Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rant Alert!

This doesn't have much to do with adoption or with National Adoption Month, but I need to rant, so here goes.

One thing it seems I've heard a lot lately is how very much young single adults in my church are supposed to have in common. I've heard it in firesides and talks and lessons, over and over again. More than any other group of people at any stage of life, we are all supposed to have SO much in common.

I'm sick of hearing it. Aside from converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, I can find precious few similarities between myself and any other young single adult I know. I look more Jewish than Mormon - my hair is dark and curly instead of straight and blonde, I'm short and curvy instead of tall and lithe. My name does not end in a Y or an IE or an EE or any kind of E sound. I'm not even sure I'm the same species as some of the girls in my ward. I certainly don't feel like I have anything in common with them. They don't seem to think so, either, and they treat me accordingly.

You know what else I'm sick of hearing? How other birth moms know exactly what I'm going through and exactly how I feel. They can know some of it, of course. But grief and experience are singular. No two birth moms' stories are exactly alike (how freaky would that be if they were?).

My father died a year ago September 9th (thanks, brain cancer!). I have an older sister. It was her father that died, too. But even she couldn't claim to know exactly what I went through when my dad died. Because even though we lost the same dad, our relationships with him were different. I knew him a little better. She knew him a little longer. That sort of thing. She had a husband and kids to go home to after the funeral. I went home to the house where my father took his last conscious breaths.

Our grief was and is different, because we're different people with different relationships and experiences. Which is why no, I'm sorry, I don't have a lot in common with other birth moms, either. I don't know of any birth moms who parented their babies for nine weeks before placement, or who became pregnant after their dads died, or who weren't ever in a relationship before the age of 24.

I can appreciate that we do share one rather uncommon experience: we have all placed children for adoption. But I don't feel like that's enough sometimes. And sometimes I feel like I have less in common with my fellow birth moms than I do with the people in my singles ward. I don't have daddy issues, I was never abused as a child, I didn't have a history of unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex, both my parents always loved me and took good care of me, I never misbehaved as a child, I was always a good girl, I went to church and did everything I was supposed to. I wasn't in a relationship with my baby's father when I got pregnant. I wasn't skinny when I got pregnant and I'm sure as heck not skinny now. I'm not pretty or even cute (although I have nice eyes) and I don't dress well or wear a lot of makeup. I think that, if such a category existed, I would have been voted Least Likely to Get Pregnant Out of Wedlock in high school. I was the last person this should have happened to.

All of that makes it kind of hard to relate, to fit in with other birth moms. I've never felt any kind of instant kinship or friendship. I don't think most of them even like me. I am really socially awkward and I think maybe it comes across as either aloofness or stupidity or some combination of the two.

I have so little in common with either of these groups with whom I am supposed to share so much. It makes me wonder if I'll ever find any place on earth where I fit in. I never have before. I like to think that I will someday, somehow. I just wish I knew when and where. I wish I knew that I would belong somewhere eventually. Maybe I never will, and my task will be to learn to be okay with that.

No comments: