When you have lost two children to adoption and then reunite with both of them within a 6-month time frame, you can come through the experience somewhat addled. I have emerged from the initial stupor, still poleaxed, but with my sense and sensibilities enhanced and enlightened by the enormity of what I have learned and what I know I lost. It might seem to some that my attentions sway on a pendulum, back and forth between the two of them...two very different people with two very different, albeit negative, reactions to their adoptions.
There are times that I wish I could clone myself because I feel that each of them need so much of my attention and I become somewhat washed out at the enormity of need...theirs and mine...after over 30 years of adoption separation. Going on fourteen years into reunion, we are still hitting bumps and getting derailed, climbing back on and going again. My son is a perfect example.
The specific results and repercussions of his adoption-related life difficulties are his own business and something I won't discuss on a blog, but I can tell you that he is an angry, damaged man. His upbringing left a lot to be desired in that it exposed him to overt racism and association with..well, I would call them the more ignorant element. His anger-management difficulties are legion as well as his problems with controlled substances and alcohol. Not a new story but still a very sad one. He has also developed a misogynistic attitude that rankles. Yet, underneath all that violence, anger and bluster and macho posturing is a warm heart, capable of much love, and a very keen mind. He is intelligent but has never had that raw intellect developed or encouraged in the right way. So much for the idea that a set of adopters was "in his best interests."
He goes back and forth between intense and open contact with me, and a benign sort of absence. Why I never worry about the absences, I don't know. I think it is because I know in my gut that he does love me and knows I love him. He's 43 and I can't solve any of his problems...only he can. So I worry...I worry that his health will continue to decline, I worry that his emotional growth will remain stunted, I worry that his anger might get him badly injured or killed...I worry about it all. Mothers worry like that.
And I get angry...I get angry at the system that decided I, the mother that bore him and his older sister, that knew them and understood them and knew what to watch out for, was unfit to raise them because of the absence of a wedding ring and a male "protector" to give me validity as a mother. I get angry at my current impotence..at my gut-deep knowledge that all the love I can give either of them won't fix the real problems and that it all could have been avoided.
How do I know that? I also raised two children...my youngest two...and it doesn't take rocket science to observe that they are a lot more comfortable in their own skins than their older siblings are. I was only a couple of years older when I married, had my raised children and embarked on the sea of "socially-acceptable" motherhood and I did an OK job, if I do say so myself. I feel like, with me, at least they would have stood a fighting chance of some identity comfort and self-esteem. As imperfect a mother as I am and was (and as we all are) I was and am still THEIR mother. That makes a difference whether the adoption apologists want to admit it or not.
Now, I'll do what I do everyday. I'll light a candle for each of my children and say a little prayer and I'll wonder and worry a bit and then get on with the task of living. And I'll turn all of my adult children over to a Higher Power to be looked after and hope that they can learn a lesson or feel some love or smile a bit, today. They deserve that, and, God/dess knows, my two oldest NEED that. Especially, today, my angry oldest son.