Monday, January 10, 2011

Do You Get Me Now?

I'm not done with my adoption. It is not done with me.

I feel like the Grinch baby.

I know that sounds severe but seeing that stupid Ron Howard "Grinch" movie - when that wailing, hideous baby is thrown off the bridge - it punctured my heart. All those stories and fables when the baby is discarded cause it's ugly and freakish is the starkest, realest feeling I can communicate to you through mass media about how my adoption/abandonment feels.

It's a fairly common story. A baby abandoned cause it's ugly and freakish. Think Benjamin Button. Girls in China.

This is raw. This is not good writing. but this is how i feel. Dressing it up feels disingenuous.

She gave up. That's the thing. I have nothing but sympathy for all moms and dads who make tough decisions. I know how life works. I know it's not simple.

But the first person to see me, the first person to know me, the one the good Lord entrusted me to, she decided to take a pass.

Take a pass on knowing me. Take a pass on my being worth the effort. Take a pass on spending her life with me. Even though she bore me, life would be better without me.

Let's just say it was a lot of judgment right from the get go.

Look at me mother and you'll think:
that's too much work
that's too hard
that's too tough a challenge.

Look at my baby face and you'll think:
she's ugly
she's damaged
she's deformed
she's unnatural

Insert my entire life post-adoption which I'm labeling simply STRUGGLE TO BE HERE.

No one should enter this world without a guide.

Imagining being born to the mother who rejected me feels like entering the world through something rough and cold rather than warm and viscous. Birthing my own babies, and feeling the immensely gratifying experience of visceral love as well as the honor and privilege of being responsible for their very lives, has been healing.

But I now know how it should feel, and how it could NOT have felt to her for her to give me up. And again I know parents who give their children up for adoption can and most often do love them. Of course. I just get a distinct feeling that that was not the case for me.

This is my pain. Quite unique. Cloutish freak.

Your pain is not so far from mine.
We all face some kind of rejection. We all must build our own altars to love. There is no birth without strain. There is no growth without pain.

Mine has left me with this complete fear of being all alone and the gravelly knowledge that that is exactly what I am.

The demons circle like a campfire ghosts. I swing my stick into the darkness and hope to make contact. Knock a big one down. Drag it into the light.

I know my pain is different but it's the same.
You wanna be gotten.
You wanna be loved.
You wanna have a place to truly call home.
you wanna feel safe.


I wasn't an ugly baby. I wasn't a disabled baby. Still something in me resonated: I was a bad fit.

How do you re-write a story for someone who cannot read? How do you talk to someone who is pre-verbal? How do you repair such a tiny heart?

But they do get repaired don't they? My lovely friends MS and DS are having their baby's heart operated on next month. They grow strong oxen children and their darling son will be fine...better even.

Hearts, even tiny ones, heal.

My injuries are so tiny but so early that they pierce everything. They're the root tap that leads to the fine veins that pumps blood into every ventricle, every artery. Even those that lead to something good.

I know it's dramatic. But if feels dramatic. It feels like an abandoned basket on a lonely, windswept farmhouse step. It feels like an abandoned basket on a dark and wet cement townhouse stair. It feels like being tossed into a cold, rushing river.


It feels like a reedy Nile River marsh too. Like baby Moses...maybe my mother took care of me for those six months under extreme conditions, she hid me from harm and then gently set that basket where she knew the Pharaoh princess would find it.

maybe I was saved for better things...


Anonymous said...

