Dear S,

I am so confused by you. On the one hand, here is a little boy that I love beyond belief. And you carried him. I love you for that. Dada2Ponce and I have been getting to know some of your family. And we love them. Watching Ponce with them is magic. He can’t get enough of your sister. I know you were close with her, and I can’t help thinking that he recognizes her voice.

I think of you all the time. I wonder what you are doing. I wonder if you think a lot about Ponce. This is the second baby you’ve placed for adoption. Ponce’s brother is some 10 years older than him. Your mom says that you do not grasp the realities of many of your decisions, including the one to keep Ponce a secret from your family and his birth father. She does not think that you struggle with your decision to place or that you  have regrets or much of a connection to Ponce.

I don’t know if I can believe that. Maybe it’s because I have spent so much time online trying to understand you through some of the amazing first mother blogs that are out there. That some of the grieving, sadness, regret that they feel with regards to the biological children they aren’t parenting are the same feelings I would imagine having if it were me. I can’t connect at all with the image of you going about your life as though Ponce never happened. I can’t bring myself to believe that anyone could feel that way about Ponce.

I love you. But I’m also so mad at you. You drank throughout most of your pregnancy. You have put Ponce at risk for so many FASD-related issues. It will take a good 20 years for us to be certain Ponce wasn’t affected. With the amount of binge drinking that you did, the odds of Ponce being unaffected are incredibly slim.  Most people don’t know this, but experts believe some quarter to half of the prison population may be somewhere on the FAS spectrum. A frightening percentage of people with FASD diagnoses end up having serious run ins with the law. It’s impossible to believe that this could someday describe our sweet Ponce. The spectrum ranges from inhibitions and learning disabilities all the way to never developing an ability to understand right from wrong, take responsibility for your actions, and an inability to learn from your mistakes. Ponce, my sweet, perfect, funny, clever, gorgeous Ponce. It is unbearable for me to imagine him hurting in any way. I wish you had been able to stop drinking while you were pregnant.

And the lying … I want to be angry at you for lying to your family and to J. They never knew you were pregnant. But I also imagine you alone and pregnant. Hiding your secret in plain sight. J was long gone by the time you began to show, but you lived with your family. How alone you must have felt. And how determined you must have been that neither they nor J raise Ponce. I have to respect that you must have had your reasons. Knowing what I know about J, I would have been very worried about him raising Ponce. Your family though … they are such warm, giving people. Was it because this was the second unplanned pregnancy?

I am working hard at understanding all of this. At processing it. I have to. For Ponce. And for me.

I hope that you are OK and that we might meet someday soon. I hope that you do think of Ponce and that when you do it doesn’t hurt as much as I imagine it might.

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2 Comments

Filed under Adoption, FASD

2 responses to “Dear S,

  1. Wow. What a lovely post. *Tears up again!* You’ve got some heavy legacy going on there and you’re handling it beautifully – I mean just by expressing it with so much love and attention. I too spend a lot of time on birthmother/firstmother blogs and have actually had to stop because I find the pain of their loss too unbearable and it hurts me. I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s true. Anyway love your posts.

  2. It doesn’t sound ridiculous at all. I may get to the point where I stop as well and for the same reasons. Right now sharing even a small part of their pain with them makes me feel as though I am honouring both Ponce and S. I was awake most of the night trying to think of what I would write to S. on Ponce’s upcoming birthday. I want to write to her on his birthday and on mother’s day. I feel OK with asking her mother to pass along the letters. I just have no idea what to write yet. Gah

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