Confessions

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.

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9 thoughts on “Confessions

  1. We will have a baby shower for you. A virtual one but with real presents. Hell YES!! And you can’t even try to make us not do it because we will probably do it anyway. SO THERE!!!

  2. Yeah, Dawn organized a cybershower for Pennie and I got to be an ambassador from the online world and it was GREAT.

    I know Lee and I have been much more likely to refer to our pets as our “kids” since we’ve been involved in adoption stuff, which is sort of funny because we also are very clear about how pets aren’t like kids. But on the other other hand we have to do worksheets for our therapeutic parenting class and since we have no kids in the house we’re using the dog as our example…. It’s all complicated. I’m glad you’re owning your regrets and confessions and figuring things out bit by bit.

  3. Glad Dawn got there first, but damn straight we’ll have a shower for you!!
    I liked reading your confessions- and regarding the first one… of course all kids are special in their own way, but (my secondborn son River, close your ears) the first one has a certain brand of special that nothing can replace. Just so you know. That’s my opinion, anyway.

  4. Hi Susie…I found your blog via Google Reader and just wanted to throw in my support for you. I’m a reunited adult adoptee and would love to be part of a virtual baby shower for you someday!

    PS My nickname is Cricket so your blog jumped out at me right away. ♥

  5. absolutely into the online shower thing. and I’m sure between us we all have some great stuff to send your way too. still trying to figure out how to get in on some of that food action though. hmm…

    we never had a shower as prospective adoptive parents. it seemed kind of presumptuous to me. in fact, I only registered for stuff to keep a list of things I had researched (like carseats) and thought we might need some day. but no one gave us any gifts until well after baby J came home with us. even then, most gifts were books and clothes, and many were hand-me-downs too. instead we had a celebration to welcome baby J and K to our family which was all about the food and company, and no gifts (except baby J’s birth grandmom, who loves to bring her gifts).

    I appreciate the honesty and candor in your confessions. and that last bit choked me up.

    • Oh, and I don’t really object–heck, Ruth and Nora had two showers, and I went to one. It’s just a misplaced envy, I think. That said, I bet your welcome home party was lovely.

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