adoption, family

“He Was Probably High”: Adventures in the Prodigal Adopted Son

There are probably a million and one ways to fall in love. But falling into motherhood is a unique situation. Falling out of motherhood is a fate I wish upon no one. I’m speaking from personal experience, of course.

It’s been about 7 months since Marcus disrupted out of our home. When he left he was clear about never wanting to see or hear from me again. He had made up his mind that he did not want to be adopted and he did not want to be in our home.

Since then I’ve heard from him in starts and stops. He is usually looking for money or material things.  Once, he asked how his younger siblings are doing. Once he contacted my husband, high as a kite, to talk about his new career as a rap artist. He offered to get us tickets to his next show. Of course we said we would go.

He’s 18 now. He’s making choices. We have to trust that he can make them for himself. He is still in high school and I am beyond proud of him for that. School is hard for him because he has never reacted well to rules and structure. We sent him money on his birthday. He and his girlfriend used it to get matching tattoos. He proudly sent us pictures.

I spend half my time wondering if I will ever stop missing him so terribly. He was my son. I was his mother. It isn’t supposed to be this way. I spend the other half wondering if I will ever stop being relieved that I’m not responsible for him anymore.

His story changes so often it’s hard to keep up.

The day he left:

“I hate you, you f**king b***h. I hope you die! I’ll bury you in a hole. Get back before I f**king kill you!”

Last week:

“Don’t ever think you’re a bad mom you’re not you’re a great mom don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not”

7 months ago:

“You’re a f**king whore! I’m gonna break every bone you have!”

Almost 2 years ago:

“I don’t want you and dad to give up on me. I feel like you’re gonna give up on me”

2 years ago:

“Mom. Mom? White mama?”

7 months ago:




He asked to come back for family dinner. He claimed he’s been missing us. He wanted to thank me for helping him when he was sick. He wanted to thank me for helping his younger siblings.

He wanted to apologize. “I remember when we talked about taking responsibility,” he said, “I want to take responsibility. I want to apologize face-to-face.”

 He sent me a beautiful text message. He told me all of the things I longed to hear. He said he was sorry and that we had been good to him. He thanked us for giving a better life to his younger siblings. He let me know that he trusted me to take care of them.

Afterwards my husband and I talked. Luke brought me back to reality when he said, “I’m glad he was nice. He was probably high.” It’s true. these are the moments when Marcus most often makes contact. He needs something, something has gone wrong, or he is high. Who knows? All I can say is that I needed to hear his words. I did thank him. I reassured him that he is loved. I’m just not ready to start letting him back in. We all tried our best and it didn’t work. It’s too soon. It’s too hard on the Littles when he is back-and-forth. If I’m honest, it’s too hard on me.

I will still hold his words close. Maybe he wasn’t entirely sincere. Maybe he was high. I don’t know. What I do know is that I needed to hear those words. No matter the circumstances, I needed to hear it.

**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.


20 thoughts on ““He Was Probably High”: Adventures in the Prodigal Adopted Son

  1. I understand your pain. Sometimes you have to protect yourself even though there are those within the adoptive community who say, love, love, love there comes a time when you have to let go for your sanity as well as your children’s. I am glad you heard the words you needed to hear, even though they didn’t come under the best of circumstances

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the words are sincere they are just scary to admit. The drugs might give him the ability to deal with the terror that comes with accepting people really do care about you. Be safe and trust your instincts. You are still and awesome Mom who did the best she could in a super tough situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ffjjkk says:

    I wouldn’t say you have fallen out of being a mother. I don’t think that this is necessarily that different to situations bio parents find themselves in with children that they simply can’t care for in order to protect their other children and themselves. It’s even more understandable as a lot of the damage you were fighting against was inflicted before he was even your son. Tough love is sad, sometimes it has to happen.

    It sounds like there is a little glimmer in there. Perhaps given some time sorting himself out and gaining some maturity and you can build on these to create a positive relationship. But it sounds very much like he is the one who bears the responsibility for making the changes that will make that possible. I do hope he does, and I wish all of you the very best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aren’t you sweet? Thank you for your kind words. No matter what happens, or how he feels, I will always feel like his mother. I hope there is a chance for a relationship in the future. Tough love hurts both parties, doesn’t it? I appreciate your reading my blog!


  4. Anne Gleave says:

    Hi just please stay your lovely loving self..
    He will I promise come round when maturity kicks in..
    He will regret those hurtfull
    words and let him forget them ..
    .. always talk about the good bits and when he has his own babes you’ll be a wonderful Nana..
    It’s worth it .. I know xx


  5. Pingback: “He Was Probably High”: Adventures in the Prodigal Adopted Son | talkin'realhere

  6. I believe that when he is high and relaxed, he is free enough to let the real emotions of love come through, the ones that are too scary the other times. I believe those are sincere moments, buried deep the rest of the time. It’s the only time it’s “safe” enough to let them out. And even if he didn’t ever say them, you ARE a good mom, you have done all you can, and it never was up to you to “heal” him, but instead to provide resources and opportunities for him. That you did. Your job was to love him unconditionally. That you did, and continue to do. And it ain’t over yet, he’s got another nearly 9 years of his brain still growing and maturing, and a lot of life experiences to be lived in that time to learn. Hang in there, momma. You will always be his mom, the one who hung in there and loved him with your whole heart, regardless of what a piece of paper might say.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: “He Was Probably High”: Adventures in the Prodigal Adopted Son | 2l2phant

    • Thank you for sharing. Your daughter needs to get herself to a healthier place. All we can do is be there, especially at age 20. I’m sorry you and your family are experiencing this. Thank you for reading.


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