About Me

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I placed my daughter in an open adoption in 2002. I started this blog in 2004 as a place to journal and eventually I became part of a community. The community has moved on, but I have decided to come back.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year

May good things come to all of us in the new year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Broken Record

I've said it before but it needs to repeated (and I already posted it as a comment out in the adoption blogosphere.)

More of the same:

The first time I met with my social worker, I thought I was the exception.

I believed birthmothers were young, irresponsible, drug-using, messed-up, the list goes on.

I was 25, college-educated, a middle school teacher with my own apartment.

My social worker set me straight. I was the norm- the average birthmother is in her mid-twenties with a college education. We are responsible and hard-working. That is part of what gives us the stamina to follow through with an adoption plan.

I have an open adoption and there are times I want to walk away. It hurts to see my daughter- to be some sort of partial mother to her. I stay because I don't want her to be an adult caught up in a search- her heart pounding every time the phone rings or the mail comes- wondering if I've rejected her. I want her to know where her smile comes from or her love of the stage.

I want to answer her questions- to be the link to the rest of her family- her biology. I never want her to have to create fantasies to explain her situation.

We are not all the same. We all deserve respect.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Smile

Your mom compared my childhood picture to you yesterday. Back and forth she looked. She never said a word. I wondered what she saw.

You have my smile. It's unmistakable- one eye half the size of the other, chubby cheeks, the kind of smile that fills a room.

As a kid, I hated my smile. I didn't like the way it turned my eyes into slits. I'm still bothered by the lack of symmetry. After a time though, I learned to like it- always it was the thing that people mentioned. Name one thing you like about me- it was always my smile. Meet someone new- it was always my smile they mentioned.

You have none of my self-consciousness. I hear you win everyone over. I can see why. I can never take my eyes off you.

In between snapshots of cuteness, I am taken aback- repeatedly over hours, my breath catches as I catch a glimpse of myself in your face. A slight turn of the head. A gesture. More often, that smile. I wonder if this is what regular parents go through every day or if they are somehow desensitized to it.

I remember the first time I noticed that mirror image. For so long the joke was that you musn't be mine because you looked nothing like me. One day we all went to the park. You were about six months old. In between play parts, I saw myself reflected in your baby face. It was as unnerving then as it is now.

I wonder if some of the strangeness comes from the fact that the rest of you does not resemble me. Our hair deserves its own post. I attach so much value to mine and I'm not sure if I'll ever get over the reality that your hair is nothing like mine.

Whatever the reason, I can't stop watching your smile every time I see you. I wonder who else notices the similarity. I wonder if I want something to be there that isn't. Thanks to you, I finally see its beauty.

And to Make Up for That Last One...

Read this. Sanity.

And yes it is mucky and uncomfortable sometimes.

There was a lot of that, too during my visit (Is it okay to pick her up for a kiss when I walk in?; What if she climbs into my bed during the night?; Do they mind if I take little videos of her?; Should I offer to babysit on New Year's?; What's the right mix of talking to them/ her?; Should I offer to do dishes after dinner?; What do I call my parents? Oh shoot, I called my sister auntie. etc etc etc.)

I Can't Believe This is Real!


Christmas Visit

It was a very good visit.

I arrived around 1 and we had a very relaxing day. We played games and watched Charlie Brown's Christmas. She showed me her new toys.

She was very excited to open her gifts to me, but didn't care to open mine to her. When she finally did, she liked them. She didn't nap so she alternated between cranky and hyper.

She's incredibly cute. She looked at old photo albums and I was pleased to see that she knew my baby pictures were of me. She asked why I wasn't in her christening pictures. Mostly, she said how cute everyone was.

We played Dora Candyland and she did a puzzle all by herself. She's still at the stage that she doesn't want any help.

We took turns pretending to be a toy that sings when you press it. She loved that game. She and I played while her parents cleaned up after dinner. She asked for a horsie ride after which she decided to be the horsie. It was really cute to see her trying to pick me up and pretending to be the horse. She wanted to do the same with the baby bumblebee song.

She asked me several times to sleepover with her so I did. No story again this time because she wanted her mom to read to her.

She didn't want her picture taken though I managed anyway. She did want to take our pictures though and did lots of that. She is absolutely adorable. I couldn't keep my eyes off her.

They had to work this morning. She asked to play with me for a little while and then we said our goodbyes.

It was really nice to see her so close to Christmas.

They're planning to come out my way in February so that'll be exciting.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Presents

My daughter called a little while ago. She was all excited about Christmas.

Later, her mom got on the phone and asked for my parents numbers.

Both my parents came to the hospital when she was born and my dad and stepmom visited after my daughter's first Christmas. Since then, neither of my parents has had any contact with my daughter other than holiday cards.

I thought it was wonderful that my daughter's mom wanted to call them for Christmas. I haven't talked to my mom yet, but my stepmom said it was the best Christmas present.

I'm so happy for them.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Visit

I got am email Wednesday asking if I'd like to come the day after Christmas! I'm so excited! What a treat!

I usually get my daughter a book, ornament, and CD for Christmas though I added a small toy once she was at an age to care about opening gifts.

This year I replaced the CD with a movie, the toy with a little stuffed Christmas tree and I finally framed the Katie Cook pictures I got in Chicago. They look awesome!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Just Checking In

Christmas is always bittersweet.

Mostly, it makes me happy. But the holidays are hard.

Tonight I wrapped all her gifts.

I'm not even sure when I'm going to see her. Usually we have it planned by now. Not this year.

I wish she was with me for Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Disgusting Adoption Ad

Babies have dreams about not living with their mothers.