So we had the visit, and it was fine. In some ways, I feel like there’s nothing else to say about it—I’m glad it’s over, Mr. Book and I agree that we never want to have a visit again, and we’re careful not to let Ruth, Nora, or Cricket pick up on those feelings. We don’t have a visit next month (they invited us for Thanksgiving, but we already had plans), and we’re both grateful. Cricket is a little charmer still, chasing the cat as best as he can on his hands and knees and laughing whenever the grownups do. I don’t think they plan to come back in the foreseeable future—the drive must be murder with a tiny child—which is a relief. It is hard and strange to see him chugging around our apartment, our kid who isn’t our kid but is in our house.
I did spend a lot of time cleaning before the visit, and freaking out a little, but Mr. Book reminded me several times that their house has never been clean when we’ve been there, and that it’s probably not the first thing on their minds. I do think that being glad not to have a visit next month makes me a bad birthmom, but not as bad as I would be if I told them about those feelings. Many of my background preparations turned out to be pointless—Ruth didn’t want any juice, and I don’t think they noticed that we’d put up the gift they gave us at placement. We took it down after they left; it is very much not to our taste, and didn’t seem to be chosen with us in mind. I know that the adoption links our two families, but I think Ruth especially tends to interpret that as us being included in their family without them being included in ours—she wants to share their culture with us but hasn’t seemed to feel any need or desire to absorb ours. I am occasionally frustrated by that, but not usually; at most, I want sometimes to say “You know that I have no desire to become Jewish, right? I am a Catholic, I chose Catholicism, and it’s very important to me.” Oh, well.
This sounds awfully negative for a post-visit post, I am realizing. I should mention again that nothing bad happened, they were pleasant and friendly and they seemed to enjoy dinner very much, even accepted leftovers to take back with them. I guess there were two bad things that happened in my head during the visit that are distracting me right now:
1. I realized that it’s been ten and a half months since they said that they would send my mom a letter telling her where she could contact them, and it hasn’t happened. I know they’ve thought about it, even worked on the letter, but they know that she wants to send a birthday card, they say that they have no problem with that, and yet it seems like they will make it impossible, and that strikes me as unfair. My mom’s no prince, but she doesn’t deserve to be left hanging for almost a year with no explanation.
2. We talked about Cricket’s birthday party, which will apparently also be a Hanukkah party, and which will be ghastly for Mr. Book and myself. I went to a baby shower for Ruth and Nora, so I know what the zoo exhibit experience is like; Mr. Book has not yet had that experience, but does not look forward to finding out what it’s like. I should stress that their family and friends are very nice people and that no one said anything hateful to me. But I am basically the donor to them, and that is interesting and odd, and it’s a creepy feeling.
My post-visit sick this time is just a bad cold, but I’m willing to take the excuse and stay in bed.