You may remember a post I wrote several weeks back (if I was fancy like some of my other blogging friends, I’d put a link to that post right here, but I’m technologically challenged) where I wrote about my gorgeous hairdresser. For ease, let’s call her Natalie. She does, in fact, look like Natalie Portman.
Natalie is 22 and she’s adopted. She was adopted as an infant. It was a closed adoption. She knew very little about her birthmom, or whether she had other siblings. But, she wanted to know more. She wanted to find them.
A couple months ago, I encouraged Natalie to start looking. She said she was afraid her birthmom wouldn’t want to meet her. I told her, based on my experience, her birthmom loves her. Has never stopped. And a single day has yet to go by where she has not thought of the daughter she placed for adoption.
I saw tears well in Natalie’s eyes. She nodded.
The next time I saw Natalie, she said she was going to start looking. She said I had motivated her.
I saw Natalie again last night. Taking the bare straws of what she did know about her birthfamily, and with a little luck from social networking, she has found her birthfamily. She connected with a full brother she suspected she had, but didn’t know for sure. He is just a year older than she. They have been texting daily and talking on the phone ever since. He, and the whole birthfamily, live about 500 miles away. They all plan to meet in May. Natalie also has two half-siblings she did not know about. Natalie said the birthfamily is very excited to meet her. That was a relief to her.
Natalie also learned more about her birthmom. She was 16 years old when she placed Natalie for adoption. She had a 1-year-old child (Natalie’s brother), and was on the run from her boyfriend (Natalie’s birthfather). She didn’t feel she could safely protect two young children.
Natalie’s birthmom has been in and out of rehab, and it sounds like she and her family have had a hard life. Natalie has yet to see a picture of her birthmom, and has yet to email or text with her. Natalie said she wants to have everything happen in person.
I asked Natalie what she would do when she finally saw her birthfamily, especially her birthmom. She said she hoped they wouldn’t think she was a “snob.” From talks with her brother, Natalie’s birthmom and her family really struggled financially. Natalie did not.
She said she harbors no ill feelings, and just wants to thank her birthmom for giving her the life she did. She knows it was a sacrifice, and she is grateful. She hopes that one day, her birthmom and her mom can meet and form a relationship. Be at her wedding one day.
I smiled, and told her that is the beauty of open adoption. She now has two sets of family that love and support her. And, you can never have too much of that.
I asked her, as an adoptive mother myself, what advice could she give me about raising my two children? She thought for a while. And then she said, “Be honest with them. Tell them everything they ever want to know about their adoption. Hold nothing back.”
I asked her if she ever ran across negative comments from others when she was growing up, about being adopted. She said, “Not really. Sometimes, people would apologize and tell me they were sorry. I never understood that. Why should they be sorry? I have a great life. Some people would also say it was too bad I couldn’t be with my ‘real’ family. I told them my ‘real’ parents are the ones who changed my poopy diapers, who held my hair back when I threw up, who took me to buy school supplies, who stroked my hair as I fell asleep, and who wiped away my tears after my boyfriend broke up with me. Those are my ‘real’ parents, and those are the parents I live with.”
Adoption is a really hard journey. For all involved. But, it’s in moments like these that I am humbled and honored that God chose me to walk this path. I am a face of adoption.
Regarding my last post about the clinical trial, several friends have asked me if I will still do the trial anyway, or if the fact that I know that I ovulate changes anything for me.
I am not going to do the trial. And no, nothing has changed.
I am not going to do the trial because if I do have endometriosis, it does not bother me physically. I am not in pain. The clinical trial is only open to 10 participants in the state. I don’t want to take the spot of someone who really needs relief.
And no, nothing has changed. Sure, I may ovulate, but in the 7 years since I got off birth control, we have had only one spontaneous pregnancy, which resulted in a miscarriage. The chances of us getting pregnant, on our own or with assistance, is still very slim.
I still pray for a miracle pregnancy, because I will never give up hope. I’m just not wired that way.
And, we have decided to move forward with our next adoption. It’s a long and discouraging process, but I feel God telling me to “stay the course.” And, so we will.