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The Son I Don't Know

posted 2/29/2008 12:26:14 AM |
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tagged: son, love, pain, missing

I don't really know if this is the appropriate venue for expressing the feelings that I have tonight, it's just that I feel like I need to share it with someone before I burst. I love my friends and family and they mean everything to me; it's just that their understanding level of some of the things I have been through is so minimal that it makes it hard to talk about with them. Even my husband, he doesn't know half the hell I went through when I was younger, and when he does actually take the time to sit and listen, he gets angry, and he wants to fix things. He just doesn't seem to understand that there is no fixing the things that happened in the past; they are in the past, they happened, and that's that. There's crying, grieving, wishing they were different, but no fixing.

A lot of you know that I was raised in Foster Care. A lot of you know the reasons behind it. A lot of you don't. I won't go into those details because it's long and drawn out and would possibly bore you out of your tree or shock you to death, one of the two. What I will tell you is that when I was fifteen, I was sexually assaulted by a family friend to one of the Foster Home's I was in. No one believed me. Everyone assumed because I was in Foster Care and I had no 'raising' that I was naturally promiscuous and it was my fault that a nearly forty year old man made his advances on me. Anyway - that's a different part of the story.

The product of that assault, nine months later, was a beautiful, cherub-faced, curly-black haired, light-brown eyed, biracial baby boy. I was fifteen, just a baby myself, and I had no idea what I was going to do. The state told me that I had one of only a few options: They would pay for me to have an abortion, which would have to be out of state, because second trimester abortions were illegal in Kentucky at the time- ( I didn't find out I was pregnant until I was nearly eleven weeks along, I was young and it was not abnormal for me to be irregular) - or I could place my child in a foster home - separately- from me, or they would just take him and do with him what they wished.

First Choice: Hell NO.
Second Choice: Hell NO
Third Choice: HELL NO!

I knew what it was like to grow up in Foster Care. Why would I place my child into something like that, and subject him to some of the same things I had been through? I certainly wasn't going to have an abortion. I didn't know a lot of what I believed in when I was fifteen but I knew I didn't believe in that. I sure as HELL wasn't going to let them get their hands on him and put him up for adoption and take the chance I was never going to see him again. And they wouldn't let me keep him. I tried desperately to get help from every venue possible: Unwed Mother Homes, Shelters, even Catholic Churches. The state always stepped in, and I, being their ward, had no say in what happened in my own life, or to my own child.

So, I took matters into my own hands. I skipped school one day and took the bus down to the nearby Baptist Homes For Children Chapter. I met with a social worker and told her that I was interested in open adoption and asked her what did I need to do to get started. She gave me a huge stack of parental profiles of parents that were looking for children and told me to go through them. I went through them - one by one - there were at least a thousand of them. I made an appointment with one couple and they didn't want my child because of my history. Like I could have controlled my history. Well, their loss. I believe it's up to the parents to make their own child's history. Love the child, make it happy, give it discipline, structure, encouragement and understanding- and it will prosper. So I went back home, broken-hearted, discouraged, only to leaf through the thousands of pages again.

And I saw them. Two wonderful people who had a big fat black cat that they seemed to adore to no end. She had endometriosis (sp?) when she was thirteen and had a full hysterectomy. He was a therapist, so was she. How could my child lose with a couple full of understanding, commitment, and love? I made an appointment to meet with them, too, but I went into labor the day we were supposed to have dinner together. I was nearly three weeks early and they drove like maniacs to the hospital from however many miles away and sat with me, fed me ice chips, brushed my hair, and my son's adoptive mother watched as I pushed his tiny body into this world. Never once did they act as though this was strictly for them; they always made sure that I was OK, they brought me books, food, and offered me comfort and love.

All of that made no difference, however, the day I watched my social worker from the Home carry my son out of the hospital and put him in his adoptive Mother's arms. My heart screamed out for my baby; all I wanted to do was hold him close to me. Take him home with me. Raise him, love him, nurture him.

