Category Archives: Marriage

Potted Plants

For the love of tacos, remind me next time that moving in the middle of “the season” is not a good idea.  Since the move, everything is weird & feels out of sorts. I feel weird & out of sorts. I can’t seem to get solid footing. Change messes with me.

One evening after dinner, about two weeks after moving, Chris (who was in the midst of the unpacking…everything) mentioned how amazing it was to have so much space and how awesome the yard would look in a year. (The man loves his huge, lush lawn.)

“Maybe we’ll have room to grow here, ” I said. “On Crocus, that place was so tiny. It was like having a plant that you couldn’t transfer to a bigger pot when it outgrew the current one. We couldn’t grow, we were stunted.”

I couldn’t have been more truthful, and I didn’t realize it until later.

With space comes growth, with growth comes change, and sometimes change is incredibly painful. Yes, of course, sometimes it’s amazing & positive & pancake breakfasts. But even the idea of potential pain is often enough to stymie my fortitude on a good day, let alone a bad one.

My discomfort, however, is balanced by the new discoveries of the house, the neighborhood, the geography in general. I never thought I’d sit on the front porch & watch the bats hunt in the evenings. Or the weird fact that we’re in the air pattern now, even though we only moved 6 miles. Watching the cats in any number of windows. Establishing a routine, which has been lacking & taking it’s toll. Without a set routine, I function poorly. But every day, the kinks become just a bit more smooth.

I’m typing this in my new office at home, which is bigger than our previous bedroom. First time I’ve sat at my desk. I’ve got one cat snoring behind me, and one sprawled in the doorway. At this moment, I can’t believe we live here, how fortunate to have this opportunity. I’m trying not to waste it.

This Is Not the Post I Intended to Write

but it just kinda rolled off my fingers.

What would have happened, really, if I had kept The Kid:

My parents, individually, would fallen in love with him.  That would have been that.

While I might have struggled in the first few months, arrangements would have been made for me to move into a friend’s house.  A friend who would become my first husband.  Having a baby would have just hastened the process.  Insta-family.

Who knows, we could have even been happy.

Were my parents going to banish me if I chose to parent? Would there have been weirdness amongst my friends & peers because I was a single mom? Was I ever in danger (alone or with the possibility of a newborn) of becoming homeless, jobless, in any kind of danger, going hungry?


I had friends I could rely on, and a family that would have come around fairly quickly.  Nobody was going to let anything bad happen to me or my pint-sized progeny.  I didn’t realize until a few years ago (and I’ve been ruminating on it lately)  how unnecessary open adoption was for me.

But when I was uncertain, afraid, full of self doubt — I didn’t see this.  I saw where my family was pushing me, I saw a complete lack of interest from my ex, I saw a huge black hole with too many blinking question marks.  I started to detach after the first appointment with the agency.

I was referred to enough as a birthmother prior to birth that it was just another word.  I knew what I was.  I knew when I filled out the birth certificate information that it didn’t matter what I wrote down, because it would be replaced.  But I filled it out just the same, naming him what I (we) had planned before we parted company for good.

I was afraid to spend time with The Kid.  When my friends came to ooooh & aaaaah over my beautiful creature, I held him like he was an expensive & fragile artifact.  I did not comfort him when he cried, I passed him on to someone else.  Then it was gone and I’ll never get those 48 hours back again.

Women who parent never ask themselves seriously, “Hmmmm….what would my life have been like if I had chosen adoption for this precious, beautiful, smart angel?”  No, that doesn’t happen.

But women like me spend an abundance of useless time wondering the opposite question.  Tearing ourselves up one side & down the other, wracked with guilt & hurt, no matter how “good” the adoption situation.  I know, I know, there ARE women who have the complete opposite viewpoint and, as birthmothers, think adoption is pretty nifty.  May the Force be with them.  Which is why I said “women like me”.

I wonder periodically what my life would be parenting an almost-14 year old boy.  How our lives we be.  Our lives.  Really, I can’t even fathom it.  I try not to stay in that place too long.  Fantasy parenting scenarios are ridiculously seductive for me.

The more time passes & the more conscious I am about my role in this open adoption thing makes me want to be a better person. A friend recently congratulated me on my “Emerging”.  Really, my own bit in adoption is something I’ll never really be able to understand.  But I can see the forest for the trees now, some missing pieces are fitting themselves together when I’m not looking & I’m smacked with some “Tiny Universal Truth for Barb That Tilts the World On Its Axis”.

Maybe I’ll write the post tomorrow that I was going to originally write today.  It was pretty charming.



yesterday we took a hike through one of our favorite spots.  we’ve been going there, separately and together, since we were teenagers.  you can take the main path down through the sand, about 1/4 mile, to the largely-unknown-to-the-public beach.  or you can take one of the lesser paths.  through forest & overgrowth, over fields, down beyond the “dune forest”, you can also come out to the ocean, a mile or two south.  we took the “scenic” route.
we parted ways for awhile once we reached the shoreline.  he was in seaglass-finding zen mode and i had my camera, full of energy.  i raised my arms above my head, spinning in the sand, feeling the wind whisk through the few light layers of shirts beneath my pullover.
and in a moment it was gone.  there was nothing but me, the beach, the salt air, the sun, my husband and our laughter.