Adoption was a last resort because I know a thing or two about adoption, family separation, and grief through empiricism, direct felt experience and have had to watch my children go through it also.
the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.
I have first hand experience with what it FEELS like to be adopted. I am, what I refer to as, half adopted. I was raised by my biological natural real mother who grew me in her uterus and gave birth to me, and an adopted father. Of course I did not know this growing up. It was a big family secret. Somewhere around the age of 12 I began to start figuring it out for myself. Feelings I had my whole life, but couldn’t really put a finger on started making sense. I didn’t really look like any of my (half) siblings. I didn’t have any features of my “father”. I never really felt like I fit in at any extended family gatherings. Its a strange sort of knowing that is very complicated to put words on so I will not even make an effort except perhaps that it is an internal knowing, an intution.
Please don’t get me wrong, my Dad, as I refer to him, is a great guy. I am appreciative of all he has done for me and accepting me into his life, and my children also. I’m not angry, I totally get that it was the 70’s, times were different, and everyone completely believed they were doing the best thing. I can not be angry at that for any reason but we are pretty darn different people. It was the lying that reaked the havok. Being forced to continue to try to pretend that everything was as I had been led to believe my whole life was still true, when it wasn’t. I tried to be ok with it, but deep down inside I wasn’t. Its hard as heck when you suddenly realize you don’t trust the people you are supposed to depend on to be there and trust no matter what, anymore. Its hard when you feel like your whole life has been a lie.
I also have 4 older children, born in 1989, 1992, 1997, and 1998 respectively. Sadly they too have experienced the grief and loss of being disconnected from family. My oldest two sons and I live together now. My daughter and son live with their father in another state. Yes, different fathers are involved. When my second husband and I were divorced I was not present in the courtroom. I didn’t know about the hearing. I can say why I didn’t get the notice, I just didn’t get it. People like to judge me for it, no one ever seems to observe that hey…..he could have said my soon to be ex wife isn’t here, can we continue it or call her? I found out I was divorced via mail when the divorce decree arrived. He had been given custody separating siblings, even though he was in the military and subject to duty transfers. I suppose maybe they thought I didn’t care since I wasnt’ there, to me it feels like a fast one was pulled.
Its been a slow road in hell at times ever since then. A road of working, paying child support while also qualifying for and receiving food stamps. A road of siblings separated, not understanding, missing each other, a road of feeling like all of society thinks I am a dead beat parent because I haven’t seen my 3rd and 4th child in more years than I care to mention because I simply can’t afford to. (When they moved from the state we all used to live in together, I moved as close as I could where I had a friend I could stay with until getting myself going, thinking I’d just start again over here on the east coast and it would be a closer drive when I could afford to go see them) A road of knowing they must imagine that I am a complete piece of shit, when really all I want to do is be part of thier life again. How do you explain to your children that it takes 2 adults to make things work out for the children without making their father out to be an asshole? I’m not really intersted in that, it causes more damage so I am here being interpreted in ways I don’t even want to imagine still trying to find away to make my own living that doesn’t involve half of my paycheck being immediately taken out for child support.
I’ve waited tables most of my life, now I’m 43, its taken a toll on my body but kept some of the money I earn in my pocket. No one wants to think it, but alot of employers don’t want to deal with the paperwork involved in garnishing paychecks, so sometimes I feel like I’ve been over looked and discharged from employment in favor of someone that wasn’t so much work to hire. I started trying to sell my art online in 2011 as an affordable attempt to fill thefinancial gap and try to raise some money to go see my children. I like the platform of the online gallery service as it cost me nothing, made it easy to upload, they did the printing and shipping….and yes, I only would make a commission, but as I like to say in life, some is better than none.
So yes I’ve seen some damage, seen damage to my children, been part of it, and been accused of being the only one causing it. So 14 years later, older, wiser, and having learned from my experiences, challenges, mistakes, and achievements sure as hell did not want to inflict any trauma on this new little baby I was carrying, I wanted to be there for him, and with him, as a stay at home mother. I wanted to protect him from the pain of separation and make his life as joyous as possible.
It took over a year after his adoption for me to start answering the question I asked myself time and time again while accepting responsibilty for my actions, how did I let this happen? I started researching on the internet and found some interesting answers.