On the flipside

February 5, 2007 at 2:09 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, Bringing Home the Bacon | 14 Comments

Once I can laugh about something it usually seems a little more in control.  The thing that got me over the laughing-about-it hump with the current two-career quandry was listening to “The Ballad of Mary Magdalene” by Richard Shindell.  The first verse goes like this…

My name is Mary Magdalene
I come from Palestine
please excuse these rags I’m in
I’ve fallen on hard times
Long ago I had my work
when I was in my prime
but I gave it up, and all for love
it was his career or mine

On Friday, my therapist pointed out that we both feel like our backs are up against the wall. Pili’s scared that she will be trapped into a commute that keeps her from having a strong relationship with her son and I’m scared of being “tricked” into sacrificing my dreams and getting stuck in a city that doesn’t offer me any job opportunities. And when someone feels like their back is against the wall, my very wise therapist reminded me, they don’t tend to respond from the most generous “we-thinking” part of themself. I heart therapy, big time.

This weekend was better. Not so much talking about it, but what talking there was felt more mutual and generous to me. We’ve pulled through big tough transitions before, and I feel certain we’ll come through this one too.

And last night, a good email in my inbox. The DNA test was done, two weeks ago.  Which means that the results should be available shortly.  And hopefully it will be a match.  While there are still other opportunities for Guatebaby’s mom to decide that she wants to parent, this is the last time she actually has to see and hold him, and is usually when someone will change her mind about relinquishment if she’s going to.

I hate that my heart lifts at this.  That the attainment of my dream means that another woman will not experience parenting her son.  I hope that we will be able to connect with her down the road if Guatebaby wants to.  We sent a letter for her, thanking her for this indescribable gift, assuring her that we would send pictures and updates.  I don’t know what brings her to this juncture, but I hope that she can be at peace with her decision.  It’s important to me that I support organizations like Wings, which provide reproductive choice options to women and men in Guatemala, in the hope that doing so will mean that another woman does not have to carry a child she knows she will not be able to feed or care for.


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  1. Well, I am glad that you and Pili are still talking about the moving thing and the therapy is helping sort is out. Of course we don’t want you to move, but will be at your doorstep to visit when and if you do because you don’t think you are getting rid of us that quickly do you? I must say that I am truly relived about the DNA issue and wait on bated breath to hear how well GB fits in his sling!

  2. Congratulations on the DNA test news. I do hope the results all turn out well.

    I guess you’re learning early that parenting involves a good deal of compromise. Sometimes I think it’s a wonder that we ever have children (birth or adoptive).

    We work so hard to raise up these youngsters so that have a good life, endure their illnesses and temper tantrums, and general difficulties. And our hearts are stirred like I cannot describe when we hear one of our children cry.

    But on the bright side, our spirits are lifted as we watch them learn and grow. A smile or a hug from one of them is priceless. And whether they’re birth or adoptive kids, you watch them mirror parts of yourself – the good and the not-so-good.

    I do hope you can work out a compromise that works for both of you.

  3. I always really liked that Richard Shindell song — I’m glad it helped you over the hump.

    Also, happy to hear about DNA testing done. Any movement on that front is welcome to you two, I’m sure. Fingers crossed here…


  4. That’s awesome about the DNA. And great that some of the relationship stress is lifting. Keep talking. ad infinitum. And know that only time and process will answer some of the questions that you are stuck on right now.

    I get it about the guilt. And good for you for supporting Wings.

    Crossing everything for a DNA match.

  5. woo hooo!! DNA test is crossed of the list!!
    much love to you & P.

  6. Wait until you see the bmom’s picture. I can’t even express the feelings, although I tried, as you may recall. I just don’t have a big enough vocabulary to express what it feels like to know that her pain is my love. You should be getting the results any!day!now! That’s great news!

    And that’s great news about you and Pili. I can relate to the “back against the wall.” Your therapist is one smart cookie. Talking is good- on all fronts!

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  7. Hooray for the relief of two major stresses. May everything continue to improve.

  8. Yay for DNA testing. I heart therapy, amazing what it can do for us and our loved ones.

  9. Wise therapist indeed. Hard, hard stuff.

  10. Art, I am SO happy for you concerning the DNA. Progress – slowly but surely. Also it is great that you Pili are working things out…..

  11. Therapy sounds very good. And DNA tests being done is even better. Yaay.

  12. Congrats on the DNA test finally being done. Sending go thoughts in your family’s direction.

  13. Congrats on the progress. And that is my absolute fave song from the Cry,Cry,Cry cd…

  14. Richard Shindell is my husband’s second cousin. His mom and my husband’s mom are cousins. Richard is funny and smart and a very, very nice person. I’m glad you like his music.

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