In response to my triangle tangle, I’m getting a lot of empathy, for which I’m grateful, but not a lot of concrete advice. I believe this is because Open Adoption is still largely uncharted territory. And Crystal and I are like Lewis and Clark.
One person asked me privately if such a situation gives credence to Closed Adoption advocates. Or to anyone who judges one’s parenting decisions from he sidelines. She says:
People have their own agendas, and validation of their beliefs may be one of them. (Especially if my practices differ from theirs.) And my children’s behavior may be one of the indicators used in vindicating a cherished doctrine.
At first I thought she was talking about people who say “Told you it was a mistake to have Crystal in your lives,” (which no one has said). But she continues thoughtfully with:
So I wondered if something similar may turn the heat up a little higher on you when these questions begin. And maybe cause you to read more into it than Tessa may have meant; maybe in this case it really WAS about the purse and keys. Maybe it’s about wanting to feel grown-up.
Me, have my own agenda and need validation?! Oh, that damn ego again. No matter what happens, there I am having to deal with me.
So maybe, as my friend says, Tessa really just wants to carry my purse and keys and phone (don’t suggest giving her old ones — we’ve tried that and they must not be “me” enough for her because she still comes after my real ones.)
Maybe lipstick is just lipstick. Reframe the tangle as a parenting issue, not an adoption issue.
Maybe this is a problem with Open Adoption (not that I would throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater). Tessa has enough information on how her life would otherwise have been to build an idyllic picture in her head about it. She can see the grass on the other side of the fence, but it will never be her yard. Yet her older bio-brother gets to play there all the time.
I am still wondering about a day at Crystal’s or even a sleepover. Would either help to resolve the issue for Tessa, or would it exacerbate it? Would it help her to see that the grass isn’t greener? Or just intensify a longing for that yard?
Someday I will know these answers…I’m thinking in about 16 years. For now I just try to lead with my heart and be aware of my ego’s motives.