When we were starting this process, I never imagined having an open adoption. In all honesty, I was afraid of one. I'd heard and read enough horror stories to make me want to steer clear of an open contact situation with our child's birth family. And then T came along, and it seemed odd NOT to have contact with her. Not only did I like her on a personal level, but the idea of having that relationship didn't feel threatening. She made it easy to communicate.
So I looked forward to being able to fill her in on the next 18+ years of K's life. I remember her expressing some concern in the beginning that I wouldn't hold up my end of the bargain. That I wouldn't stay in contact. There was no way I would become that person. I couldn't. Not after what she'd done for us. I was happy when she would text and ask for updates about how K was doing in the NICU, and it thrilled me to have her come back to the hospital to see K on the day we took her home.
However, over the last eight weeks, contact has grown from slow to nonexistent. She hasn't responded to my last two emails with photos and updates. I finally reached out via text, and I got a response, though when I replied again, there was no answer the second time.
It seems weird to most people that we would wonder and worry about T. In fact, almost everyone had this response after K's birth: "well, maybe now she'll leave you alone." Family and friends didn't understand that we didn't want her to leave us alone. Of course we don't want her knocking on our door every other day asking to see her (I don't want that from anyone!), but we wanted to be able to maintain those lines of communication. And it wasn't just for practical information, like medical history. It was for K to know how much she's loved, and for us to know that T was okay. We truly care about her, and it's difficult some days not knowing where she is or how she's doing with what we've learned about her situation/background.
I think some perceive us as having "rescued" K from T, and that's not the case. Can we provide for her in ways that T can't? Yes. But it doesn't mean T doesn't love or care about her, or that she wouldn't have done the best she possibly could to parent K. I honestly believe she would have, especially after meeting her other daughters. It hurt in the hospital, before she signed consent, to see some of the nurses treat me differently than they treated her.
Because what people don't understand is that we are BOTH mothers. T might not be raising her, but she gave her the gift of life. And I might not have grown her in my belly, but I will give her the gift of raising her in the best way that I can. Maybe going through infertility has made me better understand the ways in which someone is or becomes a mom. Whether we are mothers to babies who live with us, live in heaven, live with someone else, or live within our hearts, we all love and care for our children.
I don't know what will happen with us and T. I do hope she contacts us soon. Until then, I'll keep holding up my end of the bargain. Because it's the least I can do for her after all that she's done for us.
Update: I feel that I need to clarify this post by saying that I'm not in any way, shape, or form pushing T to contact me. I'm simply sending the emails on the schedule she originally asked for them. As for the text, it was the only one I'm planning to send and her response was that she was happy to hear from me. I've always maintained that she knows we are here, and she knows that she can call or text anytime. I never intended for this post to make it seem as if we weren't respecting her space or giving her time to grieve.