When I think of mothers like me who have lost children to adoption there are words that come to mind.... fractured, hidden, sad, exiled, grieving, broken, secrets, lies, missing, searching, darkness, compartmentalize, anger, denial, waiting. And then there are words like survival, strength and perseverance.
This is who we are. We grieve our lost babies. We love and cherish the babies we gave birth to later. We spend decades waiting for the day when all our children will be in the same room. We are women who were never able to have more babies and grieve the loss of their one and only. We separate the broken part of ourselves from our family lives so we can continue to live. We only let it peek through when the crack in the facade just can't be held together another second. For many of us that day was a birthday, that month was the birth month. We are the women who lie when asked how many children we have. We say two when we want to SCREAM 3!
We walk around in hiding. People would never guess this inner world of a mother of adoption loss. We're not supposed to tell. Pretending becomes second nature and it's this pretending that allows us to keep going. But, we can only keep going that way for so long. The damage that pretending does becomes too great and we have to start the reveal. Little by little we come out from behind the door and let people know what happened. Then some of us find, amazingly enough, that the world didn't cave in when we told our secrets. We even find other mothers who lived it and know. We find people who are willing to listen even if they don't understand and people who are so shocked at the stories we tell that they don't know how to take it in.
So, we persevere, keep telling the story and get a little bit stronger every time. We write, we paint and we sing and we try to make sense of the senseless acts done to us and our children. We're the mothers coming out of exile.