Giving Kids Up for Adoption – The Void
By: J Cruikshank
This is the continuation of Part One, Our Story by J Cruikshank
By Janice Cruikshank
The emptiness left from the loss of the twins was nearly unbearable and often frightening. I had dreams that they were in distress and, at one time, dead. There was no way to verify or dismiss these nightmares. I had to find reason outside of my emotions and view life on a grander scale. It was not logical to believe that the ability to give birth was an indication of worth any more than the inability was a punishment. It can be said that there are many people pumping kids out one after the other who should have never been given one. On the same note, there are loving people with much to offer who are unable to have any. If it was a matter of denying my children love in exchange for “the good life” I could not have done it. I had to trust that they would be given both. I had to believe that there were people who could love another woman’s child as their own.
The agency worker gave me information that I should not have been privy to; but, she knew I could be trusted. She told me their new first names and the city in which they lived. For the balance of all I just quietly remembered and let it be. Open adoptions, that allow the birth mother to be a part of their kids’ lives, are a disservice to the new family, and especially to the children. The emotional well-being of my twins was paramount to me.
I wanted to believe in a divine Creator to honor my sacrifice and guide my children to the family they needed and that they would bless in return. There had to be order in the chaos. There had to be reason and purpose. I came to believe that life is a testing ground. Why we exist is determined by who we are. There are many tests of character that I have failed miserably, but this scar I proudly wear. My shame is not in giving them to a loving family, to provide their needs. My shame was that it wasn’t me. I simply wasn’t enough.
Life continued for my remaining daughter and I, but the void was always there. I went from menial job to menial job to make a living, and I depended largely on my parents to supply my girl with a more solid foundation than I could offer. My parenting confidence was crushed and I no longer trusted myself to do anything right. My daughter had a memory like a steel trap so adoption for her would have done more damage than good.
Years passed and Ashley grew up. She never liked being an only child and let me know it. She went on to graduate college. Near her wedding day, she spoke longingly of the twins. I told her if she wanted to find them she had my blessing, but I could not. I both longed for, yet feared, the day we might meet again. I feared the disappointment they would feel about me. I had not aged well and remained a nothing. After over thirty years I still had nothing to offer.
On March 17th 2007 (the year of Bond) my world changed. My mother called me and put a very special someone on the phone. It was my son’s best friend! He had found us! I spoke to my son that evening for the first time in over 31 years. My emotions went wild. Three decades of suppression burst forth into a torrent of soon to follow insanity. There is a quote that sums it up for me, “There is a happiness that makes the heart afraid.” The pressure to not lose them again was driving me mad, and ever closer to that place. We were strangers to them. It was normal curiosity for them. For me it was survival. I had never felt more vulnerable and helpless. I knew I would fail the test; and, for a time, I did, with both of them. We have since re-re-united and I have regained balance (somewhat). We now share a calmer relationship, and we are building memories that will bind us together. Thirty years are forever lost to me. Although I will continue to grieve for them, I am blessed beyond belief. I no longer have doubts about a divine Creator.