18 April 2011

Taking back my Power.... round 2

A couple of years ago I wrote a post titled "Taking back my Power" and when I came to blog tonight, I decided that is again exactly what I have done in a completely different way.

In our lives, we all have fears... heights, spiders, dirt, speech-making etc (and most of these I have as well!!) but one of my BIGGEST fears in the last 13 years, is standing tall and putting my foot down when it comes to my girl. Fear because I know in standing up and putting that foot down I know so well it could cost me so much and the pain that cost causes has me fearing in a totally paralysing way.

So today, I faced that fear.

As I posted a few weeks ago, I had a visit approaching. That visit was supposed to be today however was cancelled yesterday on account of my daughter having an illness. Yes, part of me has wondered how true that was but I do think she was sick. And the thought of that was enough to anger me yesterday because hearing that she is sick (nothing serious) and knowing she has probably been sick many times in the past 13 odd years and I have not been present for those years rubs in just some of what it is that has been lost. However I digress.

After reading a few blogs this weekend, two by other mothers and one from an adoptive mother I love and respect (yes, shock horror, I DID say that!) and an email from another mum friend, I came to the conclusion it was time to speak my mind about the visits we were having. When I received the text about my daughter, her adoptive 'father' suggested I email next week to reorganise another visit. I decided now was my time to take back some of the power I had lost all those years ago and let them know it was time for us to get to know Amber without them; i.e. have visits without them.

I am under no illusion they will allow this. In fact I know they probably won't given the way they have dictated the way the visits will work until now but I am no longer comfortable with keeping my mouth closed and ignoring the proverbial white elephant in the middle of the room.

I will include the text of the email below. Before anyone decides to comment however, I would suggest if you don't know my story or my situation you refrain if you cannot add anything positive or helpful. I share so those I have gotten to know and love can know what is going on, not to be told what to do or how to do it. The email is sent now so there is nothing that can be done about it even if you did want to persuade me not to.

Email:

Hi X,

Thanks for getting back to me about Amber’s illness. I hope she feels better soon and can enjoy the rest of the school holidays.

I was thinking maybe the 1st of May for the reschedule if Easter weekend is out. Or even the couple of days after the weekend like Monday or Tuesday as they are public holidays? Just my thoughts anyway.

I guess I should be honest with you about where I am at with visits. Personally I feel it is time Amber was able to come to us on her own. I understand why you don’t want her to however I would never do anything to hurt her or upset her so I don’t think your fears are necessary. She is now 13 years old; at that age I was looking after people’s children on my own in a different country and was a lot more independent than Amber is. I am not comfortable in our current arrangement and cannot relate to her with you and xxx there given our history.

I have played ‘the game’ for almost ten years now but honestly, what happened to take Amber from me will never go away or be forgiven. It can’t be; its just too big. What happened to me in losing Amber almost destroyed me and has robbed me of a lot of living. Adoption is not a beautiful thing; it destroys families and I am not the only one who says this.

Despite this and how I feel, I have done my best. My intention with wanting visits with just her is to get to know her. Nothing sinister. Currently I feel she doesn’t open up because she feels the tension. If she had the chance just to be without worrying where everyone is at, then I think we would all be much more comfortable. I get what I have told you will not be welcome, however I need to be honest. You are not the only considerations in this; it affects all my children; all three of them and my parents.

I know I risk losing all chance to see her after this. I am fine with that because I am no longer a willing participant in playing happy families and if that is the price of honesty, then that is the price I pay. I want to get to know my daughter for who she is without all the pressure and I don’t ask all that much really. I am not holding my breath however but leaving it with you.

Cheers,

(Myst)


In sending this email, it represents so much to me about how far I have come. I realised today I have been allowing them to continue holding all the cards in the last few years by dictating how often and the terms of these visits. Every visit has involved a lengthy preparation time; a steeling of seeing my daughter's adopters and pretending as if everything is okay. My daughter and I barely talk and we have a fairly miserable time. I have asked her if she likes the visits and she has assured me she does and yet they are so painful and as we have no real time together I feel they are a waste of time. I feel if she didn't have to worry about them standing over her, she could relax a little and we could just get to know each other. It isn't like she is a little girl anymore. I can understand why they had to be there when she was younger but not after 9 odd years of visits. It is hardly as if we are going to take her and run!

Anyway, I know not what this will bring me and I am not sure I care all that much. Of course if they cut off all contact and visits with me I will be upset but then it isn't something I haven't experienced from them before. However this time I have the evidence to support me for the day she wants to know why and also they would have to explain to her why they are no longer allowing visits to continue.

All I know is I have been honest and true to myself and all my children. I mentioned in a previous post last year I want to be authentic and finally I feel I have been in terms of these visits.

So tonight, for the first time in many, many years, I go to bed a free woman. Free from the chains of an open adoption which has never really been all that open. Free from the games they have forced us to play. Free from them using my girl against me and holding her over me. I am her mother, she is my daughter and I will not allow my family to be used like this anymore. I have told her I love her and I will always be there for her. There is no more I can do as it is out of my hands due to adoption.

I. am. Free.

17 comments:

  1. Myst, you and your daughter are both so very strong. I do understand your push to ask for more. Your daughter needs more. Though you expect to be denied, let's hope the day comes very soon when she can be herself, at last. Peace and blessings to you and your family, Myst. Rest now for a while. Take care of you <3

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  2. Myst,
    That email is so honest. You should be very proud of yourself. If they are anything like my daughters adopters communication would end after hey received something like that. I am about 6 years ahead of you in this adoption "fun". Good luck and know that even if the adoption closes in a few years your daughter can look for you and you can contact her directly.
    I think adoption is hardest on all of the siblings. From what I have seen from my raised children and surrendered daughter they crave the bond that adoption denies.

