Musings After the Pumpkin Patch…

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN over 9 years ago on Thursday, October 21, 2004. I had found my son and knew where he was, but we hadn’t made direct contact yet. I had finally received pictures through the adoption agency maybe less than a month before this trip to the Pumpkin Farm. Seeing his face again for the first time in almost 17 years definitely made the losses more real. Slowing coming out of the birthmother fog while raising the two younger children made the losses very tangible. So I counted the ways and came up with this post. Except it wasn’t even a post because I wasn’t even blogging then, however, I remember really liking that I had written this.

I just got back from Pumpkin picking with my two little ones and a very dear friend.

We had a lovely lunch in a sweet café, even though I told her that I was scared to bring my kids to such a nice place and we really should consider Friendlies instead. She insisted, childless and naive, that it would be fine. True to the laws of nature, I said it would be a disaster and my kids did the opposite and behaved perfectly! I can’t believe we got away with it!

Then we went to a real farm where the pumpkins are still on the vines. A perfect fall day, slightly overcast with a view of the fields and mountains awash with color. We trudged through the fields, over mounds, tripping over vines, stopping to check out sunflowers and different weeds, in search of the perfect pumpkin. Laughing at my young one who was consistently shocked and amazed every time he came across another broken rotten pumpkin, “Look! Nother one boken one!!..and nother one here!!”

Then hiking back to the car with our orange treasures in tow. Once we loaded up from one field, Yella and I sat on the open hatch back of my car and finished our coffee while my monsters ran back and forth to the apple trees picking and eating endless apples. They were amusing. They were cute. They were having a wonderful time. I know these are the days that childhood memories are made of. All and all a very perfect and lovely fall day.

This is Why I Hate Adoption

There will be no memories of perfect pumpkin days with my oldest son. Yes, I am sure his parents are great and he has the proper days in his past, and if I am lucky, maybe someday I will get to see the pictures,  (I have never seen the pictures)  but never will I feel his cold cheeks against mine after a day in the field.
Never will I brush the dirt off his tiny hinee after he loses his footing over a “punkin too big”.
Never will I be presented with the gift of a half chewed apple and truly be touched. These moments belong to someone else and my chances of being part are gone, gone, gone.

  • 17 trips to the pumpkin patch
  • 17 handmade Halloween costumes
  • 17 over exited Christmas Eves
  • 17 crack of dawn groggy Christmas mornings 17 Easter egg hunts
  • 17 handmade mothers day gifts
  • 17 birthday parties
  • 17 times to teach to heirloom stuffing recipe for Thanksgiving
  • 6205 kisses good night
  • 678 boo-boos kissed
  • 2,160 bed time stories
  • 2,340 tickle fights
  • 85 trips to the doctor
  • 18,367 hugs
  • 408 nights of interrupted sleep
  • 68 pairs of shoes
  • 12 back to school shopping trips and 12 first days of school
  • 48 celebratory good report card dinners
  • 468 instances of monsters under the bed
  • 555,165 times to say “stop teasing your brother!”

Did I know what I would really be missing? No, I didn’t then. But as I watched my children playing in the fields today something inside me hurt. I know what I am missing now. You just don’t know what motherhood is like until you live it and by the time I figured it out, I had already given up my first chance.

18, 615 smiles for me……..gone.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

7 Comments on "Musings After the Pumpkin Patch…"

  1. I, too, count the losses.

    It especially hurts at work. I spend my days with other people’s children (I’m a teacher), but I cannot spend them with my own.

  2. You can never get those back. The only thing you can do is make new memories with him if your relationship will allow that in the future.
    When my daughter at the age of 21 came to visit and stayed with us, I made lunches for the car ride to Paris and I felt so sad. I thought about all the lunches that I hadn’t made for her. And I also just loved making the bread rolls and the food packs for the car for that same reason too. You can never get it back. I am now building new memories with her, different ones, not mother and child but mother and adult daughter, it’s not the same, and no, it doesn’t make up for the loss but it’s all I have. And with what I have now I will make the best of that but it’s never going to replace what I lost.
    Again, you speak on my behalf as a fellow mother with words that make others understand a little better what it is like.

  3. Exactly. You don’t how it’s going to feel… and then when you have kids of your ‘own’ you *really* get how much you’ve lost.

  4. This is a really moving post–I’ll be coming back to it time and time again…

  5. I love your writing, Claudia. And, more importantly, I love the way you share your heartbreak so openly. Clearly, (from the comments), your “rantings” are a gift to many others. What could be better for a writer than to know that they truly touched others?

  6. Karen Whitaker | October 31, 2013 at 8:47 pm |

    Love this. Very heartfelt and tender.

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