One Month and Five Days Later

It was one month and five days after I received an email from Dee saying that she had to run but would send a follow-up email with updates that I got the email I was hoping for. Only, based on the contents, the email was decidedly not what I was hoping for.

At the end of this month, Dee and Cupcake will be moving across the country.

This wasn’t the first I had heard of this plan. Back when I heard about it as a possibility, nearly a year ago, it what only one of many potential outcomes. Apparently, now it’s THE outcome.

And that’s okay. That’s what is going to be best for them as a family. They’re moving to where Dee is from, where her family is, where there will be a larger, stronger support system for them both.

But I can’t help but be sad. Hurt.

Devastated.

There was always this tiny piece of me that had fantasies of one day sitting in the back of a crowded auditorium watching while Cupcake said her one line from the stage, dressed as an ear of corn. I pictured a birthday where I wouldn’t just be sending a card, but I’d be carrying in a hand wrapped present to be placed with the others, being a part of the experience. I dreamt of a day where Dee would understand that no one but me could be as amazed that our little girl would be graduating high school, going to prom, leaving for college.

All of that slipped out of my reach yesterday.

Today, I try to find the time for us to have a visit. My mind races to something meaningful, a full day where even a four year old could create memories that could last her a lifetime. We would take the pictures that could fill in the gaps of her memory and I would leave her with something special to remember me by no matter how many states separated us.

I’m not sure how much those plans jive with what Dee had in mind. Dee offered to bring her by on my lunch break as Cupcake is done with pre-school. Perhaps it was a genuine offer to accommodate my schedule, whatever that may be. But I can’t have the last memory of my daughter be a hug on the asphalt of my parking lot as I prepare to go back into my office, where I’ll need to find a way to compose myself for the remainder of the work day.

I quickly do the math on how long it usually takes us to plan a visit and compare that to the time frame we’re trying to work with currently. The result is concerning. I know I will do what I always do. Move things around, shift commitments, cancel other plans. I’m happy to do it, but irritated that I have no other choice.

I’ve heard all of the reasons that Dee may have waited this long to tell me: She didn’t want to hurt me. She was scared of my response. She’s stressed out that she thinks I won’t approve of how she’s rasing Cupcake. She’s stressed abut packing. She’s stressed about moving. She figured I basically already knew since she told me it was a possibility. She hates goodbye’s and wants to avoid a long dragged out multiple visit departure. She has just been too darn busy.

To some extent, I understand those. (Some, if I’m being completely honest, I think are better excuses than reasons, but I still sort of understand).

But at the end of the day, I think those are not reasons to delay something this important. They’re things that need to be worked through. But they weren’t worked through, and now….well, we are where we are.

Which at least for today is in the same state.

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24 Comments

Filed under all things adoption, blah, brutal honesty, cupcake

24 responses to “One Month and Five Days Later

  1. usisarah

    You know, sometimes I wonder if Dee really doesn’t get the importance of your relationship with Cupcake to you. If she really thinks the visits you so long for are regarded by you as not much more than a play date. If she doesn’t realize the emotional attachment you have with Cupcake. Not that that makes this any better, but maybe that’s a part of why she’s been so flaky all these years. Maybe she has never realized how important her daughter is to you. I really hope you guys are able to work something out to allow you to have a meaningful goodbye visit and a continued relationship as you move forward.

  2. I am shaking with anger right now. Just shaking. Not so much because she is going – like you said, if it’s what’s best for them I can understand. No, what makes me angry is that no matter WHAT, she should have warned you that the “possibility” she mentioned casually so long ago was indeed closely resembling a reality. The SECOND it looked like things were going that way, she should have let you know.
    But she does it now? With barely 3 weeks left? And in an email no less!
    I seriously am seething right now. I am so sad for you. So sad for Cupcake. So ready to go postal on Dee. There is just no excuse for how she’s gone about this.
    But more importantly, I feel so devastated for you, absolutely gutted that it has all worked out this way.
    Nothing I say will make this better. I am so sorry 😦

    • TG

      You know the weird thing that I keep thinking? I feel like in the end I’ll know MG better than I know Cupcake….isn’t that such a bizarre thing to be stuck in my head? But there it is! I’ve spent time at Disneyland with you and your daughter, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I went skiing with her (and you :)) one day, or spent some time together at the lake one summer.

