Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More Progress

I really can't believe how much has happened in the last 5 months!! 5 MONTHS!! For over 15 years I lived with this suffocating secret. This huge cross I dragged behind me everywhere I went. With every breath I took (or reminded myself to take), I inhaled more shame, more sadness. The thought of telling someone about, well, about me and my story, sent me into a severe panic attack and now...

Yesterday I talked to two of my friends that I literally lived with when I was 15. They actually introduced me and K's dad back in the day and we were like sisters...but then I left and detached from all of them. I couldn't deal with still having them in my life after what happened when K was born...I couldn't tell them or anyone for that matter. So needless to say, until yesterday neither of them knew I had this beautiful daughter. Since finding them on Facebook last year, we'd talk every now and then but I was still a little closed off...duh :) But I love those girls and I wanted to share this with them...so I did! WOW!! I can't believe this is me doing these things...talking, sharing and doing it without severe anxiety?!!?!?! What?? They were so blown away and SO supportive! They told me I was their family and they loved me & wish they could've been there for me. They couldn't believe how gorgeous K is and they are so excited for us!! I never knew how liberating living "your truth" could truly be. It's remarkable & I'm just learning how remarkable it really is.

In the last 5 months...I repeat...5...months, the following has happened: (eh-hem)
  • My daughter wrote to me & we began emailing each other
  • I told my best friend (who happens to be adopted herself!!!)
  • I told my brother (he never knew)
  • I confronted my parents & talked for the first time about my pain
  • I told my In-laws
  • I told her birth dad!!
  • I told friends that I never thought I'd tell
  • I went to Disneyland with HER!!
  • I met her family & her friends!!
  • I don't feel ashamed to be ME..along with a truckload of other emotions I've never felt or allowed myself to feel before...
Progress...pure progress. I'm truly amazed.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Baby Daddy Follow Up!

Okay, so I need to catch you guys up on what's happened since my last post, "Big News", where I talked about K's Birthdad's reaction to, "Surprise, it's a girl!". I think the last thing I said was that he took it well and was supportive, but then sent text messages saying he needed to find her and basically wouldn't rest until he did. Obviously that wasn't going to happen & although I completely understand his need/want to know if she was safe, I would not in any way, shape or form, allow him to disrupt her life. So a few days later he and I spoke again & I knew I needed to explain things a little more. I told him that we didn't need to look for her because she had already written to me & we email each other so I know she is safe, happy & has a beautiful life.

My plan originally was to only tell him that she existed and that I felt he had a right to know, so if she ever wanted to look for him he would be ready. But when he began to insist on finding her and saying crazy shit like he was going to get a lawyer if necessary, I knew I had to do something to ease his mind. Hence me telling him that we email each other. He was relieved and happy to know that she was okay. He is really emotional about it all & even sweet about it, yet I don't trust him enough to tell him that K and I have spent all of this time together. By the things he has said, I feel that if he knew the extent of our relationship, he would feel he had a right to meet her too. He would be pushy about knowing more detailed information & that would just be unacceptable. Not to sound harsh, but he seems to think that the fact he never knew about her gives him some sort of right to know her now. Well, it doesn't! Not at this point in her life anyway. I've tried to explain to him that SHE has to be the one the initiate a relationship with him and that it's completely up to her and to her parents...not up to him! On that note, her parents have told me they don't think she's ready for any communication with him & they'd rather him not know any specific details (last name, where they live, agency info, etc.). I completely respect their decision and I agree. She is still a minor and none of this was supposed to happen until she was 18 anyway, so he will have to just be patient & really, he has no other choice.

I always absorb other peoples feelings and make them my own. I've started doing that with him too! After all of these years of guilt, I finally told him!! I should feel a sense of accomplishment and feel good-no, feel great-about that and I do, yet at times I find myself taking on his feelings of "want". I really need to take care of myself and my emotions for the first time and of course always do the right thing by K & her parents. I would protect them with my life if need be. I need to NOT make myself responsible for the way he feels. I did the right thing in my mind...I told him. He knows. He should be able to rest assured that she knows how to contact him if & when she wants to, and all he can do is wait. I waited for 15 years...I think he can handle this.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The First Time...

