Monday, November 7, 2011

Bittersweet

Bittersweet.  I read on another blog that this term may have been created just for birthmothers.  I agree with that.  I don't quite know how to describe what I want to share.

There are countless precious moments that I've shared with James in his short little life thus far.  Just one example:  walking into his room in the morning and getting him out of his crib...seeing that cute little drooly face grinning up at me...it makes my heart melt.  Okay, really anytime I look at him and he smiles back at me, I melt.

I've had the thought a few different times, though, that this is bittersweet.  I placed my first child, Chloe, for adoption.  It was the hardest decision I have ever made.  I knew at the time that it would be hard in the future.  There would be hard days.  Days, weeks, months of heartache.  Sadness over what I was missing out on in her life.  But since she was my first child, I was speculating about what all I would be missing.

Now that James is here, I'm seeing first hand what I missed with Chloe.  That's what I mean by bittersweet.  When I watch in awe and wonder as he discovers a fantastical new skill like blowing spit bubbles! or gnawing on his feet or rolling over, it makes me sad that I missed all these nuances with Chloe.  I've had the thought "I didn't know I was missing THIS."

Don't get me wrong.  I'm enjoying my son immensely.  There is certainly way more positive going on than negative.  But I didn't quite anticipate the delayed grief.

I don't know if this makes any sense to you, the reader.  That's okay if it doesn't.  Sometimes that's what happens when I #justwrite.






10 comments:

Brandi said...

The delayed grief sounds similar to, say, losing a parent early. You have to relive missing them along all the path of growing up yourself, when you with they were there for big moments or just various consultations and company. The difference here is that it's someone else growing up (well, two someone elses, really). Thank goodness you have assurance that Chloe has good parents, thanks to the open adoption aspect. But I understand that's but one thing to feel relieved about and it doesn't cancel out the anguish/grief.

Liv said...

Oh my goodness, I can't imagine. Thanks for writing this.

Galit Breen said...

It does make sense. And your heart with all of that room and love within it to think and feel and know these things? It, too, makes sense.

Krishann said...

It makes sense so much sense. And despite your grief I am glad that you are able to not be consumed by the bitter so that you might still enjoy the sweet.

Kathleen Basi said...

But what a gift you gave your child and some other mother and father. Bless you for that!

barewood said...

Of course this makes sense. You've written eloquently about a subject that must be terribly difficult for you. I have two adult children I feel I failed, having raised them only until they were beginning their elementary school years. Now I have infant twin boys and I keep having those bittersweet feelings too. Each milestone brings joy and sadness at the same time. Thank you for sharing this.

CJ said...

Oh do I GET it! Although the situation was different, I raised a child for nearly three years before I lost her. She was an intended adoptive placement, but then things fell apart and she was removed. I almost felt like someone FORCED to choose adoption. I had to give her up and I didn't want to. Now, I have another child. Another girl. And while I love her immensely, at times, I can't help but remember what it was like with the other little girl. Ironically, they remind me of each other in tiny little ways that keep me connected.

Elaine A. said...

I can only imagine how truly bittersweet that is for you as a mother. I hope you feel a little better writing about it.

Betty Anne Davidson said...

Thank you all for your supportive comments! Brandi--that makes a lot of sense, the similarities between our situations/losing a parent. Thanks for sharing that perspective.

Sometimes when I write about adoption-related things, I get all teary or flat out CRY as I write. This wasn't one of those times. I feel good about where I am emotionally right now, dealing with new motherhood.

Thanks again for being supportive of me writing my way through this!

Sober Julie said...

Oh it makes perfect sense. Thank you for allowing me to enter your heart, it's so loving!