Every moment, in every day, is an opportunity to react. How we will react is the question that determines the outcome of most days. How we react is the determining factor of how most situations play out.
I wake up, and I react. My kid throws a fit, and I react. More bills come in, and I react.
There is no moment that goes unseen without a reaction.
How we react to our adoption situations, relationships, pasts, presents, future, are big determining factors in our abilities to continue progress, or to stop progress. Early on in my experience, before becoming pregnant, I chose to react like I was a know it all. I chose to hide, to sneak, and lie, and hide more, because of the guilt and embarrassment of the choices I was making, and the IDEA that I was in love.
I reacted to my parents, to my siblings, to my friends. All had different reactions, and in an obvious circle, they all had different reactions towards me. Some no longer spoke to me, some talked about me behind me back and then supported me to my face. Some supported me with unconditional love and friendship. And others, just disappeared.
I have learned that reactions are an Enemy. My past experiences and maturity made my reactions VERY ridiculous, or just plain naive, or almost funny. Early on in the relationship with R & S I reacted poorly, not because I didn't love them, and most definitely not because I didn't believe E was theirs. I knew he was, and I knew I loved them. I reacted out of fear. I reacted out of the fear of being forgotten, or abandoned, or looked down upon. I reacted out of those motherly instincts that we all get. Wondering if he was OK, if there was something wrong with him, or with them. Did I do something wrong? Did I say something wrong? Was everything I doing wrong or right?
In the post placement relationship with the birth father, I reacted out of fear as well. Fear of being unloved, fear of being used, fear of never being worth anything again. I reacted to what I was being told, and seeing that what I was being told wasn't true.
Post placement with the family, there were reactions that were of anger, and bitterness, and pain.
RECENTLY, there are still moments of bad reactions. But there are MANY MORE moments of level headed, educated, discussed, prayed, felt out, moments.
A few of those moments go with those past relationships.
Today I was able to talk to one amazing birth momma who placed just 1 month ago. She expressed her concern over feeling forgotten in just a short time. And wondered what she should do. She wondered if she was being to "present" in the lives of the new family she helped create. Then, at the same moment, wondered that if she said something, would it ruin that relationship.
I wish early on I had a little more help in this department, it wasn't discussed much. It wasn't discussed because the first 6 months were determined by the agency. I guess maybe they thought that we would have it all figured out by then. But, alas, that wasn't the case. And my communication/reaction/judgement skills were lacking. And then again, maybe they weren't lacking? Maybe my ability to judge a situation before reacting was being overshot by situations that weren't good.
I notice a LOT more frequently, that the support and clarity in post placement relationships are SO MUCH BETTER. I am awe struck seeing this birth parents grieving the loss of a child, and a growth of family, take time to assess the situation. Before the run over and write/text/email/call saying "WHAT IS GOING ON , ARE YOU DEAD, IS THE BABY DEAD ARE YOU OK?!!!!!!" Not only that they are able to express themselves more fully, without coming out like a crazy birth momma. They have learned and understood early on their rolls in their stories. And while they know those babies have such a special place in their hearts, and special relationship that was formed before this life, they want to express their pains and questions in a SUPPORTIVE way.
I can promise that 99% of the time, Birth Parents don't express their feelings/fears, in order to hurt or deter relationships. Most of the time they are TERRIFIED of rejection, or the complete abandonment of the relationship. I wrote a letter a while ago. And its taken a lot of patience to wait for a response. And while there has been nothing, I'M OK. I am not reacting. Would I love to know what they need? Sure. Do I wonder what they need? Do I wonder what the no response means? Sure. But the thought process to my reaction is, 1. Is E being taken care of? YES 2. Are his family members being taken care of? YES 3. Are they all doing well and happy? YES YES YES
Where I am now, is knowing that what I DO know, is enough to cover what I don't know. I love them the same. I miss them the same. I forever pray for them the same. NOTHING changes how I feel about them. We all get busy, they are super busy, and the reaction here is to be fine.
I have learned to think before I speak(or write)... at least the majority of the time:)
Therefore, my life is much more simple.
There are moments of frustration when you hear things, or see things. But reacting in a certain way deters negativity!
React with intent to be positive. Even in negative situation, THINK, process, then react.