Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TPR petition

What I haven't posted here, but have on FB, is that R signed the TPR petition last week, and, I assume, D (birthdad) did this week. And what I can't figure out is why I haven't been shouting it everywhere and to everyone. We had a visit with R on Friday and it was fine, it was good. At the end of the visit, I told her I had a stack of pictures for her, but just needed to write on them (who they were, where we were, etc...). But then she said she would bring a camera next week to leave for us to take additional pictures. I instantly bristled. I mean, I just told her I have a bunch for her. And, heck, I hardly use our camera throughout the day because I'm too busy holding baby E and thus don't have a free hand. I, well, I just don't get why she asked, but mostly I just don't get my reaction.

I was talking with my dear friend, M, a couple of weeks ago, processing my reactions to some of the things R says (like when she refers to baby E as "my little man". I told her that I knew once the TPR was done I wouldn't care what R said about baby E. M told me that it would still bother me, and I blew her off, thinking, "there's no way". M and her husband have a son, who was also adopted, and they have an open and ongoing relationship with the birthmom. Now, I must confess, I've often wondered at M's reactions to the things the birthmom says, thinking M was overreacting. I thought, "what difference does it make what she says, he's your son; he calls you mommy, not her. Let her say whatever she needs to to deal with it".

Oh, but do I get it now. My experience with the kid's birth family was so very different. I can see now that they completely detached, insofar as they stopped thinking of the kid as their child. I just assumed that was what happened to everyone. And maybe it will sometime in the future, but it's not where R is right now. She still very much considers E her baby. However, I do believe she also seems him as ours. This open adoption stuff is more complicated than I expected, more complicated than what we're used to.

So, to my dear friend M, I am so sorry for judging you. I am sorry for doubting you, for thinking I could do better. I now know how conflicting it is, how gut wrenching it is to feel that someone else is claiming your child as her own. I think it's another infertility cross we bear.

So, today's lesson is not one I can claim authorship to - never judge another until you walk a mile in her shoes.

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