Sunday, May 5, 2013

Shades of Doubt

I did not initially say yes to this request.  I didn't want to make yet another impulsive choice and be even farther away from home, if this one ended badly.  Plus, with this baby on the way I had to think about options for finding adoptive parents. I told her I would think it over. I did not have any reason to say no, but perhaps I was just simply too overwhelmed to even process the possibility.  I did ask her about the rumors surrounding my adoption, most specifically the reasons behind her contesting it.  She confirmed that she had changed her mind, that her Aunt had asked for me to be placed with her instead.  She felt I should be with her family if I couldn't be with her. She admitted to feeling as if I was stolen from her. With so much similarity in her story and my grandmother's, I had to wonder if the financial gain she expected from this Aunt was perhaps real as well, but she denied it. As for my birth-father, she revealed very little and had no idea where he might currently be.

After some time alone, I decided to stay put for the time being.  While this was not the outcome she was hoping for, my birth-mother provided for me anyway.  She located and obtained an apartment for me to stay on a very temporary basis and stocked the place with plenty to eat, she provided for me financially, and helped me clean up a legal matter that had not been completely closed when it should have. She never asked for the money to be paid back, she only asked that I continue to consider the possibility of going back with her. She made the trip back to her home and family and I was comfortable, for the time being.

I wanted to be able to pay her back for her generosity and thought the best way would be to get a job.  Then I could support myself, perhaps afford to pay some of the bills for the apartment so it wouldn't be such a strain on her. I started working at the very same place I'd haunted before.  And as time moved forward, I started to feel the manic clouds of the past few years lift.  I was finally starting to feel grounded again. It was a great feeling.

When she found out that I had started working she was not happy.  She said I shouldn't be working in my condition and that if I would just come live with her I wouldn't have to.  She wanted me to get to know her family and be comfortable during the remainder of my pregnancy. I was confused by her reaction, I can look back now and say she most likely saw me getting a job as assurance that I would not be coming to stay with her at all.  I finally said yes.  This is what she wanted, this would be the way to return her kindness financially and I realized it might be an opportunity I may never get again. So, it was arranged for her to pick me up.  This time, she brought her husband and the kids with her.

After a very long trip across the country we had time to talk and to get to know one another better.  Even so, I still didn't trust her - though I desperately wanted to. She represented a potential second chance, I could start over here. I met her mother and the Aunt whom I assume she was going to sell me to shortly after our arrival.  Curiously enough, I instantly loved this Aunt. She had an ease in her smile and no pretense about her, which was refreshing given the intensity of the others.

The afterglow and promise of the trip quickly wore off. Things became tense and conversation extremely difficult with my birth-mother. I felt as if she wanted something from me that I could not provide and I had no idea what that could be. I spent a lot of time in the room provided for me, talking online with my friends, reading, and sleeping.  I suppose I would have to admit to avoiding the family on the other side of that door, I just wasn't sure how to feel comfortable.  She finally broke down one night and I won't deny, it frightened me. She made it clear that she resented the defenses I had built between us, she resented the fact that I did not see her as my mother or even as someone I could talk to openly.  I apologized for the distance, I tried to explain that it was not intentional.  But the fact remained, she would never be my mother.  The woman back home that raised me, no matter how estranged we had become, would always be my mother and nothing would ever change that.  I do believe that my birth-mother had a preconceived notion as well.  One that portrayed how she saw our relationship developing after she found me.  Maybe because of my situation she thought she could gain my trust through her actions, which were very kind indeed, but because I didn't immediately trust her she was frustrated and hurt.  It's completely understandable in some respects but in that moment, I simply did not know what to do.  I couldn't be what she wanted me to, and I felt terrible for it. On the other hand, I also felt as if she were being unfair to me.  After all, she was a complete stranger, someone I hardly knew and someone with whom I had no history on which to base a relationship.  Perhaps she had felt connected to me on some level over the years, but the same was not true for me.

Ironically, my birth-mother thought that I needed to work after all and I began working for the Aunt's business.  I really enjoyed it and also got the chance to talk to others my own age. It was suggested that I should stay with the Aunt as well. Perhaps this would lessen the anxiety of the situation between my birth-mother and I, and it did for a time. I had a wonderfully easy relationship with this woman, she had no expectations of me and we enjoyed each others company.  It was a good fit for the situation and talking with her helped me understand my own feelings as well as those of my birth-mother.  I finally began to relax a bit and felt that this was where I was supposed to be.

My birth-mother called one day and asked if I would be interested in going to see a counselor with her. She felt I might need a professional to talk to about my baby and thought it would be good for me to have an impartial conversation about adoption. I thought it was a fabulous idea and so on the day of the appointment, she picked me up.  This day would be yet another turning point, one that I can say with certainty, I never saw coming.

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