This post has been by far the hardest to write. I dread that I vowed to tell the truth about each phase of the adoption. This phase isn't all rainbows and unicorns. I intended to describe the beautiful birth of the perfect baby girl I placed for adoption one month ago. Here I am describing something much less heart warming.
Remembering and expressing the beginning of this journey was sweet and healing but now as I try to describe the special experience that was in the labor and delivery room I feel that I am kicking up certain dust that wants to remain settled. I really felt that I was taking each day and facing what came and processing each uncharted feeling. I wanted to believe the hard part was over when I turned the light off and left that hospital room. The things that have unveiled in the last week can't really be explained, but I will try.
November 5th. One month to the day since the biggest event of my life so far.
And I completely forgot.
I have been intentionally, emotionally checked out for days. Every time I try to put all of this into words all I come up with is haze. I have really been blessed to have felt so normal up until the first night I sat down to write the next chapter! I came to terms that I was not ready to tell the experience for what it really was--a very joyous 48 hours. One month has passed and for both me and the spirit I brought into this life, we are still in a state of uncertainty. However, I feel my uncertainty growing as hers lessens.
This isn't the post where I say I am depressed, regretful and struggling. I mean yes, I am struggling but not for the reasons you would think. I actually have great days, and those great days come with a strange guilt. Those great days are the days I forget. I let myself forget her, the nine months I carried her and the tender moments that she changed my life. I just wake up in the morning, pour my daughters cereal, put on my regular jeans and it's as if it never happened. I think I expected the waves of emotion to even out and manifest into a perfectly happy, brand new me. I hadn't considered that one month post adoption would carry more weight than in that hospital room signing the relinquishment of my parental rights.
You always hear that time heals all wounds but I never felt that this was a wound. Time had been passing! It is a complicated emotion to not feel I have wounds that even need healing. But feeling like that creates its own wounds of guilt for not being broken by this. I never let it be anything but a face forward journey. I didn't have doubts or even a question that I was doing the right thing and I still don't... so then what is this? What is the pain and haze? Why can't I just tell the birth story?
This is what I wanted right?
When I found out I was pregnant this was all I ever hoped for--to forget and just be able to go back to life as I knew it before. I wanted to just pour my daughters cereal and put on my non-maternity pants! Now that I am, it's followed by a grey cloud of "how could you?" How could I just go each day laughing and smiling? How could I think of dating, of work projects, of my life after her? How could I have great days less than a month after choosing not to parent the most angelic gift I could ever receive?
I think one of the strangest parts is the physical reminder. I went into the hospital 192 lbs. and unable to see my feet to less than a day later left alone in my body. Now a month later I am back to normal and as excited as you would expect me to be from this I have actually had moments of legitimately forgetting it ever happened. No stretch marks, no lingering weight, no baby to prove the last nine months actually happened. And again it's the guilt. My reality for nine months was leading up to this. My reality was a growing belly and being the mom preparing to place my second baby for adoption. It was my mission to be strong and make this sacrifice for her. Yet, I have days that she doesn't cross my mind anymore. There is such a conflict in my head of whether this is good or not. Can I just take the next steps without her? Should I allow myself to move on? How will she feel someday knowing only a month had passed and I was already okay with this? Shouldn't I be miserable for a while longer?
In the last thirty days I have let, rather forced her to consume my heart and mind just to ease the natural happiness. I have tried to reach deep within and dig up the pain, the heart ache, the anger that this had to happen and all I come up with is how a beautiful flower grew from the thick mud. All I can find in myself is an O.K.-ness that this is how things are. Yeah, I question if that means I have no feeling, no capability to really love, or if I am really that selfish. Am I seriously letting the idea of moving on mask the very real weight that is this adoption? How am I imagining the life I can now have without her? Will I forever have to choose between the guilt for being happy over this, or the sadness that I have to create to not feel the guilt?
I wish I could say this post was going to end with the perfect answers to these questions. But it's not.
I pray that whoever reads this does not worry! Don't worry that I am suffering. Don't worry that I have any regrets because I do not have a single one! What I do have is an unexpected, raw, open and completely normal wound. This adoption, when I allow it, brings me a strength and self esteem I didn't really think possible. So in spite of the confusion I feel now, I am choosing to use those convictions I have found through this to be my guide. I am choosing to remember how I have grown to love my adoptive couple and the baby girl that brought us together. I have faith, as I have had through this whole year, that I will figure these things out and come to a better understanding. As another month passes, six months, a year.. I am now counting on the roller coaster. I will continue to face the truth of how I feel whether it be good, bad or ugly. There will be clarity in time. The life I live post adoption will come with the wounds I didn't expect to have to heal.
I want to see her, hold her and be around her the days I remember her. I guess now I will just be living in fear that those days will disappear completely as I mold my life into what I wanted before I got pregnant.
I apologize for the negative tone of this post but what would any of us benefit from a layer of sugar. These things are hard and I was naive to think they would always feel easy.
One of God's tender mercies happens when I lay my head down at night and I think of my blessings.. She is at the top of the list!
She is perfection in every way! Seeing her brings more peace than I could have imagined.