Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not just any seven year old

Recently B had his seventh birthday. (I purposely didn't write about him on his birthday). And then two days after that was the anniversary of when I placed little B in the arms of his parents. That story is one for another time. There has been something on my mind that I can't not stop thinking about. It was a conversation I had with a friend of mine on B's birthday.

For some reason it wasn't the best B birthday I have ever had.

Actually I know the reason. It was the mixture of a hard anniversary and the day of my pms where I cry over anything. PMS and placement pictures can be a dangerous mixture. That's for sure.

On B's birthday I was working on a deadline at work and was up early with my boss, Kristi, at a client's home getting it ready for the photographer. Things were busy and a little rushed. Both the client and Kristi know about B and my story. They are friends of mine and (Kristi especially) had front row seats as I went through my pregnancy. I wanted to mention to them what that day happened to be, but I wondered why. Did I just want attention? Did I expect them to react in a certain way? Looking back I've decided my motivation was simply a desire to share that day with someone else. Not many people know about B and it has been so many years that the event has seemed to fade into the background as they carry on with life. It's just nice some times to have some one else remember with me and acknowledge it's being. B's being. Well, things were so rushed that I didn't mention a thing. We finished the job and left.

After work I found myself in a friend's room helping her fold her laundry feeling that same urge to remind her what day it was.

So I said "Today is B's birthday".
"Oh that's nice" she said as she folded her husbands pants.

I guess I wanted a little more then that so I said, "It's strange to think I could have a seven year old right now isn't it?" (And here is the moment that has stuck in my mind.)

She responded with, "Yeah, but aren't you glad you don't?"

I was taken back by this question. To me it implied that I didn't want B. That I didn't want the responsibility of raising B. I felt like in her mind as soon as I placed B with his parents I wiped my brow and said "phew, I sure dodged a bullet on that one." It was very opposite to that actually.

After I over came my initial shock I managed to get out an "uh....well, uh....yeah, kind of."
She seemed as surprised at my comment as I was at hers. "Kind of?" She acted as if this was a sad thing and that I had not healed or was still in the past. I felt like this whole conversation was very strange since I had talked to this friend about my feelings and the adoption before. Nonetheless I felt I needed to explain my "kind of".

"Well, I mean I love my life but I do miss him."

That was the point she leaned closer to me, put her hand on my knee, and said: "Don't worry. Your time will come Deborah." Are you kidding me? Even now I am to speechless to express myself adequately. I wasn't worried I wouldn't have children in the future. I look forward to that time and those experiences but that was not what this was about. It wasn't just any seven year old we were talking about. It was B. The baby who grew underneath my heart for 9 months. The baby I played poking games with. The baby I talked to and who I had already fallen in love with. The baby I spent so much time and energy deciding the best way to give him the best life possible. Motherhood can happen again for me, but B is irreplaceable.

Now I don't want you to think that I regret my decision because I don't. I just felt like she was not acknowledging B as a human being that I created and thus miss sometimes.

Adoption is a wonderful wonderful thing. It blesses so many people in so many different ways. But I did not place B to dodge a bullet. There were lots of prayers, tears, and sleepless nights when that decision was made. I so desperately wanted him. I placed him so he could have the blessings I wanted him to have immediately. I knew that if I decided to be a single parent it would be hard but we would be ok. I hoped eventually I would be able to give him the things I dreamed for him. But I wanted more for him and I knew that I could give him those things immediately through adoption. How my life was going to change was not a driving factor because let's face it. Either way my life was going to change.

Am I glad I don't have a seven year old? Let me rephrase that. Am I glad I don't have B? No because again, that makes it sound like I didn't want him and I miss him every day. Am I glad he has the life he has and the family he has and the wonderful parents he has? Absolutely! Am I grateful for the blessings I have enjoyed in my life because of adoption? Yes. Do I attribute the fabulous life I have today to placing B for adoption? No. I think the quality of one's life is based on one's perspectives and choice. If I had a seven year old today I am very confident I would still have a fabulous life. Just a different one with different challenges.

I love you B! I am proud of you and am so glad you were born!


Six Boy's Dad said...

Well said.

ESN said...

This was good for me to read. I don't know what I would have said if I had been there in place of your friend. I can't know what you feel. I can't understand so many things that you must think. As someone who has never known what it is to be a birthmom, I am glad to have these little insights.
I know you love B. I don't think anyone who knows you could ever question that love. But sometimes we aren't certain how to best acknowledge his role in your life. This was a very intimate insight. Thank you for sharing it.
Happy Birthday to your sweet seven year old.

Alli & Davin said...

This happens to me often. "Aren't you glad you don't have a 5 year old?!" I understand where people are coming from...my life would be so different and probably harder, but not worse! I would have loved to raise little Sam! It's hard to put it into words and I think you did a fantastic job. :D

Deborah said...

Thanks Alli.

simply heidi said...

I would have an 18 year old. Strange...
It's really hard to be understood in this role, isn't it? To others perceptions your role in B's life is over -you have packed it up in a drawer and put it away. But it's not like that at all, is it? Or at least not all the time.
If you ever want to share with someone that might be a bit more understanding, call me.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and check in often. I'm sure your tender insights are helpful to many. Know that your decision has been a blessing in my life, not just because I'm mom to L and Nani to B, but also because it allowed me to know you and witness a thoughtful, wise and selfless young woman in action. You are an example to me.