I have to say that it has been over a year since I’ve written a blog post. Since I last wrote, I have been overwhelmingly happy with my new life as an adoptive mom. Baby Jay, my son, is now 20 months old and I have to say that I have enjoyed every second of being his one of his moms. And I have never been happier ( or my sleep deprived) in my life.
Even though I feel very overwhelmed juggling my job and motherhood, I decided to hop on this book tour when I heard about Found, A Memoir by Jennifer Lauck. As a relatively new adoptive mom, I have a lot of anxiety about how my son will react and– later– process the fact that he is adopted. So the idea of reading a memoir by an adult adoptee and sharing this experience with other bloggers was very compelling.
I want to pause for just a moment to thank Lori Lavender Luz for organizing this tour with such grace and professionalism and I want to also thank all of you for stopping by. My only hope is that I, as a rusty blogger, who just finished dusting off her keyboard, can do this tour justice.
Overall, Found was a very difficult read for me. Jennifer is a brilliant writer who doesn’t sugar coat her truth. I experienced her as very brave writer, fearless, in fact. And that is what scared the crap of out me. Her story is a painful one and, for me, that reality coupled with her perspective on adoption as an adoptee made this a tough but very worthwhile read.
Okay, here are my three questions and answers.
1. Do you feel that presenting connection with the birth mother as a necessity is upsetting for those adoptee’s who are not able to meet their mother because she is deceased?
I imagine that they way that Jennifer deal’s with her connection to her birth mother would be upsetting for many people involved in the adoption triad. I do imagine that many adoptees who cannot meet their birth moms would be devastated upon learning of their birth moms death, but I also imagine that that pain of separation would be there anyway. I also think that people who have closed adoptions may be disturbed by this. But, on the other hand, I think that they may find solace in Lauck’s book because, sometimes when faced with brutal honesty, one can find liberation and, ultimately, peace.
As I said before, I appreciate Lauck’s honesty, but it doesn’t make her story any easier to read.
As an adoptive mom, it’s tough to think that my son may be disturbed to learn that he is adopted. In an effort to establish a connection with his birth mom, I have a ”social network” relationship with his birth mother, who is somewhat reluctant to stay in contact with us. I send her pictures every six months, and she responds, on occasion, but she has yet to agree to see him. I am very worried about that. I fear that she will never come around and that he will feel rejected by her. I fear that she may pass away before he gets to meet her. I fear the unknown.
So that the book only added to my anxieties.
2. On pp 17-18, Jennifer talks about a baby searching for her mother after being born. How did this sensory-rich passage strike you? What thoughts did it trigger about the role you play in adoption?
First let me say that I though that her descriptions in this passage were really beautiful. And as I was reading it, for a moment, I forgot that I was an adoptive mom, and I became a child, searching for my mother’s breast. And I harkened back to the connection that I felt with my own mother, who has now passed, and I felt a familiarity, a sisterhood, and a genuine appreciation for Lauck’s skill as a writer and her empathy as a woman.
But then there was a moment, when I snapped out of all of that, and I felt completely inadequate as a woman, as an adoptive mom, and it made me sad. Having tried to get pregnant for three years, I sometimes, feel like I missed out on a very important life experience. And even though I have mourned that loss, passages like the one on 17-18 in Lauck’s book do cut through my flesh.
For example, Lauck writes:
“What is not commonly known–although it is common sense–is that within moments of separation from the mother, a newborn will experience outrage, panic, and eventually terror. Within forty-five minutes, studies show a baby will go into shock and lose consciousness. Once the baby awakens, she will use her senses to search for her mother again and if the mother isn’t there, the baby goes through the same process(p. 18).”
And then I thought about my son and his birth experience, which I missed. And I hoped for him. And I hurt for him and his feelings of loss. I hope that he will be able to connect with the woman who gave birth to him, because I imagine that even though they may not “know” one another, there will be a recognition of one another on both a spiritual and molecular level that will be very important to him.
3. Especially in the beginning of the book, I couldn’t decide if the author’s matter-of-fact style was meant to increase the shock factor, or served as a coping mechanism. What do you think?
Obviously, I don’t know that answer to this question, but it’s a good one. At first, I was disturbed by her matter-of-fact style. And then, as I started to go through the book , I thought that maybe I could learn something from her. Maybe this was some of road map that I could use to deal with painful experiences. What I mean is: it is what it is.
There are certain realities that we cannot change. Even if we want to. But, nevertheless, it is important to tell the story.
Thank you, Jennifer!
To continue to the next stop of this book tour, please visit the main list at The Open Adoption Examiner.