It took me about a hundred years to pull myself together this morning.
Yesterday, I got a letter from E.'s parents in response to that phone call a few months ago. It came yesterday afternoon, and I skimmed it to get the gist, and so far, I haven't sat down and read it thoroughly. My mother read it and Josh read it. I know generally what it says: "We don't know why you're dissatisfied, we kept to the letter of our agreement". What stood out was at the end of the letter, they stated that they thought that E. having any kind of contact with Naomi and her future siblings would "irreparably damage" E.'s relationship with her brother. At that point I put the letter down. I couldn't read any more. I have been fighting tears ever since. I have been a mess all day. I am barely holding it together.
I don't know what I am grieving, exactly. That no consideration was given to the feelings of my famliy, of my children? That I am losing E. all over again, because it's all gotten "too hard"? Maybe, maybe, maybe. Right now the pain is too intense to locate its genesis. It is blinding.
If I had never made that phone call, I wonder when it would have come out that they intended to end our visits to salvage the sibling relationship?
All day I have been composing responses in my head. I wish I could post the letter here. I want to send them literature, short articles about open adoption, in an attempt to illustrate why, exactly, I am dissatisfied. Not that it will rescue the relationship, or anything. I will post my response before I send it.
In thinking back, I wonder how much I missed in those heady early days when we were getting to know each other. I remember the moment when we signed the (not legally binding) open adoption contract at the agency. The contract outlined a basic structure for an open adoption: something like, visits yearly, pictures every six months. It was far less than I expected, and I said so. I said something like "we will never need this. Our relationship is already beyond it". What I remember is that everyone was as enthusiastic as I was. What I wonder now is if everyone else in the room was only along for the ride. Maybe my enthusiasm was infectious.
Most of all, I wish this letter hadn't come on my birthday. It's that extra kick in the pants, that they didn't know, or care, when my birthday is, that I am not worthy of that kind of friendship in their eyes. That kind of friendship is, in essence, all I ever really wanted from them.