that panda express fortune cookie was wrong

August 21, 2013 § 25 Comments

It said, “Good news will come by mail.” I always used to believe in fortune cookies.

The update I should’ve gotten, though didn’t really expect, is two weeks late. That is, if you consider his first birthday to be the deadline. They didn’t send the six month update on time by those standards. I got it a week after. So if that’s my frame of reference, they’re only one week late.

I don’t know if looking at it that way should make me feel better, but it doesn’t. A promise is a promise, and they made a very small one. It’s twice a year that they promised a bit of their time to placate me and write some crappy short letter and enclose a few pictures. That’s not difficult nor does it take long. They don’t have to have that obligation to me, but they could at least let me know they want a closed adoption and why they feel this way:

We think it will be best for him as he grows up. We feel uncomfortable with sending you updates, because you are not the parent, we are. It’s too inconvenient. It’s awkward. We simply don’t feel like it. You should have moved on by now. It must make you sad to see pictures of him. We’re too jealous and we NEED to be the only parents. We’re not going to pander to you. After all, you haven’t told us how grateful you are that we saved him from a life without a Pinterest-worthy nursery. We wanted a quick and dirty adoption; we went 2000 miles away to Utah for a reason. Your very existence undermines us. We suspect you’re unstable. You might change your mind and want him back. You signed away your rights to him. Sorry.

Some of these reasons are really lame, some of them I can almost understand. But there must be something and I wish I knew what. So that when my mom or David’s mom ask how come they can’t see their only grandchild, I have something concrete to tell them, not “I don’t know.” Don’t just go silent and pretend you fell off the face of the earth.

But hey, let’s not get too negative. They might send an update still. It could be in the mail right now. And what then? Will they be patting themselves on the back over what good, generous people they are for sticking to their promises? And then carry on for another six months without talking to me? If this is what I have to look forward to, maybe they should just close the adoption. The contact we have is not beneficial for them, for me, or the baby. I do want pictures of him, I do want to see him grow and hear how it’s going, but not like this. I don’t have any win-win solutions in mind, but I know I don’t want this.

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§ 25 Responses to that panda express fortune cookie was wrong

  • Rain says:

    This post breaks my heart. I’m not sure if you want to hear from an adoptive parent when you’re going through this. But I wanted to tell you that as soon as I read this post, I e-mailed MsJ and told her how much we love her and sent a cute picture of Cadet. I’m not bragging, if that’s how it sounds. Just letting you know that this post was really moving.

    It sickens me that they are treating you like this, even just being late on their updates is inexcusable in my book. I am sending you big hugs, and I truly hope that their eyes/hearts open and they understand what an amazing person you are and they begin to include you in their lives….as you deserve to be.

    • amy says:

      Rain,

      I have read replies from you to Ariel before, and let me just say, you seem to “get it” and have so much compassion! More aparents should be like you!! It’s refreshing to see a birthmom being treated with such consideration and respect!

      Thank you :)

    • Trust me, I think many a-parents are super wonderful people. Try not to take it personally. C and L are great people too, even if I don’t think they’re great to me and I regret placing with them and at all.

      Like my comment about the Pinterest worthy nursery–if it makes a mama happy, please shop and decorate your heart out. I’m not insulting everyone who does it, you know?

      It’s difficult to even find adoptive parents at times who do these things. I’ve tried, so I can try to understand. We hear about them all the time from the moms who had doors shut on them, but so rarely from the source. Im guessing they don’t talk about it on adoption forums and blogs. Almost everyone on those, including the ones who really nauseate me, are generally quite open or want to be. Most of them get that they have the privilege to either ignore or be sensitive to the loss side of adoption, and most of them are sensitive. And the select few who don’t want open adoption either pursue international adoption or are honest from the beginning about their wishes for a closed arrangement. I don’t agree with this at all, but they are at least being honest and not cutting anyone off.

      It makes me wonder…who ARE these people who do this and WHAT is wrong with them???

