Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Things I Think About

I'm sitting around a large wooden table in a conference room in Salinas. I drove through rain and wind to get here on time. I sit at the end of the table with six other women, two of them birth mothers, one of them an adult adoptee, one them is a birth mom and an adoptee, and the last two women run the meeting. Oddly enough all the birth moms there had sons, like me. They are all older than me, they lived in a different time and society had different views on adoption. They listen to me, the new-girl, explain how I feel, what has gone on since the last time we met, and share pictures. I listen to them say how it gets easier over time, how they dealt/deal with their feelings, their personal experiences, and how they're doing now. Their son's are grown, some with children of their own. The adoptees explain their feelings of anger, abandonment, and fear of meeting their biological parents.

I think about my own experience. I think about how Jude might feel when he's older. Will he hate me? Will he be angry with me for giving him up, for "abandoning" him? Will I be what he expects or wants me to be? I think about how much I miss him and his smile.

I'm sitting in a small room on a couch very low to the ground. I'm talking to my therapist, a petite woman with short hair. She listens to me bitch about my dad and amber and the recent trouble I've gotten in with them. I tell her about my pregnancy and my circle of support. I talk about my mom, Sarah, my friends, and Victor. We talk about school, the weather, and the small details of my life. I reflect on the life I lived, the life I did live, the life I could have lived, and the life I want to live.

I think about the life Jude could have had with me. I think about how we would have lived, the environment he would had grown up in, what I would have had to do to make sure we could live, and how his life would have been. I cry thinking about how grateful I am that I found Katie and Greg. I think about how much I miss him.

I worked all day. I didn't have time to think deeply about Jude. At night, I pack for my three day trip. I fall asleep holding the hospital blanket I stole the day I left. It used to smell like him. It used to smell like newborn baby. I hold it, wishing it still smelled like him.

I think about how much I miss him.

I watched snow fall. I drove to my family's condo in Tahoe alone. It was a long drive and my first time driving in snow. The condo hadn't changed since the last time I had been there. I get myself settled in and watch the snow fall.

I think about inviting Katie and Greg to come up with Jude one time. I think about if they'll teach him skiing or snowboarding. I think about the future he'll have that I wont see. I think about how much I miss him.

I took a tour of UNR. I watched people my age go to class, run fundraising booths for sororities and fraternities, hanging out in the dining commons with friends. All things I should be doing right now in my life. I went back to the condo and went out snowboarding the rest of the day. I rode the best I ever had in my life and ended up with the lower half of my face sunburned. I watched TV the rest of the night. I think about what my life was before I got pregnant.

I think about what I wish my life was like. I think about what my life would have been like if I had never gotten pregnant. I think about how it wouldn't have been the same. I think about how much I miss him.

I went out to my favorite breakfast place, cleaned the condo, and drove home all day. I looked at pictures of him when I got home and watched the short movie I made for him the last night I had him in the hospital. I cried for most of the day.

I think about if I'll ever be able to share my favorite and special places in the world. I think about the last few days and reflect what I thought about. I cry thinking about how much I miss him.

Every day is different. Every day I think about new things. One thing stays the same though. No matter what happens. No matter how happy, sad, angry I may be. No matter how far I travel. I will always think about how much I miss Jude, and more importantly, I will always think about how much I love him.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mine, "Mine", MINE

I've been talking about Jude and the adoption a lot this past week. I had a project on adoption due this week and talked about my experience in class, I ended up telling some people in a different class that I was pregnant the previous quarter, and I saw an old friend that had knew I was pregnant last year. When I talk about Jude, show pictures of him, and explain who he is I always have to use the same two words that bother me the most; My and Mine.

I love bragging about Jude and how cute, smart, and over all how awesome he is. I love showing pictures of him and hearing how adorable he is. And I love talking about adoption, educating others about the process, and sharing my experience with others. However, I absolutely HATE having to say "This is my son Jude.", "I have/had a baby.", "He's mine.", or anything along those lines.

My and Mine; They used to be two extremely objective words. If something was yours, then its belonged to you. You might share it with some one else, but over all its yours. It's such an easy concept, its one of the first few concepts babies/toddlers learn. There's a whole phase that toddlers go through where they do nothing but say everything is theirs. I'm pretty sure its called the "Mine Phase".  Things are easy then, black and white. Yours and not yours.

I'm going to tell you all something about me that most people don't know about me. I have a really bad habit of not sharing things that I consider mine. I like to keep what is mine, MINE. I don't have a sharing problem. I'm very good at sharing things, just not the things I consider mine. The good news is there are a few things I consider mine. I will absolutely not (and never will) share. 1). My iPod 2). My Boyfriend (if I ever get another one) and 3). My personal space.

