I participated in a discussion about birth mothers giving their children up for adoption on Huffpost Live on Monday. It was the first time I have ever spoken in such a public way about my experience and it felt good to get some of it out of me. My adoption experience is like this weight I carry around and I don’t even notice it is so heavy until I let a little of it go.
My husband and I don’t talk about the adoption very often or at all really. He has tried to understand my feelings, but up until now, he hasn’t gotten it. We had a conversation about the adoption last night. Okay, it was more like a Chernobyl level meltdown.
He asked me why it was so important for me to speak publicly about it and then uttered one phrase that opened the flood gates. He said, “I don’t understand it, no one put a gun to your head.” He didn’t say this to hurt me, of that I am sure. He said it out of utter frustration because he just could not understand. The amount of anger that I leveled at him was unprecedented in our relationship. I screamed at him:
IT WAS NOT A CHOICE! I WAS LIED TO! WHAT HAPPENED TO ME AND MY SON WAS NOT RIGHT!
I went on, crying, stammering, blubbering about all of the things that were withheld from me, all of the out right lies that were fed to me. How I was pushed to feel sorry for the adoptive parents who would be heartbroken if I changed my mind. How no one, not even my own family, supported me enough to at least explain to me my parenting options. I screamed that I was made to feel ashamed, and still do feel the shame of my so-called decision. What kind of mother gives away her child?!?
My husband, seeing me in this state, cried right along with me. For the first time, he understood. More than that, he got ANGRY. I could feel his raw emotion, the absolute disgust he felt with my family, with the agency, with everyone I was close with at that time in my life. For the first time, I felt like I had someone in my corner, someone who loved me and supported me. He finally understood why I can’t “get over it”. I love him for listening to me, more than that, for hearing me. I love him for not trying to solve me. Adoption is not a problem to be solved, at least not in my lifetime. It is not ever going to go away and all he can offer me is a partner to go through it with.
In this season of Thankgiving, I am grateful for my husband.