Friday, February 19, 2010

Divine Intervention

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a positive person. I often hear..."Geez Kels! What makes you so happy? Are you ever down?" Well, yes. I do have my crap days from time to time. But for the most part I am always on the bright side.  I use my great outlook to guide me to live in a good way. I love to help people, I volunteer for just about everything that involves my kids, I treat others the way I want to be treated and I know a smile makes me smile, so why not just do it randomly all day? Spread love, don't hate. This is how I was raised and this is how I choose to live. And it is a choice, believe me. It always takes more energy to be positive about something than it does to be negative, for me at least.

I recently expressed this happiness in a comment on a blog. You see, I thought  that I was answering a question about relinquishing children for adoption and how mothers felt about their decisions years down the line. Two decades is a long time and my views have changed over the years, so I made a comment. What followed was nothing short of a crucifixtion of my character. I had unknowingly entered what many would call an Anti-Adoption blog. No worries, the responses were nothing that I had not heard before and I calmly answered questions and squashed assumptions. More people popped up to shout out their disgust of certain words. I reassured them that I was not trying to be disrespectful, and I explained a little more about myself. Several more showed up judging me, and yet again I responded tactfully yet openly about my journey along with some of the issues that I faced. On...and on....and on, back and forth it went all week long. It was exhausting. The words were so harsh, the voices so disgusted that it just made my heart hurt the more I read. I could have stopped going back, I could have just let them talk, make accusations and twist my interpretation of my adoption experience. Most would say that I SHOULD have stopped going back. But just like I want to be heard for my positive view, I knew that they were looking for the same be heard.

It started to take its toll, I was feeling so down about adoption. I am not saying that they were changing my mind or anything, I was just aching learning what they had been through. You see, many of them did not have a choice like I did. Many of them were forced or coerced into giving up their children. I had such a different experience from them, I truly did make a choice for my children. I finally had to stop reading for a couple of days, just needed to breathe and enjoy what was in front of me...two boys who see the world in me. I, ever the positive, was needing a boost of love, I was needing a sign that what I was fighting for was right. I do not like to live in the negative, yet that was what was happening in just talking with these women. I needed something to show me that I was not wasting my breath. I needed some help in my heart. So like I often do, I prayed little prayers here & there and asked Him to help me speak clearly, speak with love for what I believe in, and speak the truths as I knew them in a way that they could all understand, or at least think about my words before judging me. I asked if there was even a point in going back, what could I possibly say that can help them see that I was a good person who overcame the sorrows and was now trying to help others understand adoption through a mother's eyes. I needed a sign to help lift my spirits.

Then it came. The day before Valentine's Day I sat at the computer returning emails from friends, and it came. My daughter, whom I placed 20 years ago, sent me an instant message just saying..."loved the last picture! you are too funny!" It was like a lightning bolt to my soul. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No tears, no sadness, just a big jolt of love to my heart. We talked for about a half hour, well ... typed really. She was telling me some things about school, some things about what was going on in her life which I love to hear and she loves telling me. It was so wonderful to just be back in the positive, back in the light that I know can shine in my world because of adoption. I was smiling and typing away. I told her that I had been talking with some women who were not as fortunate in their adoptions as I was in ours. I explained, just briefly, how I got into the converstation. I then told her that I was so glad to hear from her, especially that day, because it was a boost that I needed in a bad way. She then told me 'You are the strongest person I have ever known. You are an inspiration to me. What you have been through was such a brave thing to do. I think you are amazing and I am so proud of what you have accomplished.' Great kid, huh? I thanked her and told her that I had to talk about the negatives as much as the positives because I want people to know that there is hope out there, there can be love and acceptance in adoption. She then said, 'I want people to know our story. I know you loved me and I love you for being you. I think what you are doing for adoption is wonderful and I love you for doing it.'

That was all I needed to hear. Within 30 minutes, a week of heartache ended with simple, beautifuly spoken, and much appreciated words from the one who matters most, my adopted child. She has the uncanny ability to say the best things at the most appropriate times, and I do not think it was a coincidence that she contacted me on that day. She said she was just thinking about me, but I think there were other forces in play there.  Prayers answered and heart revived! It was a wonderful Valentine's Day!

PS... I did not go in vain to the blog mentioned in this post. I give credit where credit is due, and several of the women on that post contacted me to say "Thank you for your insight, your voice, and your respect for all points of view." I thank you ladies for all that you shared with me.


birthMOM said...

does happy birthmom = happy adoptee? perhaps there really is a connection!

love your happy voice and YOUR braveheart, muchas!

joy said...

Okay, I am really asking this respectfully, but birthMOM, are you joking?

Is this a funny birthmom thing, because I am not getting it.

I don't know, I don't consider my "birthmom" my birthmom, I consider her my mom, and I am really sorry that I lost her, she is a wonderful and loving woman. I am so grateful to have her in my life now, but it made me very sad that she gave me away.

Sometimes adoptees make jokes that other people don't understand, maybe this is an example of that?

AbrazoAdoption said...

Kudos to you! The anti-adoptionistas come from a different place, perhaps; one of victimization and fear and shame and regret. (This is not to say that everyone should be happy about their adoption losses, but rather, having been through an adoption can leave the participants in different places.)

You have been able to grieve your losses and have obviously grown from those experiences; your children have been the beneficiaries of your courage and strength.

Thank you for having the gumption to try to engage in meaningful dialogue with those whose adoption experiences left them still angry and hurting. We are so glad you did not allow them to stifle your voice, because such attempts further marginalize and exploit birthmoms everywhere. Keep speaking your 'peace,' friend!

Amy said...

You are an inspration. I have been in need of a pep talk recently. Your post reminds me to remain positive no matter what. Thank you!

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Hello Joy,
What beautiful words you have about your mom. It is refreshing to hear your point of view and hear that you are grateful to have her now.

I do not want to speak for anyone else, but if I may speak for myself, I do not think that birthMOM was making a joke. I have spoken to her before about my journey and story and I think she was just making a statement about my particular situation.

I know that my daughter had her sad days, her confused days. But we have known each other all her life and I think that there is something to be said for the outlook that mother's have. Not just in adoption, but in all mother/child relationships. I know that when my mother was sad or unhappy, I was certainly sad and unhappy. And when she was happy, well I was happy too. I know that my story and views are unique, as is my dauthter's. She appreciates that I am open and honest with her, as I always have been, and I think she really does like that I am positive about my views.

I think your question was a good one, and I thank you for asking it.