I abandoned this blog to wither for several reasons. The first has to do with guilt.
Last summer I had a post that went a little “viral” in some adoptive parent communities. It was about waiting moms. I should have put “parents” because I got so much grief for leaving the dads out. For the record I wrote it about myself and a few moms I’ve become close too. It wasn’t meant to be the end all be all of explaining things. It was a deeply personal reflection on the life I led for three years.
I still like the post. A lot. The mistake was agreeing to let Huffingt*n Post republish it. And then not objecting when they put it under the tagline of “12 things everyone should know about adoption” (or something like that) and took off the postscripts I had made. Looking back I should have complained to them about the tagline and not allowed the changes. To be fair to myself it happened the day my husband had oral surgery and we ended up waiting for hours in an emergency situation because they thought a piece of metal might have gotten into his lungs. I had a barely 1-year-old and barely turned 2-year-old. I thought we’d be out for two hours, we ended up being out all day. We were exhausted and tired and I was stressed out of my mind. So I didn’t handle it like I should have. And then the noise became overwhelming and I ran away emotionally.
For awhile I couldn’t figure out why this one post gathering so much notice bothered me so much. Of course the attention was a bit overwhelming to someone with a teensy tiny blog, I actually had some mild panic attacks over it. When the post hit 5k views an hour after I published it I texted my husband and said I was going to delete the entire blog. I meant it too. If there was any doubt I was an introvert this is the moment that laid it to rest. But then when the attention faded away, when I realized most of the 60k-some people who loved *that post* weren’t interested in anything else I had to say my pride stung a little. That post isn’t my favorite. It doesn’t even make my top five.
It’s also the most narcissistic thing I’ve ever written.
And that’s my regret. Not that I wrote it, or published it, but that I let it go bigger than that. I loved it when other adoptive mothers shared it on their blogs and on facebook because it tells some of our story. And knowing other people feel something we feel is always comforting. It helped me even though my children were with me when I wrote it. Because there’s no way I could have written it while in process. I was too nuts. But writing it after the fact brought some understanding to the process.
But MY STORY is all it tells. It’s not the story of adoption. Not by a long shot. The postscripts I added to it tried to clarify that. I regret using the word “home” in it. I had been so careful before they joined our family, because the word makes me so uncomfortable when it becomes used to indicate possession and not acceptance. There’s a nuanced line between the two. I tried to flesh it out in other posts, but not that one. But that’s the one people liked. And I have guilt over that.
I have guilt because I fear that I became part of the noise that drowns out the voices we should be listening to. The voices of the adult adoptees. THEY are the ones to be telling us “12 things everyone should know about adoption” and too often they are not the voices that we hear. They are not the voices that are considered the experts. We are. Does that make sense? Not at all. I’m not delusional enough to believe that adoption will affect my life more than it affects my child.
I’m going to continue to write here on this blog. I think. Maybe. But I had to get this off my chest because when I started this blog I wanted it to be different from some other presentations of adoption I had read. There are some things that make me cringe in the adoptive parent community: 1) Painting the adoptive parents as heroes/saviors and the child as the rescued. 2) Using adoption as something to brag about and show off religion with. A living sermon illustration with the parents as the messiah-figure. 3) Not believing that first parents are an incredible important part of the child’s life and that adoption should be a last resort. –I could go on but I won’t.
I wanted this blog to be about love and broken hallelujahs, about understanding I’m not their only mother, about finding my place in motherhood in relation to the greater story of their lives. I want so much for my children to feel understood by me. Regardless of if they agree with the choices that were made for them or not I want them and their experiences to feel respected.
So mostly I regret the thought that an adoptee could have read the post and thought I was another adoptive mother who believes her experience to be more harrowing and difficult than her child’s. Who believed that her child’s adoption and story somehow belonged to her and not to them. I worry that I might have caused pain. I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure exactly what all I should have done differently. But hopefully expressing regret is a first step. Even if it’s being done months after the fact. I’m a slow processor sometimes.