Life at it’s best, is bittersweet…

So, after many changes…we had our visit!! It was emotional as expected. Hopefully for Ima it was more sweet than bitter, but I do know there was some bitter in there. For me as well. I hated seeing her hurt and knowing that in some way I am a part of it. Glad to know that in some way I am part of her peace but still. Having the visit piggy backed on my grandmother’s passing and me still emotional from that didn’t help. All in all I would say it was a good visit. We had a real big heart to heart the second night where we both had a good cry. We have discovered we have two relationships in a way Ima and I. One that we are just friends, and the other where I am the adoptive mother of her biological daughter. When she is not here, the two don’t necessarily have to intersect but while here, in our home, they do. She was SO worried she was going to do something to upset me, Ima that is. Asked before she got here, was there anything I didn’t want her to do. “Like what?’ I asked. I can’t imagine what you would do I wouldn’t want?? “Like hold her, or help you with taking care of her, or making peek in on her sleeping”. I told her she was being silly and I of course did not care if she did any of those things! I didn’t, I don’t. Still, while here she would say, “am I holding her too much?”. So worried. When she became emotional she was worried that we would be so bothered by it we would not want to do visits again because it was difficult. I again assured this would SO not be the case. I understood that this was difficult and anything we could do to help let us know. It breaks my heart to see her so scared of losing us. So scared that we will shut her out. I know we have told her a million times we will never do that. I am not upset for her feeling the way she does it just breaks my heart. No one in her life has actually held up to their word I don’t think. She doesn’t know how to trust this. All we can do is keep doing what we are doing and HOPEFULLY some day she can feel comfort in knowing we are family that will never go away, even though she might wish we would 🙂 Think it was difficult as Kat is no longer the tiny baby she knew. She looks different, she IS different. She totally has a little personality and a mind of her own already! I can’t imagine what it feels like for her, Ima. I was so glad they had time together, that we all had time together. They had a few little naps together and I was able to get some really sweet pictures. It was long overdue and hopefully will not go so long before the next. Over time hope there is more and more sweet and less and less bitter….but the bitter just means you care, so it’s ok.

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3 responses

  1. ” I hated seeing her hurt and knowing that in some way I am a part of it. ” I suggest you do whatever work is necessary to allow this thought to pass away. It’s tempting to see the sadness of a birthparent and assume to be a part of it. In most cases it is more accurate that the hurt is so deeply seated that it doesn’t involve anyone else at all. Feeling pain for placing a child in an adoption has more to do with self-betrayal, shame, and a deep feeling of powerlessness than any transactional injury in a relationship. What you see is a very private pain. It doesn’t belong to you. You can’t fix it. But you can be compassionate. I recommend creating quiet and space for the pain. By respecting the pain you respect Ima.

    “When she became emotional she was worried that we would be so bothered by it we would not want to do visits again because it was difficult.” This is a common fear among first families, and tends to drive the relational dynamics for some time. I remember often worrying about how the adoptive family of my son would respond to how I dressed for a visit, what the bottle of wine I brought said about me as a person, and how my anecdotes at dinner would impact my ability to have a relationship with my son. The boundaries are very fuzzy early on in an open adoption, but the risk of minor infraction for the first family is monumental. It is understandable, but very sad. I believe it is likely that with patience and more time relating this fear will be assuaged.

  2. I don’t have time to really comment on the above post like I want to, but I will come back. I wanted to say welcome to the open adoption blogger group and can’t wait to read more from you!

  3. I think all these things really take time to work through, you are really just figuring out your relationship. You are thrust into a very intimate relationship without really knowing each other that well before. You are both going to be nervous and tentative about things for a while. Our relationship started out similarly. I agree with the above commenter, in that you will just need to let her know that it’s okay for her to be emotional and let her deal with that without trying to be a part of the solution.

    The emotions may be hard to see and difficult at first because you feel that you have contributed to it. I found it relieving to know that she was struggling and that she had a hard time with this all, it meant she really did love him more than I could imagine. I really can’t stand when people think that she should move on with her life. Yes, I want her to have a successful wonderful life, but I don’t want her to move on from our son, ever!

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