The Adoption Story

When I began this blog,  my first order of business was to sit down and write out “my story”. Truth is, when I chose the domain, and decided that perhaps, maybe, sort of, I wanted to start blogging about my adoption, I had no idea what that would look like for me.  Getting this domain, I believe was part of the realization that I had a voice, and I needed it to be heard. That 17 year old girl was getting restless, and was, in essence, I believe, sick of waiting for me to finally “get it”.  She was pacing in the back of my mind, I could feel her tossing and turning, climbing the walls, trying to get my attention.  When May hit last year, I stopped refusing her, and let her find her way to the surface.  We were both blasted out of the Adoption Fog and into the glaring, harsh light of What Really Happened To Us. Right on time too, I suppose.  Telling my story seemed to be the least of my worries in those earlier moments; I was stumbling to figure out how to how the hell to finally talk about the adoption. If you knew me three years ago, any adoption talk was off-limits, and strictly forbidden.

Because writing or talking about it scared the shit out of me. It meant actually dealing with the reality of what had happened to me, so many years before.

For the last year, the My Story tab has sat, looking well organized, but the contents, were, according to the caption, “Coming Soon”.

Here’s the thing, I could give a reader’s digest version of what happened, but the gist of it is all over my blog; I ended up pregnant, was forced to relinquish by my parents and their agency (LDSFS), spent 8 years in a deep Adoption Fog, and now I write to help me figure out the tough stuff.

But really, it’s so much more then all of that. So much more, and if you’ve spent any time reading my posts, you’ll know that too.

My story is not just one of a couple of formulas, that serve to get someone from point A to point B. It’s complex, it’s frustrating, and it’s so much more then words on a computer screen. I wonder if I will ever be able to write the full version of “my story”. I’ve tried several times in several different methods, and I always stop. I always quit when I get to the core of the anger, the hurt, and the pain. Writing about that? It would mean uncovering some tough, sticky, awful gunk. For the moment,  for the first time in this adoption experience, I’m trusting my gut, and following the path my heart carves out for me, and really listen to the words that ache to flood from my fingers.  In doing this, I’m telling my story. In doing this, I am piecing my own story together slowly.

And we all know, that I’m still in the middle of my story.

I will live this life, this story until the day I die.  This story doesn’t have an ending, and I struggle to think it ever will. Adoption, the relinquishment of my own child, will last a lifetime. Something they never figured to tell me. Something that is so obvious, but in the heat of coercion, depression, rejection, and desperation, seeing the end of the day is even too much, let alone seeing into the deep future.

They told me that I would stop thinking of him one day. Now, I don’t know how they could possibly tell a lie so grand. They said that I would only feel a slight twinge of regret, but it would be replaced with the immensity of my selflessness. Another lie. They didn’t choose to tell me that the story did not end with the day in the hospital, or when the “openness agreement” ended at 8 years old. It was all just the beginning. A lifetime story of wondering, of worrying, of tiptoeing as not to set of the ticking time bombs. They didn’t tell me I would be dressed in shame, cloaked with invisibility. A life time of helplessness, and a life time of feeling so very different then the girl that I was before The Kiddo was placed in my arms.

This blog is my story. It is my song, and while it’s not the picture of societal rainbows, and unicorns and adoption, it’s mine. It belongs to me. The feelings I discuss, the opinions I share, the heartache I admit. All of it is mine, and all of that is an intensely integral part of what makes this adoption experience all my own.

Mine is a story of heartache, of deep profound loss, of loving, of wanting and rejection. A story of introspection, and spiritual questioning. It’s a story of coercion, and manipulation. It’s a story, a warning of the breaking of family. It’s painful, and maybe, beyond all these intense feelings there is a lighter side. For now, this is all I have ever known when it comes to adoption, and it’s the side of adoption we rarely speak of.  So instead, I will, and I will do it with as much grace as I can muster.

That 17 year old girl lost her voice, and for her I tell my story.

7 thoughts on “The Adoption Story

  1. I hate that they told you such a blatant lie. I thought agencies were done telling moms they’d “forget eventually.” You NEVER forget. That’s part of being a mom. That makes me so sad. :( But…you are NOT in a cloak of invisibility. You have this blog, if nowhere else, and that makes you not invisible. You tell a story that needs to be told. Thank you.

    1. In my case, I’ve been invisible to myself, in my own adoption for many years. Even in my own adoption, I am to an extent invisible. I embrace that this is how my story has played out for me. That being said, this blog is just the beginning of lifting that proverbial cloak.

      Thanks for the encouragement hun!

  2. I am so sorry for what you have been through. Some of the similarities between the trauma of coerced birthmothers & the trauma of childhood abuse are so striking to me: the adoption fog sounds like the dissociation of child abuse, that the traumatized earlier self has not been fully integrated into the adult being, and the finding of one’s voice being so hard a journey. I can really relate to the experience you describe of coming out of the fog–it’s like when it fully hits you–what has happened, what it means, the sheer trauma of it. I am not someone who has lost a child to adoption (I had a terrible experience with an adoption experience as a PAP–I am horrified by the unethical practices, etc etc.). Anyhow, I read a lot of the first mother blogs now. I never thought that blogging about an adoption trauma would help me to start finding my own voice.
    All the best,
    Jennifer

    1. It’s actually true; which is why went into protective mode so easily. My childhood abuse had almost prepped me for that experience of adoption trauma.

      I’d never put that together before.

  3. Hi Danielle,

    I just discovered your blog last night and cannot stop reading it. Your writing is beautifully poignant; I very much admire your fighting spirit. I wish my mother had one ounce of the rebellious spirit that you do.

    I am a Baby Scoop Era adoptee. I was born in 1964 into a closed, private adoption. My real mother is Mormon. Reading about your adoption experience with the LDS church has given me a glimpse into what my mother most likely went through when she lost me to adoption. She was sixteen when she had me.

    When my mother and I first met (at my insistence) in 1999, she told me that she had started bonding with me towards the end of her pregnancy and wanted to keep me. She said that her mother sensed this, and asked the doctor to induce her labor so I could come out sooner. My grandmother wanted to get rid of me to make sure her daughter could get back to school in time to finish her senior year (I was born August 25, but my actual due date was in September).

    As she was telling me this, I remember thinking, “what kind of a mother would do this to her daughter?”

    Now I understand. An LDS mother would.

    Unfortunately, my mother did what she was told to do. She gave birth to me, signed the adoption papers, went right back to school and graduated. She married one year later (In August), and had my half brother one year after that (in August).

    My mother, like you, was shoved to the sacrificial baby altar. Unlike you, she is still a practicing Mormon. I often wonder how she can stand to be a part of the religion that tore us apart.

    1. Thank you Mary!

      “As she was telling me this, I remember thinking, “what kind of a mother would do this to her daughter?”

      Now I understand. An LDS mother would.”

      There is a culture so incredibly deep and dark in the LDS church regarding women and their sexuality. The adoption rhetoric is absolutely a result of it. They’ve groomed these women, their families and friends, to believe that adoption is the One True Answer.

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