Thank you, everyone, who responded to my last post. I am blown away by your support and understanding.
It's amazing how a shock can leave you so clearheaded after all the dust settles.
I am so grateful for many things. I'm so glad I have Naomi, she makes me smile when nothing else will. She fills a void and then some. I shudder to think of the devastation this news would have caused if I did not have Naomi in my life.
I'm so grateful that Josh and I are in this together. We stuck it out through such tough times when we were so depressed and grieving E., and now, we can look at our beautiful family and love what we have made together. He is my touchstone of reality, he remembers the time around the adoption as well as I do. He is how I know I'm not making things up, they really did seem like the perfect adoptive parents at the time. They really did seem to be on the same page as us.
I am clearer now on how I will handle telling Naomi about the adoption. She loves my photo albums. I am going make a lifebook of sorts, starting with myself and Josh before and during the pregnancy, through E.'s birth and up to Naomi's life. I will explain things as honestly and simply as I can. I will not back down from hard subjects. I know she might be confused, but I consider it a small price to pay for the lack of secrecy and shame. I am determined to do it this way now because I've seen how "protecting" a child from sensitive information can hurt them so much.
I am working on my response to their sincere but wrong-headed letter. So far, I have two vastly different letters, one where I really let it rip, and tell them exactly what I think of their dishonesty, and another, where I'm the nice, compliant, opinionless birthmother. Guess which one I will send?
After rereading the letter a million times, it seems like they are willing to continue visits as long as we don't bring Naomi. I hate to hide Naomi from E. and collude in their charade. Question is, do I continue visits for E.'s benefit, even though the strain of the visit itself is considerable and it turns my stomach to be blatantly dishonest? Or do I let the whole thing go, shut the door, and feel peace that I did it as long as I could stand it, and that the mud is on their hands?
I am leaning toward letting the door close. I have my own mental health to think of. I don't want to be bent into shapes that fit around their insecurities, I don't want that responsibility on my shoulders anymore. Of course, I'll continue to send her birthday presents every year, but I won't be playing the part they assign to me. I'll be playing on my own terms.
It is clear that they'd rather have me walk away. I am inclined right now to give them what they want. I pray that it is temporary, and I hope that someday I will be able to tell E. my side of the story, but by walking away I have to accept that I may never get that opportunity.