The Wind Speaks Back

I can’t really account for why she’s come back, but surprisingly enough, she has. After a year and a half, and what seems like a million “nudges,” N. finally responded at the end of last week. I half-heartedly sent a PM of “hi there” on her FB page, knowing she wouldn’t respond, and then there she was. As if she’d never been gone. No explanations for the absence, or the reappearance (I wouldn’t ask for any), she’s just back. With that one “hi there,” we now have emailed several times, spoken over the phone with both the Woob and I, and are looking at our calendars for a visit each way.

All this makes me really, really happy. Really glad for my boy, and even for myself, as I had gotten to feeling like we were friends before. Maybe we are, but how would I know if we weren’t?

At the same time all of this makes me really, really nervous for us all, too. I’m afraid of fun and visits and familiarity being taken back again. Eighteen months from this side of it seems simply too long; the questions get too big, the silences are so loud. Ah, the risk of heartbreak…its a tough one.

I have heard other adoptive parents say they avoided openness, afraid that it would end and they’d be left holding their child’s heart in their hands. I’ve heard from first parents who’ve indicated the openness would be too hard, too painful to keep opening the wound and having to try to reheal after every contact. I don’t know that there’s any painless way to do adoption for anyone. I know I figure least in the whole equation by far. By its nature its just hard (understatement, I know) dealing with questions and separation and loss. But I do believe that this is worth the risk in the long run. Even if we don’t ever meet again, I think it has been worth it for Woob to know where he comes from, that they are “out there,” and that they love/d him. Right now it seems like we’re on the right track again to good things and I’m going to do whatever I can to keep that going for as long as I can. N. gets the task of taking responsibility for her own feelings and what she can and can’t do; what is or isn’t good for her, and while she’s letting us in, I’m going in. If she needs to back out again, she can (I just hope she warns us a bit first).

I believe its the right thing for us to pursue these relationships because Woob himself tells me in different ways all the time that his first family is on his mind. Here’s an example…hubby had a Montgomery Gentry cd in the car, and Woob kept wanting the song “something to be proud of” to be played each day on the way to school. I was getting pretty tired of that song! If you’re not familiar with it, here are the lyrics:

There’s a story that my daddy tells religiously

Like clockwork every time he sees an opening

In a conversation about the way things used to be

Well I’d just roll my eyes and make a bee-line for the door

But I’d always wind up starry-eyed, cross-legged on the floor

Hanging on to every word

Man, the things I heard

It was harder times and longer days

Five miles to school, uphill both ways

We were cane switch raised, and dirt floor poor

‘Course that was back before the war

Yeah, your uncle and I made quite a pair

Flying F-15’s through hostile air

He went down but they missed me by a hair

He’d always stop right there and say…

That’s something to be proud of

That’s a life you can hang your hat on

That’s a chin held high as the tears fall down

A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out

Like a small town flag a-flyin’

Or a newborn baby cryin’

In the arms of the woman that you love

That’s something to be proud of

Son graduatin’ college, that was mama’s dream

But I was on my way to anywhere else when I turned 18

Cuz when you gotta fast car you think you’ve got everything

I learned quick those GTO’s don’t run on faith

I ended up broken down in some town north of L.A.

Working maximum hours for minimum wage

Well, I fell in love, next thing I know

The babies came, the car got sold

I sure do miss that old hot rod

But you sure save gas in them foreign jobs

Dad, I wonder if I ever let you down

If you’re ashamed how I turned out

Well, he lowered his voice, then he raised his brow

Said, lemme tell ya right now

That’s something to be proud of

That’s a life you can hang your hat on

You don’t need to make a million

Just be thankful to be workin’

If you’re doing what you’re able

And putting food there on the table

And providing for the family that you love

That’s something to be proud of

And if all you ever really do is the best you can

Well, you did it man

That’s something to be proud of

That’s a life you can hang your hat on

That’s a chin held high as the tears fall down

A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out

Like a small town flag a-flyin’

Or a newborn baby cryin’

In the arms of the woman that you love

That’s something to be proud of

That’s something to be proud of

Yeah, that’s something to be proud of

That’s something to be proud of

Now that’s something to be proud of

So I asked when one day, when I couldn’t listen another time, “what is it that you like so much about this song?”  He answered,  “When he talks about the newborn baby crying, it makes me remember my mom.”  And there it is.  His ears are always listening, his eyes are always looking for her in different ways that there’s no way I can always tune into.  Its important to him.  So its important to me.

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Filed under adoption, open adoption


Over the years, I’ve made friends here online in the blog world, many of those friends have moved over to FB, and our conversations rarely revolve around adoption. In the “real” world, I have very few people around me everyday who understand my views on adoption. Heck, most people I have contact with, now that Woob is older and in school, don’t even know we adopted him.