If any of you didn't notice, Jude doesn't make that list. He can't and never did. I love him more than anything else in the world, but he's not mine. And if he ever was, he isn't now. Heres the catch though, he is technically mine (at least thats what the birth certificate says). I acknowledge it, but I honestly hate saying it.

If I tell the whole story I don't feel as bad saying that he is mine. If a friend just sees a picture and is wondering who that is though, thats when it becomes difficult. Like I said, I love bragging about Jude, but guilt sweeps over me when I have to say he's mine. I always feel like I'm lying or that Katie and Greg can sense that I'm saying it and they'll resent me. They're not those kind of people and I could never see them becoming those people, but I'm a paranoid person and can't help thinking it.

This week I've had to tell numerous people about "my" son and the adoption. Half of it is my fault because of the project. The other half just happened to happen this week. Luckily for me, by Thursday it ended. As I drove home from school Thursday afternoon I came to realize that My and Mine were not objective, they were subjective.

Mine is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, take the Palestinian's and Israeli's. Israeli's claims that Israel is their homeland and rightfully belongs to them, but so do the Palestinians. It's all subjective, just depends on how you look at it. Some people look at Jude and think of him as mine. Other's look at Jude and see him as Katie and Greg's. The law says that he is Katie and Greg's. His medical records will say that he's mine. I think that what really is important is what I think. Katie and Greg were always his parents, he has always belonged to them. He will always be "my" son, but he was never mine.


Friday, March 18, 2011

The Playlist: Goodbye by Avril Lavigne

For those of you who don't know, I LOVE my iPod. On the list of things that I need to live in this world, it comes second on the list. On my computer, on my iPhone, and of course on my iPod I have a playlist filled with song that remind me of Jude. Their songs that were popular during my pregnancy, songs that make me think of jude, songs that have the same feelings that I feel or felt, and songs that remind me of my childhood.

Music has always be very therapeutic for me. Either by giving me a release from the world or just having some one else say the words I feel for me because I can't. Sometimes listening to the songs make me cry, reminding me of what I lost and how much I miss Jude. Most of the time though they remind me of what I do have and how much I love Jude.

So I thought I would start posting the lyrics to songs I run by that mean something to me, make me think of  Jude, and are or will be on my Jude playlist.

I'm starting off with a song I just found. I love Avril Lavigne, always have. I think she has unique voice and a unique style. "Goodbye" is off her newest album "Goodbye Lullaby" and I found it the week it came out. My interpretation of the song is she's singing about some one she loves and has has to leave him.

"Goodbye" by Avril Lavigne

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye my love
I can't hide, can't hide, can't hide what has come

I have to go.
I have to go.
I have to go,
and leave you alone,
but always know,
Always know,
Always know that I love you so.
I love you so.
I love you so.

Goodbye brown eyes.
Goodbye for now.
Goodbye sunshine.
take care of yourself.

I have to go.
I have to go.
I have to go,
and leave you alone,
but always know.
Always know.
Always know,
that I love you so I love you so.
I love you so.

La-lullaby distract me with your eyes.
La-lullaby help me sleep tonight.

I have to go.
I have to go.
I have to go and leave you alone.
But always know,
Always know,
Always know that I love you so.
I love you so.
I love you so.
I love you so.
I love you so.
I love you so.
I love you so.

Goodbye brown eyes,
Goodbye my love.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Support in Breif

I've been thinking a lot about support these days. Where it comes from, what kinds, and the support I received and I didn't receive. There things that were objective, things that everyone needs. Financial support, health, food, a place to stay these are all things everyone needs; pregnant or not. Subjectively, women planning on giving up their babies and adoptive parents as well, need emotional support. I say its subjective because every person is different. Some need more emotional support than others and some need less. Unfortunately not every girl receives emotional support, standard support, or both.

I was lucky enough to have a supportive family (mostly), partner, and friends who helped anyway they could. I was covered by my step dad's insurance, my parents let me move back home with them after my first year of college was over (and even now), Katie, Greg, Natty, and many others helped me out with clothes (either buying me new ones or giving me hand-me-downs), and I found a part time jobs babysitting (ironic I know) to pay for other expenses. My standard support system was set and sturdy.

