Friday, April 15, 2011

I cannot help but think of my Omma...

As of late, I look at my son and cannot help but think of my Omma...

I am overcome with grief when I look at my son and think of the lost relationship between my Omma and me.

I imagine that day--the day she relinquished me--and now that I have my own child, a new darkness enlightens my understanding. I don't know how I would go on living were I to lose our son. I would live only as a ghost among shadows. But then, in some ways, that is how I have lived my life as an adoptee.

There are yet again no words to describe to you what I feel. All I can say is that I am overcome with grief. I have gained so much but at such a heavy price. My joy is inextricably interlaced with sorrow.

No mother should ever have to face such a grave and maddening choice. No human being should be counted among the worthless so much so that she and her child matter not to their own people to be cast out and forgotten.

People like my Omma and me cannot help but live as women who feel simultaneously blessed and cursed.

As I wrote to a friend who is a fellow Korean adoptee, I have stared down at CK so many times now, and have imagined how absolutely annihilating it would be to leave him as you and I were left...how precious and innocent and beautiful he is, and so all the more how to leave him now would darken and maim his little soul...

How can I not think of my Omma during this time? How can I not be fettered with grief and sorrow amidst joy and hope as I rock my son to sleep? How can I not shed tears of the deepest sadness as my son coos and smiles back at me? How can I not think of all the time lost with my Omma every moment that I am allowed to enjoy my son?

I hold him in my arms and stare down at his sweet face to be flooded with the reminder that my Omma and I were interrupted, ripped apart--that such tender moments were never ours to share...

Even though she remained with me for the first week of my life, even her joy was inevitably obscured by the grief of the knowledge that I was not hers, that too soon we would say good-bye, and both be expected to move on with our lives and forget...

But both she and I know, you never forget.

9 comments:

birthmothertalks said...

I know the pain your Omma must have felt and still feels about losing that relationship. I know every situation is different but I get what your saying. For Mothers who lost children to adoption a lot of times it effects them when they have more children in the same way as you described. How could I look at my sons and not think of the lost baby to adoption and the lost relationship as her Mom and her as my true daughter.

ms. marginalia said...

You speak so eloquently about something that is incredibly painful. I also feel that I haven't spent much of my life walking among shadows. It's hard to chase after those lost pieces of ourselves, and to mourn their loss. The work never seems to be finished.

Parenting is a constant reminder of ties that were severed. I sit on the couch with my sons and cry sometimes, feeling our connection and knowing that mine with my mother is gone.

I have only been in reunion for a short while, and I had my sons 5 and 7 years ago. I felt so odd and numb with my first, loving him but feeling disorganized and not knowing how to connect. I think I repressed a great deal of my loss and it has only emerged, with reunion, in the past few years. I feel sad about that person I was, about the numbness, and wish I could go back and remother my firstborn, in those first few months, as a woman present in my body and acknowledging those feelings.

Susie said...

This is such a beautiful, yet heartbreaking post.

"No mother should ever have to face such a grave and maddening choice. No human being should be counted among the worthless so much so that she and her child matter not to their own people to be cast out and forgotten."

Truer words have never been spoken...

Von said...

The griefs of adoption, so cruel, so present and so unknown to some who think they know and understand adoption.

Melissa said...

Ms. Marginalia-

"Parenting is a constant reminder of ties that were severed...I felt so odd and numb with my first, loving him but feeling disorganized and not knowing how to connect."

I can relate so much to these statements. "Disorganized"--yes, yes, I have felt so disorganized and disheveled emotionally. For the first 4 to 6 weeks I think I was pretty numbed out, too, and was having trouble connecting...but I'm trying so hard to process and not shut down emotionally...

Melissa said...

birthmothertalks-

"How could I look at my sons and not think of the lost baby to adoption and the lost relationship as her Mom and her as my true daughter."

This makes sense to me--different side of the same polyhedron.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know that one of my best friends, a KAD, went through the same myriad of emotions with the birth of her first child, a beautifu daughter.

She in fact, for the first time following the birth of her child, began to confront some of her own losses publically and in some ways, privately too....(as she has related the story to me)

She recently shared with me this contrast of emotion ~ the immense and sheer joy of motherhood tempered, even haunted, by the past sorrows. She spoke of a buried guilt that she should be so blessed, while her own Korean Family stood so alone.

A few weeks after the birth of her child, she cut communication with our family ~ we are an adoptive family, and while she has always been supportive and even encouraging of our family's adoptive status, I think our reality was simply too much of a burden to bear with so many other challenges. We understood and waited with patient, open arms. I wasn't sure she could ever return to that place of friendship and I grieved for her( for all of her losses); I felt utterly useless, as I couldn't help her. I can't fix it, but I can stand beside her.

Since then, she has reestablished our friendship and one of my deepest regrets is that we, unintentionally, sprinkled salt into her wounds.

I am going to show her this post; its up to her whether or not it is read, but I think it might help her to know she doesn't stand alone in this from an Adult Adoptee perspective. And maybe? It might offer some comfort to you as well....

All my best,

L

Melissa said...

@ Anonymous/L- thanks for stopping by. I'm glad that you stuck w/your friend and did not withdraw emotionally from her even though she cut off contact...your understanding and compassion are refreshing, and I wish more people demonstrated the same...

Yoli said...

No words Melissa just thinking of you.