This post will not in any way express the feelings, the emotions, the surreal-yet pure realness, of what happened on June 25th. It was a Friday & it was the first time I met my daughter. Well, second if you count the fact that she grew inside of me, which I have to say is pretty noteworthy, but did I ever see her? Hold her? No. So for the first time on that Friday I met my daughter. I hugged her, held her hand, we smiled at each other, cried together and told one another we loved each other. My life will never be the same. Thank God!! I was ready for something monumental to happen...and so it did.

Okay, you're going to die when I tell you this! So the plan was to pick her up on Saturday. I would pick her up from their hotel, as they were coming to the So Cal town in which I live for a weekend getaway. Just the 3 of them (mom, dad, & K). We would spend the day together and then I would bring her back to the hotel later that night. It was a plan & that whole week I was nervous and excited and freaking OUT! What would it be like? Will it be awkward? Will she like me? Will I say the right things? Will she understand? What will we do? Will I be able to hold it together? Barely, but I did! That plan changed on Wed when I got a text from K asking if I was available Friday too because they would be coming in early and she wanted to spend both days with me!! Available?? YES!!!!!!! Then I had the idea that since I'd be picking her up Friday and seeing her Saturday too, maybe she could just spend the night and we could have a slumber party! I felt comfortable enough with her mom to at least ask. I sent her mom an email...she said yes!! K texted me freaking out with excitement that she could sleep over!! I picked her up on Friday morning and we had two full days together! 

The first time I saw her was indescribable but I'll try...They were waiting outside by the pool area. As I was walking toward them I could see her profile in the distance and it felt like I was dreaming, like an out of body experience (not that I've ever had one but it's what I think that would feel like). I was floating and I could hear my own heartbeat pounding in my ears. Her mom ran out before I got too close and just hugged me and asked if I was okay and if I was ready to meet her. I think I said, "I can't believe this is happening, but I'm ready. I think I'm ready". As I turned the corner, she stood up and smiled at me. It was the most beautiful smile I've ever seen in my entire life. When we hugged, it felt like I was falling into her and she was falling into me. It was the first time I hugged my daughter. It was the first time I saw her smile with my own eyes; the first time she heard me say I loved her. We couldn't stop hugging and we must have both said how much we missed each other a 100 times. We held hands, took pictures and sat down to chat with her parents. They made it so comfortable, so easy. We talked about the weekend & what we would do. We talked about the fact that they use to come to this area for vacations over the years and wondered if we'd ever crossed each other's paths without knowing it. (I live in the same town where K was born...). I don't know where her parents came from, but if there's such a thing as angels walking this earth, they embody everything that one would be.

About a 1/2 hr later, we were off to spend the next two days together! I think for the first few hours we were both in a state of shock and disbelief. I know I was! We came back to my house to hang out & talk and just get to know one another. I wanted to make her feel as comfortable as possible & I tried to contain my overwhelming emotions. We talked about everything. She told me about her friends and her boyfriend & I told her about my life and most importantly, our story. I told her how it came to be that she was given up for adoption and how much I've loved her, how much I've missed her and how thankful I am that she wrote to me when she did. She told me she always loved me and couldn't imagine me not being a part of her life for things like her prom and graduation & she didn't want me to miss out on those things. When she said those words it felt like my heart was going to burst!! She loves me that much?? She didn't want me to miss out on those things?? Oh my God! I couldn't believe my daughter had thought of me in this way. I think I was just always so consumed with pain, fear, sadness & guilt that I never was able to think that she actually loved me as much as I loved her; that she could miss me or did miss me as much as I missed her. It just took my breath away. I don't think I actually breathed those entire two days.

