Less So

Okay, more. Ruth has suggested that we visit late in February. In the last email I wrote to her, I kept having the impulse to write “You know what? Let’s close the adoption.” I didn’t, of course, and I don’t mostly want that, but when I got her email, I didn’t quite know what to do. So I took it to Mr. Book. “Of course, we should definitely go up there, it will have been two and a half months since we’ve seen him,” said he. So that’s I guess what we’re going to do. Not sure why I’m so ambivalent right now. We’ve been missing things: he’s walking now; he’s They also want us to visit during Passover, which could be a bit complicated—I think I’ll try to explain that I’ve got a lot of Catholic duties during the same time frame and see whether we can work something out.

I have also found the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. No foolin’: I have tried many, and this is simply the best.

Ruth outlined three future visits: February, April, and then she asked whether we would want to go to Nora’s family’s island in May or June. (Yes, they own an island. That whole income disparity thing really makes itself felt at times—while Ruth and Nora aren’t rich by any means, they are comfortable.) Honestly? No, that sounds awful to me; trapped, surrounded by their family, with no way out short of faking a medical emergency. But I think Mr. Book would enjoy seeing the island, and I think that Nora is excited about the idea. She doesn’t often seem interested in us or the relationship, so I’m hesitant to reject an overture from her. And, heck, I don’t really feel like I can refuse any visit without a really rock solid reason (i.e., better than “I don’t want to”).

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8 thoughts on “Less So

  1. Susie – at the risk of flames somewhere, “I don’t want to” CAN be a rock solid reason.

    You have lots of visits with Cricket, which is GREAT, but it’s also really emotionally taxing on you.

    Look at it this way, if a first Mom invited her child and his (adoptive)family to her family’s personal island? I think many would understand if the aparents didn’t feel comfortable doing so. And if that was their reasoning for not going.

    Boundaries – establishing them, deciding what’s good/appropriate for you, etc. – go both ways. (It took me a LOOOONG time to understand/believe this – heck, I’m still working on it! – but I do think it’s important.

    Do what you’re able to, and please try not to feel guilty if you’re not able to do everything.

    (((((hugs)))))

  2. That’s an interesting standard–turn it around, and see whether it’s reasonable–and I really like it. I’m going to have to sit with this. I talked to my therapist a bit about the situation, so expect more related navel gazing tomorrow. 😉

  3. Susie – I’ve HAD to start flipping it around so that I can understand it’s okay. People “get” adoptive parent boundaries, but so often I’ve heard that I’m “lucky” to even be “allowed” visits with Cupcake that I developed a VERY take what I can get attitude. Thankfully some wiser people turned me around and faced me in the right direction!!!

    And I’m here for all your upcoming gazing 😉

  4. I’m with Thanksgiving Mom. FWIW, I wouldn’t like that set up either because I need to be able to get away from people especially during stressful visits like that. If you don’t feel like you can say that directly, you can make excuses but you totally have the right to control visits in whatever way keeps you sane. And TGMom — I love that flipping around thing. That’s a really good way to think about it!!

  5. Caroline (Sakia’s first mom) called yesterday & checked in. One thing she said–which I knew or at least sensed, this second year in I am also getting a sense of rhythm/pattern–is that the holiday/birthday stretch (Feb 5 Saskia turns 2) is hard. And it’s not necessarily about wanting to visit a lot or mark those markers but the markers bring up the hard… The message I keep getting, in part, is that I should pay attention to Caroline about Caroline; visits with Saskia are really not the whole of it. And so I love Thanksgiving Mom’s idea that boundaries are fine & in setting them you may also be able to ask for what you could use, like let’s check in, or send a picture or whatever else.

  6. Yes, I’d say flip it as well. I wonder who ever made that silent rule that birthparents should just shut up and accept crumb offered to them? Sounds like a dumb rule to me. Despire your uncertainties, I hope you can find a way to make this a good visit. Odd as it sounds, I can understand that temptation to “close” the adoption. Sometimes opennesss is so hard to navigate, so hard to deal with and to understand. Even I occasionally want to tell my birthparents ” hey…so let’s just forget about this shit.” In fact, I even did it once. I don’t know what its called in open adoption, but in reunion it’s called “pullback”. It feels great for a while until the guilt comes.

    I think the Island might be a crucial turning point in your relationship with them. Practically speaking, it may be just the thing you need to sort of..cement Ruth and Nora into your life, you know? It may seem daunting, but it might be worth the effort. Don’t go for Ruth and Nora, though, if you decide to go ahead with it. Go for Cricket! ( I know you would anyway!)

    This has been a long post with very little solid advice lol. I like what the others are saying. I hope you can find some peace with it soon!

    -Amanda

  7. I know you said some really good stuff, but I got stuck when you mentioned the perfect chocolate chip recipe 🙂

    Seriously, I agree with what Dawn said about space and what TGM said about flipping it around.

    Where will the proposed February meeting be? And what is the duration?

    I hope its very doable for you and for Mr Book, and that Ruth eases up on her need to control.

    • It would be one of the last two Saturdays in February–a noon to eight or nine visit, the kind we usually have. We might try to leave for an hour in the middle to sit in Starbucks and process like weirdos again. 😉

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