Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kat Friday Paw~nderings

Today is my Friday--already! Where did this past week go??

Last night I was out to dinner with a group of friends. We got into a discussion about children. One of my friends has decided at 37 yrs of age she and her man do not wish to have children.

She spoke of how comfortable her life was and how she never really liked kids and just couldn't see raising any.

I told her that I thought she was brave for standing up and admitting that. For choosing to not to raise a child. Some people just aren't meant to be parents. And that's OK.

The conversation moved into the subject of my being an adopted child who grew up and is now raising an adopted child.

My friends man is adopted also. We talked about what it was like growing up adopted and about my decision not to tell my son he's adopted (for now).

"When did you know you were adopted?" I was asked.

"From the very beginning of comprehension."

"How did you feel about that?"

"It was my life support."

Quizzical looks sent my way

"Seriously. You know how other siblings tease each other and say, You're adopted when they really aren't?"

Laughter and nodding of heads

"Our Mother was so evil that when we were kids we'd tease each other and say, You're not really're her REAL child! The teased person would scream in horror."

My friends laughed with me as they know some of my childhood stories but one lady who had come to dinner with another friend of mine was leaning forward and listening with rapt attention.

"I'm a birth mother" She said quietly.

I looked at her and smiled. "You know what? I think birth mothers are one of the bravest people I know of."

She gave me shy look and ducked her head, melting back into the table crowd.

"Seriously." I said, turning to speak to my friends sitting to my right. "You find yourself in a situation in life where you're pregnant and cannot or do not want to raise your child in that lifestyle. So you bundle them up and send them out into the world for a better chance than you feel you can give them."

"That, is bravery." I said, tapping the table in emphasis.

"You spend your adult years thinking about that child. Aware of everything you are missing. You live with that emptiness."

"As a child you don't really feel much of that pain. You're too busy growing up and experiencing life. Sure, you wonder. You pause and feel that ache of not knowing from time to time, but it's not the full center of your life."

The birth mother at the table had leaned forward out of the table crowd and was nodding her head. Her eyes were on me like lasers, drinking in my words.

I knew what she was feeling, having talked at length with my own birth mom and the guilt and anguish she felt.

I turned and looked the birth mother in her eyes. "You know what? I found my birth Mom when I was 26 and it was wonderful. But you know what I wish? I wish I could have taken the pain from her of the years she gave up missing watching me grow. Most of all? I wish I could take the guilt from her. To let her really understand how damn proud I am of her for making the brave decision to not raise me at that tumultuous time of her young life. For going out and making something of her life and eventually having a family of her own that she could be with."

The birth mother looked at me with aching eyes then melted back into the table crowd.

A mothers love.

You don't have to have raised a child to feel it. It's there. I hope I helped her with some of the pain she is carrying by answering some of the questions I know, haunt her.


Laoch of Chicago said...

Right on, as my hippie mother would have said.

This is very moving and well expressed.

Aafrica said...

i totally agree with you. it's not for the faint of heart to make a decision that would forever change many people's lives.

La Chanson de Phoenix said...

I am a mother who found herself 17, in high school, and pregnant.

It was a very hard decision, and in the end, I chose not to give Lauren up for adoption. It matters not which way I went, the fact that I eve had to make that decision haunts me. I wonder each day did I did the right thing? am I the best mother she could have? Could she have had better? I wonder. I understand the guilt of which you speak.

some girl said...

Wow, this was a wonderful post. Amen.

Jadey said...

wonderful you were able to help her...
I have been in alot of pain lately from being a non-legal step mom...
I raised him for 10 years getting up at night with him for bad dreams & colds...and now, nothing. I miss him SO much, but he wont reply to emails or anything - it is causing me so much sadness :(
These women have this pain alot worse.

Cindy said...

Wonderful post made me cry but in a good way,,,,

Haphazardkat said...

Laochie: That your mother would have agreed, makes me smile :)

Aafrica: True. So true.

LaChanson: The very fact you worry if you are a good enough Mom, proves you are a wonderful one. I have no doubt on that :)

Somegirl: TY :)

Jadey: Give him time, Hun. You are a wonderful person. He'll come around once he's figured things out.

Cindy: *hugsssss back!*

Mrs.X said...

I think that's absolutely beautiful and so very true.
I know Joe sometimes worries that because he isn't Bre's bio father, that he doesn't count as much and I always remind him that she chose to call him dad (without prompting) long before he adopted her.

beth said...

Well said, my friend! I think we all have a tendency to lump 'birth mothers' in the 'stupid teenager' or 'selfish' category - and they are so far from that. I don't know if I could be so brave - once that baby kicks - just the little flutter - it is the hardest thing in the world to even CONSIDER allowing someone else to raise that child - no matter what the circumstances of conception might have been. Every one of the birth moms who did so - allowing their children a chance at a better life than they could have provided is courageous beyond measure and I think each and every one should be proud of what they did.
And adoptive parents should be equally proud - for they CHOSE to be parents - and chose to be the parents of the children they raise.
the OtherDragon

Slick said...

I'm in total agreement Kat....

I think a birth mother who gives up her child so it can have a better life is probably the most unselfish person I could think of.

Haphazardkat said...

MrsX: Tell your Joe (speaking as an adopted child) the person that raises you, is the parent forever in your mind and heart. My adopted parents were psycho--but they are still parents in my mind. :)

Beth: Yeah, judgement of others when never haven walked in their "shoes" is always a bad idea.
*scritch scritch scritch*

Slick: agreed :) I'm raising one of those non-selfish gifts from a birth mom :)