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A Matter of Lawns


Hell Hath No Fury

I'd received a christmas card from the mother of a friend living in the same country town as the one my son had been raised in. Judy, by coincidence, had unwittingly known my sons adoptive mother for a number of years as she would occasionally shop at the store where the adoptive mother worked. Having written to my son without any response, I knew nothing of his relationship with his adopters until last Friday when I phoned Judy to thank her for such a lovely card.

During the course of our conversation I asked if she had seen the adoptive mother recently. Judy informed me that they had struck up a conversation of sorts as she was picking up her lay-by. Their conversation centred around who mows the lawns at each others homes, with Judy telling me that the adoptive mother mentioned that when "her son, Andrew" was at home he usually took on the chore of lawn-mowing.

This information was the very first indication to me that my son had already had a life, another family that I was not a part of. Sure, I knew he was adopted, I just never had an image of him being with other people. You see, I had never been allowed to see him, and consequently, in my mind, the birthing process was delayed as if I had remained pregnant for 25 years and when at last I saw him it would be as if the labour would finally be over. Until then my mind kept him suspended in space and time until I could make him real.

As I hung up the phone I started to gag violently, at the same time I began shivering, freezing to my very core. Shock! The ferocity of my rage was startling. I wanted to scream! To explode! To kill! The pain was so great I couldn't dig my nails into my body deep enough to release the rage. I needed to release the fury. The hate.

I envisioned my son mowing the lawns of strangers. This wasn't jealousy. Jealousy is coveting what belongs to others. This was a total violation of me. My son is the missing part of me! He is of me! He is me! They were using that lost part of "me" to mow their stinking lawns....How dare they! How dare they use me in this way too!

I make no apology for how I feel.

Three years ago thinking I was doing the correct thing, I wrote a very kind letter to my sons adoptive parents. At the time my humble confusion led me to believe that these "kind" people would advise me if "their son" had been made aware of his adoption. What I received back was a threatening scathing letter on scrap paper held together by a "safety pin" informing me that they had told him all about his birth to protect him from the day I might have shown up and threatening me to keep away from him. I wanted to die!

I thought I had! The adoptive father wrote that letter.

If the adoptive mother had any sense of decency and knew how a real mother feels she would have at least written a short line to assure me that my son was alright, perhaps just not ready for this yet, but that he was alive and well. That letter didn't arrive. It wasn't written. She has my contempt as well.

Is she afraid of me? Perhaps.

Is this because in her inner most being she acknowledges that she had no moral right to my child? Did it finally dawn on her that her infertility was not my responsibility after all, but that I was used, my baby was used to cure hers? That she has my only child? Is she now responsible for my infertility? Does she now give the baby back? Did she honestly believe that any mother could willingly give her baby to a stranger for even an hour and yet she who coveted my baby, chose to believe that I would graciously allow myself to be used as an incubator to furnish her, a total stranger, with my family? Is it that I do exist? That I had survived? Is it that she is now accountable for the lies she filled my son's head with? Is it that she is afraid that I would judge her parenting skills? You bet I will. That's my baby she has. Mine!

My social workers' reports from that time when I was sixteen years old glaringly state my intention to keep my baby. Yes, my baby! Did they tell him that? I think not!

My solace is that one day my son will see my social and medical reports. One day he will know what this stinking adoption industry did to pry him away from me, his real mother, and force him to live with far lesser people than I could even imagine being, whose love was restricted by such severely meagre boundaries that caused them to be incapable of the real meaning of love. People who, along with those contemptuous traders in human flesh that promote adoption, dictate that in order to "save the child" they have to first destroy it's mother.

At the risk of losing any relationship that might have evolved with my son, I am not prepared to live this lie for the sake of the system. No son of mine will ever have to live with lies and feeling grateful to anyone again. My son deserves a life without being shackled by gratitudinous obligations. A day will come when the truth will set my son free. To love freely. Free to be loved unconditionally, because of who he is, not who he has to pretend to be. It will be my gift to him.

Email:   Lily

Copyright Dian Wellfare, Origins Inc, 1995