So! for those of you who have been following the reunification/reinstating of correspondence effort, here's what happened today.
....actually no. here's the back story, so skip ahead if you feel you are...abreast.
let's take it back to 2009, in AZ....
actually first let's go just briefly to 1996 in GA. I am placing my son for adoption and i am informed that current policy states that the agency will facilitate limited correspondence for only 5 years and that no identifying information will be released by them to either party (thank God for progress!).
fast forward 5 yrs, i break my heart and say goodbye again. fast forward one year, i receive a letter when J turns 6. i think "wow! i wonder how they swung this! maybe cuz i'm my caseworkers favorite. maybe no one checked the placement date. what a gift! what a tender mercy!", but i thought it was a fluke. I attempted no further correspondence, doubting we'd be so lucky twice and just feeling grateful to have heard from them one more time.
NOW let's go to AZ, J is 13. it's been 7 years since i've heard from them and 8 since they'd heard from me. oh, just a minute, one more tiny flashback-
so about a year or 2 after our last communication, i had a nightmare. and then again and again at varying intervals for about 4 years. the circumstances were always different but one way or another, our paths would cross and one way or another i would discover that they didn't want me. and i would wake up with a wounded heart and cry and pray for reassurance. one of those kinds of dreams that makes your heart so heavy and it stays with you all day. then in like 05, i had a miraculous little tender mercy after a particularly bad one and the dream never came back. maybe i'll tell that story later
ok. SO! AZ, 09- i'm workin for a branch of the agency which handled the adoption. i discover to my absolute HORROR that the agency's 5 year cap policy had actually been lifted the year BEFORE i placed. I had been misinformed. somebody had missed the memo and it had cost me 8 years of knowing ANYTHING. 8 years of hearing how joyful and lucky they were to be a family and 8 years since i'd read their words of love, admiration, and gratitude or written them mine. 8 years of questions i could have asked and answered. it frustrates me still if i dwell on the thought. BUT! after i excused myself to go call my mom and cry to her like a child and send dirty looks heavenward in total confusion, the silver lining in the tragedy started to take hold. i'd lost 8 years but i'd just gained 5 more than i'd expected to have! i could now resume correspondence! right?! you really would think...
i contact the GA office and explain what happened (which some people might have turned into a lawsuit) and ask them to pass on a letter from me. "oh, we don't have any forwarding information for them at this point." well you surely could find it! a heck of alot easier than i could! ...i thought. "yeah, we'll call ya if we come across anything..........................".
fast forward 2 years and a few more fruitless phone calls to GA. i'm at a thing at the Redferns' (aka, The R House [yeah, i'm name droppin]). my home girl Jessalyn Speight (i did it again) uses her hacker genius skills, the little info i had, about 2 hours, and likely some divine intervention to find an address! a phone number! and facebook pages! so now, I have forwarding information! now i can write them! right?!
well, here was the plan, i would write his parents. i would state that i trust them now as i trusted them then. that i want what's best for him, just as i did in the beginning and that they were the ones who knew what that would be. that i had no desire EVER to step on their toes but only to support them no matter what! but that i wanted to make myself available, to empower them. i had info for them they had none for me but it was their call so i wanted to even the playing field. so this was what i would write. and a year and a half later, i finally did.
how could i procrastinate a thing like this?! when Jessa found the information, i was so, SO beyond stoked! i laugh/cried so hard! you'd think i'd write as soon as i got home! but think, we've had total silence between us for a decade now. i can only guess at their circumstances, thoughts, and feelings. and i have SO MUCH i want to say but i need every word to be perfect because if i say something wrong, it may be the only chance i get. everything i know of them confirms that they are the most gracious folks and that they love me dearly but in the void of current evidence, my mind had entertained years of doubts and fears. the last thing i ever wanted to do was disrupt, offend, or impose. as i tried to make myself write, i imagined every possible scenario, some good, some heart breaking. i've seen some of the latter. i have a few girlfriends who have been ignored, mistrusted, and viewed as a nuisance by the people she'd trusted most in the world. and i could never imagine how i could possibly process that if it happened to me. i felt guilty to even entertain thoughts that they could do such a thing, but in spite of myself, i sometimes did. and honestly folx, i'm not where i'd hoped to be when i gave them my update. no degree, no career, no house, no husband, no children. i wanted more to show and i didn't want them to be disappointed.
let me take a side note here. around this time, i'd just had SIX
adopted students at my wilderness therapy job within like the 2 months previous.
