Monday, December 25, 2006

Justifiably Offended?

So all week I was waiting for the box to arrive from the adoptive parents. They send gifts, but all I care about is the note/letter and picture(s) that the box hopefully contains. When Saturday evening arrived, I reminded myself that a few years ago there would be a year here and there when it would arrive after Christmas and that I would give it a few extra days before I started to wonder and worry that this was it.

Last night I had a dream that I met my son. There weren't any real details, just that I saw him in person and he said a few words. But it was a good dream and I woke up happy and hopeful.

While opening presents this morning, the postal worker came by. Did you know the post office delivers express mail on Christmas? I was grateful that the adoptive parents came through and sent a box. There was no picture this time, but there was a letter. Apparently, they had not yet received my box and letter (which I had to mail to the attorney rather than directly to them). In her letter she told me some more things about my son which I really appreciated knowing. The fact that she was responding to a question I had really gave me encouragement, too. I usually feel like my questions are ignored and I am left to cobble together what scraps do appear in notes or letters.

But the thing that really got me was very early in the letter she asked me what my long term goals are. I have always hated this question in general. Now that I am 35 and 8+ years into a marriage, 7+ years into homeownership, almost 7 years with the same employer, 5+ years past college graduation, I still hate it. And she knows the timeline I've just laid out and the stability and "progress" it supposedly represents. The fact that this question was posed to me by her immediately made me feel unworthy because I am not the type of person to have a long range plan for anything - in general I like to take life by the moment and see where it takes me, kind of seize the day, but within reason because the core of my being craves and needs stability. Some people would see this as a flaw and I immediately felt defensive and wanted to pick up a pen and answer her question because obviously she has an opinion of me that I don't have of myself. My husband asked about the letter and when I mentioned that question even he (who often says I think too hard about what people say to me) said well, you did move around a lot before we were married, but I wonder if she is asking you that because she isn't sure she can trust you with any more information than she has given you. We discussed it a little more and we both wondered if maybe their higher social and financial status makes them think that we are not doing as well as I thought we were. I don't know.

I do know that I was taken aback that I felt like I suddenly have to meet her approval all over again. And on Christmas Day when I was letting myself fantasize that the box may contain a note from my son or words in her letter to the effect of them wanting direct contact of some kind - email, real address, whatever - to have that dashed in the midst of opening gifts was kind of cruel. But how can I complain? A box did come, a letter did arrive - and two pages at that.

Yes, I'll continue to wait. And yes, I'll continue to take whatever I can get in the way of information and pictures. Beggars, after all, can't be choosers, now, can they?


Blogger said...

No photo? I think that's mean. You don't have to have long term goals. You sound like you have a very stable life.
You can say that you have achieved a lot, marriage, home ownership, college degree and long term employment, you could say you are working part time on your writing, enjoying being in love with your husband and your long term goal is to have some contact with your son and build a mutually healthy relationship with him.

It's insane that you have to post things through a lawyer, I hate that system, it's so cold and distrustful.

5:49 PM  
Blogger momseekingpeace said...

I agree with Kim, that was mean that she did not send a picture.
If I were to guess, hmmm, no picute, few details and that question? sounds to me like she is feeling insecure?

I would try to not allow what her expectations of goal setting is to influence how you feel about yourself. That is the way she does it in the world and it does not mean that is the way you ought to do it.


5:17 PM  

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