I feel like a lot has been going on the past couple weeks. That may just have a lot to do with a puppy that literally takes up every second of our day when we’re not at work, so I feel like I haven’t been doing much or sitting still much or anything the past two weeks. Not complaining… just sayin’ 😉 It’s amazing how fast he’s growing! It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a puppy around and I’ve forgotten how quickly they grow. He can now “sit” and “shake” and we’re definitely still working on him COMING when he’s called (Grrr) as well as biting/nipping at everything in sight. lol
Last week, I successfully forced myself to go to the Agency to drop Dustin’s letters off. Most people know that I have weird emotional issues with stepping foot in that building (or in the parking lot, for that matter) and it bugs me really bad. I don’t know why I can’t just completely overcome it, considering I am WELL aware that it’s a completely irrational “fear”. Anyway, I made myself go and now Dustin gets letters ranging from February to current, all at once. (Really, it was only 4 letters, not like one a week or anything!) I can’t help but think, every time I drop a letter (or a bundle of letters) off, maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a response from them sometime soon. I don’t really expect it, but I can’t help but wish for it. Even the last letter I got (May, 2009) didn’t actually “respond” to any of my letters from the previous 4 ish years… but hey, a letter is a letter. I definitely wouldn’t complain if they sent me a scribbled note on a diner’s napkin. It would just be heavenly to hear from them. It’d be even more heavenly, nay, surreal, if they actually sent me a picture of him. I think most people (who aren’t birth mothers) would probably be really surprised how often I think about this, but just don’t say anything out loud. *Shrug* Some days it’s just more pronounced than others.
While I was at the agency last week (Tuesday) I ran into a fellow birth mother that attends the groups (she attended while Melissa was pregnant and she recognized me as Melissa’s friend) so I popped in and stayed for the 4:00 group session. One of the birth mother’s there, whos son is about 16 months old, immediately started crying like the second group “started”. It was emotional for all of us… long story short, after a very personal, great, open relationship with her son’s parents, she got an email from them basically telling them they needed to back off and cut off communication for a while. Basically that she could keep emailing and stuff, but pretty much that they didn’t intend to answer. Selfishly, my first response to this (which I chose to NOT say out loud) was “at least your couple is honest with you”. I would so much prefer to be flat out told “we’re not going to write to you” rather than being told over and over that they ARE…… and just not getting anything. Waiting and wondering is so much worse than knowing and having to deal with the truth. At least for me. It doesn’t make it any less painful for what she was trying to deal with, but it just made me think of my own situation and how right now, I would be grateful for a flat out answer like that from Dustin’s parents. I handle bluntness a lot better than being vague or sugar coating things. Anyway, one of the girls in the group made a comment about how selfish it was of the adoptive parents to do that. For some reason, this made me angry. Sure, I get upset at times when I think about how badly I wish I knew how Dustin was. How badly I wish I knew what he looked like. Regardless of my really low days, I can still firmly say that Magui and Geary have every right to not write to me. They have no obligation to me. People say “but you gave them a child, the least they can do is write you a letter!” I admit I’ve felt that way before. Sometimes I still do. But those are just selfish emotions in all reality. If it was about ME, I wouldn’t have placed him for adoption, obviously. I knowingly and willingly released my right to know all of those things when I made the decision to give him a better life. I can’t demand anything from them. He’s their son. They’re his parents. I’m not his parent. I find myself feeling defensive when I hear birth mother’s bad-mouthing their child’s adoptive parents (or bad mouthing MY child’s adoptive parents when I bring it up) because I just don’t understand why you would think you’re entitled to all these things when you GAVE your child to that family. They’re not babysitting. They’re raising the child. They’re a family. I can’t blame them for simply wanting to BE a family. I always love when I hear about really successful adoptions where the birth mother/families are involved almost as an extended family member. But everyone knows this isn’t how it always works. And you know what? Deal with it. Yeah, it hurts, but it’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about him. It’s about Dustin. I know he’s loved and taken care of and has way more than I would have ever been able to give him, so after everything’s said and done… my pain isn’t relevant. That’s about it. And I wish some people would open their eyes and stop being so selfish. Now, that being said… it doesn’t make it any less painful and it doesn’t make it “right”. They’re not obligated to send me things, but they did say they would. So, I’ll never say it’s what I deserve or they have to or they “should” or what not… but, they did tell me that they would, so it comes down to keeping your word. It hurts more than they didn’t keep their word. If they had told me on day 1 that they didn’t want to write that often, I would have been fine with it at this point. It’s the simple fact that I was told they would, so I kind of always “expect” and hope for it and then feel myself falling in disappointment when another year goes by where I have to accept that I’m not going to get anything. Again. The last picture I have of him, he was 4 years old. He’ll be 9 in January. Nine.
For those of you (birth mother’s) who are blessed enough to have visits with your child, or receive regular contact, letters, pictures, etc. from your child’s parents… just don’t take it for granted. Don’t let yourself get caught up in believing they “owe” it to you either. Because they have every right, legally and in reality, to continue on with their family with, or without you. Just be grateful for the things you’ve been given.
I am extremely grateful for the letters and pictures I do have of Dustin. I can at least remind myself of that when I’m feeling sorry for myself and sad that I don’t know what he looks like anymore. I don’t know what his favorite food is or his favorite activity. I don’t know what subjects he likes or dislikes in school and if he has good friends… but I knew I was forfeiting the ability to know all of those things the second I made my decision.
Ok, I’m done with my rant. …
Ah, so… I have finally, as of last Friday, completed the entire Harry Potter series. Pathetic that it took me more than 7 years to read the whole series, but I’ve finally finished! I read 1-4 when they were first released, then Kaitlyn was born and I moved in with Lena to help with Kaitlyn and, well, I never got around to finishing it. So, that was 7 years ago and I stopped in the middle of book 4 and never went any further. I started a few months ago, re-reading from Book 1 and I finished Book 7 on Friday (which, I cried in…) Anyway, I absolutely loved the books way better than the movies… and I’m glad I finished book 7 before seeing the movie and now I’m actually looking forward to seeing the movie. I hadn’t even allowed myself to see previews of the 7th before I read the book, so I’m glad. Totally awesome!