“To me the term Mother is earned. One doesn’t pop out a child and then wah-lah she is a Mother. That is something you earn as you love, nurture and rear that child and then stand by them as an adult.

So now on here I have the understanding that I can not use B.M. as it is offensive to Birth Mothers. Well, frankly, it is more comfortable for me to use those initials than it is for me to use the term Mother. So I will be continuing to use it. If moderators would like to ban me from this forum that is absolutely your right.”

This is a snippet from a post on an adoption forum I read; the rules prohibit users from using the abbreviation for “bowel movement” to refer to birthmothers. Now, I don’t ordinarily mind it, but it is a little disturbing coming from someone who clearly does want to communicate that the woman who gave birth to her is garbage.  I read this while trying in the back of my mind trying to compose a post—I guess this post—about realizing that I need to learn more about adoptee loss. I told my therapist that I don’t want to think that Cricket has any loss inherent in his adoption, and she stopped me right there: “It’s a huge loss, and you need to acknowledge that.” Really? I mean, he went straight from my arms to theirs, literally. My therapist tells me that even though Cricket was never away from people who love him, he must grieve the loss of my voice and smell. (My therapist asked if I could leave something that smelled like me with Cricket, and that seemed both weird and inappropriate. She doesn’t have a lot of experience with open adoptions, and I’m pretty sure that I’m right on this one. Ruth and Nora don’t need any “comfort” objects around that don’t come from them.) I protest that he has been sweet and cheerful from day one, and she says that this is adaptive bonding, and that it accompanies grief. I guess it’s probably clear that I’m really fighting this idea. I can’t really tell how much of that is me unable to tolerate the idea that I’ve hurt Cricket and how much is a less complicated inability to see loss in his life.

Take the primal wound; I don’t know whether I buy it. If you had asked me three years ago, before I was at all involved in adoption, I would have told you that it was nonsense. Now I am less certain but still pretty skeptical—that said, if Cricket grows up to believe that he has this wound, I want to respect and believe him. And I read Dawn’s posts about Madison and the loss she feels, and it troubles my understanding.