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And my heart stopped

August 27, 2014

So I’m raw and emotional right now, I had a really hard night. I’m going to write about it, I’m hoping it will help me process a little and I’m hoping that some of you out there in adoption real life can read this and somehow make me feel a little bit better. It might not work, but here it is.

I met up with M&P tonight, just the three of us. I knew something major was coming, everything passed through my head – that one of them was sick, that they were getting a divorce, that they were adopting again, that they were upset with something I did and wanted to talk it out. But what never crossed my mind is that they were moving away. 

But they are.

P got a new job far away. Like really far away. They will be moving in January. 

There are many people in their lives that are mad at them, angry they are leaving. It’s not a short stint either, it sounds like at minimum it will be 5 years. I’m sort of in shock about the whole thing, I’m not angry like the others, but I’m very sad. I’m sad that I have to say goodbye, that I’ll miss even more milestones and moments than I would miss anyways, when he comes back he’ll have spent more time living away from me than living in the same city as me. 

But as we talked, I realized how grateful I actually should be. You see as they figured all this out, as they were negotiating how this move would work, I was included as a part of that. The new company will pay for me to fly to them once a year for as long as they are there (the location is far enough away I could never afford to go there on my own, I couldn’t afford the flight). M&P made it clear that although they can only provide me one flight a year, that I can stay with them there as long as I want to, that means I could take a month a year to visit them. I made a joke about how it’s too bad I just started a job where I have no vacation and P made sure to tell me that if I was taking unpaid leave off of work to visit them that they would subsidize me for it, especially if that would be a factor in my not coming. Basically not only is my name in their contract saying that part of his package is flights for me but that they want to make sure nothing stops me from coming and staying for as long as I want to, as long as I can each and every year. I know I’m the only relative built into their contract, the only person that they were so worried about they made sure I would be taken care of. We talked about how they will also come home for long stretches twice a year, and although lots of family will be crammed into those stretches, there didn’t seem to be any worries that they wouldn’t find ways for me to spend lots of time with them during those months. So the reality is I could figure it out that I wouldn’t go more than four months at a time without seeing J in person. And hopefully those stretches I’ll be able to really spend time with him.  I mean a month staying in his house, if I did that I would probably spend more time with him for that period that I will have for the last three years combined. I mean I am not saying I can take off a month of work every year, I’m not a total crazy pants, but I know I’ll find a way to swing at least two weeks or more each year and I do know I will soak up every second with him while I’m there. 

And they want to make sure I can do Skype (P was very concerned about me having the ability to skype and at one point I’m pretty sure he asked me if I had internet to skype with) and that they would make sure J and I had lots of opportunities regularly to keep in contact. I even suddenly had this romantic idea of sending him real letters regularly. 

I am so grateful for this attitude, their need to make sure I understand that I was a part of the thought process, that this relationship was a priority to them and that they firmly believe we can maintain a strong relationship or they wouldn’t be going, all of this makes it almost seem okay. 

And I’m grateful that J is in the place he is in, the growth our relationship has had in the last year is amazing. We are in a place where I feel confidant of my place in his life, not because his parents set up visits but because of us, because of our connection, because he knows me, loves me and cares about our relationship as much as I do. So although it will be hard for him to leave, I do believe our relationship is strong enough that it can bend into a new shape and won’t break. And if this happened two years ago I wouldn’t feel that way. 

And then I think about it again and start crying and feel no gratitude at all, just sadness. 

So many emotions, and it’s so very hard. My life feels like someone else came by and flipped everything upside down.

So yeah, that was my day, how was yours?

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2014 1:59 am

    Praying for you for peace and joy in the midst of the very real grief.

  2. Just Me permalink
    August 27, 2014 7:27 am

    My day is always felt more profoundly for reading your blog.

  3. Trish permalink
    August 27, 2014 8:45 am

    I don’t know that I will be able to make you feel better. Just knowing that J will be so far away will be so hard every day. That said, I know that M&P are committed- that’s not the right word- I know that you are their family. You were included in their careful planning because you are their son’s mother.

  4. August 27, 2014 9:54 am

    Wow – my heart sank when I read they were moving and then jumped for joy that they made arrangements for you to visit. And then sank again because, well…they are moving.
    As planned out as our lives are, there is still an amount of spontaneity to them. You lose the ability for J to just call you after a noteworthy day, or to just drop by because you were in the neighbourhood. Even if those things were not happening right now, the possibility for them to happen in the future is gone (at least for awhile) and THAT is worth mourning.
    I suspect this is just as hard on them or they would not have gone to such great lengths to ensure you remain part of J’s life, which is pretty special. Despite the sadness right now, that commitment to you will be the basis of a solid relationship between mother and son in the future.
    It still sucks though.

