"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call... The Twilight Zone!" - Rod Serling
No matter how hard we reach, there seems to be a barrier between us and our reunited loved ones. The bond is there but it is twisted, distorted and knotted like badly wound yarn. Mothers don't know what to expect from their adult children and those adult adopted people want with one hand and push away with the other and are just as confused as the mothers.
I get the impression that many of our adult children want to be treated and included in all things, just like our raised children, yet will say that their adopters are their REAL parents. I hear a lot of "I love you's" that sound, very much to me like "I need you's." We are to give our surrendered children all the same familiarity and attention we give our raised children, but we are not to assume full motherhood of that same adult child. Rod Serling would have had a field day with this one.
Mothers and adult adoptees are all suffering from sore feet from tip-toeing through the eggshells, trying not to break any. It's not just on one side, either. I see the same expectations and frustrations from both ends of the dyad. We are also, on both ends, afraid to speak up about it because we don't want to disturb what tenuous balance we have managed to attain.
For Mothers, that is where unconditional love is tested. With my raised children, I can say what I will and they might get mad and pout a few days or I might get testy with them and need some cooling-off, but we are always back together with no hard feelings. I don't think many adopted people have ever learned that unconditional love means you can get angry and you don't have to cut people off and out of your life. I have seen some who learned conditional love from their adopters and then passed that on down to their own children. For some, love is a bartering tool..I give you love and you stay with me based on doing this, that and the other thing.
I cried when I read a post by Ungrateful Little Bastard. She was reading online about her natural family having a "girl's" outing in which she was not included. That had to hurt. Then I have to remember that I was excluded from my daughter's wedding because of the wishes of her adopters. That hurt, too. I have heard similar stories from other mothers and other adopted people. It's a world of hurt in the Adoption Zone.
I have to give it to my family. They work at including my surrendered children in their lives and thoughts and carings. They are good siblings and I am glad because my two oldest need that, badly. It's easier for them, as well, because sibs don't carry that emotional load that the mother does. There are times when I close my eyes and daydream about having a "do over" in life. There would be no Adoption Zone in it.
So Rod, here goes; There is a painful dimension beyond motherhood and infancy. It confounds the mind and breaks the heart. It is an uneasy middle ground between family and separation, between love and strangers, between broken hearts and challenged lives. It is known as The Adoption Zone.
And those of us in it don't like it here.