Friday, April 23, 2010

Worry (and other such things)

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!


Leah W said...

i'm glad you heard from her.

also, i am sure, even though you are younger than her i am assuming, she still very much always wants you to think she is a good mom and definitely NOT mean. I am sure she cares a lot about what you think. also, speaking as a mom to kids i didn't give birth to, i always worry that i am not enough for them. that they will just by nature love their biological parents no matter what (which some times they do especially in foster care) and I can see an adoptive mom feeling like that too. that she will have to worker harder for his love than she would have if she birthed him.

also, on a personal level, out side of children, everyone feels inadequate about something. she has her own struggles just like you do, no matter how "perfect" she looks on the outside. if you just want to take her infertility into consideration I am sure she struggled with that alone a lot.

everyone is more alike than we think, in all honesty, it is circumstance that divides us, opportunities and the ways we are raise divide us. as humans we all have needs to be accepted and love. and we want to other people to think we have it all together, and trust me, no one does!

Jamie said...

Odd, as I read this an my own experiences with infertility these are the very fears that I feel if we adopt. After all our struggles, pain and searing heartbreak and jealousy of what others have and I don't. WILL I BE GOOD ENOUGH?? Will my efforts to be a great mom fail? She is probably jealous you got to carry the child she now cares for. You have a bond with her child she will never have. That's painful and real.

Not Just A Birth Mom said...

Jamie- I'm sure if you do decide to adopt, once you receive that little boy or girl, you will feel as though all of your struggles with infertility were worth it and that they were a part of God's plan to bring that child into your life. You may always struggle with a bit of resentment and jealousy, but I'm sure you will learn to accept and love the way you became a parent.
You will be good enough. Just love them unconditionally and respect where they came from and who they are. Keep hanging in there- you can get through this!

Leah- You are right. I've known so many children who put their bio parents on a pedestal. It doesn't matter to them that their parents abused/starved/neglected/etc them, their parents are the best parents ever and they are coming back to get them and no one can tell them differently.
I find it interesting that some Aparents feel like they may have to work harder for their child's love, because I feel like I will have to work harder for him to love me just because I gave him away, because I'm not the one raising him.


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