When I found my biological mother, one of the first things that she told me was that she had wondered all of these years if I resented her or hated her.
She was relieved to find out that I did not; however, she was also prepared to suffer that wrath if that's what it took. That's the scale of the sacrifice she made. Not only would she never get to know me or love me, she would let me hate her if need be.
You were taken from a position of lack and put into one of plenty. I'm not saying that to imply that you should be grateful. I don't mean that at all. As an adoptee, I know full well what you lost in order to get that "plenty."
But I do want you to know that, from where I stand, you have returned that favor to the world 1000 times over. You have always given ten times more than you have received. You have always given all of yourself and then searched your pockets for more. It's not a choice with you, but rather your default setting.
And as a result, you are not alone. And you never will be.
I know all too well what it's like to feel that hole, that missing link that takes you back to the very beginning of your "youness." I know that that hole can never be filled. Pour all of the love in the world into that God-shaped hole, and it will slowly drain right back out.
But it goes somewhere... it waters the gardens of the people in your life... your kids, your family, your friends. It nourishes every piece of ground you touch. And it wouldn't be half so precious if you didn't know full well what it was worth (and what the lack of it felt like).

bloggablesoph said...

My darling friend, you failed to mention that it was 5 months until you found a home... until you found a family. When I think of how much I went through in 5months with my much holding, nursing, loving and cooing there was... to think you your sweet soul not having a haven, it breaks my heart. I just went through my girls baby books.... 5 months is almost half way through that so significant time full of imprinting and lessons about love and God. The fact that you are the strong, loving, and spiritual woman that you are today is truly a miracle. I love you. so. damn. much. xoxox

vickie said...

beautiful post Erin. Your feelings expressed here so honestly and openly certainly make all of us who in any way feel like a freek, a loner, or ugly because of whatever reason feel less alone more heard related to. you must hear it all the time..but you truly are amazing and exude love and happiness and i'm happy to know you!

holly said...

it is all i can do but to tell you that i love you, erin. i love you so much, and the world is blessed by having you and all that you are.

Holly Tuesday Baxter said...


The Crayon Fairy said...

It is amazing how similar we react in the present to our very different histories. You do an amazing job of putting your pain to paper (well, digital paper). I feel it, and it brings me right there with you. I kept wanting to say, as I read it, "But, but, but..." There are so many possible reasons as to why your mom gave you up. I keep thinking of them because when I was still doing therapy, I had lots of moms who gave up their babies and used to weep about it in my office. Some had been raped, as was the case of my own mother who gave up my older sister whom I'll never know. My mother was raped, and her parents were ashamed--so they forced her to give up her baby. Others had not planned for the pregnancy and felt they had no resources and loved their babies so much they wanted them to have a better life. I know you've thought about all these possibilities. I know. But coming from the perspective of one who has been the mother's therapist I thought I might be a little seed of hope. Erin, you're beautiful. You've always been. You're a delight to simply look at. I can't imagine you were ever anything BUT beautiful on the outside. On the inside? Well, I think you already know, and all your friends here have attested to your inner light. You have passion like no woman I know. That is so beautiful. I know people can't NOT love you. It's only your biological mother's loss not to have seen it. (Damn, I don't know how to create new paragraphs--stupid html). My mom didn't want me when I was in her womb. She didn't want me. But she viewed her role in life in a very limited way. She believed she was SUPPOSED to have children. So she conceived me with a father who also did not want me but who also believed his JOB was to become a father. I was not wanted after I was born. Yes, they loved me in the only way they were capable. But they used to ignore my screams and cries from my crib. "Let her cry it out," was my mother's mantra. So still today, I feel like when I cry out or scream, I'm unwanted. It's why I have so many friends from afar and on Facebook but so few in my inner circle. I share this with you I suppose because I want you to know you're not alone. I know the pain of not being wanted, of not being seen, of not being appreciated. It hurts every day to be me. Every day. And so, my sister, I wrap my arms around you and weep with you. In the end though, we're going to be OK. We're both beautiful--as adults we've learned that. And it's truth. We will love the world in the way we weren't in our early days. I'll hold your hand when you feel the pain; you hold mine. We'll just keep loving. It's all we can do. And we're good at it ;-)

The Crayon Fairy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crayon Fairy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crayon Fairy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crayon Fairy said...

So not trying to stalk you. But in the middle of my depression today, I realized something weird: My older sister was given up for adoption. YOU are an adopted child. Is that what bonds us? I was tempted to call you today in the midst of one of my crying spells. Is that why I often want to turn to you? Just a weird, weird, irony....