Was Kendra, the birth mother, open to meeting us? Our friend, Tracey, was curious too.
I sent Tracey this reply via text message:
Not sure if she will meet us. Tom and I are worried that she might be getting coerced by her husband (not same man as birth father) and by her parents. The attorney told us that Kendra is very worried about her 5 year old who is expecting this baby sister. I mean, she already has 2 kids. I don't know how she can go through with this. If she doesn't, that's fine. Of course! But we are worried she will follow through out of coercion and then be traumatized. I think it is a positive sign if Kendra requires meeting us. Or maybe she wants a closed adoption because it is too painful for her? I don't know. I don't have any experience with this yet. We are meeting with the attorney at 3:00. I am feeling bad for the birth mother and her 2 boys who have been anticipating a baby sister. I am strange.
Tracey texted me back:
I felt really bad for Ricky's birth mom too. Being a mom, how can you not? It is sad for her. It's the worst thing she can go through. I remember thinking that it was such a happy moment for us, but so sad for her. It will be sad no matter who you adopt from. There is no perfect situation.
I was thankful for Tracey's understanding. Thank God I had a friend who had just been through this!
Adoption triggers complex and ambivalent emotions in all of the involved persons. The former psychotherapist in me later (much later) recognized that part of my concern for Kendra, was my unconscious attempt to bury any negative feelings I had toward her. Because the truth, honestly, was that I could not understand. I could not understand why any mother, in any situation, would give away her own child. I would rather die.
I was uncomfortable feeling this way. I strive to have empathy for others. Plus, if she followed through with the adoption plan, and actually gave us her baby, I'd also be thankful beyond belief.
How could I reconcile gratitude with contempt?
I NEEDED to meet Kendra. I did not want to hate this baby's biological mother. I wanted to connect with her, to have some sense of what it meant to be her. And more likely than not, this baby would someday want the same answers to the very same questions.