Tuesday, January 10, 2012

To feel valued...

Normally I do not talk about specific situations that I am dealing with regarding Brit's parents because I am never sure if they are reading my blog.  So I never want to say anything that could potentially have a negative impact on our relationship.

But today I just decided I want to say out loud how I have felt inside (and have expressed to BF on more than one occasion).

I am so disappointed.  Disappointment to my core.

I do not expect alot from others.  I try to be gracious and accept that people are all different.  We behave differently.  We parent differently.  We spend our time differently.

But there comes a point where it becomes obvious if you are a valued part of someone's life.

We are not feeling valued.

We are not asking to be treasured or held in the highest regard.  We are not asking to be a number one priority to you and/or your family.

But we do wish that you would at least extend to us the same courtesy that you would to an extended family member.

When we send a Christmas gift package (or any other holiday) to your children and it is not acknowledged in any way, we wonder if you got it.  And when we see from the tracking that you did, your silence speaks to us.

Yes, you do generally remember to say thank you in the subsequent monthly email update. But would it be so hard to send a 3 sentence email when you received the package and say, "We got your gift.  Thank you.  Brit enjoys it."?

When special days in our lives come and go and they are never acknowledged by you (birthdays, mothers day, and every holiday), we realize that the effort we make to celebrate those special days for you, is not reciprocated.

While we know that Brit is not old enough to send us a card, sometimes parents do that on behalf of their child.  We send a card for every holiday and special day in your life.  Still not a single piece of mail has ever been delivered to our mailbox with your return address.  Not a happy birthday or holiday email or text message.  Nothing.

When we contact you and kindly ask if we can discuss our adoption relationship, your non-response speaks volumes.  Being blatantly ignored is very hurtful. And we are left to deal with the hurt with no explanation or understanding.

We are forever grateful for the monthly updates.  The pictures and stories are the only salve we have for our hearts.  But would you consider how much it might mean to us if you would snap a picture as Brit opens her gifts from us, since we were not allowed any time together with her to watch her open them in person?

I know it is hard to remember birthdays and having 3 little children in your home has to be hectic.  We are very understanding.  We have 5 boys of our own that take our every waking minute, plus we both work full time jobs.  But our relationship with you is a priority to us.  So we make sure that you know it by expressing it to you in tangible ways.

We send gifts because it is a way for us to express our love to Brit and your family since we do not get to see any of you on those special occasions.  We send cards to let you know we are thinking about you.

We do not want gifts in return.  We have everything we could possibly want or need.  We just want to feel like you think about us too.  And since we do not have an interactive relationship in the sense of phone calls or text messages, the only way we would know that you remember us would be through a card, or letter or even a thoughtful email that was not sent according to schedule.

You used to interact with us like that before you took Brit home.  You were thoughtful and expressive when I was pregnant.  So we know you are capable of such feelings and actions.

This lack of interaction with you is very hard for BF and me to understand.  In your emails, you say that you love us and are thankful for us, but your actions do not necessarily support those statements.

We get the distinct feeling that you are willing to invest the minimum.  And because you have decided that monthly email updates are what you are comfortable with, it ends there. *The short surprise visit that you allowed us to have last year around the time of Brit's first birthday was very nice, and VERY appreciated.  But we also realize it was simply a gift extended to us, not to be expected.

We sure wish that we meant enough to you that you would consider more.

But we aren't going to push it. It appears that our heartfelt pleas do not influence what you feel is an acceptable relationship between our two families.

We have had to come to our own peace with the fact that this is how it is right now.  We cannot change it.  We have no power or influence.  We hold no cards.  We are at your mercy.

We are going to keep sending cards on special occasions.  And we will continue to send gifts on holidays unless you tell us otherwise.  We want to do this because we are thinking about your family and we want show you that in the only way that we can.  However, we have come to expect that there will be silence in return.

Honestly, we don't want a response to our attempts at interaction with you unless you WANT to respond to us.  It is like asking our children to apologize and they say they are sorry, but we know that in their heart they are not truly remorseful.  We don't want lip service.  We want it to be real.

We love that little girl.  And until she is able to desire a relationship with us, we are at your mercy and we know it.

We just wish you felt that our relationship with Brit, and with your family, was valuable to you.

14 comments:

m&msmommy said...

