Situation Unknown at This Time

I was going to write a pithy and biting letter today about the prices attached to babies of various ethnic backgrounds and so I googled “available adoption situations.”  One of the first hits on the list was “A Act of Love” [sic] adoption agency. Yes, that “A Act of Love.” Located in the heart of Utah. The one that brags on their website “Act of Love is famous in the adoption field for their special treatment and attention they give to birth mothers and adoptive families.” (Shouldn’t that be infamous???) The one that is so notorious for stomping all over father’s rights, for secreting expectant mothers or their newborn children across state lines to be adopted in Utah. I looked through their list of “situations” and saw this:

3/4/2012 Caucasian-Polynesian/Caucasian Unknown at this time

My heart stopped beating and my breath seized in my throat.

Dear God, please don’t let that be you and your boyfriend. I could never forgive myself if you end up doing the same thing I have done to you. I don’t think I could survive knowing that you were going to go through what I have gone through for the last two decades.

I know the probability is practically nil it is you and your boyfriend but then again, what if it is you? Studies have shown that many adoptees who face an unplanned pregnancy do exactly what their mothers did to them – relinquish them for adoption. It’s almost like they are trying to complete or master what their own mothers could not, or something like that.

My head hurts thinking about this. My heart hurts. My whole body hurts.

Oh man, I need to go take a long walk. This is so not what I was planning on writing about this morning and I am nearly undone at the thought of it.

 

A Conversation With My Mother

Yesterday afternoon, I was talking with my mom as I was rustling up some lunch for the little one and the subject of adoption came up. Go figure.

At any rate, I made the comment, “You know, Mom, there are many other women out there who become mothers when they are 19-years old and go on to be exceptional parents. I mean, you were 19 Chris was born.”

She interrupted me, saying, “Yes, but I was married.”

What I wanted to say to her was this, “And that worked out so well, didn’t it? Yeah, you were married, married to a man who date raped you. Yeah, you were married alright. Married to a man who started giving pornography to his boys when their were still in grade school. Yeah, you were married alright. Married to a man who cared so little for your emotional and physical health that he got you pregnant 12 times in 15 1/2 years.  Yeah, you were married alright. Married to a CHILD MOLESTER who went to prison for molesting his SIX daughters AFTER YOU STAYED MARRIED TO HIM FOR 23 YEARS! Yeah, you were married alright, married to man who beat his children with a belt, his fists, or a coat hanger – whichever happened to be handy. And somehow that badge of “MARRIED” was better than me being single mother? Somehow that made you a “better” mother than me at 19 years?????? REALLY??????? At least I had the common sense to get the hell outta Dodge and NOT marry the man who got me pregnant.”

But I didn’t say that.

This is what I did instead. I carefully shut the refrigerator door, took a deep breath and said, “It’s not like that marriage was sunshine and roses, was it? For all intents and purposes, you were a single mother in that relationship, Mom. But that’s not my point – my point is you had a baby at 19, just like me, and you were a good mother.”

“But I was married” was her response.

I quickly changed the subject and we talked about a book I have been reading instead.  Most books are a safe conversation. We can talk about books without getting into an argument.

Adoption…not so much on some days.

 

Across the years and universe

Today on your tumblr account you posted the following poem from Neruda:

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms,
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers.
Thanks to your love a certain fragrance,
risen darkly from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride,
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where “I” does not exist, nor “you,”
So close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
So close that your eyes close and I fall asleep.

-Pablo Neruda

When I saw it there, I just shook my head.

There is no way you could know this poem has long been my secret prayer to you, voiced across the years and the universe. There is no way that you these stanzas are stitched on my heart and etched into my bone, always, always next to your name.

Well, at least there is no earthly way that you could know of these things. But perhaps your soul knows.