My emotional support was iffy, because in some areas it was better than other areas. I received huge amounts of support from my mom and Victor. They were my rocks and I wouldn't have made it through this process with out them. Sara was supportive, but it was (and still is) her senior year and had a life of her own going on. She came threw in the end though, when I needed her most. I had friends that always wanted to know how I was doing and would visit me. Victor was great at taking me out and going with me to places. I get bored very easily and when your pregnant your options on stuff to do is limited. He went with me almost everywhere; movies, the drive-in, the Renaissance Faire, the beach and anywhere else I wanted. Plus he was easy to talk to. We were always comfortable with each other and talk about everything. He was also, as awful as this sounds, was the person I could really yell at about stuff and cry with. I there were only two people who really didn't support me (or at least I felt like they didn't) and that was my dad and Amber. They had their own idea's of how I should have dealt with my pregnancy and decided to handle my situation with other people very poorly (at least in my opinion. You ask them and they'll tell you their doing the right thing).

Outside resources are a great way to get support. One on One therapy can certainly help. Just having some one listen to your problems that is a natural person. She doesn't have any connections or preferences with the adoptive parents or the birth parents. She is just a bystander hearing your side of the story and giving   Support groups are great if u can find them. I live in one of the most populated cities in Cali. and I can't find a single support group here. I do attend one in Salinas though (about an hour south of San Jose) and I love it. I was the youngest one there, and the only one with an open adoption. I may be the youngest there, but these women were my age once and thought the same things and felt the same feelings as me at one point or another. I value what they have to say and have so many different point of views on adoption, how to deal with their emotions, how to move on, and other things that I'm dealing with right now. Blogs, websites, forums, and chat rooms are another great source. Righting this blog has really helped me just say what I need to say. Sometimes I've got so many thoughts going on about Jude and the adoption as a whole I need to just tell someone. But sometimes the person you end up telling has different feelings on the subject, gets the wrong ideas, or is biased towards you or another person. Here I can just say what I want and need to say with out worrying about others. Be carful though, not all blogs and websites are pro-adoption and not all chat rooms and forums are filled with birth moms looking for support.

These support systems doesn't just come from other people though. YOU need to support yourself. If your depending on other people all the time thats how you'll live your life, and one day all those people you counted on wont be there any more and you wont know know how to take care of your self. Honestly, I don't know what I would have done with out my friends and family supporting me, but ultimately it was my own support that got me through. Telling myself (either out loud or in my head) "I can do this. I can do this. I can do this." got me through the last day at the hospital, the 30 days afterwards I could have changed my mind, the first and second visit, and it will probably get me threw other situations I'll face in the future. If you can't support your self, to have confidence in your self and your decisions, in one of the most important situations in your life, how can you support your self any other time in your life?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Constant Reminders

I swear I think the world tries to find ways to rub in my face that I don't have a baby. When I was pregnant I didn't notice anyone else being pregnant, not even when I would go to my OGBYN. Maybe I was busy with the adoption and the constant changing of my life to notice any one else's, either way I didn't notice then. After I had Jude though, friggin' babies everywhere!

I know its a good thing (for the most part) that the population is growing and I'm all for babies. Love them! Think there adorable and cute! I hate though, that I'm constantly reminded that I had one and gave one up. Not to say that I regret my decision, God no, he's so much better off and very happy where he is. I feel like other people rub there happiness in there face and their smiles say "Look at what your missing out on. This is so much fun and its so easy". Now, I'm a smart person. I know its not easy, if it was easy everyone would keep there kids. Sometimes though, when I look at the new babies and the young babies in a store or hear about how Jude is growing, I wonder what I'm missing. And when I try to shake the idea and try to get away from places with babies, more babies appear!

There everywhere!! The mall, grocery stores, theaters, even school! Babies, Babies, Babies! (Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!) There is never just one, if it was one person in the store with a baby I wouldn't care. I always happen to go on the days where everyone and their aunt is either pregnant or has a baby with them. I just get tired of seeing them. The more babies I see the more I think about Jude, the more I think about Jude the more I miss Jude, the more I miss Jude the sadder I become. This is not a cycle I enjoy being in.

The worse is the media. I'm seeing babies in all my shows I watch; Hellcats and One Tree Hill were on tonight. I just got into Hellcats and I used to watch One Tree Hill back when Chad Michael Murray was the main character; both of which have multiple baby issues (btw nobody tell me what happened in Hellcats, I didn't finish watching it. It got to dangerously filled with drama for my taste). Then there are shows that are just obviously filled with babies but are so popular you can't not watch them. My two favorite addictions: 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom 2. New 16 and Pregnant hasn't started yet, but I watch Teen Mom 2 religiously. I have different opinions of each of the girls and some of them are doing a great job and their doing what they should be doing, but a lot of them make me think two things. 1). "I could have done a way better job then her." and 2). "What made them more deserving to have and keep their kid than me?".

I hope those girls realize how lucky they really are, because some of us don't have the support or money to keep our babies. We're reminded of it everyday.