Thursday, 26 June 2014

Why the "Not Knowing" hurts

Today I had an awful "what if" moment...last year when I was in Greece and had my close encounter with my son, I froze up and I don't think I would have been able to have a coherent conversation with my son had the opportunity had arisen.

So today, I'm going on with my daily business and this awful thought strikes me...what if he thought I rejected him...what if my son knew who I was that day in Athens Mall and was waiting for me to approach him and start the conversation and when I didn't, he might have thought I rejected him.

This is where the "Not Knowing" is hurting us birth parents...I couldn't approach my son that day...because I don't know if he knows about me or even if he knows he is adopted.

Yes, I'm luckier than some birth parents...I know his name, I have seen him in person (without speaking to him), I even have some photos of him.  Technically, I can contact him but I'm trying to stay within Greek Law...OK there are some plans afoot on that front...if nothing happens this year...I might take a more direct approach in the future.

Other birth parents...they don't have the luxury of the knowledge I have...imagine, not knowing your child's name, how they look like or even if their child is alive...yes, I was in that boat for many years and that was hell.

Still now, I am in hell...because I do not know what my son going back to that day in Athens Mall...had I know he knew he was adopted, I think I would have been able to go over to him and say hello, had he told me to fuck off...that would have been fine.  I can live with that...what is killing me is that I inadvertently might have in his mind rejected him with not speaking up that day.  Or, what if  I had and he didn't know he was adopted...I would have shattered his life.

Despite my best intentions, because I do not know...I still might end up being the one that shatters his life, but he does have the right to know about his origins and that he is loved by me. 

Meanwhile, I can only hope that he didn't know who I was that day and if he did, I can only say this to him:
My dearest son, if you think I rejected you that day, I didn't.  I just don't know if you even know you are adopted....I didn't speak up rather than taking the risk of hurting you in anyway.  It might have been the cowardly thing to do, I would never reject you nor would I ever do anything intentionally to hurt you.  I love you too much.
Then the flip side, adoptees also is hurt by the not knowing...they might have found out that a birth parent has passed on and don't know if siblings or other family members have been told about them.

We are all hurt by the not is unfortunately a big part of adoption.  I for one, would prefer to know that my son knows about me but does not want any contact, rather than not knowing if he knows about being adopted or that he is welcome to reach out to me anytime he wishes.

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