June 10, 2007

At the Copy Store

We needed to make some copies of adoption-related schnee today. There is a certain vulnerability for me in pushing adoption-related paperwork over a store counter. I feel exposed, like I'm sharing more information than is appropriate with the stranger who picks it up, looks it over, runs it through the machines. We talk prices and paper weights, while between us the paper screams, "Hey! We're adopting!" I wonder what they think about that.

The woman who picked it up today stared a little too long. "We're in the process of adopting," T offered, trying to fill the void.

"My son is adopted," she said.

"Oh, did you adopt him or did you place him for adoption?" T asked.

She had placed him, ten years ago. She knows he was placed in our state, she thinks she might know the city. No contact. No names. Just that he's with a "good Christian family."

She wanted to tell her story. She asked about K, wanted to talk about her and R and their place in our family. "That's good that you're doing that [open adoption]," she said, "I didn't know..."

"There was so much we didn't know either," said T. "There's just so much pain, you know?"

She said it's her pride that's keeping the adoption closed (she didn't elaborate), but that she thinks she could contact the agency at some point. "I know the love is there. We'll connect in the future, I just know it."

Somewhere there is a ten-year old boy who doesn't know that his first mom was talking about him today. Doesn't know that she has dreams for their future. Are his adoptive parents wishing they knew how to contact her, like so many parents I've met? Did they want things closed? Are they scared of what her return to his life might mean?

So many more people than I ever realized are caught up into adoption. Sometimes I feel that adoption is a lonely thing, something that sets me apart. Other times it seems it's all around me.


Anonymous said...

"Sometimes I feel that adoption is a lonely thing, something that sets me apart. Other times it seems it's all around me."

I know exactly what you mean.

That mother -- that's sad. Makes you wish that she could reach out and connect with her son, doesn't it? But only if it has a happy ending.

Angela said...

I dont run into firstmothers on that random of a basis, how awesome for her to want to share her story... I hope she connects w/ her son soon :)

I wonder what her pride was that is keeping her from contacting him... I wonder what thier reunion would be like...

BlessedWithDaughters said...

Hi! You commented on my blog, and I came to take a look at yours! Love your site! You're a very good writer, by the way...easy to read, if you know what I mean. Your prose flows very well.

What struck me about this post is that I hope the lady felt encouraged by her conversation with you. Maybe this gave her some strength to actually MAKE that call to the agency. Here's hoping so...best wishes to her!


Heather said...

Judy--I wish that for her, too. What a risk for her to face, not knowing if reaching out would turn out well.

Angela--I bet we run into first moms more often than we realize. I think of all the triad positions, it must be the most difficult to disclose to strangers, you know?

Mindy--Welcome! And thank you!

Mama Bear said...

This happened to me a view times before we adopted -- I actually interviewed a lady for a job at my preschool, and as we got to talking she told me that she had just had a baby and went on to tell me about placing the little girl for adoption -- anyway it was a fascinating story - ofcourse I appreciate it so much more now - also an older lady in our church that always showed a great interest in my adoption journey - I find out that she placed several years ago - so I know what you mean -

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