Yes, I am still here. As I've said before, I'm still figuring out exactly what to post here, and what to save for the family blog I have. It's too hard to keep both places updated on everything all the time! So, I have been updating the other blog with all the fun and exciting things Jackson and Addison are doing. I certainly COULD update here, if there is interest - but, alas, my comments have decreased significantly and I'm not so sure anyone really cares:)!
That said, what I DO want to post about is my incredible disappointment that Jackson's birthparents (T and A) have all but disappeared. I am feeling so, so sad. Not for me, but for my sweet boy. T and A are no longer together, in fact A has separated himself so that T can't even find him. And it seems he is doing the same to us, although I am unclear why. The last time we saw him, in January, we met up at the Children's Museum and had a blast. He texted after we left to say what a great time he had. And that was the last we heard from him. It was a couple of weeks before A was released from prison. I am pretty sure we (or, more accurately, Jackson) are the only connection he has to T and maybe he just doesn't want that. But what about Jackson? What about what he needs? With T, I am pretty sure it is more about her getting her life back together and being busy....and trying to move on from that part of her life. She does still pop up here and there, commenting on a picture on facebook or sending a Mother's Day card, although I can't get her to commit to a time to visit (she lives about 3 hours away).
My sadness is not from my own selfish need to be close to them, although that IS there. I consider them family, and being close to them means I can show them how much I appreciate all they have done for Jackson and for our family through how happy Jackson is. Yes, selfish...but honest. But I could get past that. My heart is full in so many ways. But, what about Jackson? I honestly don't believe his life could be complete without them in it. I'm not an adoptee, so I can't be sure. All I can do is try to put myself in my son's shoes. And when I do that, I can't get past the fact that T and A are his first parents. He has T's eyes and A's smile. He is a fiercely independent child, which I suspect he gets from both of them. I imagine he has many, many other traits that could be traced back to them - but without them here to teach us, how will we know? And how will HE know?
I feel them slipping away, and I don't know what to do. Our social worker said all we can do is remind them that they are important to Jackson and keep the door open. That's all I can do? This is my son's heart I am trying to protect here! I think I am coming to one of the hard parts of adoption that I never thought about - my sweet boy's well-being does not JUST lie in our hands. We need his birthparents to be on board to. He needs them. There are things we just can never do for him, stories we can't tell, questions we can't answer. I was ok with that...until I realized that all this means that I can't be his world. I mean, I knew that logically. But now I feel it. Now I am experiencing it. A young child's world is his parents. I believe that an adopted child's world includes all of his parents, in one way or another. At an early age, his world may fail him. And there is, quite literally, nothing I can do to protect him from that.
I will admit, I went into adoption starry-eyed. We would have a beautiful relationship with birthparents simply because we wanted it and what birthparents wouldn't want to know us, too? We would have a child who was happy and secure in all of these complicated relationships. I've read lots of books on adoption, so why couldn't this be the case? What was I thinking?! If I had to guess, I would say this is the first of many obstacles we are going to face as adoptive parents. This is just the beginning. It hurts. It hurts because I can see the potential hurt for my sweet Jackson. And I don't want him to hurt - ever.
There is a lesson here...in trust. I need to trust T and A, and their love for Jackson. When he needs them, I need to trust that they will be there. I need to trust in myself and in Jason - that we can be strong and be what Jackson needs when his heart does hurt. I need to trust Jackson. He is his own person, with many strengths and unique vulnerabilities. I need to trust our relationship with him. If love is enough, then we are ok. There is an insane amount of love in this house. We can do this. We can do this.
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