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Feb 29 @ 12:29AM  
Looking back now, I know I did the right thing. I still have contact with my son. His name is Dylan. We picked that together. I get pictures and letters from time to time and I send him Christmas and Birthday gifts. I have to send them through the Baptist Home so he doesn't always get them, and I don't hear from him as often as I would like. Even though I hear from him and his parents, I do not know my son. I don't know his quirks, like I know my daughter's quirks. I don't know his favorite food. I don't know his favorite video game. I never saw his first steps, heard him speak his first word, or watched a school play. His adoptive Mother did all this - and although I am thankful for her to no end, and his father, too - my heart still breaks, for next month he will be fifteen. And that's fifteen years of not knowing. It's hard to know you have a son, your own flesh and blood, that you know, but do not know. You feel bonded. And after fifteen years, I still feel the same way I felt, the day that he was born. On March 26 I feel as though I've lost a piece of my soul.

Fifteen years of not knowing is hard. What's harder is that people think now because I am grown, and I have a family of my own, a beautiful daughter, a darling son. that the pain is lessened by the fact that I have been blessed once again twice over. As much as I love my children, I will never forget that I also have ANOTHER. He is mine. Flesh of my Flesh, bone of my bone. I carried him and loved him and went through the pain of birthing him and the grief of losing him. He is my SON.. As much as Rebecca and Grant are my daughter and my son, Dylan is also my son.

And I have every right to love, and miss, and grieve him. This year, and every year.

Happy Birthday Dylan.


Feb 29 @ 12:35AM  
That's a lot of load to carry. And I dont know any words other than the usual generics about doing the right thing, really. I do deeply hope that one day he will have the desire to meet and know you in person, because yes, you ARE his mother, and he has a legal right to seek you out, far as I know. Stay in contact best you can.

*Big Squeezy Huggz*


Feb 29 @ 12:47AM  
That's gotta be really tough. But, you know you did the right thing and at least thank God he ended up with great people. One day, no doubt in my mind, you will both meet and will feel complete!

Feb 29 @ 1:42AM  
I'm glad that you both are in each others lives!

Feb 29 @ 8:56AM  
What a heart wrenching, but heart warming story. You did what you had to do, and were very careful in selecting the right couple for your child. I admire your courage. You seem like a strong, caring, loving mother. A mother's love for her children is a bond nobody can matter where that child may be. I just want to give you a really really big hug thank you for sharing that very private story.

Feb 29 @ 9:34AM  
I can't make a real comment just now.. too raw.

Feb 29 @ 9:44AM  
I know exactly how you feel and more......

Feb 29 @ 10:02AM  
I'm sending you a big cyber ((((HUG)))). I have walked your path and it's a hard one. My daughter was adopted out on Jan. 25, 1962 and I haven't a clue where she is or even if she's still alive. I have a granddaughter who will be 24 on March 10th who was adopted out and I have no information on her either.

It's a waiting game to see if they'll seek me out someday. But you never "get over it"....never.

Feb 29 @ 1:17PM  
Kris, I'm not going to sit here and pretend to act like I know how you feel. I lost two children through miscarriages and spent 4 mo flat of my back to keep from losing my son. But that is a different story, I will tell you a the story that I shared with Softy the other day. It's a story of my sister, born without ovaries and a deformed uterus, she was never able to get pregnant, much less carry a child or even have one of her eggs sterilized for a surrogate mom to carry for her. She and her husband loved his daughter from a previous marriage but they wanted as most couples do, a child of their own. They brought home Jason when he was just days old. And while I know he brought great joy to their lives, well I can't imagine the rest of the family without him either! Jason is such an integral part of our family, even today in his 30's married and with 2 beautiful little girls of his own.
When his wife became pregnant, she searched and found his biological mother, along with his biological father (they had later married , they were was just too young to keep him at the time) and his brothers and sisters. While my sister is still mom, he does have regular contact with his "parents" and siblings. When he first told my sister that he had found them and how would she feel about him meeting them. She burst into tears and told him all she asked is that he tell her "Thank you for the most precious gift there could ever be, thank you for my son" So while you don't see him as much now as you would like to, he will soon be grown, before you know it actually. The day will most likely come that he will seek you out. He will want to get to know you better. But until that day, know that you gave a loving couple something that they could never acheive on their own. A beautiful son. That gift not only affects their lives but the lives of their extended families as well. In doing so you also gave him a better life than "the system" would have given him. That's something to be very proud of.
Lubs ya

Feb 29 @ 1:49PM  
Wow you guys make me cry here. My heart bleeds for you Monkey but like LBS said YOU gave another set of parents a child to love and care for. He may surprise you some day until then just know you gave birth to a wonderful child 15 yrs ago!

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The Son I Don't Know