Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adoption: The Two-Faced Beast

Oh, how I miss you. This place. Be assured, I'm still just has nothing to do with passion or heart or dark-eyed boys, but everything to do with process improvement, customer voice, and integrated enterprise. I know, right? Gag me. I have been working on a case study for hours, this week, and am indulging in a much needed break to spend some time, here. I definitely should be doing laundry or dishes or scraping God knows what off the sticky kitchen floor, but what's one more night?

I would much rather free my head from all it's garbled thoughts and heart stirrings. There are a few things that I've been meaning to write about for weeks, now. While I can't super-woman all of it tonight, there is a chain of conversations that took place in our household, this week, that I'd like to open up.

I looked at Ty the other day in his big-boy haircut and mischievous, I'm-about-to-do-something-you-won't-like smile, and immediately saw Rebekah's youngest son, Sky. I mean clear as day; they look so similar. I instantly felt this pierce in my heart for Rebekah and wondered how she was doing. Not in a how's-your-day-going kind of way (we keep up with that pretty good), but rather, is-your-heart-bleeding-for-your-son-today.

It's easy to get caught up in life and family and activities, but when the noise fades, I often think of Rebekah. I can't ever imagine doing what she did. I can't. I can't even fathom the mix of emotions that must fill her heart. Ty has the perfect adoption. In the world of adoption, if it must exist, we've all received God's best in each other, but... it's still adoption.

After seeing Sky in Ty, my next stream of consciousness jumped to Ty's high school graduation. Will Rebekah hold my hand, cheering the loudest, as our boy walks across the stage...or will she smile, quietly, as her heart weeps over the moments she's missed?

Within a couple days of feeling such conflicting thoughts I received this note in an email from Rebekah:

I actually felt that "pit" in my stomach again when I saw those pictures today. He just looks so much like Victoria did when she was little. It's those flashback moments that make my head spin. Most of the time I'm stuck in a world wind of my life that I don't have time to sit and think that I'm a birth mom.

This is adoption.

On the silver lining side, I'm so grateful for the honesty in our relationship. I love that we can talk and write to each other without pretenses and void of insecurities on what the other mother might be thinking.

But then there's the other side.

The side that reads those words and never wants to adopt again. The side that has seen more reality than I bargained for. This will never go away. Hear me when I say this, I am raising another woman's child.  Not thinking of her will never be an option. She will always be family; always be present; her emotions always preferred.

I know she's not wallowing in hurt or chasing every minute with pain. God has given her much grace; much strength.  But the loss will always be grafted in her heart. Time doesn't heal that wound.

I know foster care adoption tends to bring a justice that isn't needed in domestic adoption, but I still wonder if I'm ready to open the door again. I don't want women to experience adoption pain and loss and devastation.

Such a two-faced beast.

Of course, women will continue to choose adoption - some out of desperation, necessity, coercion, guilt, etc.  Whatever the reason, I know on our end, God has asked us to be open. He has asked us to walk this path, somewhat blindly. I have no idea what our near or far future looks like or how our family will take shape.

Sometimes I wonder if I spend too much time thinking. Too much time chewing on adoption. But, all I can say is this. The more I see Rebekah, the more I see my God. I see his love through our story. Not just his love for me and Ty and our new extended family. I see his love for his people. The great throb in Rebekah's heart toward her son, pales in comparison to the thumping in God's for us.

Doesn't that make you awestruck?

My prayer for our future family is that God would bring us children (with families) that need him. A little love on legs, if you will. He has equipped us to do this work and there is much to be done.


  1. i remember the first time i looked at one of the pictures you posted and thought, "he looks so very much like Skyler..." because i read the other Rebekah's blog and i know what he looks like. it's crazy how similar they look, minus that crazy hair!

    adoption is a tricky thing. i think part of why international adoption is so popular is that you never have to think about the birth family. you don't even know their names most of the time, let alone how they feel, and you don't see their pain. personally, although that sounds tempting in that it's not as "messy," i couldn't live with raising another person's child without at least attempting to get to know the family & leaving that door open. even in international adoption there's this new trend towards hiring someone in-country to do a birth family search and attempt to initiate contact. it's a lot to think about.

    praying for all of you as you walk this road...

