Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dependents: 0

It's that time of year time. I actually already got my taxes filed and returned to me, but it wasn't filling them out that bothered me, it was reviewing my tax return itself. I looked over the highlighted lines and the one that says "Dependents . . . . ____" along with my photocopied "0" stuck out like a sore thumb. I don't know if that will ever not sting a little. Even when and if I have another child, I'll be writing "1" where I feel I should be writing "2," and so on and so on. I know I don't have any 'dependents,' obviously, I know this. But I did have a 'dependent' for two days in the hospital, as well as for nine months in my belly. So any time I have to write down a "0," a "none," or a "no" when filling out any type of form or even some job applications, it sucks. Plain and simple - it just sucks. I went to a new doctor a couple of months ago and I had to fill out the usual form about my medical history and next to pregnancies I wrote "1," next to live births I wrote "1," and next to people in my household, I wrote "3." I then went on to say that it was me, my mother, and my father - which was a guaranteed set up for an awkward situation when the doctor overlooks that and asks "how's the baby?"
I guess it's going to take a long time for me to get used to thinking of myself as a mother from my heart and soul's point of view, but being a single 23 year old with no children in society's point of view (if it ever happens at all).

Monday, February 6, 2012

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Wow, it's been a while.

I apologize if this is repetitive, scattered, or nonsensical at certain points. I didn't proofread it or even skim over it after I stopped typing. I felt like I was in a creative writing class where they say "start writing - NOW" and when the time is up, pencils are down, and what you wrote is what you wrote and you can't change it.

Truth be told, I've been putting off writing because I felt as though this post could get very negative, very quick. I suppose I should rewind about a month or so - back to Christmas. I wished Arianna's family a Merry Christmas via Facebook and she wrote back the next day thanking me and telling me that she hoped we had a great holiday as well. She also said that she would send photos as soon as they got back from visiting family in New York, and I wrote back that I couldn't wait and was happy that the kids had a great holiday. Now, fast forward about a week or so (or however long January 3rd is from then), I received an email from her telling me that she was almost finished organizing all of the photos from the holidays and she promised to send them soon. Sounds all well and good, right? Well, she then said she wanted to give me the 'heads up' about something.

When A's birthdad sent her her Christmas present from him, he signed the card 'your loving father, _____.' This offended the aparents, and she said she just wanted to let me know that along with her thank you card and photos that she was going to send him, she was also going to include a letter asking him not to refer to himself that way anymore. My first feeling was anger - not at C but at A's birthdad. I couldn't understand where he got off calling himself that...where he had the audacity (this being the FIRST thing he has ever sent to her, the first interaction he has had with her family since signing the papers) to call himself "her loving father." I wrote back to her, apologizing on his behalf and she wrote back explaining that that is a term she would rather reserve for her dad who raises her each day. I wholeheartedly agreed with her, and she in turn told me that I am kind and wise beyond my years (what a compliment!). She told me she was going to put a 'gentle' letter in the mail for him, and just wanted to be sure that I would assure him that he is more than welcome to send gifts and letters in the future, and that this is just a teeny little bump that they want to discuss with him and then we can all move on. I've mentioned to her before that he and I don't talk - but I've also mentioned that I share my photos with him (via email), so she probably just thought she was covering all of her bases by letting me know. I appreciated her letting me know, but at the same time, I wish I had never become involved in it.

A week or so after that, I got a phone call from G and he was livid. He had gotten the letter and was about to go through the roof. He asked me if I wouldn't mind meeting up with him to talk about it, because he knew he was being irrational and wanted to talk with someone. Against my better judgement, I went and met up with him. It was actually one of the better meetings we've had in the past year (+), and part of me actually truly felt for him. He was upset, and I can honestly see both sides. I agree with her aparents for saying that they deserve the term 'loving father,' but I also see where G is coming from, too. While I myself could not fathom signing a card 'your loving mother,' I do know that he is dealing with this a lot differently. No excuse, I know. But he told me he signed the card that way because he still is her father in a way, and he loves her. I have to state the obvious: adoption would be a thousand times simpler without the titles, terms, and names. I will always think of her as my child, and I don't think of myself as her mother or her birthmother. When it comes to her, I'm Elizabeth - plain and simple, just like he is G. His argument was that the aparents are just being insecure about their titles, and that if 'our daughter' gets sick and needs a kidney, they will ask who the 'mother and father'  are, and that's 'me and him.'

I would be lying if I said I didn't see his point. I would also be lying if I said I didn't see their point, as well. Part of me feels for him...I really do. He can be an asshole, a jerk, self-centered, and all of the above, but I know he didn't mean to offend them. I told him that I strongly think he would write back to them, because while he's not ready for a relationship to develop between him and them, the adult thing to do is to acknowledge that he received the letter and share his thoughts. He asked me to proofread it when the time comes, because he and I both know his temper is off the charts. I told him that he should try and let them know that their letter upset him but also maintain a very high level of respect, as they are doing a damn good job raising our/their little girl.

The one part of the letter that got to me was the part where she said 'mother and father are reserved for us, as we raise her every day. We are proud of our earned titles.' After reading that part, I honestly couldn't blame him for being a little put off by it. He and I both know that they earned the titles of mom and dad and we respect that (well, I can only speak for myself, and I know that I do), and we thank them for doing an amazing job at what we couldn't do. But to stress it in the way that it was stressed in the letter was a bit of a slap in the face. I've never felt angry with them, though, and don't want to start now. I'm terrified to admit that I might feel even a little anger towards them. I can't put my finger on why, other than the fact that I truly never have before. Maybe I have rose-colored  glasses on. I really don't know.

All in all, that's really all that's gone on in the past month or so. He and I talked it over a couple of times and he has promised to let me proofread his letter before he sends it, and that's all I can ask for. I'm glad that he is stepping up and communicating with them, rather than acting pissed off and childish and just letting it slide when he's upset.

I'm still waiting on pictures. I'm getting a little antsy over it, but I'm really trying hard to keep myself under control (emotionally). I want to see pictures of her so badly it's not even fathomable. I think I may send her a short, friendly email tonight and just say that I know she is busy but that I am really looking forward to those photos whenever she gets a chance to send them. It has been 6 weeks since she promised them. That's a long time. I'll let her know that I appreciate any little thing she sends my way, too, so I don't come off as demanding in the email.

I hope to start writing more, I really do. It really has become an outlet for me because talking to friends who aren't in my shoes is pretty tough most of the time. People try, and I appreciate it, but it's hard to talk about how I feel with someone who can't begin to imagine. I assume it's easy to think you know how I 'must' feel, but it's really something you don't get until you've lived it. And while my adoption has many, many positive aspects to it, this is a life I wouldn't wish on any of my friends (that's just me being completely honest).