I've been thinking...

Monday, February 14, 2011

I remember when I used to have time to blog.  That was fun.  When I used to have time to blog.

In all seriousness, you may have noticed that I've been a little M.I.A. lately.  Part of the reason is because I've had alot going on in my life, and I'm still learning the tricky concept of balancing work, life, and blogging.  And the other part is just the simple fact that I've had a serious case of blogger burnout.  The good news is that I really have missed Amstel Life and writing about my experience with open adoption, and I'm excited to get back into the swing of things.  So here it goes. 

I've been thinking about Deanna lot lately.  I'm not sure why.  I'm thinking that it may have to do with the fact that I've finally reached the point in my life where I could potentially support someone other than myself, financially and emotionally.  And also because I have ALOT of friends who are having babies this year.  Sometimes it's hard to see friends going through the experience of pregnancy...and enjoying it.  My pregnancy experience was very different.  

One thing I've learned about being a birthmother is that unexpected waves of sadness can happen suddenly, at any moment, an without warning.  (Although, I've come to find out that they tend to occur more frequently in times of excessive drinking, lack of sleep, and stress).  I went to a baby shower a few months ago.  I think it was only the third baby shower I had ever been to (other than my own).   Before heading into the baby shower, I was excited to celebrate.  But I didn't realized how hard it would be for me until I found myself in the actual "baby shower" moment.  I had no idea how difficult it would be to sit there and watch a cute little pregnant woman opening presents and just radiating happiness and joy.   I think I lasted 15 or 20 minutes, and then I quietly excused myself and headed for the restroom... where I had a small pity party before pulling myself together and bolting for the exit.  I wasn't prepared for that to happen, and I was actually pretty embarrassed that I had allowed my emotions to get the best of me.  When you're a birthmom, I guess you have to learn to expect the unexpected. 

A few days ago I went to get some pictures developed at the drug store.  I wandered around aimlessly while I waited.  I entered the Valentine's Day aisle, and I started looking around at the ginormous (is that a word?) selection of Valentine candies, gifts, and cards galore.  My thoughts wandered, and I began thinking about Valentine's Day when I was a child.  I fondly remembered the way my mom used to leave presents for my sisters and I at the breakfast table every morning of a big holiday.  I remember walking sleepily down the stairs and bursting with excitement upon seeing the little gifts and candy hearts, packaged so nicely, sitting there on the kitchen table.  Suddenly, without warning, I was overcome by sadness.  I started thinking about how I wished that I had the opportunity to do that for Deanna -- to surprise her with little gifts on the morning of a holiday.  It caught me off guard because I haven't felt that kind of sadness for a long time. I mean a long time!  I didn't feel too embarrassed though, because I'm sure the Rite Aid employees are probably used to random women getting all emotional and teary-eyed in the Valentine's Day aisle.  

If there's one thing I know to be true about birthmothers, it's that we never forget.  Yes, it gets easier as time goes on, but you never really forget. I remember that I cried a few times every single day in the weeks after Deanna was born.  And then I probably cried once a day during freshman year of college.  Then I cried once a week sophomore year... and weeks turned to months and months turned to years, and suddenly it's been five and a half years since Deanna was born.  To tell you the truth, I hardly ever get emotional or upset anymore.  I truly have peace of mind in knowing that this is the way things were supposed to work out, and I know that Don, De and Deanna are doing great!  But every once and again, and without warning, those ugly adoption demons come out of nowhere and remind me of what I have been through.  Yes, even in the middle of Rite Aid. 

This past weekend marked the six year anniversary of meeting Don and De for the very first time. I think De has a special intuition when it comes to knowing how I'm feeling.  Even though she's an entire state away, she sent me a text saying that she's been thinking of me alot lately and asked if there was anything she could be praying about.  It's funny -- I'd been thinking alot about her recently too.  The nice thing about open adoption is that I can tell De exactly how I'm feeling (although writing how I'm feeling comes much more naturally). :)

I decided to send Deanna a special box of Valentine's Day goodies -- just like my mom used to do for me.  Except instead of seeing Deanna open them, I get to hear the stories from Don and De (or watch the videos on facebook).  And I'm okay with that.  Just like I had my own special memories of Valentine's Day, Deanna will also have her own special memories that Don and De will be a part of.   More updates to come...

 Happy Valentine's Day!