I am tempted to discontinue visits with my daughter. That is something I never would have thought I’d say. I have fought tooth and nail to be a part of my daughter’s life since I gave her up (I hate that phrase) at birth almost 15 years ago.
The adoptive parents promised me, and my two year old son at the time, that we could see her monthly; that we were going to be a big part of their lives etc., ect. Until a few weeks after the adoption: suddenly they did not want me to bring my camera to visits anymore, it was explained to me that they were not ok with birth family members appearing in photos with her. (This certainly was a shock) In passing I made a comment about what a beautiful baby she was and the adoptive mother lowered her voice and hissed: “she has baby acne”. ( I did not misunderstand her intention to be hurtful, or take the comment out of context), at one point I gave my daughter a card and wrote at the end: Love your Birthmommy, T. They were furious, And that was pretty much the end of my visitations with my infant daughter, because as soon as the adoption was finalized they informed me that they wished to discontinue visits. I was was crushed, but not surprised, as it was clear-although I had hoped I was wrong- that this was the direction they were heading nearly from the start. Any relationship we did have before the adoption, quickly developed into more of a dictatorship after.
Sensing where things were headed, I contacted a lawyer, who informed me rather bluntly that my chances were slim at getting my child back, I was a 19 year old single mother,they were both 15 years my senior, and of course, had financial means well beyond mine at the time and the adoptive father was a lawyer himself on top of everything else. I struggled over this for sometime but decided that if I lost, they would NEVER let me see her. I felt the risk was too great.
I suppose if I had jumped through enough hoops for them, or never dared have the audacity the show the tinyist glimmer of love or connection toward my daughter and fawned over them enough to satisfy them, than maybe things would be different, but I was too preoccupied with my own greif, and they were supposed to be the adults. Anyway, I begged, pleaded, asked if we could attend counselling-they were not interested. To make a long story short, I did not see her again until she was 6 years old, through much work on my part as well as an affliated adoption agency, and the parents resisted nearly every step of the way, but finally my son and I were able to see her (my son is her full birth-sibling) we have seen her since about once every year (we are a 2 hour drive from them) I really feel that we still don’t really know her all that well-it’s a complicated relationship. The adoptive parents are pleasant enough to me-especially in front of our daughter-although I do not trust them one bit. I can’t seem to forgive them for the hell they put me and my family through, I felt lied to and manipulated. I felt, and still feel that they essentally stole her from me. I feel like my daughter has been told some unpleasant things about us, that likely are not true. She goes on and on about how close she is with her mother, how she’s glad I chose to give her up, etc. Sometimes I think she has got somewhat of a condesending attitude and then I am reminded of her adoptive parents and how she likely can’t help but pick up some og their traits and attitudes. I work so hard to make these visits happen and I can’t even tell if they mean much of anything to her. Of course I want her to be happy with her life and currcumstances but sometimes it enrages me that they have fully gotten away with what they have done. Frankly, I don’t see what value we have in her life at this point. I don’t get the feeling that she really needs us and after each visit I am just mentally and emotionally exhausted, as though I am re-living the whole thing over again.
So I ask myself, why do I continue to do this to myself? Does anyone out there have a similar situation or some words of wisdom for me? Am I being selfish? Please be gentle though, this is a very painful subject….sorry for the very long post.