...there is a woman with a hole in her heart. It may be huge and ever-present. It may be healing, much smaller than before. We don't know.
If one listens to Kay Ann Johnson and Amy Klatzkin, co-authors of Wanting A Daughter, Needing A Son, there's a high likelihood that she has a daughter who is older than our dotter; there's also a possibility that she now has a son. There's also a possibility that OmegaDotter has a younger sister.
We know nothing of her, except what is reflected in our OmegaDotter. Her face is probably a certain shape, her lips bow in just a specific way, her hair isn't blue-black but deep brown with red highlights. Long toes. A big belly laugh.
Or maybe that is what our dotter gets from her birthfather. Or paternal or maternal grandparents. We don't know.
The horsie stuff, I am convinced, was injected by some pseudopod from the Jungian overmind.
We have no way of knowing if she was left where she was left by her birthmother on her own decision, or, as Brian Stuy of ResearchChina.Org tends to think, the birthmother was pressured to do so by paternal grandparents who want a son to continue the family name. There are a boatload of cultural and political and economic issues in play in the reproductive policies in China that result in abandonment of baby girls and--to a much lesser extent--that of baby boys. What is it like growing up in that milieu?
We just don't know. OmegaDotter won't know. All we can tell her are the facts, as we know them (even though there's evidence that some orphanages fake finding information): she was found here, she was about seven days old judging by the umbilical cord stump, she was taken there, she was given a name.
I've mentioned before that OmegaDotter will bring up her birthmother at sporadic intervals, without any prompting. It has helped, of course, that we present it as just par-for-the-course: Your birthmother gave birth to you somewhere around here, you were left there at seven days old. We think she was probably very sad about it.
What prompts this? Well. Long story. There's a blogger with an incredible following who recently received her referral ("incredible following" = more than 600 comments of congratulations when she got her referral). The weeks since have been a flurry of happy-happy joy-joy posts. In the middle of the comment trail for one of her posts where she was sad about missing her daughter's first year, some anonymous person said:
Her other mother is probably worrying about how to make ends meet, and you're worrying about whether truckloads of designer clothes will fit. This isn't to trivialize your worries--but to put it all in perspective.
Meanwhile, both of you have missed out on significant parts of your mutual daughter's life - but first mom will be missing out on so much more.
I hope that even in your joy, which you certainly needed after all you've been through, you don't forget the grief going on on the other side of the world. You are the lucky one in this situation. I am happy for you, but I know that there is a woman out there who cries every day for her daughter, so I feel sad for her at the same time.
You probably already think about this anyway, but I felt the need to say it.
(I feel the need to mention here that the truckloads of designer clothing are mostly scores from eBay and thrift stores...)
This one simple comment has led to quite an uproar all over this slice of adoption blogosphere.
My personal opinion is that it was maybe the right thing to say, but the wrong time to say it. And I wish to hell the original commenter had used her real name (this is a bugaboo of mine--if you feel something strongly enough to comment on someone's blog about it, for gosh' sake, use your internet nom de plume).
So. Some takes, in no particular order:
Oh, dear - Manuela, a late-discovery adoptee
Twiddling My Thumbs - American Family, a transracial couple adopting from China
Alright, then - Baggage, single mom who adopted an older child via fostercare
Fashionably late - Kateri, a birthmother
In the meantime, somewhere out there is a couple that are OmegaDotter's first parents. We think about them. It's not a constant thing. But we do think about them. We've thought about them all along.
Edited to change "larger extent" to "lesser extent"--argh!
At 8/23/2006 10:44:00 AM, said…