On Wednesday night my son Cole and I were talking and he just burst out with, “I don’t want you to write the blog anymore!” After a lot of discussion, hugging and crying, I finally realized why he doesn’t want me to write….he said “I don’t want anyone to know that you aren’t my ‘real’ mom.” WOW! The conversation was a real eye opener for me and made me once again realize the different and unique challenges that adoptive parents face. Sometimes I long for things to be ‘normal’ and not have to answer the following questions my children ask and the thoughtless comments people make: (these are just a few samples...)
They are adopted? You aren’t their “REAL” mom?
Why did their mother give them up? How could she DO THAT? (Ugh, not my favorite one!)
Aren’t you scared she is going to take them back? (see answer below)
Why did my mom give me up?
Why didn’t she keep me?
Did/does she love me?
Can someone else adopt me and take me away from YOU?
Is it hard to love someone who isn’t your OWN?
What would my life be like if I lived with my birth mom?
Do I have other brothers and sisters?
Where is my birth father?
I hate when people treat me different because I am ‘adopted.’
Many people are aware that my children are adopted and that I have contact with their birth mother, so a frequent question I get is “aren’t you scared she will come and take them?” My answer is “no!” Of course when my children were first placed with me, there was that definite possibility because relinquishment requirements weren’t met and I wasn’t legally their parent at the time. Ruth had the legal right to come and take them back, so yes that was a possibility, but for now? “No.”
At this point in time I keep in contact with my children’s birth mother, grandmother(s), and two birth fathers. They all know my address, my phone number and my e-mail (if they care to contact me). I don’t try to hide where I live. I can’t live in fear. Am I afraid that they may come and take one of my children? No. Of course, that is always a possibility, but that is a possibility in any situation whether it be step-parents, estranged parents or whatever the case may be.
I am not saying this has always been easy. In fact, in the beginning I moved several times because I didn’t want Ruth to know where I lived. But after a week or so I would always end up telling her, what was the point in hiding anyway?
I considered not telling my children they were adopted and just pretending I was their “real” mom, but in the end it just didn’t make sense. At some point they would find out or know. Why not be honest about it from the get go? I didn’t want my children to hear it from someone else and then ask me why I hadn’t told them (I think that would be more devastating). Besides, my children have an amazing birth mother, why would I want to keep them from her?
A few days ago after my post about miscarriage, I got the following messages from Ruth: (shared with her permission)
“Camille, I am so sorry. I just read your last post/ blog. Why didn't you say anything about doing fertility treatments (artificial insemination) before? I feel for you, so not only did I feel a loss (placing the kids), you also had it tough. I know that things weren't easy for you; I had heard that you were pregnant before. I am sorry that life wasn't easier for you; I guess that which does not kill makes us stronger. I hope.
Thank you for your site and for the blog, it really helps me to see where you were coming from, after all of this time to hear this gives me new insight that I think helps me heal. You weren't the only one selfish, I was selfish for taking Bryan from you after sending him to you the first time, I am sorry for that. I am sorry that I didn't place Preston and Ava with you sooner so that you could enjoy a newborn, again selfishness on my part. I wish that I had more faith that everything would work out with the adoptions turning out ok, which they did.”
My situation is different than most because I have more than one child from the same birth mother, so I can’t compare the relationship I have with Ruth to anyone else’s circumstances. I can’t worry about people making stupid, thoughtless comments. I can handle the dumb questions people ask, but it is sometimes hard to answer them in front my children.
My son and I talked for over an hour. We are planning on seeing Ruth next Monday and he is excited about that. I also asked him to read my blog and then let me know if he still wanted me to write (my oldest son reads every post I write and WANTS me to continue writing). After Cole read the first few posts he said “mom, you can still write.”