Do you feel like Ruth kept her unusual personality under wraps when you were getting to know her prior to Cricket’s arrival, or is it more like she’s only weird/super protective about Cricket-related things, so there wasn’t anything to notice back then?
This comes on the heels of a strong desire of mine to ask her what, at this point, her ideal adoption would look like: What does she really want from me/us? I might ask, if I can think of a really neutral way to put it. I’m just curious to know how they want it to go, or what they wish we were doing differently. We talked about this stuff before the adoption, but looking back, we were all speaking in such vague terms that it was almost meaningless. I don’t mean to blame any one of the four of us—although I’m happy to blame the agency, a bit—because we had no idea what we were doing, either we expectant parents or those hopeful adoptive parents. They said that they wanted their kids’ birthparents to be like a part of their extended family, and that sounded pretty good; it didn’t occur to us to ask or them to tell what their relationships with their extended family looked like. We set some minimum levels of contact to go into the agreement, and I think those were reasonable.
One of the lousier things about the way our match worked was that I ended up telling them a lot of lousy things about myself (in case Cricket would inherit them) while trying to remain likeable, and they didn’t tell me any lousy things about themselves. Why would they? So I am saying: I’ve struggled my entire life with depression, the hospital kind; I have ADD; no, I smoked pot a few times in college (to help with the side effects of antidepressants, mostly), but I am not a drug user. And they are saying: We are friendly people, committed to contact, and we have a dog. Here are our wedding pictures. Come to our baby shower. I did see parts of Ruth’s personality that mostly impact me in a negative way now, but they were being implemented in really positive ways; she can really take charge of a situation and get things done, and there were times in the pregnancy when I was incredibly grateful for that. It is her ability and desire to control a situation that makes her incredibly effective when it’s called for, and I saw that ability without really seeing the desire, because she was very careful not to pressure me. She understood that she could not control my pregnancy or my decision, and while there were a few times when she would make an effort in that direction, by and large she was very careful—not to trick me, but to be a respectful and ethical person.
But now that Ruth is a mother, and doesn’t have to worry about pressuring me, she can work to get the control she desires. I think if I’d lived with them for the last trimester, I would have seen more of what she is like, but we just didn’t spend enough time together for that to come across. There are still things, major things, that they don’t know about my personality—I don’t think that those things affect the adoption, but there are things about myself that I keep private. I really wanted to be close friends with them, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, so I will probably continue to keep things back.