She told me that, when she was little, at Christmas she would dress up and sit at the door, waiting for me to come get her. She didn't quite understand this whole, "you're adopted" thing. She just knew that something or someone important in her life was missing. I am sure her little heart was broken when I didn't appear.
She asked questions about me, constantly, until the people who adopted her, feeling insecure, told her a lie.....that I was dead. For years she searched for a grave. It is still hard for her to admit that the people she calls her parents, now deceased, would actually tell her a lie. She knows they behaved rather badly when we reunited, but she can't go to that place where their needs took priority over hers.
I'm not going to press the issue. Her need to feel safe and grounded in what is familiar to her is also important. I have packed a box with gifts for her, and the great-grands and picked out a "for daughter and her husband" card that doesn't have all the flowery verses about growing up and becoming a credit to her father and I. That's reaching a bit. Her father is a jerk who is removed from her by his own wishes. So, while the card is for "My Daughter," it is safely neutral in content.
What a sticky web the adoption industry and the state agencies during the EMS wove. There is acute pain on both ends...that of the adopted person and that of the mother...that reunion doesn't solve or ease. The only thing reunion does is allow us to face our pain and try to work towards healing. It's a long, arduous process and, sometimes, when we think of things, like that little girl waiting at the door, we slip back into the hurt rather than using it to stoke the anger and determination.
I have cried every Christmas since I lost my daughter and then my son to adoption. Compounding that was the death of my mother on December 22, 1968. But, as I have grown older, I have learned to have my crying jag and then be grateful for what I do have. My husband lost his only child, a son, to suicide. We learned that it was not something that you get over..you just learn to live with it. So it is with loss to adoption for both mother and adoptee. We learn how to live with it
I also have to feel a bit smug in that the old system and all the lies and secrets did not succeed in keeping us from knowing each other and learning the truth, or as much truth as my children can handle. It's sort of like a reunion (which the adopters want to call merely "making contact") is thumbing our noses at the machine. Reunited, we are and they call me "Mom." I am sure that the adopters wouldn't be happy with that, but I am their mother and they cannot change that with a piece of paper signed by a judge.
Merry Christmas, little girl and little boy. Mommy has come to get you.