  2. Beautiful post as always, Rebekah.

    I left you an award!

  3. My two girls (half-sisters who hadn't really ever met before I adopted them) were adopted through a foster care adoption.

    Even though there are reasons why they were in foster care, I have never had the sense that their birth mom didn't love them (though I've only read about her in case files). I wish that even though she can't see them, she could know they are okay. They are loved, thriving, and so amazing.

    Having also lost babies, I think about them all the time, so I can't imagine that she doesn't think about these girls just as much.

  4. Another beautiful, honest post. I love that you remind us all that we can't "just adopt" (as people like to say) and heal every wound on our hearts from IF. Thank you, again, for sharing with us.

  5. Each time I read a new post on your blog, I think. I mean I think hard. You are all so blessed to have eachother, and the best part is you all know that already. After having three of my own children and seriously contemplating adoption with my littlest guy, I think, if I were to go through with adoption, I would want my little Lovie to find a home with someone just like you.

    Thank you for sharing so much of your journey with me. It gives me much comfort and reassurance. Don't ever stop loving like you do.

  6. Oh my goodness Rebekah! This gave me chills and put a lump in my throat. You are such a precious person. I LOVE how you love! I love reading your blogs bc I see God speaking through you. Today I am going to pray for you and your family, extended and all. God had put you all on my heart! =)
    Kentucky Girl

  7. I have read your blog for years but rarely comment. I love the way your write about adoption. I am mom to bio kid, but yearn to adopt one day.

  8. Love your heart...Can't wait to see how God grows your family.

  9. You have a heart of gold. Any Mother looking to place her child for adoption will have hit a gold mine if she were to find you. You are special in this world of ours.

  10. You have a gift for the written word! Every post is captivating and inspiring. I have never adopted so I can't say I understand but your words do make me ponder. I would love to one day adopt but it would most likely be out-of-country.

    Even though I've never adopted I've often thought of the birth parent/mom and wondered about them/her. How they carry that child in their heart, mostly in silence, for the rest of their days. But I think that with the heartache they also know that their child is being raised well. Your situation is SO incredibly blessed because Ty will get both of his mommas at his graduation (and birthdays and all those special big events). *HUGS*

  11. I love reading how you write Ty's story here. Even when you share the hard things, you weave it together with such beauty and grace, and you always remind me of the Father's love. Continuing to pray for your family -- present and future!

  12. Thank you. As I was discussing adoption this week with a coworker they couldn't even begin to grasp why we have contact. Why I would care how our daughter's first mom is doing, how I wasn't jealous that I had the privilige to share the name mom. As you said...I am raising another woman's child and she is always family. It's reassuring to me every time I read your blog that there's another mom out there that gets it, and feels the way I do.

  13. Another wonderful post, Rebekah. My daughter's 1st birthday was this past week and I couldn't help but think of her birth mom on that day. Her birth mom emailed me and told me that it was a rough day for her and she wanted to just distract herself. I was asking myself some of the same questions as you mentioned in your post and wishing that I could have a good heart-to-heart talk with L's birth mom. Your blog continues to inspire me.

  14. I love how you get me! All these heart cries will be heard again, and God will bring a precious bundle your way. Im so glad Ty is here now and we can enjoy him while we wait for the next miracle.

    Love ya,

  15. Oh my, first I read your post and then Rebekah's comment...oh, how you both slay me!

    As you may know our miracle girl arrived almost 7 months ago. And for the past 6.5 months I'm fairly certain I've been in a fantasy world...ignoring the fact that we are not biological parents and that in a few weeks, we will have our own reunion with our daughter's first mother.

    When we first brought our baby home, I felt a strong connection with her birthmother and couldn't wait to see her again. Over time, that desire has wained somewhat, as I grow more attached to "my girl" and experience the same love and bonding as though I'd given birth myself.

