There’s a thread on an adoption forum right now that I’ve been following and not posting in, where people are posting their adoption confessions. I spent a couple of days trying to decide whether to write something or not, but then things started to trend toward “I confess to being a GREAT mom! :P” and while I’m glad that people have ownership of that feeling, posting shameful, crappy things right after that would be too weird for me. But I want to mention one thing that would have gone on my list: Sometimes I hope that Cricket’s adoptive sibling will be not as cute/smart/charming as he is, so that he will be the best-loved. I know that not all parents play favorites, but many do—mine did—and if that’s how it’s going to be, I want Cricket to win. Maybe I should also hope for a brother, so that there is nothing obviously new and special about his little sib.
Shoot, maybe I’ll do my whole list of confessions here. The other day, I was talking about how the anniversary of me getting pregnant with Cricket is coming up, and I joked about making a sad cake, and he said “Our lives are better with him in them” and I thought “…maybe.” There are times when I do wish that I could go back and never have gotten pregnant. Last month an adoptee asked me and a few other birthmothers a sort of rambling question that I think came from her wanted to believe that her conception hadn’t been a mistake, and I thought, Planned pregnancies tend not to end in placement. (I didn’t say anything that blunt; I was nice.) There are also times when I wouldn’t go back and not get pregnant, but I haven’t felt that way for kind of awhile now, and I feel guilty about it.
Sometimes when I see adoptive parents have baby showers, I feel angry—or maybe the word I should be using is “jealous.” I think, You have plenty of money, you don’t need those gifts! Of course, there are plenty of people who adopt without being wealthy, and even the über rich can have friends and family throw them a party. It must be tied to the fact that I placed in large part because we couldn’t afford those things. When I do have a kid, it’s pretty unlikely that we’ll have a baby shower—and that’s fine, I don’t mean to sound as though I think I’m owed one—because I am unsociable and my family is far from here. I see pictures of prospective adoptive parents’ post-party haul, and I know that my kid will do without most of those things, and it bothers me a little. Envy and guilt wrapped up together.
I’m glad that I missed my son’s birthday party.
Ever since the adoption, the Mr. and I have referred to the cat, Aztec, as our baby. He’ll yell at me, and I’ll tell him to take it up with his father; my husband will tell him that it’s mommy’s turn to feed him. It’s sort of a sick joke that’s just dragged on and on, and it doesn’t bother me unless I think about it and see that it’s unfortunate and strange. Heck, when Ruth and Nora came here for a visit last year, I joked that we should dress the cat in baby clothes to greet them. Ah, gallows humor.
Sometimes, late at night, when I can’t sleep but the Mr. has conked out, I imagine that Cricket is in bed between us, where he would likely be if we had parented him. It’s Cricket as he is now: a fair-skinned little toddler boy, cheeks flushed, eyes darting back and forth beneath their lids as he dreams. This never helps me sleep, and usually makes me cry.