A while back, I was in Woob’s first grade classroom, and one of his friends, a little girl whom I know was adopted from China, came up to me and stated, “Woob is adopted, isn’t he?” “Why, yes he is…did he tell you about that?” “No, I heard him talking to the teacher about it.” “Well, maybe you should ask him about it sometime.” I offered that thinking that maybe they could be a connection for one another…at least to have one other person who understood a little bit. A few days later, we were in the car where all great conversations happen. Woob piped up with, “I don’t like talking about adoption with my classmates. Sometimes they ask me questions but it makes me feel weird.” I told him some ways he could answer the questions without giving any information he didn’t want to give. I followed up by asking if there was anyone else in his class he know of that had been adopted. “Nope.” Interesting. So, he hasn’t made the connection yet.

Then move to earlier this week, working in the concession stand for the school’s baseball team. Another mom came to help. She is the mom of a little boy who is in Woob’s class and they have been great buddies from the very beginning in Kindergarten. This mom said, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you and ask your opinion on something. We’ve never kept “S’s” adoption a secret from him, but its not something we really talk about a whole lot either…” I said “STOP. I had no idea you adopted S!” and she continued a minute. I responded something about, “well, when we adopted Woob…” and she said “STOP! I had no idea you adopted Woob!” Geez, its like the whole “who’s on first” routine! She was just approaching me as a social worker, apparently. So here we are, friends who now have another connection to our friendship. And our boys have the potential to have another connection within theirs. Neither of us have heard either of the boys mention this about the other, and we wonder if they even know. Neither of us want to “out” our kids to each other if indeed they don’t want to tell anyone, but both of us wish they had someone there to “get it.”

I know its a long, rambly story, but at that moment, talking to my this mom friend, I felt something I hadn’t felt in such a long time…a real connection with someone who understood a part of who I was, about what our family thinks about. It was good. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.


Filed under adoption

Talking into the Wind

NOTE:  I wrote this post before I realized the Open Adoption Roundtable #47 was about stalled adoption relationships.  And boy, is ours stalled!  This is the first post I’ve written in eons.  I have to tell you, it felt good to write it, despite the fact that its such a sad thing for my family.  Maybe its time to step back in to blogworld…

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.



Christmas, 2011:   Mama2Roo and Woob visit Mama N. and the girls at their house.  We exchange small gifts, catch up, laugh, wonder over the kids and how fast they’re growing.  We eat pizza at the nearby Pizza Hut, and go back to the house to get the little girls down for a nap.  No one naps.  Instead we have a Nerf Gun war.  M2R and Woob leave tired and happy, as all exchange hugs, kisses and promises to get together again very soon.  M2R receives text message a few hours later from Mama N. making sure of a safe return home.

Last night (May 9, 2013):  Woob has been in bed about 15 minutes.  As is his usual habit, he comes out of his room, delaying bedtime yet again.  “Woob, what are you doing out of bed?”  He climbs next to me on the couch and whispers, “Mom, I really miss my sisters and my mom.  I really want to see them sometime soon, can we?  Its been such a long time.”

So here we are, a place I didn’t really think we’d ever be.  I mean, I guess I always knew there was a possibility that we’d hit some kind of wall, take some kind of break.  I suppose I thought that if that ever happened, I’d have some kind of warning, or precipitating event.  Something.  But there wasn’t.  It just…ended.

 I’m feeling pretty sick about the whole thing.  At first, I was able to shrug it off as, “she’s really busy,” or “her computer must not be working.”  Over a period of months, this past year and a half of trying various means to reach her–emails, facebook, cards and letters, texting, calling, offers to travel, offers to host–I’m no longer in denial.  If she doesn’t want ME around, I get that, and am cool with it.  But Woob is no longer a baby.  He’s seven and smart.  He knows these people and loves them, despite their distance and that fact that he’s seen them no more than a few times a year.  He knows these people are HIS in a way that our family is not.  So my heart breaks for him every single time he mentions them or asks if we can go visit them or wonders why they’ve been silent.

I have become the mom who wonders if it was the right thing to want openness.

I have become the mom that contemplates lying to her son by writing him a letter and signing her name.

I have become the mom that tries to make excuses for the person who isn’t there.

I have become the mom that has done everything short of begging (perhaps I have begged a little bit), that this person just throw our kid one little crumb of something .

I feel ugly about all of the above.

Make no mistake.  My head knows that we aren’t the only ones in this equation, that there are hard emotional hurts that have to be tended to.  That maybe sometimes its just too hard to see what was, what could have been, what should have been if only…  My intent is not to be insensitive to that.  But my boy is hurting now, too, and my mama’s heart is shattered and doesn’t really know what to do next to help.


Filed under adoption, grief, open adoption