    It's only been within the last few days that I've started to face the same reality you write about. It's not an easy truth to accept. You are a few months ahead of me, which is both comforting and scary to read about.

    I am feeling a certain sadness this weekend as I accept what is and what is not. Yet I take comfort in knowing others are experiencing the same thing.

    You set a great example and I try to have the same, open heart...but I am hurting. Do you hurt too?

  16. Beautifully written, Rebekah. I agree with you deeply. I have a hard time thinking about our next adoption because through our open adoption of Evie I've come to see how adoption is such a Frankenstein of one family being ripped apart and another being patched together. It's such a painful blessing.

  17. Maybe you should not have so much communication with his birth mother then these feelings might go away. I think the constant contact might be good for Ty but not for the two of you. Maybe you should just update her once a year or so.

  18. If the adoption was closed then maybe you would not have all these feelings and feel like you are upseting Rebekah. I think that open adoption must be too much for you.

  19. I can't add anything that the other commenters haven't already said. Just know that I am thinking of you tonight, after reading this. You are an amazing mother and friend...I'm proud to have you on my side. :)


  20. 'Adoption is a Frankenstein' such very true words.How can it be god's work to take another woman's baby?
    Thank you all for your honesty and it is great to see it coming at last, the relaisation of the truth of adoption, that open adoption is as hard as any other adoption and you're not even talking about how it is for the adoptee as an adult.
    Posting a link hope that's ok.

  21. It is so refreshing to read your words ~ to know that some adoptive parents "get it". I am a first mom, who loves that you understand the deep, profound loss that your child's mother lives with. You don't only get it, you care too.

    I wish that everybody would view adoption with your compassion & love. Including a couple of your commenters.

  22. Rebekah,
    my thoughts are with you and Rebekah too. What you two have is wonderful...anyone of us waiting would be lucky to have what you have. As for those anonymous commenters...closed adoption brings a whole different gamut of emotion to birth parents, adoptive parents, and especially to baby. It doesn't make adoption any "easier" and each adopotion is its own. Since I have learned so much about open adoption, I cannot fathom adoption any other way. Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely against closed adoption, but would prefer an open adotion for my future child's sake. So, no matter what level of openess you choose, there will always be emotions that go along with it...and that is perfectly normal and OK.

  23. You are doing very well with all of the emotional things involved.

  24. I love your tender heart-it's much like my own. I feel other people's pain- sometimes almost as much as if it was my own. I've felt your pain and Rebecah's as I read both of your blogs. I love that you have such a close friendship with Rebekah. I love that you are sensitive to her. I know it's hard some times!! I disagree with "Anonymous"! I don't think open adoption is "Too much for you!" I'm sorry that you and R. both feel pain over this, but I'm glad you don't try to rationalize it or push it away. God gave us tender hearts and compassion for others for a reason and I'm glad he gave you this gift- even if it hurts sometimes. I'm praying for your future adoptions. I pray that God sends just the right children to your home. they will be very blassed children to have you and Ben as perents!
    I love you, R. HUGS from Tracy in Iowa!

  25. You are a beautiful person. Really. I am in awe.

    -Kristy B

  26. I just came across your blog and have been reading it for quite some time now. I am an adoptee trying to find my way through reunion and getting to know my first mom. How lucky Ty is to have his first mom in his life and an adoptive mom that 'gets it'. I wish more than anything that I had that growing up too.

  27. Girl,
    I agree. Open adoption and "good" adoption is about doing what's best for your child, not you, as the adoptive mother. There were and are many times when I could shut the door between us and my daughter's bio mom because of one little hangup I have, but it's NOT ABOUT ME!!!! :)

  28. Sooo true! I really struggled with the decision to have an open adoption with our girls (three of them from foster care) birth mom. I am so glad we have one, but sometimes my feelings of empathy towards her situation just tear me apart. I have to just let it all go and know that God is working in both our lives. Thanks for this post!