Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Ripple Effect

One of the things they said to me was "You will continue on like nothing ever happened" and "This won't affect anyone else".  Both of these statements were drilled into me over and over, to a point where I almost believed it.  The first statement I realized was a lie pretty quick...but the second statement took longer for me to figure out it was a lie.  

It took my husband to point out the painfully obvious.

About five years ago, shortly after I received the information about Ashley from a Search Angel a friend of mine found a picture of Ashley and sent it to me.  I printed out the picture.  I was ecstatic!! I showed the picture to my husband.  He told me I had no right, I need to forget about it and move on, etc, etc, etc.  I was horrified, he was repeating the same words they said.  I was overcome with anger and I said "Until you miraculously grow a uterus and give birth you are not allowed to tell me what to think and feel on this subject!"  End of story.  Since then I would mention little tidbits about Ashley and he would not respond...which was fine with me.

Last August I wrote about coming home and finding out my kept daughter had "friends" in the house (including boys).  I ended up telling her about Ashley, not the way I wanted to approach it, but the cat was out of the bag.  My husband came home in the middle of this, I was expecting him to go on about how I had "no right", blah, blah, blah.  Instead he surprised me...

So he explains...as an outsider...this was his explanation, his viewpoint that left me completely speechless.

"I never popped a baby out" (Wow!  That was crude!  Looks like what I told him five years ago actually stuck with him).  He continued explaining that he could not understand what goes on with a woman when she conceives, carries the child to term and gives birth, especially when this woman is still in High School.  (I listen to him, in shock...curious)

"The point is" as he continues.  Your Mother not being allowed to raise her First Child affects all of us.  (What?  I was always told it wouldn't affect anyone else)  I have watched your Mother swing from one emotion to another when it comes to Ashley, I have watched her close herself off and cry for what I think is no good reason.  This affects me because I can not fix this for her, there is no fixing it and I have come to the realization that this will never go away.  It hurts me to see her get excited over some trivial piece of information then watch all of her hopes get crushed.  They say "adoption is the best choice", but it is not, look at what it has done to her family, our family.

"It affects you", my kept daughter looks at him confused.  You have a sister, half sister, that was never allowed into your life.  You may never have the opportunity to get to know her and vice versa, Ashley has no clue that she has a little half sister who would look up to her and love her because she is her sister.  There is a void in this family, the void will never go away, the void will continue with you, your children, your grandchildren.  Adoption doesn't just affect your Mother, it affects everyone connected to your Mother.

Then he told her something that caught me off guard.  "When you get a little bit older and one of your friends end up pregnant, bring them to your Mother.  The crap about Adoption being a loving, selfless act is bullshit.  Let your Mother explain to them what it really does to the Birthmother."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I wasn't being insulted because I wouldn't "let it go", I was hearing for the first time how adoption affects those around me.

Adoption causes a ripple effect.  Ashley was taken from me, it left an empty void in me.  After my husband explained what it was like being on the outside and looking in I was able to see how this touched so many things in my life.  It wasn't just my life that was affected...

My Mother never had the opportunity to be in her Granddaughter's life.

My Grandmother never had the chance to meet her first Great Granddaughter before she passed away.

My Step Daddy was never given the chance to teach his Granddaughter how to ride horses or chase the chickens when Grandma wasn't looking and telling her bad jokes when she came of age.

My Sister never had the chance to get to know her niece and spoil her.  Take her shopping and show her how she makes her incredible filled cupcakes.

Other family members never had the chance to pass along the crazy family stories before they passed away.

My kept daughter who is being raised as an only child will never know what it was like to grow up with an older sister.  Her future children will never have their Aunt in their lives and will never have the opportunity to spend time with their first cousins.

When They say "It will only affect you" then they are lying.  Losing a child to adoption destroys a family, it leaves a void, an empty space that can never be filled.  It doesn't affect just the Mother, it affects everyone connected to the Mother and continues on to the next generations...like the ripples in water.






20 comments:

Rebecca Hawkes said...

Your husbands words brought tears to my eyes. So true!

Jeannette said...

I just read your husband's words to my daughter Allysa. His words left me in tears. It is so strange how adoption affects our future husbands.

Susie said...

