Round Up

I went to my birthmother support group last night—since it’s our last meeting before Valentine’s Day, and since I’m a huge dork, I made heart-shaped brownies to bring. I only have a half heart left for Mr. Book, which seems possibly ominous. On my therapist’s recommendation, I brought my Cricket photo album and passed it around. I overheard two of the birthmoms talking—I’m pretty sure that they didn’t know I could hear them—saying “Look at Susie’s face; she’s so in love with that child.” One of them (as part of an unrelated discussion) told the group that placed kids, raised kids: “You love them exactly the same.” This is something I wonder about whenever it comes up; I tend to assume that I’ll love futurekid more than Cricket. I know that sounds awful.

We just got pictures from Ruth and Nora—they sent a photobook. It’s a couple of months late, but I never brought it up, so I’m pleased that they remembered. The pictures have captions this time (yes, I actually got the right to captions included in our OA agreement; have I mentioned that I’m a huge dork?), and reading them is fascinating and sad at the same time—it mostly serves to remind me of how much I don’t know about the kid. It’s nobody’s fault, just the nature of the adoption—but it’s kind of a bummer. A reason that I assume I’ll love a raised child more than I do my placed child is because there’s a closeness that is lacking for Cricket and me. Maybe it sounds shallow to say that I’d love a child more if I changed his diapers and knew which were his favorite toys. And maybe it isn’t true.

Heck of an adoption-free Friday, huh? Well, in other news, I’m making a tomato, onion, and butter sauce to go onto pasta in my husband’s sack lunches for the next few days—I have high hopes. My hair is getting crazy long; I don’t think it’s been this long since I’ve been an adult, and I’m not sure what to do with it. A trim is surely in order, and I’m planning one for before the next visit. I haven’t had a haircut since before Cricket was born, come to think of it. Gah, there’s the adoption again!

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6 thoughts on “Round Up

  1. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it sounds shallow at all.

    I don’t know if I’m uniquely selfish in this respect, but it seems like part of what inspires loving feelings for a kid is that the child feels comforted by and attached to me. If their primary attachment was to other people, it wouldn’t alter the fact that I loved them, but it would pretty much change how I experienced that love.

    Also, I imagine that if any of my kids were raised in another family and I got to see them a few times a year, I might look at the things about them that aren’t my favorite and attribute those things to the family where they are being raised, and it might be a little distancing.

    Instead, since I have raised them, I look at those things as features of that kid’s individuality that are just indelibly “them” and instead of being distancing, those things get rolled into the bundle of what I love about them.

  2. Familiarity probably has something to do with intensity of feelings. But maybe love is not measurable, in that you can love somebody more and somebody less. Maybe loving is like being pregnant — you don’t do it or be it a little bit. You do it or you don’t. Other emotions can be measured and compared. Some days I LIKE my husband, my daughter, my son, heck, even myself better than I do on other days. But love? Love just is.

    Part of this is wishful thinking on my part. I do fear that one day my children will wonder if their first parents love their parented children more. If they do wonder this, I hope they wonder tf aloud. And I hope that I am able to listen and give them space to work through that.

    Good luck with your hair. I’ve always loved the daisy photo in the upper right. Looks like you can’t go wrong with it!

    • I appreciate your comment about a binary love–I’m going to have to sit with it, because I badly want to believe it, so I’m holding myself back from that. That picture in the corner is me with my mom, and my hair isn’t much like it was at six months–still thin tho, alas. 😉

  3. I wonder about all of this too.

    Maybe love doesn’t really work entirely in more/less equations. Maybe some connections are easier & more familiar for a huge range of reasons (not just nature/nurture/exposure/absence). It seems to me (oh, duh) that the thing about adoption is that the sense of loss through absence is so inherent.

    Of course for all you know Cricket could end up loving something you adore too that futurekid(s) care less about. Love is so mysterious.

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