May 11, 2018 // 6 something the morning.
Mother’s Day was in a few days, and I reluctantly purchased a gift online for my mom from my boys. I had projected that it was going to be a tough day for me. According to Wikipedia, Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May.
“Mother’s Day…a day for celebrating all that a mother is and all that a mother has done and still does for her children…” Ugh! I don’t feel right about being angry at my mother for not being transparent about my adoption, but dammit, I am hurt! Yes, she raised me. Gave me every tool imaginable to be a “Magical Black Girl” and protected me from the world, however… HOWever… HOWEVER, I could argue that I should have been protected from her AND my dad. They now represent everything opposite of what I believe they were:
Strong now Weak
Confident now Insecure
Hopeful now Hopeless
God-fearing now Afraid of God
In my mind, I keep hearing the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. This prayer was recited every Sunday morning by the congregation of Shiloh old site Baptist Church–the church my parents took me and my brothers and every Sunday. Little did I know how much that prayer would have impacted my life now. I wonder as Mom and Dad recited it, what part if any of those words did they not understand?
I wish I could find it in my heart to forgive my mom and dad; however, I’m nowhere near ready. I also don’t think I will be able to wish Mom a Happy Mother’s Day this year. She failed me. My mother told me that she would protect her children–no matter what cost. However, her fears consumed her so much that she couldn’t tell me the truth about my adoption. Unfortunately, mom is getting the brunt of my emotional anger because she is alone. Dad is dead. I’m not protected, and damn it, I’m hurt, and I feel abandoned. Both of my mothers have abandoned me. I feel so damn alone…<<
No matter how I was feeling that day, I knew I had to keep pushing and keep on moving for MY children. My little one, Phoenix, had made me something special for Mother’s Day at preschool, and so I had to muster up the strength to and get ready and receive whatever he had made me.
Getting ready was difficult, very difficult. My mind and heart were dragging. As I placed Phoenix in the car and buckled him into his car seat, he told me that I was the best mom in the whole wide world. And for the first time in my life, I actually felt it because I use to think MY mom was the best mom in the whole wide world, and no one, not even me, could top her!
Phoenix and I pulled up to his preschool. Excited, Phoenix and the other children served the mothers donuts and coffee in the school’s courtyard and then led us to their classrooms.
Phoenix placed a paper crown was on top of my head. The crown read, “Phoenix’s Mommy”. He then presented me with a bouquet that he made in a floral workshop they had at school–so fancy for a preschooler (whatever happened to tissue paper flowers?). I graciously accepted them, looked into his eyes, and gave him the biggest hug. I wanted to tell him all that was happening and all that was on my heart. I couldn’t–not yet, not now. At that very moment, I received a glimpse of what my parents probably went through– deciding when was the “right” time to tell me about my adoption.
For much of the 20th century, it was common for parents to simply never reveal their adopted children’s origins to them; according to research conducted by Benson Jaffee and David Fanshel, in the 1970s, most parents chose not to tell. Those who did, Baden’s study notes, tended to do so in adolescence or adulthood, as some experts at the time believed it best to wait until an adopted person was old enough to understand the concept of adoption and its implications. My parents were part of that adoption trend. <<
Don’t get me wrong; I do deeply understand why they couldn’t figure out when to tell me. But, to never tell me? That’s what I don’t and will not ever understand.
After my flowers and a few photos with Phoenix, it was time for me to go to work. I hugged him so tight and told him I loved him. He waved goodbye and wished me a great day. As I headed out, Phoenix ran to me and said, “Mommy! You forgot the flowers I made for you!” and handed them to me. I bent down, kissed his forehead, and said, “Oh, Sweetie! I’m sorry. I hope you’re not upset!” Phoenix said, “Don’t worry, Mommy, I’m not mad. Sometimes Mommies make mistakes too!”
He ran back to class as I stood there blank. Sometimes Mommies mistakes too…
> Have your parents ever let you down? If so, how did you manage?
> If you had adopted how would you proceed in telling your child?
> Should I tell my children about my adoption?