I’m having a really hard time with my feelings. I am in a reunion with my son who was given up for adoption. Here is a recap of my story.
I was 15 years old when I had him. My parents forced me to give him up for adoption, after a visit to an abortion clinic told us it was too late. My parents pulled me out of school. I was basically hidden away until I gave birth to him.
I was so happy when I was pregnant with him but I had nowhere else to go. I was terrified of making my parents angry. So, I cried and cried after leaving the hospital without him. All these years and I continued to think about him every day, but never about his adopted parents. I had to grieve for him at such a young age. I was never in therapy, was never asked how I was feeling about it all. I was just expected to act like it never happened (how is that even possible?). I was always searching for him. Then the miracle, he found me in May.
We have spoken every single day since reconnecting. I struggle with my own emotions when he talks about his adoptive mom. Of course, it is natural that he does and probably natural that it is hard for me to hear it. On his own initiative, he started referring to her in our conversations as his “parent”. I never asked him to do that. I did admit to him that this was something I personally had to work through and that I would never want him to be uncomfortable talking about anything with me.
Truth is, it’s not getting easier. It’s getting harder. Today he asked my opinion about something. After I told him my answer, he came back with, “well my parent….”. Honestly, it broke me. It isn’t unexpected that her view might be the opposite of mine. And, honestly, it wasn’t even in anything important. I am ashamed because I feel like I’m completely upset over nothing really. I now realize that these incidences make me feel those feelings I felt when I surrendered him – like I have been discarded.
It probably isn’t surprising that he views me as a friend. He doesn’t seem like an emotional person. At the age of 23, he still lives at home, has never really had a job, his adoptive parents coddle him (in my opinion) because they pay for everything, and he isn’t going to school.
I want to handle myself in these situations better. It really is so hard for me to control my emotions. I don’t want to make this sad story only about myself. And I really don’t want to project my feelings towards his adoptive parents onto him. I feel like I need help. I don’t want to hurt him or his feelings. I need to know how to accept the fact that just being in his life now is really a blessing. Whatever that is going to be like.
How can I respond or communicate better with my son?
I thought this advice was from experience and practical –
I am an adoptee and an original mom (meaning she gave up a child for adoption). He’s been raised. That’s over. Stop trying to compete with his adoptive parents and simply be his friend. In time that friendship may grow into a true mother /son relationship. Give it time. Adoptees often have trust issues, abandonment issues, identity issues, etc. so please don’t add to anything he is already struggling with. Work through your issues as an original mom separately – not through your relationship with him. (I don’t even want to touch upon my own issues because it’s still terrifying for me too). I do understand.