Hi All!
To summarize, my son contacted me in June. Ours was a more or less closed adoption, but he received material that gave him the information needed. He's 20 and lives out of the country.
My son hasn't told his aparents about our new relationship. His position is that he doesn't ask permission for any other relationship he creates and he feels no need to ask permission for this relationship. He really doesn't want them to know anything about it.
At first I felt like I owed his aparents something, that I might be obliged to nudge my son toward telling them. And then I found out how his life really was and at this point, I don't feel I owe them squat. In fact, they owe me--an explanation and an apology. Of course I suffer no delusions that I'll ever receive either.
I'm wondering, what do you bparents feel about engaging aparents in your reunion? Where do you draw the line with regards to aparents' involvement? How do you ensure aparents don't sabotage or otherwise ruin the relationship with your children?
Any and all insight is appreciated. :flowergift:
I would have liked for all of us to have a functioning reunion. I had a semi open adoption where I kept in contact with DD's mom for years before DD turned 18 and I contacted her directly (with DD's permission, not so much a-mom's lol!) DD is happy her mom and I have a relationship, and since I had developed a friendship with DD's mom both before DD was born and over the years, I didn't see why we all couldn't be involved. I figured the best way for her not to "sabatoge" the relationship was to make her a part of it so she could see that there is nothing to worry about. DD's mom is currently not answering my e-mails, or interacting with me on FB the way she used to. So I'm not sure how this is going to play out. I did start to put her mom on a restricted list on FB so she can't see all my statuses so I can create some distance.
DD is very close to her mom, and has always been concerned about her mom's feelings about reunion. I don't see how I could stop her mom from making her feel she needs to be loyal to her fears. I guess I just have to hope that DD's desire to know me somehow perseveres.
I'm wondering, what do you bparents feel about engaging aparents in your reunion? Where do you draw the line with regards to aparents' involvement? How do you ensure aparents don't sabotage or otherwise ruin the relationship with your children?
A little back-story: I had a semi-open adoption where updates were sent and pictures and letters exchanged. This was all done between me and his parents over the years, through an agency intermediary, however, when my son came of age, the agency told me the communication needed to transfer over to my son, rightfully so, as it was up to him as an adult to decide how he wanted to proceed in the future. I didn't hear from him for awhile, but I got his identifying information (along with a beautiful letter from his parents) a few years back and after a lengthy process of still sending updates through the agency, we are finally communicating directly and as you know, recently had our first phone conversation.
Prior to our direct communication, I still sent letters and holiday cards to his folks, but they went through my son so he could decide when or if he wanted to pass this along to them. I wanted his mother, in particular, to know that I did not intend (nor could I ever even if I tried) take her place and I wanted them both to know how happy I was that my son was placed with them as I knew he had a very good life. I've always liked my son's parents, from what I knew of them (admittedly, this information was limited to the updates and holiday letters and such, but I always had a good feeling about them). I wanted them to feel included and that I wasn't forgetting about them, hence, the cards and little updates about me, but I didn't discuss my son in those letters or where we were in our relationship as I feel that is for him to discuss with them as he sees fit.
Since we've been directly communicating via email, I've asked a few questions about his folks but he has not replied about that. I think he may feel (though he hasn't said so directly) that he wants to keep it separate, and although he did talk about them much more on the phone, and I think very well of them and expressed my feelings to him about that, I personally feel right now that we need to develop our own relationship between the two of us that is separate from his relationship with his aparents. What he chooses to share with them is up to him. I will let him take the lead on this. He is not a kid, but well into his adult years, so I'm sure his folks are not privy to a LOT of things in his life, unless he's the type to tell them everything (and he may be as he is close with them), but I feel no pressure from them or him, and I do not get any sort of insecurity on their part in terms of our building a relationship. At some point, yes, I would love to meet his parents. That will be down the road, as I would like to first meet my son and have the foundation of an independent relationship with him before embarking on adding other people to the mix (both in his family and mine).
I have to say I think in my circumstance, I am dealing with exceptional people. They've already expressed to me that I should consider myself his number one mom, they've always been extremely supportive of my son in terms of his origins and always spoke well of me. I would guess that they are delighted we are building a relationship, but I do not feel a need to initiate involvement in our reunion process as this is our reunion and separate from any possible future connection which will ultimately be up to my son. Of course, I will ask about them and tell my son to give them my regards and such, but beyond that, they are "involved" to the extent that my son wants to share the details with them.
I honestly think his folks are fine with everything. If our reconnecting did trigger some feelings in his adoptive mother, I would expect my son to reassure her and be extra loving and kind toward her (and I wouldn't hesitate to tell him so), but I don't feel it is my duty to do anything personally to have to reassure her myself beyond what I've already expressed to her. Of course, I would always be mindful and respectful of her position as his mother and the role she has played in his life, just as she has always been respectful and mindful of my position as his mother and the role I have played in his life.
I have no concerns or worries that my son's parents will sabotage or otherwise interfere in our relationship or ruin it somehow. As I said, I believe they are exceptional people. If, for some unforseen reason they were unreasonable, or had some issues triggered that made it hard for my son to be in a relationship with me, I don't know what I would do or what I really could do. It would be up to him to set boundaries and limits with them.