Wow, what true, honest, raw emotion that only a mother could possible convey. My heart breaks reading each word of this post because your intent seems SO obvious and your heart/good will seems so apparent, but yet the two people in this world who you beg to "get it" don't seem to, and that breaks my heart. I say none of this with ill intent or negativity towards Brits parents, as I'm sure they are wonderful people (or else you would have never placed Brit with them) but I JUST DON'T GET IT! WHY!?!?!?!? Why not even the slightest reaching out to you and BF other than that monthly e-mail!??!? UGH, it just breaks my heart for you, my friend! As much as I don't understand it and as much as it breaks my heart and I'm just a total outsider, having never dealt with anything adoption related, I can't even imagine how much this tears you and BF up inside. I wish I had answers for you. I wish they would, at the very least, give you answers! Since there is nothing I can do to make the situation better, I will continue to pray for you and your family, each and every day.

Love and prayers...

Cindy said...

Wow. I just don't know what else to say. God bless you, sweetheart.

Monika said...

I know they think of you and BF every single time they look at Brit, but I also know how difficult it is (especially after reading this) for you to not hear from them other than the prescribed comfortable contact. I'm so sorry. :( And I hope that they DO find this post (maybe think about sending them the link, or sending this exact post in letter form?). *hugs*

MrsPerrbear said...

Grrr....and I am sorry. But hey, I have my first nomination for "Best Posts of 2012". Beautifully written my friend, though so sorry it ever needed to be!

birthmothertalks said...

That was beautifully written. I don't think anything that you mentioned is asking too much.

jan said...

Do you really understand what you are putting this family through? You are somewhat of a threat to them, how many horrible stories have we read of birth parents changing their mind and going to court to get their child back and have won? How would you feel if the table was turned? If one of your boys were adopted and the birth parents were constantly wanting to be involved with him? We have a family member who had to go through this and it was horrible, they did not loose their adopted son but they could have if the judge chose to rule that way. The months leading to the trial was a nightmare just thinking they had raised this child for 3 years and could be jerked away from them forever. Please think of this, I know you love this little girl and miss her terribly but they need their peace, one day she will be old enough to make that choice but now this is just causing unrest and turmoil for this family.

Anonymous said...

Jan, Not all adoptive parents feel that this would be a threat. She simply wants to know how her child is doing outside of a "scheduled" monthly email. She wants to maintain a relationship with the whole family. She wants to continue the relationship that they had before Brit was born. She wants Brit's parents to do what they agreed to. I don't think she is asking to much and I am an adoptive mom myself. I WISH my sons BM had as much interest in his life as Lisa has Brit's.

And keep in mind that this is a blog. Just a blog where Lisa gets to pour out her heart and feelings. It's a healthy outlet. She isn't sending letters and emails and calling and bugging and begging. She is using this as a way to process. So how is that a threat? She never once said anything about going to court to take Brit back. And it's really not all that common, it only happens when something wasn't taken care of legally or it is obvious (abuse, addiciton, ect) that the aparents are not the best place for the child. Or before finalization.

Lisa, I'm praying for you and for Brit's parents. I hope they can get past their fears and allow you to be a part of Brits life!

LisaAnne said...

Jan,

I am so sorry that your family has had a bad experience with adoption and a court case that caused such pain for everyone involved.

However, you are apparently not a routine reader of this blog and do not understand that our desire is not to attempt any type of legal action or even emotional undermining to "get our child back".

And if you were educated on adoptions laws, especially Kansas adoption law you would know that we have absolutely no recourse. We could not even bring a case to court. Our rights have been permanently terminated.

We entered into an open adoption with a family we developed a relationship with prior to the child's birth. They were not strangers and it was never a closed adoption.

I would suggest that you read my blog posts prior to this, where I speak of our relationship and the desire that BF and I have to have a relationship with their entire family. Not a desire to disrupt their family function.

I would like to think that you were just ignorant to our specific situation, otherwise your comment is misdirected.

And if you are a regular reader and still feel that way, you might try different approach if you want to have any credibility given to your comments. I am always receptive to differing points of view, however, I expect civility and compassion to be extended to everyone.

We do not cause this family turmoil, except any turmoil they might have internally knowing that their daughter does have birth parents who desire a relationship with them.