We had a great weekend together! We went to a film festival that was in town later that day (we both love movies), we went out to sushi, we stayed up till 3:00am watching TV, talking and sitting on the couch holding hands. Just sitting with her, holding hands was so magical. There was this energy that I can't put into words. It was a physical & emotional connection unlike anything I ever have and ever will experience. We stared at each other and smiled & laughed in amazement that we look so much alike. We played with each other's hair. I held her before she fell asleep & we told each other how much we loved one another. I made her breakfast the next morning! I made my daughter breakfast!! I stood there scrambling eggs, staring at her sitting at my dining table and just thought, Is this really happening? Am I dreaming? Is she really here? She was here. I wasn't dreaming...this is my (our) new life & it is more beautiful than anything I could have ever dreamed.

Time flew by and before we knew it we had to meet her parents for dinner and we'd be saying goodbye. I knew I'd be a wreck...and I was. I was okay through dinner, which was great and lighthearted...her parents just made us all feel at ease. But after dinner, as we sat outside Starbucks I felt like I was in a bubble. I couldn't see or hear anyone around me. I was just holding her little hand tightly and she was holding mine. My husband did a great job at entertaining her parents as she and I just kept looking at each other and hugging and crying and smiling...it was once again, magical. She and I were completely in our own world. It was emotional. It was heart-wrenching. It was beautiful. It was the second time I had to say goodbye, but this time it wasn't forever, it was until next time. Needless to say, after we finally let go and said I love you's, I got in the car and completely broke down but it was the most amazing emotional roller coaster I've ever been on.

And the next time happened to be two weeks later!!!! We had talked about going to Disneyland together one day since I'd never been there before, which if you live in CA and have never been to Disneyland you stand the risk of being stoned to death. It's unheard of! But why would I go to Disneyland?? I always thought, I don't have kids so why would I go to the Happiest Place On Earth? Didn't seem to be a priority on my list but K insisted we go together and I never wanted to go anywhere more! So two weeks ago, I was driving out to her house & we were at Disneyland a couple of hours later. It was the second most amazing day of my life. Just my daughter & me...at Disneyland...together. Her parents welcomed me into their home and had me stay over that night. We were at Disneyland ALL day. From 11am to 12am! In the morning, her mom made us muffins and coffee and we told her all about how much fun we had. I know!! It's truly unbelievable!!! And each time we're together it will be more amazing than the last...I can't wait for the rest of my life. I can honestly say I've never felt like that before.

Like I said, this post doesn't describe in the least what really took place when I met my daughter but I promise you all, when you meet your child, no matter when that happens, the love you will feel and the love they will give, will be unlike anything you have ever imagined. Everything you thought, everything you dreamed of, everything you wanted to say, will come true. I know what has happened to me, to us, isn't something that happens every day. The fact that her parents are so open with me and to me, is not something that happens to most of us Birth Mom's & I will forever be grateful and thankful to these two people who have changed my life forever.

No matter what your situation is like or what it becomes, don't give up on loving your child or thinking they love you. They will know how much you love them when you hold them in your arms for the first time. Write to them, even if you never hear back. Pray to God, to the Universe to protect them and to fill their hearts with the love you have for them. They will feel it. They will know it because you are connected. No matter who's in the way, no matter who feels threatened by that connection, they can't take it away from either of you. It is just a fact that the love you have will prevail! It may not be today or next week, or even next year, but it will be. I wish for all of you that your child's parents will see that there is enough love to go around and the most important person who will benefit from that love is the child. There should be no room for jealousy or fear, because when you strip the negative thoughts and feelings away from the situation that we as humans create, it really is only about the love. K's parents love me for giving them this beautiful child & I love them for giving her this beautiful life. K loves all of us so much and we all love her more than life itself. If I could have a wish come true, it would be that Adoptive Parents and Birth Parents could come together in the way that we have come together, because it's truly the most beautiful thing I've ever witnessed.

I never thought I would be healed of this broken heart or live in light instead of darkness, but it's happening right before my very eyes! I'm learning how to forgive myself and love who I am for the first time. How could I not love myself when she loves me so much? How could I not love myself and look into the eyes of this beautiful person I gave birth to? I'm learning what love truly is and it's taking my breath away.

Until next time...love always.