is so wrong to say. It is a misconception that many say (it is like the so many wrong things people say when it comes to infertility or adoption). I think Cheerio is addressing what so many of us feel and just stay silent.

I don't think that some of us will ever have peace with our decision. How could we? It was a decision that altered our lives forever in a negative way, it harmed our children in ways we were not informed about at the time, it is an ongoing hurt to our parented children and spouses that we never realized, adoptive parents did not end up being the perfect family we had been lead to believe they were... so many ways we were mislead, uninformed, or just plain lied to.

If anyone made a decision that resulted in so many people being hurt, badly hurt, would anyone blame them for the pain they carry for rest of their lives? Does anyone expect the person who got in the car at exactly 11:00 to leave early from a party, who was trying to be responsible, and got in an horrible accident in which their friends were permanently injured to ever be at peace with that? Most times it doesn't work like that. And what's more that is not how God works.

In Philippians 4 we see that God is the God of peace. But when peace comes it is because a person lays their heart and mind in front of Him. And often the peace comes not because one is happy or comes to terms with their situation, but because God is a God of love and miracles. It is because God defies all logic and gives a person peace even though they have no reason to feel at peace, it is because that person submits their all to Him over and over every day knowing that God loves them enough to hear their pain and take them in His arms. We obtain peace because we forget everything else and throw ourselves at Him in utter abandon sobbing in his arms.

Can I just say that surrendering to God in the manner I just mentioned is such a difficult thing to do! And in my personal experience sometimes God gives that peace and sometimes he doesn't. Honestly it is impossible for me to do every day and I know God lets me suffer the consequences of my decision sometimes. God's peace is a gift and not to be expected every single day. We can't expect it every day because this decision we made so many years ago was not over when we signed those papers. Grieving, loss and other emotions that come with placement are a permanent part of our lives. It never goes away, new aspects of loss are always popping up, new people are affected besides 'our triangle', new information is brought to light, new research is always forthcoming, and time marches on and you as a birth parent miss more of your child's life and loss in compounded upon loss.

Trying to be at peace is a everyday occurrence. Learning to deal with each new loss is a new battle. Each day is sometimes a struggle. I can not emphasize this enough - every season brings new loss.

So when I'm at peace, it is that I am at peace in a moment, it is because I have fought a hard battle and laid it at His feet for the time being and He has given me peace even though there is no reason why I should be at peace.

True Godly peace is "peace which transcends all understanding." That is the only peace I have ever known in almost 13 years.
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Postby Cheerio » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:16 pm

Thanks BearsMommy and Missednote for the additional clarification...
it is not a post to attack an individual -
it's a post to discuss a commonly heard comment
and how it makes me feel

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~
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Postby Bears Mommy » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:49 am

I know that Jennifer got very upset by this post (although I am a little baffled as to why) but I want to thank you for it. It is something that I really need to talk about – being at peace and what it really means.

Nicole you hit on a great point.

There are days, like today, where overwhelming sadness is just with me. It has become part of who I am. A sadness that I think will forever be entrenched in my soul because of the continuing loss that I experience.

Some days I am on the verge of tears, I am frustrated, and I hurt. I miss my twins desperately. Every day I long for a word from their adoptive parents. To only get a glimpse would soothe my soul and at the same time rip my heart to shreds.

Most days I experience acceptance, I wouldn’t call it peace, so I call it acceptance that I have to live like this. I have accepted that this is my life. That pain and loss are just part of my everyday experience. I have resolved not to let it consume me. Some days are good and some days are horrific but that is my life.

So I have found that I have found a measure of comfort in this: I can’t change anything. I can’t change the past nor can I change the present and I won’t be able to change the immediate future. I am truly powerless in this relationship. I have no control. I can’t make myself feel better about anything. God isn’t going to magically heal me. I can’t make the losses stop, and I can’t stop think about my twins.

What I can do is live each day embracing my life. I try to embrace the pain, loss, hurt, anger, frustration, guilt, and sadness. Only then can I find joy in the everyday. Only than can I find joy in my own parented children. I acknowledge all these negative emotions that Christians are not “suppose” to have. When I embrace them I justify that my pain is okay. I justify that I have a right to feel that pain. I am able to compartmentalize my emotions when I validate them. My pain has a place, so my joy can also. They don’t have to intermingle. The sadness does not have to reach its fingers into every aspect of my life.

So I live my life in acceptance and sometimes, if God so desires, He grants me peace for which I am grateful.
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Postby Cheerio » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:21 am

I know that Jennifer got very upset by this post (although I am a little baffled as to why)

I am baffled as well.
I replied to her PM, in what I thought was a gentle and sincere response. Hoped the clarification from SJ and BearsMommy would ease her notion that I was attacking her, but it did not. I find it difficult communicating with someone who insists I am angry with them, when I am not.
Odd, she's offended because she insists she offended me????

Oh, well. I tried. it is what it is.

BearsMommy & Nicole.
Before my adoption 'unravelled' I thought I had peace.
I even called it peace.
But once things went downhill, I've come to realize that it was not peace at all.
It was just denial.

