Thanks to everybody who commented—I’ve made a couple of tiny replies or clarifications, but I appreciate every one of ‘em. I do think that Ruth wants all four of us to be spending all possible parental energy on Cricket, which seems kind of intense—I wonder whether this is one reason why they are (apparently) pushing back the second adoption to who knows when. I can definitely see the parts of her position that come from a good place; she and Nora are so besotted with Cricket that I think they can’t understand that we don’t feel as connected to him. And yet I think they really want to have it both ways on this issue; in the email Nora sent my husband, she mentioned that if this is all for real then we will “become parents” this fall, and of course that’s true, but it’s also a bit weird to hear. When my mother said “I’m going to become a grandmother!” I imagined Ruth being a bit hurt if she knew, but then this sounds like they don’t think of Cricket as also ours in any measureable way.
I’m rambling again. We are obviously not parenting, and Cricket really isn’t ours, and maybe we should cut back contact more, if this is the way that things are. We’re having a hard time affording visits right now, anyway—I don’t really want to be a neutral resource for Cricket, as selfish as that might sound. If we are important to each other, I want to have a relationship; if we aren’t, I don’t want to keep making road trips to awkward visits. Honestly, semi-open adoption is what I think would the most awesome. Of course right now I am ~*~pregnant and emotional ~*~ but if they don’t think that we have a continued importance to the kid, why are we visiting? I guess it’s just mini existential crisis day here on the blog.
I realized the other day while looking longingly at tiny cotton dresses on the internet that maybe some of Ruth and Nora’s concerns are justified; I am thinking less about Cricket and more about the kid I’m growing. Oh, I still think about him every day, but it does feel as though my focus has shifted.
There are a couple of reasons for this that I can see—one, of course, is that the pregnancy is new and my dreams about this maybe daughter are new, and I’m pretty hormonally wired to be obsessed with the possibly her right now. I’ve started dreaming about a baby girl with a head full of black hair almost every night (and I have no idea where that is coming from. Any child of mine is likely to be born bald as an egg, and with a couple of charming skid marks to boot), and I’m eating with her in mind (…mostly. The strawberry ice cream in the freezer is just for me), and I’m starting to set up a nursery, for heaven’s sake. This kid-to-be is with me all the time, and I’m making plans for this kid, and my thoughts are with this one.
The other reason that comes to mind is that our open adoption just isn’t that close; I’ve seen Cricket six times since the adoption, which is less than every two months, and it’s not as though he and I are exchanging emails or having heart-to-heart chats on the phone. I know that this is more contact than a lot of open adoptions entail, and I’m not complaining—we couldn’t afford to drive up there every month even if they wanted us to come. But the result is that I feel pretty distant from Cricket, and I don’t really know what he’s like, and our relationship is very weak. He doesn’t know who I am, and my ideas about who he is are pretty unformed. And we’ve got time to work on that, years and years—but right now I get to get close to another child, and I can’t be close to him. Dawn has talked about how important it’s been for her daughter and her daughter’s birth mom that they all live in the same town, and I’m starting to get that: I am terribly jealous of Pennie’s relationship with Madison. At the same time, even if we lived in the Emerald City, I don’t think Ruth and Nora would want that kind of adoption.
Ruth has told me in the past that it would be best if I could wait a long time to parent so that nothing is taken away from Cricket, and so that he doesn’t feel like his adoption is inexplicable. She was talking about a lot longer than not quite two years. And I can see that right now, some of my mental energy is being diverted from her son. But I think that would matter a lot more if we had a close relationship—Cricket has no idea that I’m thinking more about the baby-to-be, because he doesn’t think about me, because he has no idea who I am, because I’ve seen him once this year. He isn’t losing anything, because he never had it.