Tears in my eyes also while reading your hubby's words. What an amazing guy to realize this, then to give words to it and speak them out loud.

Linda said...

And people still say Hip Hip Horrah to adoption, as if it is a lifelong trip to Disneyworld.

Lori said...

No Doubt! My husband never said those words, but as he and I traveled the first 8 years of reunion and all of the years of looking (from the beginning), I know that he felt it. We never had children... it hurt him. I hope you won't mind that I am linking.

Mama Moonlite said...

I am an adopted child. It took me years to find my mother and siblings. I totally get what you are saying here. I finally have my mom and siblings in my life. My older kids remember the reunions and the time before we found our family. Thankfully my younger kids and my recenly born neice and nephew, will never know a time when we weren't family. I wish the same for you and your daughters

Anonymous said...

This piece has brought me to tears...

wsbirthmom said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your husband is amazing to put it so well into words for you to realize that he truly listened to you, thought about it and also to be able to explain it to your daughter in such an effective manner. I wish I would have reached out and found someone who could have told me this. My 8 year old thought that if I had another baby now, that quote..' you'll have to find another family to give it to....'
Like it was just 'what we would do' if I were to become pregnant again. Her words and non-chalant manner of delivering those words shook my core, just as your husband's words did.
No one mentioned how the ripple affect continues on through generation after generation, robbing both adoptee and the family that is separated from them. Thank you, and thank your husband, his words will be shared with any woman I encounter who is considering placing a child.

Anonymous said...

Do paps think about this when they write teir pukey Dear Incubator letters?

Lorraine Dusky said...

Great post, great comments from husband--and I know my husband would agree.

I never had other children so...all I know is how giving up my daughter in 1966 totally changed me and my life from that day forward. Yet when I have tried to make my granddaughter understand, I think it doesn't reach her. She lists Juno as one of her favorite movies. And yes, I have talked to her about how adoption !@#ked up my life. There is no other way to say it that is as accurate.

KRT said...

Thank you.

Carlynne Hershberger, CPSA said...

Great post. My husband would agree. He's been there for the roller coaster and I've seen what it does to my other 2 children. Thanks for writing this. I'd like to link it on my blog.

Phantom Mom said...

What a poignant explanation by your husband. He "gets it" now. My husband got it right away, because he lost a son as well. What he said, and what you wrote about the effects of adoption are so true. Thank you for putting it into words.

Anonymous said...

I told my husband about my child on our first or second date. Forty years later my son found me. When I told my husband he said, " I knew this would happen." He wrote a letter to my son to welcome him into our family. In reunion everyone grows...

In Blind Faith said...

Thank you for all of your wonderful comments. I am glad that I was not the only one moved by my husbands words.

In Blind Faith said...

Carlynne - link away my dear ;-)

Anonymous said...

I recently found my Mom. I have needed her in my life and now here she is. I think anyone who is "forced" to be without a real family is moved to tears by this post. It is such a magical world to me, now that I know who my Family is. Anyone who doesn't think that adoption is an all-encompassing experience for everyone involved is serously in need of education and thoughtful consideration on the subject.

PaulaM said...

I can only say first off your husband has no right to say that kind of crap he is not you. Never had a baby growing inside of his body. Damn those words sound like what I heard as well. People need to grow a brain and care how another person might feel losing there first born child. No one can ever understand until they walk that path in there lives. I am sad to see that your own husband had the nerve to say not nice and nasty things to you. I too lost my first born to this thing called Adoption and I heard those words. They almost took me to a grave, but I decided I was stronger then to not live my life, to find her. I have found her and she knows what happened and why.

In Blind Faith said...

Paula - When I found my First Daughter in 2006 and he said those things to me I made it very clear to him that he had no clue as to what I went through. Since then he has watched me go to hell and back every time I try to make contact and my First Daughter refuses. He understands the pain I carry and since he is on the outside looking in he is able to understand how this affects everyone connected to me...including him. He understands alot more now, he no longer tells me "I have no right". Instead, he recommends pregnant girls who are considering Adoption to talk to me about what really happens.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought from the other side. I am a 30 year old dad. I was given for adoption and it was the best gift other than life that my birthmother gave me.