Seeds of Doubt

These open adoption relationships can be so tricky sometimes.  In my own situation, its like there is a continuing cycle:  things are good/we’re talking/I’m confident —> things get quiet —> I start to doubt myself, the relationship, what her expectations are, and what my expectations are, did I do/say/send something wrong? —> some form of contact occurs —> confidence returns.  (Its often VERY akin to how I felt as a high school girl trying to understand and navigate the world of boys and dating).  And, sadly, as I was telling a friend last night, at some point it always comes back to being about ME, and I have to put things back into perspective and realize again that its not always about ME, soemtimes its about HER and what she’s going through, or not going through, or just sometimes its not about anything, it just IS what it IS.  Yannow?

It really helps as I read from other members of the triad, that many of them go through the same kind of cycles from their own perspective as well.  I can’t KNOW that M. has some of these same thoughts/concerns on her side of  the fence, but to think that just MAYBE she has some insecurities too helps me to not feel so silly and neurotic.  (Note:  I don’t wish insecurity upon her–I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone!).

I just know that on MY part, I want to do a few things:  (1) be a good partner in the relationship for the betterment of my son; (2) be a good partner in the relationship in any way that benefits N.; (3) not be a pain in the rear by pushing too hard to achieve (1) and (2).

So…It’s obvious that I’m rambling here about all this, but its really on my mind, wondering the best way to achieve our goals together without overstepping boundaries–including the unspoken or unknown ones.

Readers?  How do you navigate the waters here?  Feel free to share your thoughts/experience on this regardless of which perspective you’re coming from.  Feel free to share your opinion on what I’ve said here.  I think I need some dialog on this one!

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10 Comments

Filed under adoptee, adoption, birthparents, open adoption, parenthood, reflection

10 responses to “Seeds of Doubt

  1. thanksgivingmom

    So I think I could have written this post. Seriously.

    Basically, my plan right now is to create my own schedule, and stick to it no matter what. If that means I email on the first Tuesday of every other month – then I do it – whether Dee responds or not. I think that my committment and followthrough will support your goal (a), and tries to support (b), and if it creates an issue with (c) where I AM being a pain in the rear, then it’s her responsibility to share that with me, because I just figured out I’m not a mind reader 🙂

    I went for a minimum that I’m comfortable with, while avoiding a maximum that might offend Dee (the first Tuesday of every other month thing was just made up for an example).

    At this point, consistency on my end is the only thing I can control – and I’m trying to find peace and comfort in that consistency.

    (((((hugs))))

  2. I like what TGM said about creating your own schedule. I think that makes a lot of intuitive sense. Although it sounds like we have more contact than you do, it does wax and wane. I just wrote today about how Pennie pulled back when she got busy with her then new boyfriend — that was hard for me. And there were and are times when her life is really busy and we’re seeing less of her. This seems to be a time when we’re seeing her more, I think in large part because Madison is doing the reaching out so much. She’s the one initiating phone calls now whereas before I’d be the one saying, “Hey, you want to call Pennie?”

  3. I don’t have any advice, but want to say that you are great for caring. Open adoptions are just awesome. I am sure it’s a lot of work, but it’s for the best. As much as I wish I could change my past, I can’t, but I am so happy that times have changed.

  4. I hope to have an open adoption someday…as stressful as it must be. I know it’s the right thing to do. I just wanted to wish you all the best.

  5. M.

    Thanks for your input and support–I think I like TGM’s thoughts on that, too, and have been reading her story as it unfolds,as always!

    “…I’m not a mindreader”–Thanks for that; its something I need to keep reminding myself. We’re all big girls and boys here and have to each take responsibility for our own side of things, our own needs.

    And yes, Dawn, you’re right that our contact is different than yours, and I do wonder how it will all play out as Woob gets older, what he will want to initiate…

  6. it’s incredibly painful for the first mother. whether she seems okay or seems whatever, deep down that is the emotion. open adoptions are uncharted territory and can be tricky to navigate. Youre already doing something right because you are generally caring and concerned about her and the relationship. one step at a time is always good advice.

    PS would you consider first mother over birth mother? just curious..

    • M.

      HI Jade, Thanks for your thoughts and support and just stopping by!

      Re: the terminology–most often in my real life and in my writing, I actually do use either “Woob’s mom”, or “first mother.” Long ago I took a quick informal poll of readers who gave me their feedback when they asked about possibly changing the name of my blog, (many are first mothers). Everybody acknowledged they hve different preferences but stated that whats most important was the intent in which the term was used, and I do want to and try to be respectful…I hope its not to offensive to you. I’m always open to suggestions, but also don;t want to confuse or lose anyone who “knows” me…any ideas how to meet all those goals?

      I’m off to check out your blog!

  7. brown325

    I don’t know if you have ever read my blog, but after reading your post, it should be called “Tree of Doubt” which is how much I think about this topic, LOL!!!

    I ditto TG (as usual) with the schedule. It was something suggested to me two years ago when I started this regular contact journey, when I used to spew insecurity with every unanswered response from my daughter’s mom. I pick a certain time frame when I say I’ll write, and I do. I try to stay positive and confident in my role in this relationship (operative word here is TRY, LOL) since I figure I can’t change her actions, I can only control my own. As long as I stay respectful and loving and try to put my daughter first, I figure I’ve done the best I can do. I always want my daughter to know that I’ve acted in the best interest of her in negotiating the relationship for her.

    But I know it’s OK for me to express my own feelings outside of the relationship, if I’m insecure or neurotic about it, I tell myself it’s par for the course, as long as I try not to project that in our interations. I figure we are all human and entitled to our feelings, it’s the way we handle those feelings that’s important. For me, it’s dumping them on my blog.

    I think it’s great that you think of these things. With those intentions, it’s hard for you to go wrong 🙂

    • M.

      Hi, Brown! I have read your blog and am familiar with your story (and that you’re TGM’s “CB!” 🙂 ). I’m so happy you stopped by and commented! Thanks for your support and again reinforcing that things like this happen on both sides. It is valuable for me to see the first parent perspective in many ways–not just to know I’m not alone on my “side” in the way I react to things, but also so I can be aware in my own communication to help alleviate any insecurity on N’s side if possible, or at least assume there is some and try.

  8. MamaB2C

    Our contact seems different from most. We just call/email whenever one of us feels like it. We’re busy people, but find time usually several times a week.Most of our conversations aren’t abut the Kiddo anymore even. We’ve become so close and comfortable we just talk about everything, like we do with other friends and family.

    She is getting married this summer and asked me to help with honeymoon planning. We discuss her schooling. We discuss future plans (hoping to have her and her new husband closer). We talk about family and friends and work. We talk about Kiddo too, but he can now speak for himself, and they are creating their own relationship…looks to be a strong one too.

    Anyway I like that our friendship and communications, though founded on our shared love for this wonderful boy, has blossomed into something special and strong for us as well. She enriches our lives in her own right.

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