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Home > By Foster Parents > The Burden of Knowing Adoption

The Burden of Knowing

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By the slip of an inexperienced lawyer I know their names My son’s birthparents who wished to be anonymous

She who denied the reality of another pregnancy even to herself He who had balked at raising their first son Overlooked her
changing body As it happened again

All alone she drove herself to the hospital To bring forth a child she could not bear to see or hold The baby at home would
have his first birthday soon She could not start over again

His was a difficult delivery His collarbone broken from all her effort A painful beginning

I must make an adoption plan for this baby She told the hospital social worker No, I don’t want to know about his adoptive
parents It hurts too much to know

I am afraid to tell the father But I want the baby to go home soon I will tell him so he can give his consent And the baby can
join his new family

Never knowing his mother’s turmoil A little son left the hospital Into the arms of gentle foster parents Who had done this many
times before

He showed up at the appointed meeting and Silently signed his consent To never see a son Whose existence he had scarcely
chanced to know

So much love, so much pain To create my darling son Their names are cast indelibly in my memory

What will I say when my son asks Can I lie and say I don’t know They wished to be anonymous

His loss is an emptyness in me, too How I wish I could share him with them That we could all be whole

But just as I stopped my husband’s impulse To look them up in the telephone book at the lawyer’s office I make myself shelve
their names far back in my mind To let them become covered with dust Almost but not completely forgotten

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