On June 15th I published the post, Not Inoculated; I reflected on the realization that although we had suffered a terrible tragedy, we were not protected from future sorrow. One week later, on June 22nd, my son, Nick, died.
If you’ve read my Tell it Well series, you know that Nick was born when I was a teen and I was forced to give him up for adoption. It was the late seventies and adoption was just beginning to change allowing more openness, sadly Catholic Charities was not at the forefront of that movement. The adoption was closed and I was devastated.
Yesterday the sadness crept up on me and I had a heaviness in my chest. It’s a familiar sorrow, one that I prefer to keep buried beneath the surface, but some days that just isn’t possible. I read an article, Adopted or Abducted, about the coercion of mothers during the 1940’s through 1980’s, to place their children for adoption. It brought back memories, ones I try not to recall very often; it also brought back my friends’ stories.
One, in particular, keeps interrupting my thoughts.
A number of people have asked when I plan to continue my Tell it Well series and I don’t have a clear answer. I do plan to finish telling the story of my journey from being a birthmother to an adoptive mother, but it is taking time. The next few posts in the series include the story of meeting my son again, our relationship, and many emotion-laden events. As I have been writing, I’ve been very aware that this is Nick’s story, too, so when the first draft was done, I sent it to him and asked for his thoughts.
I’m sitting in the waiting room of the orthodontist’s office in Spokane – how I love wi-fi. Ladybug is getting her braces off today! We headed out for a foggy, wet drive at 7:00 this morning and got here on time, even though we were behind a slow truck for quite a few miles. It is an exciting day for her and a relaxing day for me.
I will never forget the night I checked my email and saw the subject line, “Is this for real? I’m your son.” I was stunned and felt faint. We had just watched Swiss Family Robinson with our crew of five little ones, and we were getting them ready for bed when I paused at the computer. I must have gasped because the children started gathering around me. I kept saying, “Don’t touch the computer. Don’t touch the computer. Get Daddy – somebody get Daddy!” I was afraid that with one click of a button, the message would disappear and my son would be lost from me forever.