I've been thinking about this post for a few days so that I could verbalize my feelings on a conversation I had with Cade. Let me set the stage: It's a Saturday afternoon and Cade is playing with friends in the neighborhood. One friend comes to the house and tells me I have to come get Cade he's hurt. I need to hurry. So gathering up Jenna I hop in the truck and drive to his friend's home and yes, indeed, he is hurt. Split the side of his head open and lucky it didn't take his eye out. So fastforward to emergency room (Jenna is at a friend's house).
Cade and I have been talking and he's scared. He knows he will be getting stitches. So we're holding hands while waiting and Cade looks at me and says, "I want my real mom." Cade has done this two time before years ago and I did nothing about it. This time I thought,"Ooh, here's a chance for some open dialogue" even though my heart cries. So I said to my precious baby,"I am your real mom. (he smiles and says "you're supposed to hug me") Then I ask, "Do you mean your first mom, Cade?"
Oh, my poor baby! As my heart continues to cry out, I want to help Cade in the best way possible. He shook his head, very cautiously as if gauging my reaction. And I said, "oh sweetie, I'm sorry she can't be here". This led to a general conversation about where she did live and how he would like to go see her and I told him when he was 17, 18 or whenever after that we would take him to try to find and meet her.
He asked me her name and I said I didn't know (I will get to that later). But I couldn't help thinking about a book I read that has really helped me be better equipped to handle this somewhat. Cade will forever have this hole in him, he was abandoned and it's a terrible weight to carry around. It has nothing to do with me and while in my head I scream and cry, I know I can do nothing to "fix" this for Cade. I will never truly understand how he feels although I feel like I can just a small bit because I felt abandoned by my Dad while growing up. I have to wonder if his eagerness to please goes back to an unrecognized fear of us giving him up or abandoning him or even not loving him.
Back to his first mom's name. I lied. I lied to my son and immediately regretted it. I knew I would correct it that night when we got home. The only thing I could think of was I lied to my son. what kind of mother am I? My reasoning was that I just wasn't sure it was time. Regarding that, I think it's time when they ask. So as I was tucking him in, I explained to him that I lied about not knowing his first mom's name and that wasn't right and said a few more things. Lies only inhibit our relationships with one another and this relationship means too much to me.
I said to him, "your first mom's name is Julia." And he looked at me with a smile on his face and whispered it so reverently that I had to smile. What a sweet boy! We both agreed it was a pretty name. Then, "Mom, do you know my father's name?" I explained that we did have it in the paperwork, his first father's name, but I honestly don't remember it because it was a long Ukrainian name. So the next time I'm at our safe deposit box I will find out for sure and tell him. I told Cade anytime he wanted to ask questions or just talk we can. I tell him this often.
Conversation over. The book is called "Primal Wound" and it's not an easy read for adoptive parents. It is very intense. I don't agree with everything it stated but my eyes were opened to so many things. I will not be able to fix this nor understand what Cade is going through. I will never be able to replace his first mom (nor did I want to). These are Cade's issues and I just need to be there. So much more I just can't even write it all.
He will know how much I think of his first Mom and I truly do. He mattered to her because she gave him a chance at life, a chance at being adopted rather than ending his life. She had a choice and she chose life. She chose life for my son and in doing so a prayer was answered. I will be eternally grateful for that.
My tears inside have more to do with the fact that I can't change this for him. I can't make it better. I can't change the fact that in his abandonment came my greatest joy-I am heartbroken over this. Some tears for the fact that I can't be his birth mom, his only mom and spare him this. I can, however, hold him, pray for him, pray with him, just be with him, listen to him, support him and love him. Above all, love him.