Jason. My partner, my friend, my advocate and sometimes, my rival. We've been through so much together that sometimes i feel like i have known him all my life.
Jason is a Saggitarius, so of course we are going to clash cuz i'm a water baby, but at the core level, we are so similar that it is scary. Jason is an adoptee. I don't know if I was drawn to him because of that or this was an experience i knew subconsciously that i needed to have. Me being an adoptee too (cuz that's what i am even if i was only adopted by the amom being a surrogate child) you can only imagine the issues that abound in our little studio. 2 adoptees, 3 shrinks, 4 mothers, 5 bottles of non-aresol hair spray, 1 bed. God help us.
Jason is a year younger than me and he actually had a family adoption. You wouldn't think it would be as bad seeing that he always knew who he was and where he came from. His uncle adopted him and raised him with his wife who was infertile. Or maybe it was his uncle that was. Who cares. They couldn't have kids was the point. So when Jason's mom got pregnant at 16, the family decided that Jason would go to his uncle and they would then be known as mom and dad. Sounds good in theory, doesn't it? Win-win, right?
So Jake and Roberta (Robbi) raised J with all the love and care you would expect his real parents would have given him. They provided him with every opportunity, every material possession he could want, a good education and a very stable home. J loves them like there is no tomorrow and will defend them until their deaths. He always knew who his real mom was and she loved him too. Happy-happy. Joy-joy. All is well, right?
Then came the time last year that J's real mom had her second child. Bev was 35 or 36, somewhere around that. I have never seen the boy unravel quite like he did that day. After we returned from the hospital, Jason and i sat beside each other on the bed. I knew something was wrong because when J chews the inside of his mouth, something is bothering him. I just didn't know how deeply it went for him.
I innocently asked, "So J, whaddya think of Connor? Isn't he an absolute doll?" The dam burst, the levy broke and the floodgate blew apart at that moment. J, sobbing the hardest I have ever seen anyone do, flung himself across my lap, clutched my knees, and wept into my stoneblast Levis. "WHY DIDN'T SHE KEEP ME?! WHY DIDN'T SHE WANT ME?!" he wailed. Over and over he repeated these two things until the dam broke inside myself. I was taken back to the time when I first met my siblings and how badly that stung. Seeing the family photos, all happy and smiling, but I wasn't there. I was missing. I knew exactly how J felt. My mother didn't keep me either. My mother didn't want me either. No matter how much our other parents did, our real mothers did not.
I bent over and sobbed into J's tee shirt. 2 barely grown men transformed back into the raging, grieving infants taken from their mothers and replaced with substitute mothers. No matter how much love we were given, it wouldn't take away the pain of losing our 1st mothers. I felt a connection to J that superceded anything physical or mental. It was a spiritual connection with a grieving brother.
Something horrible happened to us at birth. We lost our mothers. They did not die, but they might as well have been dead because we lost them in the capacity of mother and to a tiny baby, that feels like death. They are all we ever knew and suddenly, they were gone.
How ignorant it is for us to think that babies don't feel or don't remember. Study after study comes out to reveal how aware we really are and how bonding begins before birth.
I feel for J in what he has had to go through this last year and will have to go through for some years more. I remember how it was for me at 17 when it all came down. After years of "I am happy to be adopted, my parents love me, they are my parents and I am so grateful to my real mom for making the best decision she could by giving me to my parents" the shit finally hit the fan and he was covered from head to toe. Oh yah, he alway had the classic adoptee issues. What? I saw it. He just never associated it with his adoption. Abandonment issues, rejecting before you reject him, you just can only get "so close". Christ. Can you imagine with the two of us like this? It is a wonder that we have stuck together. I almost think its some sort of adoptee alliance that gets us through. Stick together because we are the only ones who understand what it is like to be us.
I don't know why I have started writing about this again. I wanted to give it up, but got encouraged when I had been contaced by some others in my same shoes. Hella pissed at some of the e-mails I get. Some of them are just downright cunt-ish. Why is it that I get blasted for being the child of a surrogate and an adoptee? Because I am not grateful? Cuz I don't kiss the ass of surrogacy and adoption? Kiss the ass of the industry?
It must threaten you. I must threaten everything you are and everything you stand for to make you write some of those bitchy things to me. I must scare the piss out of you to get so damned defensive. It also hurts, because you care nothing for the feelings of the person these arrangements affects the most - the child.
If my mother was killed in a horrible accident on her way home from the hospital or if she perished in childbirth, I would get all permission to grieve I needed. When I expressed my rage against the forces or thing that killed my mother, you would all give me all the sympathy in the world. I would be allowed for me to grieve, be angry, to rage. Well my mother died as my mother when the forces that be took me away from her. However I am not allowed to grieve because that force was called surrogacy and those people who took me away were called Intended Parents. It's becoming like a sacred cow. Poor poor infertile couples. Ungrateful adoptees. Acquiring that chikd by any means available is far more important to what is actually DOES to the child.
It's bullshit. Pure garbage. Its disenfranchized grief and it is self-perpetuating. No wonder I just don't "get over it'.
So John and Paul were wrong and Aretha was right. Love isn't all you need. You need respect, too. And respect is something I never got. Neither did Jason. The first disrespect came when you took us from our mothers and you gave us a substitute. AS IF we had no feelings. AS IF we wouldn't notice.
Well, we did notice. We'll notice for the rest of our lives.
|"Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful" - The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE|