Thursday, January 24, 2008

Waiting Too Long to Search

If there was such a thing as a do-over in adoption reunion, I would absolutely, most definitely have searched earlier. Much, much earlier.

I mean, it's ridiculous to be going through all this I-Want-My-Mommy stuff when you are in your forties and birthmom is four decades past menopause.

In some profound, sad way, it's too late for the both of us. We're too worn out by life to find the energy to do the hard work of working on a new and complicated relationship.

My needy adoptive parents and the demands of their dementia have worn me out. I have little patience, now, for my aging birthmother. ( See? It sounds ridiculous to even call her birthmother or first mother when the woman is over eighty!) The last time we spoke, she spent most of her time talking about her repeated falls (it would help if she cut down on the vicodin, I suspect) and her failing health and it all left me, well, cold.

I can hardly be expected to give of my time and emotional energy to someone who gave me away forty five years ago and not once attempted to find me.

All of this may sound bitter. Maybe things wouldn't have gone any differently if we'd been younger. I just don't know. But reunion, as difficult and disappointing as it's been, has been an amazingly grounding experience. I was born again. It was my second chance. I just wish I'd done it sooner. For me.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you are wishing now that you had started looking when you were younger. But I have two thing to say about that:
- I think that subconsciously sometimes we put aside challenges that we know that we don't have the emotional skills to cope with as yet.
- Perhaps being older and much more involved with your own life has given you an emotional distance that will allow you to maintain a relationship with your mother that won't drain you.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Well, anonymous...I think you know what you're talking about. First, I used to SAY I had no desire to search (when I secretly did). Then I was terrified. Frozen. There's a self-help book, btw, called something like, "When You Can You Will," that talks about why our defense mechanisms act on our best behalf sometimes for the reason you stated. And with people pleasers like myself, the emotional distance may have been necessary. Thanks for reminding me of the upside of waiting. But gee, until my FORTIES? Talk about being a late bloomer! Hee hee.

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