Well—I sent the message. Nora and Ruth each responded; Ruth’s response came first, and I was enraged after reading it. It was incredibly condescending in tone, and parts of it seemed to be written for a lawyer rather than for me (e.g., pointing out that they don’t have to visit every twelve months, but once every calendar year—when I had never suggested that they had missed a visit, but complained that they kept telling us that they would let us know when they want to visit “soon” but that it’s been four months’ worth of “soon”). She said that they have done things to show us that we are important, and it’s unfair to say that we aren’t a high priority for them. Nora’s message made me feel a bit guilty, and made me feel as though I have to try to work things out—the difference was mostly in tone, but left me and Mr. Book deciding to just have as little contact with Ruth as possible without trying to pull away from Nora or Cricket. I wrote back to them, and since I was writing back to two messages that I wanted to respond to very differently, the tone of my email shifted quite a bit from the beginning to the end.
Excerpt from early part: “And maybe I never would have gotten to this point if I didn’t know other people in better open adoption situations. So when I say that we aren’t a high priority, I am saying it as someone who has seen what it looks like when the birthparents are, not just because we didn’t get copies of pictures for a year and a half.”
Excerpt from near the end: “I’m making fall sweaters for the boys, now, and I don’t know whether Cricket ever tried his on, or hates red, or hates sweaters, or whether it didn’t fit at all—so I don’t know whether to make him one. When we sent dates in a Christmas package, you never told me whether Cricket tried them, or liked them, or thought they looked too much like bugs, or isn’t allowed to eat dates. I don’t assume that you’ll be attending the boys’ birthday parties, but you don’t even let me know that you got the invitations. I’m not looking for rosie sunshine responses to the things we send, but I hate that we are sending them into silence. (Although you did tell me that he liked his birthday present this year, and I really appreciated that.) I have a hard time reaching out to Cricket, and this is one of the easiest and clearest ways for me to try to show love—and it practice, it ends up being really discouraging.”
And I’m responding to Ruth in that first portion, and Nora, mostly, in that second one—although I didn’t call it out that way. No response to that message yet—except that Nora sent me a really beautiful picture of Cricket that I will post behind a password. Based on what Ruth has told me about the breakdown of the other relationships in her life, I will not be surprised if my refusal to agree that we are a high priority and that she has been awesome and that her problems are the only important problems means that she’s more or less done with me. Instead, I pointed out tartly that she is not the only one going through a hard time, and that since I have no idea when anyone’s hard times will be behind her, I am not willing to wait until that unknown date to express my discontent.
Mr. Book isn’t thrilled. He supports me unconditionally, but he will put up with just about anything to have as much contact as possible with Cricket—and I finally said I’m not willing to do the same, that I just can’t handle it on top of everything else right now. Of course, I want some kind of closure, which is idiotic. But it is an incredible relief to have just said: Hey. This sucks. I do not like it. And I’ve made myself a promise: I never have to talk to Ruth on Facebook chat ever again, unless someone is in the hospital.