      I don’t know why, but I just keep coming back to that….I mean, I really do get more udpates and know more about your kid than my own.

      Such a surreal thing…

      • You are always welcome in MG’s life.
        My biggest fear is she will never get a chance to know L but for some reason, I find it comforting to know she has a chance to know you. I know it’s not the same, but it’s comforting none the less.

  3. Trish

    Oh no TG, I’m so sorry. I remember this possibility, I guess I thought it had passed unfulfilled. I know you had these dreams. Does Dee know them? As an amom in a similar open adoption to your s(first mom has not told anyone about out DD), I guess I question her ability to really do those things (recital, part, graduation) when she has not told anyone about our dd. I know you have had visits, but does Dee know your plans for telling LB, and others, or not? No excuse for not telling you about the move at all, not at all, but I wonder if she questions whether can be in Cupcake’s life like that if she remains a secret. I love my DDs first mom unconditionally, but I sometimes wonder if she will fade away. And sometimes I am angry with her for keeping our beautiful daughter a secret, Just my perspective, I have appreciated yours since I found you.

    • Trish

      And it will never be the same as being in the same state, but you can still go to the graduations, the parties. You are still her mother. There is no number of miles that will take that away. You are her mother,

    • TG

      Without wanting to go into too many details about the privacy situation, I will say that this should not have been a concern for Dee, and that yes, she should have known that. However, you are correct in that Dee did not know any of the specific dreams, as I never felt secure enough to share them. Possibly because I didn’t want to hear her say that they were never going to happen. That was always a fear of mine.

      • Yes….. but did Dee ever bother to ask?

        • Trish

          Barely is right, she should have asked. TG, you have helped me understand a bit more what my DDs first mom is thinking, feeling, experiencing, and I never met you. From the time you have spent to gether, Dee should SEE instantly how you feel about Cupcake- see your dreams, and ask about them. On our only visit since placement, I outright asked, and so did hubby. So we do know her HOPEs (even if we do see so many barriers for her to fulfill them). I urge you to right these dreams sown, and either save it for Cupcake, or e-mail Dee back and say you are disappointed becuase you had all these dreams, and it will be much harder now. State your intentions to be in Cupcake’s life, now and forever.

          • Trish, I am glad that you are advocating for TG’s daughter, since she should be the focus of all this. It’s about keeping relationships going so that she knows where she came from. In the end, a child wants to feel loved, and keeping things secret runs counter to a healthy, loving relationship.

  4. I am SO sorry. The way Dee handled this is inexcusable. It’s so sad to me that she thinks one little lunch is enough for you and cupcake. She’s obviously missing something. It’s always amazing to me that she initiated the openness in cupcake’s adoption. I wonder if she fully understood what that meant, and what her reasons were for offering it.

  5. Sorry I HATE Dee…there I said it! She is such a B!tch…um…oops.

    I think you should write those dreams down. You are an incredible writer and I would write Cupcake a letter and give it to her, that has stickers and pictures or whatever you want to put on it and have it spell out your dreams for her, for her to read as she is almost as old as Aria, she will want this info…trust me!!!!! Plus this is goodbye for now…so make it big and dramatic!!!!

    Also ask Dee that since she is moving so far away, how she would like to handle sibling visits when you eventually have a kid since you are getting married and are beginning your family planning. Trust me (as an adoptive mom) this may get under her skin,….I dream about a conversation like this for you…”I will be having more kids one day and they will be Cupcake’s siblings since she isn’t going to have any more sibs, she may want to know my other children”…that might make her crazy 🙂 I know that I sort of struggle with the idea of my kid’s moms having more kids, well Aria’s mom can’t but its weird to think that your child has a sibling that is being raised elsewhere. BUT, in your case it is a wonderful thing that you will eventually have children and this may level your playing field a bit.

    You probably can’t discuss that now of course, but I’ll think about it for you, I can dream can’t I.

    I do hope that you are able to continue your relationship with Cupcake. Indya’s bmom writes 2 or more times a month, you certainly can write Cupcake as much as you would like and since she is so far away, it makes it more understandable that you would write her. I just want to make sure that you are a part of her life.

    And Dee….seriously….a B!tch!