i'd asked for and heard their perspectives about everything about being
adopted! and most of them, most of them were hurting for want of
connection and/or answers that their birthmoms could've given in some form or another. and the
couple of girls who HAD the contact were so blessed for it. AND after i leave The
R House, i get in my car, and to my confusion and astonishment, a heavy
sadness comes over me. i think it was a new realization, after seeing
his teenage face, of all that i had missed and couldn't recover. but
also, and maybe i was projecting onto him what 15 felt like for me, but i
believe i was having some sense of him struggling, that perhaps he was sad, at any rate adolescents is the roughest part for alot of us. so put all of this together and with prayer, I decided i was being prompted and prepared. that perhaps there was something i could do. but despite all of this, i took counsel from my fears.
until July 2012, when i felt a new urgency that caused my concern for them to outweigh the risk for me. i hoped that God knew me well enough to prompt me a year and a half early, that i hadn't missed some window or opportunity to be useful. it took me 3 weeks to write, reread, revise, and repeat. i had my English major mom, sister, and best friend review it as well as adoptive parents and adoption professionals from my diverse and useful social circle.
and then, i sent it. i sent it to his dad's fb. and then i waited. and nothin came. after about a month and a half i'd resolved that they'd made their decision and now i had to put my money where my mouth is. i'd said they knew what was best for him and that was what i wanted, even over what i wanted. i'd said i trusted them, and now i'd have to. i was disappointed. even a little hurt, but not offended. at no time did i feel wronged or fault them for their choice. i'd spent a year and a half preparing myself for any outcome and i'd made myself promise to be at peace with whatever one came about before i'd let myself send the letter. to tell it right, i was sustained really. i'd felt it was right to write, i'd felt at peace when i finally sent it, and now, it was given to me to accept what was.
fast forward 3 and a half months. my friend Audra informs me that any FB message which has been seen will have a check mark in the lower left corner. "see if there's a check mark! i bet he never got it, or they'd have written back!". wouldn't you know...no check mark. i hadn't gotten the shaft! perhaps i was being tested. i passed! haha! a few days later i discover the "other" box on the fb mail page where the message no doubt has been hiding.
so, new plan-contact GA one more time and ask if they would be willing to use the forwarding information I'd acquired and pass along my petition for me. it seemed better to me than to cold-contact them. i mean, this was how it was set up, this was what we were used to. i just felt perhaps it would be less....shocking in an envelope with their letterhead. fast forward 2 months, i finally make the call. i state my case, make my request and i'm told once again she'll get back with me...... and then today...SHE DID! and she says, "i discussed it with my director and he said just to run it by the couple and see what they say, so i spoke to D (the mama)", "WHAT?! you spoke to her?! when i've spoken to y'all before over the last 3 and a half years i've always been told you have no way to contact them!". "well i didn't go through the official avenues which would have been complicated and time consuming, i just used the information you gave me and looked them up on my own". "so what did she say?!". "i just told her you'd been misinformed about correspondence policy and would like to resume if they were open to it and she said (check this out) 'absolutely'". ABSOLUTELY! that is my new favorite word! i've been sayin it in my mind all day! i told the dear lady thank you so much for being concerned enough to make the effort and follow up! i told her what a burden, one i'd carried for 10 years, had just been lifted! what anxiety had just been alleviated and the nagging doubts that just had to shut their faces! she said ABSOLUTELY, y'all!!!! why did i ever doubt them?! as soon as i was alone in my car i found myself at a stop light clapping and laughing and crying and praying out loud "thankyouthankyouthankyou!"! i've brought this whole business up to God frequently, but this morning, i pleaded. God is good. i know this. again and again.
now the frustrating bit is that the information I gave her, with which she was able to contact them, was no more than the info i'd offered when i spoke to them 3 and a half years ago. why could no one have made that small effort for us then? but whatev! it is what it is and if it wasn't God's all knowing orchestration, it'll all be compensated for anyway. all is well. all of the disappointments, all of the waiting, all of the wondering makes today even sweeter! and faith precedes the miracle, once again in my life.
so NOW the daunting task of writing a NEW letter! the other one was more just asking if i could write a letter. now i know they want to hear from me, i'ma write a novel! i'm intimidated and overwhelmed again but i'm SO excited and i'm SO grateful! and SO long winded!
i love y'all who've followed up with me on all of this and been invested with me. so many of y'all who have rooted for me and prayed this for me! y'all who've been disappointed with me and excited with me! i love y'all!
stay tuned! it's gettin good! AHHHH! i can't wait to hear back!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH! hahaha!