      So yeah, it’s not at all about you. I think you are awesome and you have an exceptionally great open adoption. <3

  • amy says:

    I’m so sorry, Ariel. I hope it’s just late, and something will show up tomorrow! I guess I just don’t understand…if I adopted someone’s child with a promise of timely updates, I would think I would feel SO obligated to keep my word! It’s not asking too much…a quick update and a few pictures. I remember that feeling of waiting for the mail everyday…those updates and pictures were my lifeline honestly. (twenty some odd years ago). An empty mailbox would make or break my day. Once, when too much time went by, I wrote the amom a letter explaining how much those updates meant to me, and when I didn’t hear anything from them, I would worry that something had happened to my daughter or them. (I didn’t know if I would be notified if something tragic happened to the aparents or not) I have a wild, vivid imagination so you would be shocked at what I could conjur up in my head as to why there had been no communication from them.

    Once you *do* hear from them, could you send an email or note telling them how wonderful it is to hear from them, and how important those updates are? Reinforce how much you NEED to hear about your son. They might worry that the updates/pics are upsetting to you…idk. There is SO MUCH ROOM for misunderstandings, speculation, and hurt feelings in these types of situations.

    Keeping my fingers crossed that you will hear from them sooner rather than later!!

    ((HUGS))

    • Thanks Amy. :) I also worry I wouldn’t be notified if something bad happened in their family. And even if they did, it would take longer. They can’t just email, call, or send a note to my address, it has to go through the agency who then repackages the letter and sends it to me…

      • amy says:

        I understand. Our communication was through the agency for the first few years. Amom told them it was ridiculous to keep using them as a go-between, and to please ask us if we minded exchanging addresses/phone numbers.

        I feel for you! If the aparents only knew what goes through our minds and hearts…

  • J says:

    Can you ask, explicitly, for more? Even just saying ”hey, I worry about something happening like a death — would you tell me if this happened?” Also: try searching all their names every now and again, I think you once said the aparents were well known? In any case, there are likely to be obituaries or news articles online if anything awful happened.

    My heart is aching for you. It sucks.

  • Like I’ve said before, I’m not in any way even connected with adoption, so my take on this is not political, or clouded by my own experiences: that is just really shitty of them. Poor taste. Rude. It reflects heaps upon them, and not on you. It conveys a real lack of respect for you, and ultimately, the little one.
    I hope you find the courage to gently tell them it hurt to not receive an update on his birthday.
    Shame on them. Really. My heart goes out to you.

  • artsweet says:

    I’m so sorry they’re such lame-tards. It sucks that you don’t have direct contact with them and that they’re not living up to their end of things. I wish I could write to them, adoptive parent to adoptive parent, and tell them that having you in your son’s life (and their life) can only enrich it.

  • freebairn says:

    I can’t even speak…I lived in such fear from update to update…I’m so, so sorry this is happening, Ariel….

  • Robyn C says:

    Well, I’m always late with “snail mail” updates. I think I’ve actually written blog posts about that. I remember the email, but I actually take a lot of time in choosing the photos for snail mail, and then I write obsessively detailed letters. I have told all of the birth parents that they can call, email, text, or FB message me if they want an immediate update. I’m just bad at the formal ones.
    But, like artsweet, I wish I could write to C & L and tell them: Ariel is a good person! Your (all of the “yours”) child could benefit from having her in his life! I hope they’ll recognize this on their own.
    The optimistic (read: naive) part of me hopes that they wrote their own 10-page letter to you and that’s why it took so long to put together.

  • I’m an adoptee and I think that adoptive parents who have open adoptions are just as bad as adoptive parents that have closed ones. They still had the sense of entitlement that it takes to raise another, living woman’s baby and act like it’s their own. It’s just sick in my eyes. I’m talking about infant adoption, not foster or special needs. Women who take a baby from a living, breathing mother who could care for her child if she only had support. Many use the excuse, “She GAVE us her baby, we didn’t TAKE it”. That’s just BS. No woman in her right mind wants to give another woman her infant. Then for the rest of your life, you have to kiss up to the Amom so she doesn’t cut you out of your childs life. Sick, sick, sick.

    But I’m sure your adoption is different, and your child will understand why his mother had to give him away to more deserving, better parents than she could ever be. She’s only the birth mother after all. Not like she’s the real mother. Makes me so sick.

