A New Horizon; A Fresh Start

I tend not to swear on the blog, but there’s no other way to put it: I feel like a grade-A asshole.

I emailed Ruth—mostly chatty stuff about our Thanksgiving, asking about theirs—but did ask her what’s been happening (in a friendly, casual sort of way). And she told me. I’m a little unsure of how much to share on the blog, but they are not matched; they were offered a really wonderful match, but felt as though they couldn’t accept, and have in fact removed themselves from the pool for a time. They’ve been having physical, parental, and emotional troubles, and it looks like things are on the mend—but they aren’t ready to add a newborn to the mix just now. Boy, did I have ahold of the wrong end of the stick.

After I got her email, which really was just a frank list of things that have gotten in the way of contact for the last several months, I contacted her on Facebook chat, and we had a pretty good conversation. I mentioned that I’d wondered whether they might have been matched, and she said that no, she’d let us know right away if they were matched.

So I told her about the Possum.

She said that she was happy for me, and asked how I was feeling. Amazing. The whole series of events has left me feeling like a jerk, but also feeling really hopeful about the future; Ruth was so frank and open about what’s been happening that I was caught off guard. She seemed relieved that I wasn’t upset—she definitely told me some things that I imagine adoptive parents don’t relish telling birth parents—but instead I suddenly understood why she’s been more and more unavailable, and I felt lousy about assuming the worst. She said that they had been planning to visit in May, which is probably not going to work now; I had no idea. She wants to talk more often, and I think that we will, when she can. I told her that they should tell Cricket about my pregnancy when they think it best, and she thinks that this is a bit soon. I agree. But she did say that they’ll probably explain when I start to show, which isn’t something I’d thought about (currently, I am wearing this dopey, baggy disguise when I’m in public or there’s a camera about).

I guess I can talk about the parental part here: Ruth and Nora are finding Cricket harder and harder to deal with as he gets more capable and intelligent. I haven’t seen him in several months, but it has seemed for quite some time—more and more over the last two years or so—that his moms have just not seemed like a great temperamental match for Cricket. I know that happens in biological families too, but it’s hard not to wonder what it would be like here. Joey has a much different personality, a more easygoing and adaptable self—but Cricket’s temperament seems a lot like mine, and I might have found him easier to work with than his moms have so far. And of course toddlerhood is not destiny; as he gets a bit older, he and Ruth may find each other more comfortable. But it’s hard for everyone right now.

The five of us—Ruth, Cricket, me, the Mister, and Joey—talked by Skype a day or so after that Facebook chat. Cricket showed us his toys and told us that he loves us; we showed him some of Joey’s toys and told him that we love him.

12 thoughts on “A New Horizon; A Fresh Start

  1. I’m so glad you guys had a good conversation! I hope they find some support for parenting Cricket in a way that helps him thrive and keeps them sane. How did you feel hearing more details about that? I hope they have some parenting friends who have been there/done that because those people are lifesavers especially when they can normalize the challenging stuff.

  2. I’ve kind of been a lurker lately but wanted to pipe up to empathize as Kidlet has turned out to be quite a challenging kiddo for J&M (and he may have been for me as well had I parented) how much of it is because his temperament is more like mine and his birth dads and unlike J&M’s and how much is adoption related “stuff” and how much is just regular age appropriate “stuff” idk but I definately relate and struggle with something similar but I hope that the honesty about the hard stuff helps.

  3. Oh wow! That’s wonderful that you guys had a good conversation and a family skype session. I bet Ruth felt really supported and accepted when she opened up about the challenges she’s been having. While it must be hard for you to hear about this stuff, I’m glad you reached out to Ruth.

    Even though the May visit probably won’t work, it’s nice hearing that they would like more contact. Especially with Cricket’s birthday coming up, I’m glad you connected with Ruth. I’m so excited she was happy for you about the possum.

  4. I’m really happy you were able to have a good conversation with Ruth about the situation.

    I’m very very different than my adoptive father. He was sold the whole “blank slate” theory and to this day, he refuses to believe that biology has anything to do with my personality. And trust me, it does. It made for a very difficult parenting situation for him as he tried to adjust to raising a child who was so different from him and my adoptive mother. And they didn’t know my first parents, which made it even harder because they had no clue what to expect.

    I’m glad you’re working things out because I wish I had what Cricket has… the ability to know where he comes from and where his personality comes from. It’s so important and real. (((hugs)))

  5. I just want to say I’m so glad (maybe not the right word) that you were able to adjust your thinking. I know that sometimes I form an opinion and can’t get past it, and I think you’re willingness to keep listening and adjusting with Ruth will do so much to give Cricket the best relationship with everyone. You shouldn’t feel bad that you made assumptions, when people don’t open up it’s what we all do.

  6. Whoa-ho-ho, I was so ready to tell you slam some no-nonsense truth-talking at them. Boy were we both wrong. I’m so glad you didn’t freak out at them prematurely; you’d have to eat some serious crow right now and you’d feel like shit. Sometimes being timid and passive aggressive works out for the best, apparently. (Yet, it never has for me… oh well, it’s not like I’m gonna change my ways or anything crazy like that.)

    I’m sorry they’re having a hard time (I’m not, actually, but I’m sorry for Cricket that they’re having a hard time) but am overjoyed you were able to tell them about the possum and get the positive response you deserve.

    Hopefully this will help you to view them in… I don’t know, a better light? A more compassionate one? I dunno.

  7. Wow – so many different things going on than what you expected. I am really thankful that Ruth opened up about what is happening, and that you felt comfortable telling her about the Possum. Thank goodness she was able to respond appropriately this time!

    I echo Dawn in hoping that they can get some support in parenting Cricket, for everyone’s sake.

    It is so much easier to be connected and really see other people when there is open, honest communication. Like Racilous said, if people don’t open up to us, all we are left with is our assumptions, fears and ideas about them.

  8. I don’t know if I’ve commented before, but I’ve been lurking on your blog for some time. I am not a direct participant in adoption, but have been very affected by it in my life–I grew up with a couple close friends who were adopted (closed, closed and from overseas), one of my sisters is married to an adoptee (closed, but with an identical twin brother he grew up with), some close friends are adoptive parents (open), and one of my two best girlfriends placed her oldest for adoption (open). All that to say, I’m a very interested outsider.

    I have to say that I’m so impressed by your willingness to admit you were wrong in your assumptions and to extend yourself in relationship with Ruth. The honesty and vulnerability on both your side and hers is a very good sign for the future, especially for Cricket. Really a beautiful thing.

  9. Wow. That was very unexpected! I’m glad you were able to talk some things out, that’s such a big step in your relationship and I hope that the communication remains open and honest. I don’t think you should feel like a jerk or an asshole though. Not at all! You’ve been hurt before by them and it’s only natural to assume things based on past interactions. It’s not like you accused them of anything or said hurtful things to them!

    I bet it is incredibly painful to hear that they are struggling with Cricket. I am so sorry about that 😦 That must feel like a dagger in your heart.

  10. This is really wonderful news. I’m glad you were able to speak more honestly with one another. Ages 2 and 3 are very challenging for even the most patient of parents. My own mellow child never gave me any problems until several months after her turned 2, at which point I started to understand why so many parents find these years exasperating. I’m still putting my eggs in the “Crickett is at a challenging age” basket.

    It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of speculating about other people’s motivations, but I hope this positive exchange will help free you from that. Here’s hoping to better times ahead.

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