That's me. Verklemmt, and wondering if I'll ever come unstuck.

Don't know what to write. Don't know how to write anymore. Focusing on the hard reality of joblessness for the past couple of months has had the unintended consequence of robbing me of any imagination I might have had. It seems that life has become all about cold hard facts - financial facts above all.

That and missing the kids. It's almost impossible for me to walk through a room, particularly the kids' rooms, without finding something that sends me back through time, often with the accompaniment of tears. This week Third Dad found a source for many sobs while cleaning out a couple of drawers in one of our bedroom chests.

First, there was the little paper heart, folded in half all taped up with two dimes inside. In The Boy's nearly-illegible handwriting is a note that says Dear Mom, who do I wish a Merry Christmas? Inside I can make out YOU above the dimes that have dropped to the bottom of the folded heart. Third Dad also found a note from The Girl, this one written neatly on lined paper with two dimes and a nickel taped below the signature, dated Dec. 24, 1999: Dear Mom, Please keep the 25 cents I gave you, because its a present from me. You can do whatever you want with it. Love, The Girl.

Just writing this is making me cry. I miss the kids so incredibly much. I don't know why I have found it so hard to watch them go off to college, I don't know if what I'm feeling is typical or over the top - I only know that when I walk into their empty rooms that I think my heart will break. And unlike the feelings that brought me here way back when, I just don't know how to put this pain into words.

Which brings me to adoption. When I first started writing here, I came because I yearned to know my children's mothers. No offense to their fathers, but I really only wanted to know the women who might have ushered them through growth, just as they ushered them into the world. But it's so very odd - these women have been an incredible presence in my life from the first moment The Boy was placed in my arms, but now that the kids are walking over the threshold to adulthood (The Boy turns 21 in a week, my friends), their presence is fading. Becoming less real, more distant, and hazier.

I don't understand why. I've heard many times that when Korean mothers move into their 40s, which my children's mothers are, even older, they sometimes find the strength to search. Perhaps it's because they've raised other children and feel more confident in their ability to control the circumstances and outcomes. Or maybe they just can't stand the pain of the loss anymore. I honestly don't know, but I've heard this from Korean social workers more than once, and have done a lot of hoping for it. But just as we reach the point at which these women just might start reaching out, I find my emotional connection to them become more and more diffuse.

I remember writing a post several years ago in which I imagined Third Dad and I were bystanders at the first meeting of The Boy and his mother. Although I said at the beginning of the post that it was fiction, the majority of the commenters believed the meeting had taken place. I ultimately took the post down, because it was causing so much confusion, and I frankly began to be embarrassed that I had imagined the event so vividly. It was over the top, no doubt, but heartfelt, completely and utterly heartfelt. But today when I think about such a meeting, I find it hard to marshall similar emotions.

In a way it makes me angry that so much emotion can be directed at such an important relationship, to no avail. It makes me angry, just as this post that Susan wrote earlier in the month made me feel. Relationships are difficult at the best of times, but with adoption in the picture, they become impossibly, ridiculously complicated.

Now, I know that I really have no right to meet my children's mothers. I'm not suggesting that my desire to do so is in any way equivalent to the adoptee experience; everything I've written here comes from a heart that knows its place, and can accept the loss. But can my children do that? Does anyone have the right to expect them to?

No. Yet here we are in a world that thinks it's perfectly normal.

Makes me angry and sad and tired. And, except for little venting posts like this one, nearly silent on the subject these days.

I wish I had a magic wand to wave and put it all right, because talking about it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.


Terra said…
Thank you for years of words here, for sticking your neck out time and time again and giving voice to hard topics.
Deb said…
"Relationships are difficult at the best of times, but with adoption in the picture, they become impossibly, ridiculously complicated."

Amen to that. I feel so much of this angst now (and my kids are still small) I can't fathom where I will be with it all when they are grown.
I am so sorry that your going through a rough time, but from what I have learned here about (and from) you, I have faith you will find your words again.
Take care.
Diane said…
What keeps me coming back to your writing is your transparency. No glitter. No glam. No fairy dust and wand waving. I am so glad that you didn't censor yourself with this one. You are a rare one and please keep digging to find your writing voice because it is so big for those of us chasing your heels.
Jessica Pegis said…
I hear you. It just is, isn't it? You must be doing a good job with the words because I can feel it. It's just very tough, these transitions. You've expressed so beautifully how you can't fix them, only pass through them.
Yoli said…
Margie your feelings are not over the top they are perfectly normal with what you are experiencing. It is like the ripping apart of an arm or leg. I read the word 1999 and it does not feel so far away then I realize it is 11 years ago. How time zooms by and how we will all be there, where you are in no time.

If I were there, I would give you a big hug and make you either tea or some strong Cuban coffee. Your choice. Mindless chatter to follow.

It is a process my friend and the grieving that takes place. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
Kris said…
Wow, I am sitting here in the midst of Spring Break with my 4 kids and 3 of their friends at my house feeling like I am losing my mind with the chaos - and then I read your post and realize this is so fleeting and one day I will miss it terribly. ((Hugs))
Margie said…
Thank you guys - and I'll take that Cuban coffee, Yoli!!

It's been such a strange couple of months, which I'm sure is contributing to my bizarre frame of mind. But even without all the goings-on, I think I'd been pretty out to sea. It's just really hard to watch them go.

I thought more about this today, and I think I'm beginning to understand a little why my kids' phantom mothers are slipping away from me, too. I need to think a little more about it, but will post on that when it's just a little clearer in my head.

Hugs all!!
kyungmee said…
HI Margie. I thought you just wrote quite well with great expression of what you are goingthrough which is not always so easy. Hang in children are still so young but I think about the years to come:) then try to settle back into the now. My heart goes out to you:) It is always wonderful to come visit you here..
You seem to be writing just fine to me.

I am fortunate in that my daughter has gone away to university but the university and the house she shares with 11 other people is about 8 blocks away. I would find it very hard if she was on the other side of the country.

This difference in your feelings toward your kids' mothers...I don't know, maybe, in a good way your are separating your feelings from their feelings.

I think anything to do with adoption is probably the most complicated relationship you will ever experience in your life.

You honour your kids Korean mothers, that is a big and very important thing.

Thanks for another great post.
Juliette said…
Thanks for being honest with us, thanks for sharing again.

You've been through a lot of changes in the past months and adjustment can't be happening without new perspectives, different ways to see your life...

Do you mind a French espresso after the Cuban coffee :-)
Take care dear Margie.
Susie said…
I wish my son's mom wanted to meet me.

I think it's wonderful that you have that dream. I think that your children's first moms would think so also.


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