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.