My way of coping since I was a child has been writing. I have so many journals, notebooks, and computer files that contain some emotional outpouring that captured the moment I was in. My unfiltered thoughts litter those pages, and I have given my best friend strict orders to burn it all if anything ever happens to me. Some things do not need to be shared outside of those college-ruled lines. I recently stumbled across four old pieces I thought I would share that touched on my dichotomy as an adoptee and birth mother. These were written over 30 years ago, and it is nice to see how the angst of my youth has sorted itself out somewhat.
Some forms of expression stick with you. Maybe it's a piece of art, music, or a smell that conjures up a memory for you as clearly as the day it occurred. That is what this poem Birth Pains, does for me. It was my son's third birthday, and I was sitting in my dorm room crying softly, even though I was the only one in the room. I did not feel I had the right to be loud in my grief. My heart was heavy, and there was no one I felt I could unload the amount of pain on that would understand. My mind constantly replayed what it was like to be pregnant, the quiet moments when i would just sit in my room rub my stomach and speak to the life growing within.
(for Christopher Deron, 1990)
Three years later and my body still cramps
from the emptiness within.
I remember your image,
magnified on a screen during check-ups.
Do you remember the many talks?
The nights of raspberry sherbet and 7-Up?
Tuesday, 11:30 in the morning,
you finally kick your way out.
A boy, 7 pounds, 8 ounces.
Born into the world with the luck of the Irish.
I hold you. So tiny, so soft.
A tear fell from my eye to your cheek.
I remember you curiously gazing,
at the blur in front of you.
You never twitched, never cried.
Instead, you flashed a spastic smile.
I remember life with you,
etched into the core of my soul.
When everyone else has moved on from my teenage pregnancy, it continued to consume me. There was not a day when my son was not on my mind.
In everything I do,
I see you.
The more I try to focus,
the more you command my attention.
I wish I knew I would feel this way,
I would have been stronger on the Irish's day.
People don't understand,
they ask why silently.
Never in my presence, but I hear them,
for their thoughts echo my own.
I have no answer, no justification for leaving empty
handed after the time we shared.
Each night I pray to my creator to love you
as much as he has loved me...unconditionally,
As much as I love you, to consumption.
I remember writing this one day when I just felt lost. It would have been early teens right after discovering Julia was my name in foster care. Now that I have my original birth certificate and know that it shows the name my birth mother gave me, it feels like a violation that someone deemed it best to strip me of that name immediately as if the woman who gave it to me meant nothing.
Toward the waking of the day
she found herself trembling
welcoming the blue bird's song
with hastened breath.
She clutched her dreams,
rocked back and forth,
searching her soul
longing for a place to rest.
She was always searching,
places behind those eyes...
places where loneliness flourished
in a greenhouse she created.
She never reached out,
no matter whose hand extended,
for they didn't understand
and her loneliness they perpetuated.
The feeling would past
it always did, taking a little
more of her each time...
but soon, she would sleep.
Releasing her dreams,
conquering her fears,
and there in her slumber...
she'd find comfort in her weeps.
Life Passage-was written right before one of my birthdays as a child. I always thought of my birth mother at this time, and as I sat getting ready to celebrate my birth, it seemed only right that I pen something to the woman who bore me.
From dark came light, from me came you
and I give praise because respect is due.
You didn't create me but gave me the path of life
again I thank you 'cause you were from the right.
I don't know why you loosened your clutch,
why raising me seemed to be a bit too much.
On the day I selfishly claim as my own,
I used to wonder if your mind ever roams.
Questions like that I no longer ponder,
for your bodies not here, but we're not asunder.
You are forever with me, your life in my veins.
Wherever you are, my love still remains.