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Barbara Blomquist: 24 Years of Estrangement and a Repaired Relationship, Part 2

Posted by Marcia on November 18, 2010

Barbara Taylor Blomquist is the author of “Insight Into Adoption” and “Randy’s Ride.” In the second of a two-part series, she relays the story of her relationship with her son and their 24 years of being estranged. If you missed Part 1, please click here.

Back in contact

One day when our son was 40 years old, he emailed me and asked how everyone in the family was. I emailed back saying that it was hard to cover 24 years in one email, but I gave him a brief update and mentioned I’d just had a book published. He emailed back that he wanted to get a copy and I mailed one to him. I didn’t hear back for several weeks, but then I received the message I’d prayed for, but at times thought I’d never receive.

He said he realized in reading “Insight Into Adoption” that he had been loved all along, but his anger was so strong at being given up at birth that he couldn’t see or feel any love. He realized he was normal and all the feelings he had were shared by many adopted youth. He was no longer alone. It was difficult for him to read “Insight Into Adoption” because it brought up so many emotions, but he later said it was instrumental in cementing him back into the family.

A visit home

Shortly after reading the book, he said he wanted to fly home for Mother’s Day. We were apprehensive, of course, but said we’d been waiting years to hear those words. He’d left as a boy and was returning as a man. The three days we spent together were like a Walt Disney movie, no deep conversations, but just a reconnecting of love, and an appreciation for each other as human beings who had all suffered. I felt no blame toward him. He felt no blame toward us. It was what it was, over and done with.

During the next year, he flew home five times. He still flies home several times each year and is in regular, wonderful contact by phone and email. He openly shares his joys and his challenges.

Aftermath and a strong beginning

It’s been eight years since he came home that Mother’s Day. There have been times when his anger has shown itself. We’ve been calm and tried to help him deal with it. Each and every time after a few days, he’s said he overreacted. Perhaps old habits die hard. We always say we understand, and we do. We tell him it’s no big deal. These episodes are getting very rare now.

He has many regrets which we tell him are understandable, but not important now. In taking this journey he became the outstanding, understanding, loving soul that he is now. He reconnected with the innate qualities he had as a little boy when he was sensitive and compassionate.

He has an appreciation for life which many people would envy. They wouldn’t envy his method of achieving it, however. He is similar to people who have come back from a life threatening experience. They never look at life the same way again. Their priorities change and their appreciation and gratitude are enhanced for things they used to take for granted.

Our son has said he would be dead now if it weren’t for us. Somewhere deep down he must have known that we would not only eagerly take him back into the family, but would do so with no questions asked. All we care about is now. He’s mentioned that some of his friends can’t believe we’ve been so loving and accepting after what he put us through. I couldn’t imagine being any other way.

How we’ve all grown

We all are different people after going through this. I think when we “know” we are right about something, we have a tendency to judge others, silently or openly. I no longer do that. When I see a behavior on someone’s part that is distasteful or even abhorrent to me, I immediately think “He’s doing the best he can.” A feeling of sympathy overwhelms me and I want only the best for that person who is obviously suffering. They are being motivated by fear or frustration or a feeling of being lost. I no longer take the position that I am better than that person. Instead, I feel gratitude that our son has taught us not to judge or label people. I’m sure people judged him for his negative behavior. That’s human nature.

We have all found a deeper meaning to life through this. First of all, not ever to judge people, but also to genuinely love people for who they are, warts and all. I know in my heart that our love for our son was a factor in bringing him out of his lifestyle. It took way too many years, but if people knew him years ago, they would know he’d die an early death. He proved them wrong. He dropped out of high school and never could stay in college, but he’s worked hard in his field and is greatly respected for the knowledge he has which he’s learned on his own. He is sought after for his knowledge and paid handsomely for it. He dedicated himself to getting himself out of his messy life. His very bad credit has improved to the point where he is now a homeowner.

His life now is calmer and he takes justified pride and joy in how far he’s come from his previous years. I think we as parents feel even more happiness in this. We know the outcome could very well have been different. I had prepared myself for one day hearing that he had died. At least I thought I had. Now what we are witnessing is a second birth of a beautiful human being who accepts love and gives love.

Bitterness versus understanding

We have several friends who have had problems with troubled sons who have devastated their lives. I’ve heard them say they would never take their sons back after what their sons did to them. My heart goes out to these families because they will never know the ongoing joy of knowing the power of parental love. They express anger and resentment and are living daily with that. I did for some time until I realized that stance was hurting all of us.

Even if reconciliation never occurs, an attitude of forgiving and understanding love enhances your own life and allows bitterness to be non-existent.

We couldn’t be more grateful and prouder of the person our son has discovered he is – and was all along.”

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Posted in adopted kids, Barbara Taylor Blomquist, defiant adopted kids, estranged, estranged from parents, family difficulties, missing our son, out of control teens, Parents and teens, repaired relationship, Troubled teens, worried parents | Leave a Comment »

 
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