    • TG

      haha, you know, I was really concerned about your reaction to this one – I knew it wasn’t gonna be good!!! I can’t say I’m totally great with the current plan (or timeline) but I do know that she’s a good Mom and loves Cupcake, so I keep nice and focused on that 🙂

      But thanks for all of your thoughts (I’m sure you’ll get an earful from me along the way…..)

      • You know you’re a better person than I am about this 🙂 And the only people that really matter are you and Cupcake, so good thing you are a better person about this! 🙂

        I am proud of you….but um…grrrrr! (hey, I can’t change in a day 🙂

  6. KatjaMichelle

    This sucks on so many levels and I’m so sorry she waited so long to tell you .

    I do offer some hope though, as someone whose child lives on the wrong coast (totally my own fault his parents were wrong coasters when I chose them) I have had a visit where I was able to hand him a hand wrapped birthday gift instead of just sending a card. I have sat in the bleachers has he’s played coach pitch and even as he’s been handed his awards for the season. The visits are fewer and far between which sucks I’m not going to lie. And take they take a lot of planning, which it sounds like Dee is going to have to step up on her end. If you ever want to email me to vent about long distance first mothering or anything else, I’m here.

    • TG

      Thanks Katja, this does help 🙂 And there are good things that I acknowledge. Like visits seem like they MUST last more than a couple hours. So that’s pretty cool. I’m just caught up in the right now stuff, but I’ll get there.

  7. OH TG! I’m devastated for you. And for cupcake. Once again, adoption SUCKS! and I hate Dee too. Those are some lame ass excuses/reasons to not keep you up to date on MAJOR life events like this.

    I really, really hope that you get to have a nice long visit before they go and that somehow the stars of life align and that you can find ways to stay in close contact with cupcake

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

  8. Oh, sh*t!! I’m so sorry to read this, TG. No, your last memory of your daughter will NOT be a quick hug on the asphalt. Hopefully, you and Dee can work it out so that it’s not even your last memory for awhile. But, if I know you – and I think I do a bit through your eloquant writing – you will remain a strong and loving presence in your daughter’s life (and she in yours), wherever she is.

    You know, Dee sounds really clueless about your relationship with your daughter. Though I understand the emotional risks, please be brutally honest with her. Please let her know that you (and your husband and children) expect to be at her corny performances and graduations, even if it means flying across the country.

    Though I don’t want to rush Cupcake’s growning up, I can’t wait until you can convey all of your thoughts and feelings to her directly!!

    What a sad situation, for all fo you. I’m really sorry you are having to go through it and I wish you the best.

  9. heatherrainbow

    I’m sorry ((TG)). She did not handle this in a mature and responsible way. But, to be honest, I have long thought she doesn’t handle things in a mature and responsible way. Flighty about emails, flighty about updates, flighty about visits, and then flighty about telling you asap that she is moving across the country once she realizes that’s what is going to happen?

    It could be partly that she is afraid of your reaction. Or, there is a more pressing issue that seems to be making a pattern… she is well aware of her actions and how they affect you, and she doesn’t care. She doesn’t want to deal with a first mother. She wants to create space and not have to deal with the complex relationships of open adoption. It reminds her, and Cupcake, of who you are in their life. I hope this isn’t the case, but in all these years I’ve been reading your blog… it looks the pattern of this situation. Three to five years is the length of openness that I am familiar with.

    Sending you positive thoughts, and I hope it is not as I see it…

  10. Emily

    Lorie, I fail to see how bringing up potential sibling visits to bug Dee is going to help in this situation. TG has NO legal rights, no right to demand visits or anything…making Dee angry or feel threatened isn’t going to help anyone. And, ultimately, might make Dee decide to close the adoption. From reading TG’a blog for a while now, I really believe that Dee wants Cupcake to KNOW TG but not necessarily to have a relationship with her. Those are two very different things.

    • And right there Emily, what you pointed, is the sad reality of why birth parents keep taking the shit (some) aparents dish out. Because we hold all the cards and the threat of closing an adoption is always the ace in the hole. Is it the right time for TG to stand up? Who knows, but something tells me there is never a right time.

      FWIW, I also agree with your assessment of Dee. She was the one that initiated contact in the first place so I do believe she wants Cupcake to know TG, which is at least a starting point. Like you said though, having an actual relationship is something very different.

      I wish we all had answers for you TG. I really do.

  11. Pingback: The Reality of a Long Distance Relationship | I Should Really Be Working 2.0

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