Part 2

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.

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8 thoughts on “Part 2

  1. I think you are right. They seem to want the best of both worlds. They want you at arms’ length, and when it’s convenient and important for them, but yet they think you should be expending more energy on Cricket.

    Relationships get messy. They are not one sided. Sometimes it seems they have this ideal picture of adoption in their head (hence why they didn’t want to hear the “bad parts” you were experiencing), and when it doesn’t match real life, they don’t understand what’s going on.

    It’s too bad you have to be dealing with all of this. I hope they understand they are responsible for putting their family first and you are responsible for putting your family first.

    Good luck and hugs.

  2. It sounds like you are finding way to respond to the adoption as it is instead of the way you want it to be or the way they think it is in their heads, which seems extremely healthy to me. In other words, I think you rock. Don’t get too hung up on semi-open/open because your adoption is what it is and the labels, who cares? By which I mean that relationships change and this relationship will surely change and some of that is in your control and some isn’t but placing limits and boundaries within the reality so that it works for YOU is a big deal.

  3. Just as words like mother, parent, grandparent are confusing in adoption (I think) so too is open-adoption. It’s so… variable.

    I have no idea what’s true, yet I imagine that for Cricket having you & Mr. Book in his life matters. I don’t think it has to be all the time. I feel it’s more that you develop some sense of him & he of you. Some distant family visits more often, others more infrequently.

    But taking care of yourself ultimately helps C the most. Change is the operative word.

    And I do think that sense of “real” with adoption comes up in people’s fears more than we know: my father/stepmother really did not want us to adopt. And by gosh told us so! To which we replied it wasn’t their decision. When the legal struggles ensued in our case you can bet my dad was 1) frantic 2) still, just a little, holding that girl at arm’s length. You can’t really control crazy.

  4. I think open adoption is very very complicated when you look at it from the limited either/or standpoint. Are you Cricket’s parents or are Ruth and Nora. Is Cricket your first child or is the one you are carrying? Either/or makes at least one party a loser. That feels yucky.

    But there is another way to look at it besides either/or: both/and. Yes, Ruth and Nora are Cricket’s parents. And so are you. Yes Cricket is your firstborn child. And the child you’re carrying is your first parented child. I think as Cricket grows up a connection to you and Mr Book will be very important to his integrating his biology and biography.

    It’s still not easy or simple, but this shift from either/or to both/and gets rid of black & white thinking, which means maybe there is no big loser.

    • I agree with you that looking at parenthood in a binary way is really limiting, but part of what’s coming up for me is my frustration at apparently being the only woman in the situation who thinks so. Hopefully we can all get on the same page once Cricket starts telling us what he wants.

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