    • You don’t know me that well yet it seems. I agree with your opinion of open adoption; i think adoption is tragic either way. And I am not very good at sucking up when I don’t mean it. It still breaks my heart for both me and my son that his parents think so little of me they can’t keep a tiny promise. And I want to see him and know what he is like and what their family has going on. I will always be interested in him even if it hurts that he’s not with me. It is both absurd and insulting not to keep in touch with me because I pose no threat to anyone’s safety.

      I don’t know if he will understand and accept his adoption or not, because it was incredibly unnecessary. I made a mistake. Since his adoptive parents obviously don’t value contact with me, he may hear lies and exaggerations as to why I could not keep him. Or the subject may be brushed off entirely. But that’s speculative. I would do anything I could for him to help him feel loved and not alone.

      • Marylee says:

        Of course you would. I was separated Fromm mother needlessly as well. I’m speaking to the adopters who congratulate themselves on having done adoption right, because they allow their children contact with their mothers. If you truly “get it” you would never adopt at all. Your sons adopters sound cruel and entitled. You and your son deserve better.

  • Jess says:

    I would love to read your next post but I keep loosing the password. If you have a chance I would love if you could send it along to JJ1425L@aol.com so much thanks. I am thinking of you and hoping you got some news.

  • teradanielle says:

    Hey Ariel, I noticed that you got an update by the title of your newest post, which I am going to read right after this. I thought what you said here was very moving, and sadly all too true I think. I’m so sorry. I know your son’s first birthday must have been incredibly hard for you. My heart breaks that you were not able to share in that because you should have been.

    I just have to ask, and I hope this does not offend you, because I promise I am well intended. What is stopping you from flat out asking for more? You are an incredible writer and you express yourself in the most gifted way, have you considered just putting your wishes and concerns out to them? I know this is inherently risky, because the fear of rejection is quite real in this case and they hold the only tangible connection you have to your son right now, BUT even as the title of your newest post suggests, they are really only giving you the bare minimum–scraps. Do you really have much to lose? I know this is a very personal thing, I just wanted to know how you felt about it. Much love Ariel.
    Tera

    • People ask this a lot. I don’t have much to lose at this point. I guess it’s only fear holding me back, but I always have new reasons popping up. In the first few months of his life, I wanted contact so badly but felt it was their time to get comfortable and settle in and i didn’t want to scare them away. I really looked forward to having a relationship evolve with them.

      Then, I replied to their 6 month update and asked a few questions to which I have not received answers. I can’t very well start a dialogue when I won’t receive a reply for six months. If at all. That tells me that asking for a more contact is silly, because every indicator says they’ll say no, if they bother saying anything to me ever again! Right now, they are either closing the adoption or inexcusably late.

      This also makes me wonder if I want to have much contact at all with people like this. If they’re so uncomfortable they can’t reach me directly, that wouldn’t be a pleasant relationship up close either. What is the point? I don’t definitively know that open adoption would be beneficial to my son. I can’t change whatever they think of me. I don’t want to suck up to them and tell them a bunch of lies about how glad i am they took him off my hands and how he looks like them, teehee! It almost seems better if I just disappeared and they stopped updating me. At least they would be happy in that arrangement, where i doubt I’ll enjoy much of anything. I would be happier in hell.

      And finally, I can only express myself when I’m free to. It’s a situation so awkward that writing skill counts for little.

  • […] writing this post in my head ever since Ariel wrote about her son’s adoptive parents being late with their one year update. I didn’t write it sooner because: a) I don’t want to sound all […]

  • Kat says:

    Ariel, I am just so sorry for all that you are going through. Not in a ‘feel sorry’ for you sort of way, but sorry that you are in this world of adoption with so few choices and little control. I feel bad for all of my first mom friends who are in this predicament of not getting what was promised or what was alluded to.
    I absolutely know your child will want to hear from you, see you and speak to you. I think deep down, most APs know that too. The ones that are secure seem to be open to allowing it to happen. The others … well, they give sporadic updates. Keep trying and don’t give up! <3

  • Ursula says:

    It’s sad to think that these people are not very reliable because even though they look after him, he is still your son.

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