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  3. ((Myst))

    I am so proud of you! This is the best you can do for your daughter. The two of you need to spend real time together without adopters hovering over you.

    It's also possible that she got sick because the pressure is so much, to visit you and do everything "right" for her adopters.

    I hope that you are able to have visits without them, but even if you don't, I think she will still seek you out. She knows how to contact you, and she knows they are liars. And, most of all, she knows you love her.

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  4. I have so much respect for you and your courage.

    Those chains needed to be broken and I am so glad you have finally taken the step to do so.

    And like Jeannette said, if they deny your request, as you are expecting, in a few short years, you will be able to contact your daughter with or without them. Then you will be able to tell her your truth (which is also hers), without ever having to worry that her adopters are there to censor you in any way.

    I'm thinking of you and right here holding your hand as tight as I can while you wait for their response.

    Love ya.

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  5. You are a brave woman! Walking on eggshells isn't easy, and one day your daughter will have her freedom.

    I mean what on earth do these people imagine she will think when she knows the truth? But on the other hand they control her on so many levels, sad to say.

    Your challenging their authority may send them into a frenzy. Who knows what their knee jerk reaction will be? But you have conveyed your heart.

    None of this is easy and my thoughts are with you over the miles.

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  6. Myst,
    It's like reading something I would write! You are free because you've been able to speak your mind. None of us has to pretend that having contact with our children with the people who keep them from us is an enjoyable experience - because it often isn't! It's tough going and we do it more for our kids than ourselves as it's all one way. You are doing what I did. Mine blew up, as you know, but I wouldn't change a thing. It gave my daughter a voice because it ended up in Court! She was around the same age as Amber too. Regardless of their response, you have taken back control and that's something they fought to take away from you all those years ago. Hoping that there is a positive outcome but if there isn't, you should stand tall and proud and know that their time to manipulate her is fast coming to an end. She's got a long life ahead of her and they'll have a lot of explaining to do. I'd hate to be in their shoes and their crooked bed right now! Amber is going to be free soon.
    Love J.

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  7. I often think of you as a Phoenix, my friend. ALL of your children are so very fortunate that you ARE their mother, and I truly believe the day will come when Amber can fully know you and love you.

    I have to admit that I'm pessimistic about "their" response. I doubt they will suddenly let go of their guilt and fear and let Amber be alone with you, and I'm worried about what that will do to your heart.

    At the same time, I know you are incredibly strong and resilient (even when you don't want to be!), and I KNOW you will survive anything they dish out. No, not merely survive... you, my friend, will triumph, because you are motivated by love, and they are motivated by selfishness and entitlement.

    I love you more than you know! {{{{Hugs}}}} and I'm waiting with you!

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  8. Good job on speaking your mind. I hope they surprise you and agree to the visits. Just curious - why do you use the word "adopters" as opposed to "adoptive parents" or some other option? As a disclaimer - I'm an "adopter!"

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  9. Hi Granny,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree she needs more, I just hope her adopters can see past themselves for once and give that to her. And yes, I will take your advice and rest... xxx

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  10. Hi Jeannette :)

    I am proud of myself... that I got to a point I could be honest and say no more. What this honesty does, I will have no idea!

    I agree adoption is difficult on the siblings; my second daughter finds this so hard and often asks me when her sister is coming home; and told me the other day it isn't normal that her sister doesn't live with her. Of course it isn't normal; nothing about adoption is! I didn't say that though; I just told her gently her sister would never live with us in the way she wants her to and that adoption is permanent. She cried and said it isn't fair. I said nothing but hugged her and nodded. It isn't fair!

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  11. Thanks Heather! I do hope if this all goes pear shaped as I am inclined to feel it will, she decides to seek us out. At least she knows who I am and I have been able to communicate to her my door is always open to her.

    I am a little concerned if these visits cease what she will think and feel however I cannot compromise my morality any longer because it is robbing me of living. I already lost so much in losing her; I cannot lose anymore of my life to this monster!

    (((Heather)))

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  12. Thank you Cassi, it is always easier to tread these more difficult journeys when we know we have others at our backs and side; even if just in spirit. I value your support and take comfort in knowing you will be right beside me in this xxx

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  13. Thanks Angelle :) Yes, not sure what they will do, in the past they have called meetings (which they have done again now; need to update blog!) and rail roaded me however this time they can try but they will be faced with a different woman. Time to stand up for myself and ALL my kids!

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  14. Ahhhh Jacinta, you know so well what this is like!! I hope things get better for you; I think as she sorts things out it may and I am concerned Amber has been kept immature and will also take a while to sort through her crap. Oh well, I did what needed to be done and will face whatever their decision is with my head held high!

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  15. Sally, your comment had me in tears!! (not in a negative way though). Thank you again, for taking the time to get to know me under all the other stuff. I know I am a prickly ball when it comes to those who adopt however you have reached out and shown me such compassion and I am truly touched by it!

    I am about to update the blog so you know what is happening but I think you are right and I will be going into whatever happens next with my eyes wide open.

    Thanks again for just being so supportive!! xxx

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  16. Hi Oneinchargeofgrace (sorry, don't know your name),

    Thank you for your encouragement. I also hope they do the right thing however, it hasn't been done yet, sadly.

    As for the term adopter, I use that word to describe people who adopt. Not everyone who adopts deserves the word parent (just the same as every person who gives birth doesn't deserve that recognition in serious abuse cases) and in my case, my daughter's adopters are little more than legally sanctioned abductors. Hope that helps explain.

    Cheers,
    Myst

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