Sunday, March 4, 2012

Small World

I'm still waiting *patiently* for the photos of my little one. It's been since her first birthday - granted, we did get to Skype with her and that was the  happiest I've felt since the moment I got to hold her - but still, that was a while ago. She turned sixteen months on the 2nd, and I'm really, really feeling the lack of communication. I got spoiled getting photos once a month (sometimes more) for the first year, and we never discussed slowing down or anything after she turned one. As I might have said, I talked to the a-mom on Christmas and she promised to send pictures as soon as they were back from their trip a few states over. The pictures never came, but the email about their displeasure with G did - as well as a promise that the pictures would come 'next weekend.' Well, next weekend came and went, as did the next, and the next (you get the idea). I sent her a text two weeks ago today, saying I just wanted to make sure everyone and everything was okay, and that I was looking forward to seeing the photos whenever she got a chance. She did write back, said she was very  sorry and promised to send an email that night.
I never got that email. I know things come up, but when you promise to do something and you can't follow through with it, can't you at least touch base to say you won't be sending pictures but want that person to know you didn't just 'forget' about them? It started to freak me out, and after a week had gone by, I sent her an email. I didn't want to come off as pushy in the email at all, because pissing her off in any way will get me nowhere. They hold all of the power now - something that doesn't make me too happy, but it's the price I have to pay for my daughter to have a chance at an amazing life. So I will live with it with a smile on my face.
They didn't hesitate to let "us" know when they were upset with G, so I thought I should put some of my feelings on the table, because of course when the email does come I will be thanking her up and down, and if I hadn't sent this email. she might think that the three/four months of no pictures didn't bother me at all, and it's not healthy for me to keep it all bottled up. I do not demand photos once a month or anything remotely close to that - all I expect is that when I am apologized to about something and subsequently promised something, I expect that it will be followed through with. I expect that of anyone. But this is the most fragile, delicate relationship on earth, and I have to remind myself to treat it as such.
This is the email I sent:

Hi C,

I am writing to double check on the email that you said was on my way last Monday night. I don't mean to nag and I definitely don't mean to come off as demanding whatsoever but I know you are a person of your word, so when you promised to send pictures last week, I hoped to see them maybe not that night but sometime within the week. I want you to know that I do respect your schedule and I do respect that life gets in the way of things sometimes!
My email on my phone occasionally deletes messages before I read them or diverts them to different folders automatically and I can't find them, so I was in part checking to see if you did in fact email and I didn't receive it.
As a mother, I know you can understand where I'm coming from when I say that the time between now and last Christmas feels like centuries when you know your child is still a baby and growing and changing every single day. She looks different to me from month to month and honestly it has been killing me not only to not see her for the past few months, but to be waiting and looking forward to an email that was promised but hasn't come.
We have all promised to have open and honest communication all the time, so that we can fix any issues that may arise as they come.....and from my side of this, this has become a bit of an issue and it is tough to address because the last thing I want to do is cause tension or do anything to risk my relationship with you. I am comfortable with sending this second email because I have come to love you almost like an extended family and thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what I couldn't do properly for A.. But this is still very hard for me, and pictures of her make it a little easier and mean the world to me.
I hope you can understand where I'm coming from in this, as it is hard to express in email.
Talk to you soon,

I'm not sure if it was too mean, too nice, or what. I honestly think I was (in part) freaking out due to all of the adoption talk I've been involved in online lately. I removed myself from a Facebook birthmom group because it started to put ideas in my head that had nothing to do with me. I read about so many girls whose adoptions had closed, and it started out by the adoptive parents putting more and more distance between them. I started to realize that despite the fact that I have a wonderful relationship with her adoptive parents, them closing the adoption is a possibility that I always will be harshly aware of. I pray to GOD it doesn't happen, every day that I wake up. It's the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thing on my mind at night. So, in reading how frequently it happened, I convinced myself it was happening to me. When I do get the update, and I write back to thank her, I will mention this to her so maybe it can be put into a little more perspective.

I read the email to one of my close friends who has been dealing with me and the funk I've been in for the past couple months over this and she said the email was very well-written and that I should definitely send it as-is. She said it was very respectful but still subtlety sent the message that I was upset. I then double checked with G to see if he thought it was too "bitchy" and he said it sounded perfect, so off it went to her.

