Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

April 03, 2006

My Story, Part 3-Growing on Empty

So, I attended 8 different schools in 13 years--public, private, and Catholic. I think I got an above-average education, and would have done better if I'd have paid attention and applied myself. Unlike most human beings on earth, I was fortunate enough to go to college for four years. That comes from being the only child of two working parents. For this I thank my parents.

Until I met my 12th grade English teacher at the Teheran
American School in Iran, I felt like a piece of doo doo on everyone's shoe. She showed me that I had talent as a poet and encouraged me to continue to write poetry. She introduced me to great writers like Orwell and Dostoyevsky. Shetaught me how to think. She motivated me not just to major in English, but to question everything, especially authoritarian voices. To her I'm eternallay grateful for showing me that I'm not doo doo on a shoe.

College now seems like a hazy blur, but I graduated (finally, after ten years of a debilitating physical illness). Before I graduated I met my soulmate. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, stirred up my adoption "issues" as my involvement with pregnancy, marriage, and a new husband. Everything centered around my terror of rejection. It was often "fight or flight." It was extreme confusion. It was a hornet's nest of emotions that overwhelmed me on so many levels. I know there's a lot of stuff inside me that still needs to be addressed in therapy, but health insurance I can't afford, so I have to settle for doing the best I can by writing things out in my blog. I would like to think that therapy could heal my wounds. But until then...

R and I planned a home birth for my first child, K.
Unfortunately, the OB-GYN didn't see that my body wasn't made to have babies. I went from a grueling 24-hour dry labor at home (my waters broke before labor contractions began, and the baby never dropped) to an emergency c-section. I'll spare the details, but because of my pre-existing medical condition, the hospital took K from me and gave her to another nursing mother. I was told that if I even tried to see my baby that they would take her away from me and place her in foster care as ward of the state. If you are an adoptee or a mother who gave up her child who is reading this, you already know the horrendous trauma of birth separation. I could barely breathe or get out of bed. I was reliving the horror of the original birth separation from my own mother. I wasn't allowed to touch, or even to see my newborn.

A little more of me died in that period
of time before I finally got my baby back a month later. I felt betrayal, abandonment, humiliation, terror, and an overwhelming sense that I was falling futher into the abyss of emptiness.This episode in my life further scarred my trust in medical and legal institutions. This, among other episodes, could certainly be among the "issues" that need therapy in my life. But, oh well. I read with complete sorrow the blogs about infertile adoptees. For many adoptees (certainly not all) there's an indescribable, overwhelming need to see another human being on earth who shares blood, quirks, similarities, gestures, facial/body features, etc. When this need is further thwarted by infertility, or when some hospital wields its power to keep you from your child, the trauma is deep and mind-numbing.

Numb. That's a good adjective that describes the only
consciousness I've known all my life. And when there's any threat that my loved ones, my children, could be taken from me, I suffer the same panic that a soldier suffers whenever something reminds him or her of the battlefield. I guess they all that post-traumatic stress disorder.I did get my baby back and even had a second child, N, eight years later. Except for another c-section, the birth was problem-free. My wonderful husband and I raised two incredible, independent, successful children without any help from the state or "professional" institutions.

Which brings me to the final chapter of my story. Part 4 will
be about the unfruitful results of searching (and finding) my birth relatives.


Blogger HeatherRainbow said...

OMG that is terrible that they did that to you. Why did they steal your babies? I thought this only happened to unmarried women. Did this happen in Iran or in the US? Is their a record of your fight to get your baby back? I have a friend who has taken her agency on trial and she is looking for other successful cases. PM me about it, if you feel comfortable.


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