Friday, April 11, 2014

Promises Promises

I am glad that I had the mom growing up that I had.  She was amazing and one of the best moms I could have hoped for.  She did all these amazing mom things, supported me no matter what (even in reunion), and was my best friend.  She wasn't perfect, but she's was pretty spectacular.  It's something I'll always be thankful for because I want to be thankful for if (there's a difference between choosing to be thankful and being told to be thankful in case you were wondering).

That being said, I don't consider these past three years to be something that was "better" than what I was supposed to get as an adoptee.  I was supposed to get a new family, better than the one I was born to, that would raise me as if I was their own child and I'd thus go off to a more fabulous life with a pool and a pony.  We never had a pool (my dad didn't want the extra company it would entail) but we did have a summer home.  I'm petrified of horses so I was content with a family dog.  I received a great education in a town my parents admitted years later looks wonderful on paper but probably wasn't the best choice for our family.  In that sense, my adoption was successful.  I couldn't afford designer jeans, but I wouldn't call us hard pressed because my dad worked at least 60 hours a week.  It's a system of checks and balances my friends.  I grew up the way I was "supposed" to thanks to adoption to a certain extent.

However, I was supposed to have a forever family.  I was supposed to have a mother and a father who would be there for me and support me through adulthood. I was supposed to have a mom who would give me advice on my wedding day.  I was supposed to have a mom who would hand over her recipes and walk me through making the family tomato sauce.  I was supposed to have a mom who would help me pick out paint colors at my new home and come enjoy a cup of tea once we'd moved everything in.  I was supposed to have a mom who would move into my house for a week when I brought home my first child and be there at 3am when my newborn had a fever.  I was supposed to have all of that, and now I won't.  

It's the elephant in the room.  My natural mother is still very much alive, and my adoptive mother is gone.  From here on out, every day my natural mother is alive is a day that I'm motherless because of a choice that was made when I was born.  I was supposed to have better, but somehow I'm a part of the dead-mother's club.  When you think about it, it's not fair in the least.  There are certain things a girl needs a mother for, things that I will now have to figure out on my own.  I'm glad I had as much time as I did with my adoptive mother, but I'm greedy and I wanted more.

I understand that biological family have issues like this too.  There are mothers and daughters who don't get along.  There are people who voluntarily walk away from their family.  There are people who make choices to keep contact limited.  I get it.  I feel for those people because they are motherless too in a way.  But usually they get a choice in the matter.  Now for the second time in my life I've lost a mother and had no choice in the matter.  You'd think I'd be used to it by now.

I was promised better.  I was supposed to have more.  That "more" was supposed to make up for all the stuff I lost through adoption, like my own biological history, growing up in a family with the same genes, the sense of loss and abandonment, the isolation, the intense fear of loss, the lack of self-esteem... I could go on but I won't.

To me, it highlights the fact that just because we're supposed to get "better" doesn't mean that adoptees will.  There are so many examples floating around of when we don't.  Adoptive parents could be abusive.  They could die from sickness, accidents, or take their own lives.  Adoptive parents could lose financial security just the same as anyone else.  Once a child is adopted, anything could happen just the same as in a biological family.  The main difference is, we've already lost so much.  We're promised better.  If we weren't promised better, than what's the point?  Why rip someone from the family they were born into and place them with random strangers if we aren't supposed to have things better?  In my mind, there has to be some sort of point to it all.  I've known for a long time that what I got was "different" and not "better" (because who knows what my life would have been like had I stayed with my natural parents), but now I think it's a lot clearer to the rest of the world.

We aren't guaranteed better.  We aren't guaranteed the pool and the pony and two loving parents.  We aren't guaranteed better health, better wealth, or a better upbringing.  We get what we're given, and that's it.  So ask yourself, is it worth it?