Because I was still getting pictures, I had not hit the grieving stage yet. Because I had not completely lost him yet. Before I started grieving, I thought adoption was wonderful, and I believed all the old adoption myths.

I don't think it's the same as peace, but I do not want to become complacent and quiet - in the push for reform. For challanging the old adoption myths that are still going on.

I will never like the decision I made. I will never have warm & fuzzy thoughts or feelings about it either. I will never be serene or peaceful that my family has been torn apart (because of greed).

Now I'm not in denial, but I still have no peace with my decision. I don't think I ever will have peace. And maybe this is what Nicole was saying. I am not looking for peace with my decision, I regard it as mistake, the worst mistake of my life. T
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Postby busymama » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:43 am

Good post Cheerio. I appreciate your honesty.

Hard to read though, and hear all the responses, because when I say "I hope my she has peace with her decision" (my birthmom) I really mean it. It's hard to think that she doesn't/might not, but I guess that's not something I can control.

I think, as an adoptee, it's easier if we think "they" are ok. If they're not....well, it's just hard to know what to do with that I guess. (personally I mean, with my own adoption, not me interacting with all of you)

Lots to absorb.
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Postby Cheerio » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:00 am

I think, as an adoptee, it's easier if we think "they" are ok. If they're not....well, it's just hard to know what to do with that I guess.

Incredible point.
When I write in the journal of letters to him through the years, I try to be mostly honest. But I keep in check how raw I allow my emotions to be in that journal, because it is NOT his Burden to bear!

Is is not, and should not be, the burden of the adoptee to bear my pain.
I think that it would be easy for the adoptee to pick up that burden because,
in many cases they were adopted by a specific person/couple to fill that person/couple's need. Althought that is not necessarily spoken or worded that way. It is one of the loudest things we hear about adoption ... "make a loving choice for a couple who otherwise could not have a family..."

Therefore if the adoptee was raised in a family to fill their need for a baby, for a family... to be "the solution", that he/she may be picking and carrying other people's burdens to 'fix' those problems too.

Very, very good point to think about.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ~
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Postby InHisEasyYoke » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:35 am

I am just identifying so much with what each of you firstmoms has written. I don't have the emotional energy to add anything right now, but it is nice to be among those who can verbalize these complexities. Just sitting here nodding my head since the original post. Everything from well-meaning yet damaging remarks to not wanting to burden Ellen with my grief... Thanks, everybody.
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Postby calee » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:59 am

"Enjoying" is a very BAD way to describe how I feel reading this thread, because it is so full of pain. But I AM gaining so much understanding and perspective, and I thank you for putting these feelings out there. It makes so much sense, but I would have never really known without you ladies.

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Postby avi8torwife » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:47 pm

I agree with Calee. Thank you ladies for a VERY REAL look into your lives and feelings.
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Postby Sivje » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:46 pm

I also appreciate this post and your thoughts. I have so many thoughts about Ahnalin's first parents and have no way of finding out about them because of the circumstances of her adoption. I so wish I could talk to them, and Ahnalin often talks about wanting to have a picnic with them, or read her favorite book to them. It hurts me that I will never have many of the answers she wants. So I get that you mamas will never be at peace with your decision. And I am probably one who is guilty of saying those things. In fact, I recall saying the very thing to Nicole a few years ago. I know now that it was the wrong thing to say, but I did not then. I admit to sometimes saying stupid, wrong, inappropriate things even when I am trying to be kind, caring and considerate. The truth is that I am not in your shoes, so I don't know often how my words will affect you all. I try to say the right thing and fail, when all I really want to do is reach out, be friends, learn, and grow. But often I say what I say to you mamas because I want to be able to talk to Ahnalin's Chinamommy, and you mamas are the closest I may ever get. My heart hurts so much for her, and it hurts so much for you mamas.

I had not read this post earlier, as I am at my mom's house this week on vacation, where I am supposed to be getting a lot of my sewing jobs done, and not being on the computer. Obviously, I am on the computer now though. :D :type: But I will say that I am sorry that I have said hurtful things in the past. I hope you mamas will forgive me for my lack of insight.

Cheerio, thank you so much for this topic because it gives me a window into your hurting heart. Thank you to the other mamas who have contributed as well. I am probably saying something wrong now, but please hear my heart and know that I do not want to be hurtful or ignorant. If I have offended any of you, please pm me and I will apologize personally.
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Postby Bears Mommy » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:50 pm

Sivje I could hug you right now if you were in the room. You are so freakin' awesome it isn't even funny. Thanks for listening, thank you for understanding, thank for being such a great mommy to both your daughters. You humble me with your own humility and compassion.
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Postby InHisEasyYoke » Thu Oct 23, 2008 7:55 pm

Sivje, you know I love you. :) Don't feel intimidated to post or ask questions or put your thoughts out there. I don't know a single firstmom on here who does not like to have REAL discussions on this board. It is funny that those who are the most cautious about what they say are the very people who often help us have an honest, informative discussion from another side of adoption.

Where's the hug emoticon? :lol:
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