Friday, May 18, 2012

The Paper Cut

I got a paper cut a few weeks ago. It's all healed now, but I am still thinking about it.

What's more boring than reading a post about a paper cut, right?

Well, it's more than just a paper cut.

We got a letter from our agency and I got so nervous about what could be inside that I managed to cut my hand while opening the envelope. It's like a forgot how to open mail. As I opened it, I could see that whatever it was, it was written on flower stationary. I got it in my head that it could be a letter from Jayden's birth (first) mother. All this excitement flooded through me as I opened it.

It wasn't anything from her though. It was an invitation to the birth mother celebration that they always have on Mother's Day weekend.

In one of the many letters I've written to Jayden's first mother, I asked if she would feel comfortable sending us a picture that I could add into his scrapbook. Either of her, or her other children, or all of them. Whatever she chose. Then not much longer after that I received a thick envelope from the agency and I was so excited because I thought she had responded. When I opened it, I realized it was a questionnaire about working with the agency. I felt such a huge letdown. I didn't know until after that happened that she never even received my letter asking for pictures. In fact, other than one letter in the first month, all the letters and pictures I have sent have been sitting at the agency unclaimed. She hasn't wanted anymore.

I tried to show my Mom and Adam my paper cut but they just blew it off and didn't pay much attention to me. I don't blame them. It's just a paper cut. But, for me at the time it was a physical representation of what I was feeling inside.

I spend a lot of time reading adoption blogs. Some written by adoptive parents in open adoptions, some written by birth (first) mothers, and some written by adoptees. I have learned a lot from them. And one thing I know for sure is how important open adoption is.

So, how am I supposed to just sit by day after day knowing that there is this really important thing that my son needs...but I can't give it to him? It's completely out of my control.

I know enough about Jayden's birth (first) mother's situation to know that she is busy parenting her other children and that she was already in a difficult place in her life before she even knew about Jayden. I know there are reasons (even if I can't fully understand them) why she is choosing to have a closed adoption. I am sure she has good reasons why she hasn't wanted any of my letters or pictures since the very first month. It's just hard that I can't give my son the open adoption that I know would be healthy for him. And that he possibly has a rougher road ahead of him because of it.

I still have hope someday it will change. I will continue to write those letters to her and share the pictures of her amazing son. And I will continue to tell Jayden what I do know about where he comes from. I hope that at the very least someday he can connect with his siblings.

And I know that every letter that comes from our agency will always make my heart beat a little faster.


  1. You are doing your part by continuing to try and reach out to her. She may never respond. But that doesn't mean that Jayden will necessarily have a hole in his life. People loose a parent for many different reasons. My husband's father died when he was a baby, mine has chosen not to be a part of my life. So you learn to go on. Life is still good. Jayden is so lucky to have you and Adam, and the fact that you are trying so hard will mean a lot to him some day even if his birth mother never decides to be a part of his life.

  2. Oh wow, you're right. This is about so much more than a paper cut...

    You are such an amazing mother, in that you want so badly to give something to your boy that you feel he needs, but you can't give him. I'm sorry for the disappointment.

    I know the trend is for open adoptions, and many people in the community believe that they're best, but coming from a pretty much closed adoption, I think that either way can be pretty good. What matters most, in my opinion, is the way his parents raise him. Not his relationship with some lady who doesn't want to be a part of his life. I know that she gave birth to him, but now that she's not even picking up your letters and photos, she's making a conscious choice to take himself out of Jayden's life. And although it's sad, there's nothing really that you can do about it. Except love him as much as you possibly can. Which you're already doing...

  3. Heartbreak. I can't imagine the heartbreak you feel every time you get something from the agency that you think may be from Jayden's birth mom only to be let down. It breaks my own heart because I can so easily put myself in your shoes. I will hope and pray that Jayden's first mom will open herself up to a relationship with you guys, not only because you're great people, but because you want this so badly for your son. Until then hang on to the knowledge that you're doing all you can, and as Jayden grows, he will know that too. I'm sure that his first mom thinks of him and loves him too (I can say that as a first mom). <3 you!

  4. You are an incredible mom who clearly loves her son. It must be difficult to think of how your son might feel about his closed adoption. I am sure your honesty and consideration for you son will make it easier for him to process. I am not adopted but my cousins are, they both have not chosen to pursue their birth parents. Who knows Jayden might be okay with not knowing. I myself am way too curious for my own good so I can see why you are trying to reach out to her.

  5. I understand only too well. I have been so torn on our own situation, I just can't even talk about it right now. I'm taking a bit of break from thinking about it at the moment.

    I would have checked out your paper cut. I would have even put an Elmo bandaid on it.

  6. Wow, what a brilliant, heartfelt post. Jayden has a wonderful mama and because of your efforts, I'm sure he'll feel secure even as he navigates difficult questions. And, as the years go by, hopefully his birth mother's situation and mindset will change.

  7. Beautiful post, Lisa.

  8. Such tough stuff...I think it will be just as important to Jayden as he grows up to see that you are willing to be open, that you are open to his having a relationship with his first family in whatever way that happens. I'm sorry that his birth mother is not able to reach out right now, I hope that at some point in the future you will be able to have more of a connection with her.

  9. What a great mom you are for trying so hard for Jayden<3 I have to agree with Alex though, your love and parenting is what will matter most. If she doesn't want to/can't be involved in Jayden's life, that is her issue and her loss. I pray Jayden will grow up and realize that regardless of what she is doing or feeling, he has had two wonderful parents who have done everything possible to provide him with love and the possibility of receiving it from others as well.

  10. You are such a great, caring mom. This is such a beautifully sad post. It shows people who much adoptive parents care about their children and their birthfamilies. My fingers are crossed and I live in hope that his birthfamily will come around. For now, Jay has the big huge love he needs to grow up to be a wonderful kid.