I sent it on Tuesday afternoon and got a response from her on Thursday morning. She said that no, she hadn't had a chance to send anything yet but it was because she had a 'get it done or get fired' deadline at work, which she has had for the past seven weeks. She said the due date was tomorrow (Friday) for her project at work, said she was sorry and asked me to hang in there a few more days, and she promises to send a nice big update for me. She ended the email with a smiley face - which is a good sign. So now, I'm just waiting as patiently as possible and hoping it comes by the end of today.

In other news, I've come full circle back to my realization that I want to get away from here. So many things remind me of G, A, and all of the memories that I either want to forget because they hurt or want to forget because they were great and missing them hurts. And to top it off, last night my friend and I (the same one who read the email, knows the whole story about G and the baby) wanted to grab something in a supermarket, so we went into one in that we normally wouldn't go to because it's out of the way. When we were walking in, I got a sick feeling in my stomach and kept thinking that I was going to see someone in there that I didn't want to see. Sure enough, we were in line checking out and I was finished and waiting for my friend. She called me over and said 'did you see what I just saw?' and I asked her what, and she said 'C is here. And K.' My heart almost pounded out of my chest. K is A's biological half-sister, and C is her mother who is not my biggest fan (nor is she mine). I just didn't want a confrontation, I just wasn't in the mood, and I was ready to get out of there. As my friend and I were walking to her car, they came out of the store, too. Seeing her walking, holding her daughters hand as they walked to her car made me almost burst into tears. Inside I was screaming about how unfair it was. How can he father two children, and one of the women walks beside his child, holds his child, spends time with his child, and the other woman sits here writing in a blog about how she doesn't do those things with his child? I hated seeing them. Hated it. This world is just too small. K (who is 5, almost 6) had no idea that the biological mother of her little half-sister was in the same place at the same time as her. In fact, K may not even know she has a little sister. I kept imagining what it would be like if I had A with me at that moment, and K knew who she was from spending time with her on weekends or whatever. Would she come up and say hi, would A start clapping her little hands because she was happy to see her sister? Would her mother just look me up and down or would there be pleasantries exchanged? I'll never know, but I guess that's the beauty of it. That is the drama that I didn't want my child around - that and a million other forms of it that would come as part of a package deal with her birth father.

Lately, I've just been reminded of what I'm lacking. It's hard. I honestly think once I see photos of her, I'll ease up on myself a bit. I won't take things so hard, my heart won't be so heavy. I hope!


  1. hOpe you get your pictures soon, I think it was good you sent the email, without reading your blog they probably don't nkow how much your daughter is in your thoughts every second of everyday. So letting them know that the pictures make things easier I think was aweosme. I just sent Benjmain's 11 month pictures and letter and let her know I would go to every fews months unless she felt she needed them more often. The last time we talked was last August, I have sent Christmas presents to her and her son and have heard nothing, since she has another child I'm sure it is somewhat easier.

  2. I think you wrote a very nice email about the pictures. You explained yourself very well. I mailed out photos monthly for the first year to two of my girls' birthmoms. After the first year I switched to every three months. It really was a relief to have more time between mailings mainly because it took a lot of effort to stick to that schedule. By then the girls weren't changing so much and there weren't so many new things to capture. I know for you it seems like you are missing so much, but as the adoptive mother you don't see those changes from day to day or even month to month. I think it was important for you to express your needs and your desire that she stay true to her word. I'm in the midst of preparing a couple packages of photos to mail to my girls' birth families. I had hoped to have them shipped off in late January, but now it's March already! I did write Leah's birth mom to let her know that I hadn't forgotten and was still working on it. She was kind enough to reply that although she does want prints, it isn't so urgent to get them right away because she could still see the pictures I post online. The birth parent and adoptive parent relationship is definitely one that requires good communication skills!

  3. I just read your blog post and I think you were very kind in your email. I did a blog post recently about how to "handle" an open adoption. Maybe find a tactful way to share it with them. I know it's helped a lot of other adoptive couples. Hope you get those pictures soon. I know how hard it is to wait and wait and wait.