  5. FrankLligtvoet permalink
    August 27, 2014 1:12 pm

    I feel very sad for you. Should the guys not have consulted you before they made the decision to move? It might be for your son a bad decision.

    • August 27, 2014 2:05 pm

      They decided to not tell me until they knew it would be happening for sure, I guess it was a long process and for much of it they didn’t really think it would go through, the final decision happened in the last week or two (I actually was on vacation when they signed the paperwork. As far as consulting me, I don’t necessarily think I could add much to their decision, they know it’s going to be sad for J to leave his entire extended family (I include myself in that but am definitely not the only person affected) and that was taken into consideration. And honestly this is a pretty amazing experience, they will be going to another country where J will have some pretty amazing opportunities for the next few years. I don’t know if in the end it will be the decision I would have made, but I totally understand why they are taking the opportunity, and I do think it will be an amazing experience for J.

      • FrankLligtvoet permalink
        August 27, 2014 2:43 pm

        Don’t want to brag, but we decided to stay in the US and not move back to Europe for a great job, for our kids and their families. I think the guys made the wrong choice. Sorry to be so frank.

  6. August 27, 2014 1:31 pm

    I hope they really do follow through with what they say they will do.

    • August 27, 2014 2:06 pm

      If there is one thing I have no doubts about it is that they are in this and will do whatever they can to keep up on their end. Does that mean life won’t get in the way sometimes, of course not, but I fully expect to see J three times a year and have at least monthly (if not more often) skype sessions.

  7. August 27, 2014 8:14 pm

    I’m so torn on this for you. I’m happy that they actively decided to keep you in their lives but I really, really feel like they haven’t considered the enormity of this and your future relationship with J. You aren’t just extended family, love.

    You are allowed to grieve this too. I assume that this will trigger some huge adoption feelings associated with loss. Know that you have support, and we’re here for you, no matter what.

    • atimmons permalink
      August 30, 2014 8:43 am

      Danielle:

      I think the fact they ( the parents) have arranged for the bmom to come visit for free, on the company’s dime, does show how much they value her and the love she brings to the whole family. What would you suggest they do, not relocate for a better life and more money?

      Open adoption means relationship building not co-parenting or a joint custody set-up. I think if the aparents have the opportunity for better the life for the child, by living abroad in a different country where they will learn a different language and appreciate different cultures, then what’s the problem?

      • atimmons permalink
        August 30, 2014 9:35 am

        ETA:

        Sorry for the typos what I meant was:

        Open adoption means relationship building not co-parenting or a joint custody set-up (or baby sitting). I think if the aparents have the opportunity to better the life of the child, by living abroad in a different country where they will learn a different language and appreciate different cultures, then what’s the problem?

      • August 30, 2014 11:13 am

        I’m entitled to my opinion; I don’t think this a good move. I think it’s going to be heartbreaking for many involved.

        Now, here’s my concern: will they follow through? Has she seen the contracts with her name on them? I know they haven’t really given her a reason to be suspicious, but as anyone in adoption knows, open adoptions close. Sometimes viciously, and sometimes, due to distance. Because like a romantic relationship? Long distance is tough.

        You’ve commented on my blog before; are you the one who was purposely trying to antagonize me when I was posting about my son’s adoptive parents? Audra, right? Your tantrum like way of demanding and announcing that “bmoms” are not co-parents is incredibly telling and exceptionally dismissive.

        In this situation, she, the natural mother, has been exceptionally involved in her child’s life. Having just made a huge move ourselves (and also refusing one to stay close to family for the sake of our children), I can tell you a move, a big one, is not easy. Even if money is better. Personally, my children’s well being comes before dollar signs, but I guess you and I have different priorities.

        If you have a problem with me, which it seems you do, contact me. Don’t passively aggressively attack me on other people’s blogs. I’ve heard your rhetoric before, and responded. Don’t cloud other people’s space with your dislike for me or how others view adoption.

  8. Rikki permalink
    August 27, 2014 8:18 pm

    While this is sad news on some parts, it does demonstrate their commitment to making sure that you are a part of J’s life. And of note, it may give you some opportunity as well, since you have stated before that moving wasn’t an option for you with J being in the city. Now the door is open for you to explore what will be best for you. I wish you peace, strength and courage as you look into the future.

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