I believe there can be a lot of worry in an open adoption, on all sides. I know personally, that I worry ALL the time. I worry about how Robbie is doing, what he is doing, if he is ok. How will he turn out when he grows up? Will he hate R and I for placing him for adoption? Will he want us around? Will he love us? I also worry about my relationship with his A-parents, M and S. Am I asking for too much? Do they like me? Do they really want us around? Or are they just doing it out of some feeling of obligation to Robbie? A lot of times, I worry about offending them in some way, maybe by saying the wrong thing, or accidentally crossing some sort of line. I have this deep, personal need of approval from M and S. I feel like they HAVE to like me, and everything about me. That maybe if they really like me, then they will let me be in Robbie’s life even more. I feel like I have to be the "perfect birth mother". (By the way, could some one please tell me what all that entails? Because I sure as heck don't know!)
But on our last visit (which was the first week of this month), I began to realize that there are worries on their side as well. Now, I already know that A-parents have their own set of worries; I suppose it just didn't really click with me personally until this last visit. During the visit, Robbie was getting very fussy as it was nap time, but he wanted to stay sitting up right instead of letting S rock him to sleep on his shoulder (Usually, they let us put him to sleep while we are there, but he was VERY fussy this time). So M took him and said something along the lines of, "you just have to hold him down while rocking him" Which she proceeded to do until he fell asleep. As we were talking later, She said something like, "I'm sorry, I know it must be hard to see things like that, and it might seem mean and..." so on and so on. It took me a minute, but I realized, she was apologizing for it! Yeah, she kinda held him down, but guess what? It worked. He was asleep in 5 minutes. So obviously, she knew what she was doing. In my eyes, there was nothing to apologize for. But a few days later, I had the thought that maybe (I don't know for sure), she has the need/desire for mine and R's approval of her parenting (Which I do approve of, for the most part). My first thought after that was, "Well GOOD. She damn well better feel the need for our approval!" and then it quickly went to, "Wow... I can't believe she might actually feel that way. That would make me feel... Good. Like I picked the right family. Like I mattered."
I would say I don't know why I thought the first thought so quickly, but that would be a lie. I know exactly why. It came straight from the angry, resentful, jealous beast inside of me that I often find hard to control. I love M, I really do. But I have to admit, there are quite a few days that I struggle with hating her. Hating that she has MY child. Hating that SHE gets to be called mama, that she gets to hold him when he cries, and be on the receiving end of his kisses. Hating that she gets to be happy.. And even with all of that, I still adore her. I love how she is out going, funny, loud, and not afraid to say what’s on her mind. She is the entire reason I fell in love with them. The final factor in my picking them as The Family. She reminded me of myself. Or at least, who I used to be before all of this. I can hardly even recognize myself now. I'm so... jaded. (Just ask R, he would completely agree with me on this... lol)
Any way, all of this makes me wonder... Does M ever struggle with anything? I can't even make a list of possible struggles because I really have no idea what an adoptive parent could struggle with (besides things like bonding, which she has had NO problem with- He is a TOTAL mama’s boy). I wonder how she felt those first few weeks he was home. I wonder if she ever felt like he wasn't hers, like he was a stranger. I would like to ask her, but I suppose I don't yet have the kahunas to do so. Maybe one day?
Speaking of M... She texted me the other day! Robbie likes oatmeal again! He had banned it for some time (not surprised, I hate the stuff), as well as anything he couldn't pick up and put in his mouth on his own (hmm I have NO idea where that stubborn streak comes from...). Bad thing is, he has now banned veggies. This makes me terribly sad. I love veggies :(
Now... Off to brainstorm on first birthday gifts!