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Tuesday, October 18, 2005



i think, kate, that this letter is thoughtfully written and the ending is handled as gracefully and well as can be expected. i understand your concerns with the ending, but i think that's how it has to be - how could you hide naomi and her brother or sister? ultimatums are hard, but i think this one has to be.


I've been a lurker for a while here. Not a birth mom or an adoptive mom--just a reader--I think I found you after a comment Grrl made about your troll. My heart aches for you right now.

I'm not going to give you advice (how could I?), but one thing struck me reading your letter (and your thoughts about whether a card etc. on her birthday would be enough). If you were to limit your contact to a mailed card, what would prevent E's parents from just withholding the card & present, to "protect" her and her brother? At least with the occasional visit, you're visibly there and can't be denied.

But you have to do what feels right for yourself and your family. So sorry you have to make this decision.

Kristin H.

That is a beautiful (and gutwrenching) letter. Your words so embody what open adoption means to me, and I am sad and mad that E's birthparents are not there with you. You are eloquent, diplomatic and sensitive, while also being honest and truthful about where you stand. I can't give any advice, really, the ending seems good to me, though I hear what you are saying. Good luck with working out the last kinks (if there are any).


I don't understand their point of view. I feel that they are narrowminded and hurtful people to cut people who LOVE and CARE for a child out of the child's life. It's unthinkable that someone would want to deny love to a child.

I've been ready ing your blog for a while and I learn a lot from many of your posts...other posts rip my heart out when I read your pain.

I have a question, asked with respect to the situation, and out of adoption ignorance...how can they dictate if the child(ren) living with you can accompany you on visits if you have a legal agreement to a set amount of visits?

I do hope that this is resolved in a peaceable manner. You and your family are in my thoughts (and on my computer screen).


Your blog is on my computer screen...d'oh.


The letter is very good. I know that this must be tremendously emotionally draining for you, and so I can easily understand why you want to explain to her exactly where you stand, throw down the gauntlet, so to speak, and know, once and for all, what their reaction will be and what you can expect from the future.

I am just thinking that if you are not sure you want to make an ultimatum just yet, you could try to view this as just the beginning of a new conversation. Basically, you made a phone call, and she replied in a letter. Even though in her letter she wouldn't validate your feelings and her language on the E./Naomi visitation issue sounds final, it's really not. Things have changed very much from when you placed E., and they will continue to change. E.'s relationship with J. will change over time. J.'s feelings about adoption will change. Their parenting philosophies will change as the kids grow up. You don't have to accept that this is their position forever.

In your letter, you explain really clearly what you were expecting and how you feel like it fell short, and how important it is for you (and the reasons why) you want to be able to include Naomi. Rather than giving her an ultimatum, "either Naomi comes with me on visits or I won't visit anymore" you could try asking her to work with you to think of solutions to this issue. Explain how much you want to continue to visit E., how you totally understand her desire to protect J's feelings, but how you are similarly concerned about Naomi's feelings.

The thing is, the ultimatum is probably EXACTLY what they want. It's the easiest way out. I'll be honest, I'm an attorney who has done divorce stuff (not adoption) so I am filtering your postings through my own experiences in divorce/custody related stuff (and also my own experiences as a child of divorce)--so you can take this with a grain of salt because maybe it doesn't translate well at all to the open adoption scenario, but her letter struck me as her putting a condition on you that she knew you wouldn't be willing to accept. That's what people do when they have a custodial agreement that they aren't happy with. They make life so difficult on the non-custodial parent that eventually the non-custodial parent gives up. Then the custodial parent can say "see, he never comes to visit the child anymore, he really didn't care about the child, just like I always thought." They create a self-fulfilling prophecy in their own minds, when really what they've done is just hurt the other person so much that the other person has retreated in self defense.

It would be much more difficult for her if you weren't willing to accept her "no" for an answer, but instead asked her to see your point of view, and try to think up ways that you both can deal with the situation. It may not lead to the results you desire, but it could lead to something better than a card and photo once a year. Maybe something along the lines of telling Naomi and E. about each other this year, with them not actually meeting until next year as a compromise? At that time, J. may be in a completely different state of mind, and it just wouldn't be the issue it is right now. I don't know enough about the facts to suggest alternative plans myself, but I just wonder what would happen if you essentially called her on her bluff and said, "Well, that just doesn't work for me, but E. and you guys, and this open adoption is so important to me that I really want to work together with you and come up with something that works for all of us." I just wonder what she would do?


Kateri... I thought this letter was beautifully crafted, and I wasn't left feeling that you had laid out an ultimatum... BUT... after reading J's comment... I think he/she (?) makes a VERY valid point... and really got me thinking. They probably DO want an ultimatum... so I think J's idea of putting it back to them to help them come up with a solution is excellent.


The letter is beautifully written and so hard to read. I like what J has to say, too, and hope that helps you make a decision -- either way -- about the ending. I still feel angry with E's parents. I know it doesn't help to hear that someone is typing away in Ohio mad as hell. (sigh) I wish that it did. Aside from the fact that they are blessed to be your daughter's parents, they were also blessed to have YOU and I'm sorry that they don't realize that.

Beanie Baby

I don't have any advice. I just want you to know that I believe that whatever you decide to do will be the right thing for you and your family. Good luck to all of you. And I'm STILL thinking of you. (When does saying that get stale?)


I'm really sorry you're going through this right now.

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