We are respectful and kind in our dealings with them. We correspond with them once a month in response to their emails to us. BF does on occasion make contact with Brit's father, for reasons unrelated to our adoption situation. We are genuine and careful.

The only threat we might present would come simply from our existence. And if you read any other adoptive family blogs where they have open adoptions, you will find that the existence of birth families is best embraced and nurtured, rather than feared. For the sake of the child.

An adopted child always comes to their family with another family attached. It is the nature of adoption.

LisaAnne said...

And to all the kind comments which didn't get my response, thank you.

It is encouraging to know that others care, even when there is nothing we can do to change the circumstances.

That is the beauty of blogging. Support from people you would have never met otherwise.

I am forever thankful for the blog friends and support I do receive.

Anonymous said...

“An adopted child always comes to their family with another family attached. It is the nature of adoption".

Lisa:

Your comment is the reason for your sadness. Yes, you are your bchild’s other family BUT your child has been adopted into another family with another mother, father and siblings (etc). Therefore, because of the nature of adoption, YOU are not your child's only family. I cannot help but ask: what did you and your bfriend expect? Adoption be it open or close is adoption. Not babysitting, guardianship or shared parenting.

And to all those that criticize the aparents, remember they signed on to be parents first-and there is nothing wrong with that. They send emails and updates but they are not morally obligated to do more. To bash them is to say “you (the aparents) "owe" the bparents because they ARE the parents(which we know is not true)". Adoption is adoption-it is not an alternative form of parenting nor is it "rent a kid".

LisaAnne said...

Anonymous,

I am so sorry that is your view of adoption. I would encourage you to consider that possibly YOUR view of how adoption should be might not be considered child centric.

I am glad you read my blog. And I hope you read plenty of other blogs too. Other adoptive parent blogs, adoptee blogs and other birthmother blogs too.

I will admit to unbelievable ignorance about adoption prior to placing my child. I wish I would have read more and researched deeper.

The blog world has allowed me to gain perspective and great empathy for adopted children.

Because of that, it is my lifelong desire to do what I can to mitigate the negative impact that Brit might experience due to her adoption.

I can only be responsible for my own actions. And I intend to act in such a way that dear Brit will know that we always loved her and desired a relationship with her, even if we didn't parent her.

I never got to say goodbye said...

I am sorry to read this- so often the promise of "open" adoption is not kept by the adoptive parents. I hope they come to their senses and do what is best for your daughter.

Stephanie said...

"You used to interact with us like that before you took Brit home. You were thoughtful and expressive when I was pregnant. So we know you are capable of such feelings and actions."

That is what they all do. They are on their best behavior until they get what they want, YOUR child. I am so sorry you are enduring this. I wish there was something else I could say. I endured the same thing, only I was completely cut off from my child when he was seven years old. I knew then I had made a horrible mistake. Anyone who could maliciously do that to a mother when they promised they would not have no business adopting. What else are they capable of, when they have proven they are capable of deceit and lies?

To the other threatened adopters denouncing what this woman is saying and trying to silence her, you have some nerve. This is HER daughter and she has every right to expect that these people would honor her, as they promised they would. If not for her, there would be no child to covet. That goes for you and the mother of the children you are raising, too.

Heather said...

I know this was posted last year, but I'm new to your blog (and have read almost every post now).

It is just incredible to me--knowing now that Brit's amom has had biological children now--that they just seem to refuse to allow you to LOVE your own child.

You are clearly not a threat, you've said over and over on your blog that the adoption is done. But it's completely understandable--ESPECIALLY to anyone who has ever given birth to a child--that you just want to be a part of her life. Of course you do!

It also sounds like you AND the aparents walked into this adoption with the understanding that their would be a relationship between you & them. (Or perhaps they conned you into thinking they would do so, if that's true and they knew all along that they'd pull away as soon as the papers were signed--then WOW. Bait & switch.)

I just can't believe one mother can be so heartless toward another, knowing that your own child is involved. Knowing that you love her, knowing what it is like to give birth and love a child that is' YOURS. I just can't believe that Brit's parents would be so utterly...selfish.

I'm so so sorry. This isn't fair. To you or Brit.

But your blog speaks volumes to your strength and character. I really admire you a little more with every post I read. I can't believe how gracious you've been, how honest you are, and how loving you are too. Even to those who hurt you. You're amazing. I'm sure Brit has inherited some of that from you too. Well done.