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On Un-doing a trip to meet the birthmom/ first mom (Part I)

August 14, 2011

First of all, the Mama C collective has been so amazingly supportive and loving with your emails, and comments. In addition we have had sweet support in our personal circle that has all been just right. Thank you and thank you.

I feel compelled, because this became a very public journey through my posts, and fundraising, to complete the story publicly too. Although that is not as easy, it feels tremendously important for several reasons.

  • So many of you have let me know how deeply connected you feel to this story, this family. I know what that is like, to become attached, and feel  personally invested in a person, or situation online. These moments become a mirror in some important way to something in my own life. I need to see that story through, I need a finish. That is not always possible, but in this case there is a continuation, and many ah-has.
  •  The journey my family set out on and the one we did not take, and the one we did, may offer some experiences that could help you or someone you know in a similar or related situation.
  •  For better or worse, this blog is my third arm, my second brain, my external processor. I need to put it out there, for it to ripen fully.

This may take a few posts. Marcel just woke up. Pause part 1. We are going to a pitching and hitting clinic this morning–a culminating event by the local farm team. Someone is eating breakfast with his baseball bat…

+++

From the beginning: Upon reflection, I made a decision to embark on this journey based on what I really believed in my Mama heart was Sam’s readiness. I took my cues from his numerous request to go meet his first mom. I was listening to his needs. What I may not have considered at the time, was that a six year old asking to go visit his birth/first mom may have  actually been saying, “I am ready to invite more understanding of her, and who she is into my life.” It is all conjecture, and I did my very best at the time.

When I said “Yes,” I felt like I was ready, he was ready, and all I had to discover now was if she was ready too. When her text message response was 100% positive, I climbed on board the ship, and went full steam ahead. At first we said February. Then because of the shortness of that school holiday, and my imagining we’d need a little more time on the other end of the trip to process, I moved it back to August. Tea and I made that decision one night in early June. Sam seemed excited at the time. A trip sooner rather than later appealed to him. After all he loves airplanes! (Said tongue in cheek.)  Suddenly I had put him, her, me, and Marcel on the fast track to being ready. What that would mean, was hard to say.

In the middle. Summer. Time to relax and restore? No. Time to plan, plan, plan. Time to talk about this trip all the time. Time to organize, raise money, and talk about how great this was going to be! Mama C mode took over. Catherine was in the passenger seat. My public persona–my “I am the single parent poster-mother for open adoption” ego was on auto pilot. I love a mission. I love to talk and write about it. I was doing the right thing. I was blazing new grounds. Full throttle. Sam? Marcel? We talked about the trip. We found more and more language for the experience. Marcel was in the periphery finding more and more independence, so I didn’t have to worry about him.  Me? I am superwoman, remember. I can do this. Do what? Oh that? No worries.

Then there was this comment on my blog , and an email that sent a few red flags up the mast; (paraphrasing here) A word of caution: this is Sam’s experience. This is not yours. Careful. He may be having some really big feelings here... I listened. I put an anchor in and checked in with him. More talking. More reassuring. I said all the things that felt intuitively right on.  I told him he didn’t have to like or love  anyone or anything.  Mommy was slowing down now. He could tell me when he had enough. This was his family story, not mine. I got that now. OK? I was talking to him, like he was   me. I was saying to him, what I thought I wanted to hear if I was a transracially adopted six year old boy. Reality check–I am none of those things. And Sam, I believe now more than ever had more cellular preverbal memories of his first week of life, than I can begin to fathom. What happened next?  Blue skies becoming cloudy, fast. What does those fast moving glacier looking clouds mean over there? A what?  A funnel cloud overhead?

to be continued…

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Because this is not the evening news–but you and me I want you to know that my family and I are in the best space we have been in months. The last several days have been so loving, easy, and gentle. Sam’s unprompted use of the phrase; “I love you” has been off the charts, literally. I have never heard those words out of his mouth so often. He wants to hold hands, cuddle, sit in my lap and read. He comes over and puts his head on my side–smiles–and moves on to something new. This may sound like your normal. It is not our normal. It may be our new normal, or just a little sweet interlude. What I do know is that, the space between he and I got smaller, and all of that is the reason our journey across the country was supposed to happen just as it did. More on how we got from there to here in the coming days. It may take awhile though. I am committed to not rushing this process anymore.

+++

The plane tickets are in a credit account for 365 days (the time I have to book another trip). Because I bought travel insurance, it appears that my prepaid hotel will be 80% reimbursed, as will the $300.00 I lost to reschedule the tickets. I am going to transfer the paypal money into a new account for this trip when it is meant to happen in a new bank account. (Thank you to all who wrote with explicit directions to KEEP it. I am still very happy to refund anyone’s money who would prefer not to have their money go into a future travel account. Contact me at MamaCandtheBoys@gmail.com.) I was thinking that I could put any income I receive from the blog, or my related writing into that account as well. It will always be there when we are ready. Sam loved hearing that.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2011 5:56 pm

    I don’t know everything that went on for you through this process, but I hope you’re in a good place with your new plans and I look forward to hearing about your visit when it does happen, when everyone is ready.

  2. August 14, 2011 9:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing…what a courageous decision. I can’t wait to read more. I am always learning…my boy will be 6 some day too…

  3. August 15, 2011 4:53 am

    Yes, thank you so much for sharing Mama. So glad to know that from this experience, your family is only becoming stronger and stronger.

  4. August 15, 2011 5:55 pm

    Fascinating story. I was wondering a couple of times how he was feeling about it too… I’m glad that someone spoke up but I’m also glad you actually listened. A lot of people don’t take that kind of input kindly. You’re a brave, loving, and thoughtful woman.

  5. August 15, 2011 9:49 pm

    so happy to hear you and your family are in a good place about this visit.
    so much of parenting is taking those cues, I think, I deciding how to respond.
    sounds like you’re doing just right. xo

  6. August 15, 2011 9:50 pm

    that should say AND deciding how to to respond.

  7. Ms. Lee permalink
    August 20, 2011 2:11 am

    Letting your son be a little boy a little longer is the greatest gift. He has HIS whole life to navigate his relationship with his First Mom. Being a mom instead of a superhero is a wonderful thing for your son. congrats, you just grew.

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