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I don't really know how to answer you. I think one of your most important points is that things don't always work out the way we plan. That's true for all of us. I think just about everyone faces broken dreams at some point. But in spite of that, I think we have the power to be happy with what we have. I had one son and no more--he's grown now and has a life of his own. So I volunteer to work with children who don't have families/homes. It benefits me, it benefits them. I'm not saying that's the right path for you--I'm just saying there's are ways for you to channel your nurturing spirit even though you don't have your own children to mother.

I think that's the key here. Healthy human beings can accept disappointment and find alternate paths to fulfillment.

And there are loads of ways to mother without the title. Which is what I find so creepy and disturbing about adopters. It's not about children having loving care. It's just about buying the title of MOTHER.

The bleeding here

Ouch! I've often thought of the pain the adoptive mother of my son might feel about this. I'm actually having to deal with it myself. It's welled up in me a number of times, but, more recenty, while gardening the other day, I had to have yet another venting session with God about the cruel joke that seemed to have been played on me. I gave birth. Gave him up, expecting that all the karmic wrong in my life would be righted but found out that I was so very, horribly, wrong...things went to crap even more. 2 years later, I got born again and didn't care about anything but Jesus - for a while, anyway. Then after my head got screwed back on straight, I got hit with, 'oh, crap! what have i done?' I went through 2 years of grieving, a few more years of grappling, then asked for contact with my son when he was around 9 (and was, of course, denied).

I'm 47, will soon be 48. My 2-year wedding anniversary will be in 2 months. And of all the cosmic ironies, I married a man who is adamant that he doesn't want children. And I don't even know if my eggs are viable any more. I don't know if his sperm is viable.

At age 33 or so, I told Jesus that if I'd known I'd be signing up for 5 years in as His follower, still not married, still no more babies (I wanted 4 rowdy boys), I'd have told him, 'See ya,' right at the start. At 40, I told Him, 'Never mind...You should'da done it while I was still interested,' the beginning of hopes completely dashed.

At 47, I'm gardening and all but cussing God for this unbelievably cruel joke of being childless - having given birth and still yet childless.

So I'm in that process of grieving all that was and all that would'da, could'da, should'da been.

I wasn't seeking to replace the one I'd lost - at least not on a conscious level. I knew on the day he was born, the moment I laid eyes on him there would be no replacing this extraordinary person...no...I just wanted more kids. It was always the plan to have more kids, even before I laid eyes on that extraordinary child.

But things don't always work out the way we plan, and I guess I know that about as well as anyone.

My biggest hope is that all this crap I've been through since relinquishing will somehow have some good, some higher purpose come of it. Maybe it will mean change in the way we think of adoption and do things for future generations. And, so, I'm starting so speak up and add my voice to the many voices calling for change. I can't change the past, but perhaps I can be part of the cry currently going out for change for the future...

I really hope that change can come...even if I don't see it in my lifetime...

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