Thanks so much to everyone who’s commented; I’ll respond in a little more detail at the end of this post, but want to get that out there first and foremost. I was really feeling defeated, and the emotional support I’ve found here is a bit overwhelming.
I had sort of a sad confluence of events; after posting my glum post, I went to therapy and had my therapist pressuring me to try to get Cricket back. This is distressing because (a) it’s not something I would ever try to do—I signed the papers, his moms are good people, and he’s happy—and because (b) I wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. “Maybe you could get him back!” is one of the least comforting things someone could say to me about the adoption, and while I think my therapist is overall excellent at her job, she does have a strong bias in favor of biological family ties. (She’s a birthmother herself, and mostly counsels adoptees and birthparents.) Maybe it’s worthwhile for her to bring that up because as long as it upsets me to hear it, I know that I have more emotional work to do—but really I just don’t want to have that conversation again. Cricket belongs with his moms, and that’s a sure thing. I’m also drowning a bit in work, which should be over and done within a day or two, but it’s a bit much just now=I am not sleeping=it is harder to hear bad news.
There was one comment over on Dawn’s post about my little problem that really got me where it hurts—Mia says that she might very well say the same thing, because hearing about the loss might taint her time spent with her child. I’ll quote just a bit of it here, but y’all should read it over at Dawn’s blog if you haven’t already:
“I get that Susie doesn’t want to tell Ruth that she sometimes regrets the adoption. But as an adoptive mom, I think that is where our minds go anyway, and it’s really heavy to consider. Regretting the circumstances that led to adoption is one thing; regretting, today, that the child is adopted, is another. Maybe Ruth feels that, and suspects, that she couldn’t bear it. And really, who could?”
I don’t think that I’ve given Ruth particular reason to think that I regret the adoption, but of course her mind might jump there—and the fact of the matter is that she didn’t sign on to hear about my hard times. I like very much Dawn’s self-assigned role as a listener to Pennie…but Ruth didn’t nominate herself to do the same thing for me. And that’s her right; doesn’t make her a bad person, just makes her not quite my dream adoptive mother-to-our-son. But shoot, I guess we’re none of us perfect.
Artemis made a good point, and I think that I need to get to the point where I do see it as a good thing that she said no; I want her to be honest with me, and that probably means that she’ll sometimes say what I don’t want to hear. I’m not quite there right now, but I can see it from here.
TGM, I feel really bad with regard to you right now—I’ve always felt a bit smug about Ruth seeming to me like a better adoption partner than Dee (totally my bias, nothing you’ve said!). We may very well be better suited to each other than Dee and I would be…but it’s not perfect, and it’s probably best for me to realize that and really take it in.
For those of you who pointed out that the relationship is still young, and that I should probably just let this sit for a couple of years—man, do I hate that you’re right. I am terrible at letting things alone, but this one has been (firmly, graciously) taken out of my hands.
And I’m both glad and sorry that I’m not the only one who immediately starts blaming herself when something like this happens. I’m a worrier by nature, so I imagined Ruth and Nora having a conversation about whether they maybe need to cut out visits for awhile, just in case. Then I got an email from Ruth, concerned that she might have hurt my feelings or upset me. That’s both a good and terrible piece of this thing; Ruth isn’t on the same page as me, and yet she is warm and caring—just on her own terms. She and I both have a desire to control our environment, but she tends to win in our shared space. I guess that’s just the nature of the relationship.
One thing that I keep coming back to is the fact that I didn’t know what to tell her if she said yes. What would I say? I don’t want to mention anything that’s ongoing, because I don’t want to bother her–but the only things that are really resolved are pretty spooky stuff from the very early days. Maybe something that’s ongoing but nonthreatening–like what? “I’m sad sometimes”? Actually, come to think of it, that might have been a good place for me to start. Sometimes when I’m having a really hard time, I’ll say to Mr. Book, “Hey–I’m having a really hard time.” And he’ll say something like “I know,” and that’s enough. Maybe that’s all I wanted. Hard to say.
Oh, how did I respond to that email? I lied.