13 October 2009

Memories...

My last blog post took me for an unexpected stroll through memory lane... memories I thought had long since gone; or lost behind a wall of pain.

However, they peeked out as I walked through the vaults and demanded to be heard and so as I lay in the darkness last night I allowed them to wash over me; to re-experience them again. They are not awful. They are not entirely unwelcome or all that significant. They are the gaps between time; the memories of other things that occurred whilst I was living my nightmare of trying to figure out what was going on.

They are little daily things I went through while pregnant with my first born.

Last night, they replayed through my head like an old video.

The first three months I hibernated mostly due to being so nauseous; no one knew where I was.

My craving that pregnancy was McChicken burgers; mostly the mayonnaise on the burger. I couldn't stand red meat, loved lettuce, milkshakes and mayo... on just about anything! I recall going through my wallet just before pay day to gather as many small silver coins so I could buy McChicken burgers.

I recall watching movies with my best friends and when my sister came to visit, with her. One movie stands out in particular: Mrs Winterbourne. I became addicted to Days of Our Lives as the part we were up to was about a kidnapped baby being sold for adoption... even then I could relate although my child was not yet born.

I remember warm days at the beach, nightclubbing with my friends (and no, I wasn't drinking), nannying for different families, crying over boys (well actually guys and only two in particular), going for midnight drives, going to the movies, and spending time day dreaming about my own small family.

This in the midst of a hell I was trying to escape.

I was very fit, walking everywhere and hardly looked pregnant until I reached 28 weeks and then my beautiful belly popped. Often I would walk through the gorgeous gardens Christchurch has to offer and just daydream.

Other times I recall sitting on my bed and just talking to my baby... rubbing my belly, singing to her, reading to her, telling her what I liked, what was going on.

My favourite movie at the time was Titanic. My favourite CD was Savage Garden, Aqua and the soundtrack to Titanic. I loved other music, especially Dance/club music and my fave radio staions were 91ZM and 92MoreFM. I adored the Pretender on TV; justice was always an important part of my life. I was a human rights activist, an AMnesty International volunteer and during Candle Day that year, I stood with my pregnant belly on a corner of a busy street selling pins and telling others about abuses of Human Rights. Little did I know I was to face my own situation in less than 3 months of that day.

I was a real person then. Lost, maybe, but still real. Squashed and unheard but I existed. I was not an incubator. I was not created to be raped and bear a child for another person. I had feelings, dreams and desires. And that was okay. That girl who I once was wants to breathe again, feel life through her veins after being so dead for so long. She is still broken but no longer will she be held back. Reuniting her with me, and merging her into my life is hard... so much time has passed and I feel like I am sleeping beauty waking up and my life has been lived for me and now I want it back.

Maybe this is why these memories are breaking through... it is my core choosing to do more than survive, more than get up in the morning and get through each day. I want to leave this life knowing there are happy memories; not those of just being a survivor, a victim.

Memories... powerful and fragile all at the same time.

10 October 2009

What's in name? Everything...

Part of being a blogger means you read the blogs by others... and the associated comments.

Recently I read a couple of blogs written by authors who are participating in a carnival known as "Grown in my Heart Carnival" (And yes, I gagged when I saw the title).

The theme of this carnival is Names and adoption... naming an adopted person.

Curious, I followed a link posted on one of these blogs and discovered a list of other blogs written by more participants and so I had a sticky beak at these as well.

I read until my blood was boiling and my heart felt it would break all over again with the painful reminders of what adoption does to a person.

A name is such an important part of a person. As a child, I can recall receiving parcels for my birthday from my grandparents and seeing MY name on the parcel used to thrill me. I cannot explain it, I just remember feeling important enough for a parcel to be in MY name and looking at my name, I felt a sense of who I am in this world. It was MY name and it came with a story of how it was chosen making it more special to me.

During my pregnancies with all my three children, I have always set out with names I would love to use. Over the course of the pregnancy as I have bonded and come to know my children INTRICATELY and in a way NO OTHER HUMAN HAS KNOWN MY CHILDREN, I came to see MY names might not be the ones for these little people developing inside of me and so I felt from them, their names. For ALL three of my children I have envisioned the type of people they are whilst they were growing in my womb. I have felt their core personalities, felt their amazing minds. To know these things so intimately about someone is more powerful than I could ever describe.

Their names reflected these feelings and all three of them have lived up to their names, including my daughter who I lost. But the name she lives up to is her real name, the name she was born with, not the name she has since been lumped with.

I do not use her adopted name unless I speak to her. I never have. Since I was pregnant I have known her only as the child I carried and the name I gave her took me some time to come to. That it was changed as if she were a new puppy or doll incenses me. It proves to me how much of a possession she is; not a human being with an identity already firmly in place.

She once indicated to me how much she didn't like her first name (her new name) and she was being teased at school for it. I couldn't say anything, I had to bite my lip!

I recall the day her adopters told me they were going to change her name and what it would be. I can recall her female adopter telling me what MY daughter would grow up to be like and how much her new name would reflect her life. I wanted to vomit. Instead I sat there looking at her in horror. Again, I saw how little my child meant to these people... she was merely a means, a shell to purge all their desires into. They didn't see my daughter as an already existing person with her own personality and feelings.

So yes names are more important than one can imagine. The name I gave to my daughter means: "Like a Jewel, cherished one and Symbol of Love, God's gracious gift". To have this taken from her was not necessary. Children are not puppies in need of a name. Children are not dolls, playthings. Adoption takes away a human element from a child that is really a form of abuse.

To answer some of the wonderings I read on a blog: I did rub my belly while I carried my daughter. I did speak to her, whisper to her through my tears in the dark. I did what any mother does who carries and raises her own child. I bonded with my child. Her adoption was unnecessary. The pain in her eyes is unnecessary and so is my broken heart and soul.