Sophocles has said’ “Sons are the anchors of a mother’s life.” I could not agree more with this as Austin has been by my side through everything; pregnancy with his sister, divorce from his father, few breakups, pregnancy with Little B, the adoption process, college classes, my grief process after Little B voluntary termination of parental rights and a new marriage. Granted, we butt heads from time to time but we have an amazing mother and son bond that no one will ever divide.
About a month ago and again in the recent weeks, Austin and I were talking about Little B openly. This is something we do often but Austin made me think about my responses in a good way. To understand Austin more, he is the boy who does not take vague answers and you have to be thorough when responding.
The first question he asked me about a month ago was “Do you ever think about how life would have been different if I would have chosen an abortion over adoption?” How deep was his thinking- I simply answered “NO” and he asked me to explain why I felt that way. I told him that if I did an abortion I would constantly wonder about the ‘What Ifs’ and I wouldn’t have been able to go on knowing I took a life. I told him I was pro-choice but abortion was not for me even when faced with Little B’s pregnancy. I asked him in return “If he ever thought about what our lives would have been like if I choose differently?” He answered with a simple “No” which prompted me to ask ” Are you mad at me about my decision?” His responded ” No I am not mad and does not regret the open adoption of his little brother.” We both agreed that Little B is exactly where he is supposed to be and that we’re blessed to be part of his life.
A few weeks ago on a Monday while on our way home from his doctor’s appointment we were talking about grief and the stages. This conversation came up due the recent passing of our uncle and him wanting to know if I spoke to auntie to check in on her. I said that auntie is taking it one day at a time. One character feature about Austin that he got from me is that he has a heart of gold and is very compassionate when it comes to family.
As we discussed grief and the stages, He asked me, “Mom, are you ever in denial about Little B?” I looked at him to respond and said “How could I be in denial about Little B, he is alive, happy but sometimes I hurt that he is alive and not with us but I never will deny that I had him.” He sat there quiet and I could tell he had a follow up to my response as he always does. So I proceeded to tell him that “My biggest fear is that Little B will ask me why I chose to place him but parented Chloe and you.” He said ” Your fear is relevant and you know that Little B’s dads would make sure he was told the truth about his adoption.” I simply just smiled back at him.
He proceeded to asked if I was angry about the adoption and the grief. I said, “I made peace with my anger; my anger was not about Little B but towards Little B’s birth-father.” I said this nicely and he then asked if I forgave him. Forgiveness is a work in progress for me but I said “I forgave him for going to jail but other than that I have not forgiven him and I am pretty sure I will never forgive him and I consider him dead to me.” Austin was not having the dead to me at all- He then asked “Well what if he did not go to jail by PaPa and MeMe’s that day, what would have happened?” I looked at him and dead honestly answered “I don’t know what would have happened except that I know if he did not go with us to PaPa and MeMe’s he would have not went to jail and one day I would have probably found him dead in the house.” Austin was completely fine with my answer and I finished our car ride with “I still go through the grief process, you of all people have watched it firsthand how the grief for Little B sucks because he is not dead and he is very much alive but I am blessed that he is alive and we’re part of his life and will remain part of his life.”
These conversations are the ones I cherish the most and when we have them they are real, raw and most importantly truthful. I have always told my kids the honest truth and I will never change or regret this parenting decision. Being opened, honest and truthful has allowed our bond to grow deeper. He will always be my number one man in my life.