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Heather has asked that for this OAR we write about adoption and grandparents. Click through to see the other responses to the prompt.

My mother, Kidlet’s biological maternal grandmother, was the first (non hospital staff) to hold him. She was in the operating room during my c-section and held him up to my face as they closed my incision.

My father, Kidlet’s biological maternal grandfather, wheeled me down to the NICU to see Kidlet after we’d been separated for post op recovery.

And yet despite these very distinct memories I have a lot of anger and resentment toward my parents. I’m trying to get past it. To let it go. But, it’s not that easy.

During my pregnancy I felt alone. Ignored. I remember the harsh words more clearly than the gentle moments, and in turn I want to punish them in a similar way to how I felt punished.

Any time I was sick, whether it was pregnancy related or a migraine I’d be reminded that it was my own fault.

When TheEx’s parents kept pushing adoption my parents didn’t stand up for me. Didn’t even hint that maybe I could be a good mother.

A year after placement my mother gave a bunch of baby clothes to a friend. Baby clothes she’d bought for Kidlet without telling me. I’d believed my parents when they’d said I’d see no help from them. How was I to know they’d been stocking up on baby clothes on anticipation of me parenting.

When they ask for new pictures or information I want to hold out on them. I want to withhold their grandson. The grandson they are partially responsible for living 3000 miles away.

I know my parents love me and Kidlet. Without a doubt. I also know they were being true to our family’s communication style (or lack thereof). I try not to hold it against them, but it’s hard.

It’s hard, when M suggests momma and I stay with them when she and I go to their state for some genealogy research in 2013. I want to yell, “why should she get to infringe on my Kidlet time. What right does she have?! ”

She has the same right any other grandmother has. Perhaps that’s the key. Remembering them as Kidlet’s grandparents, imperfect as they may be instead of as my imperfect parents.


Comments on: "Open Adoption RoundTable #35: Grandparents" (3)

  1. I get this struggle too; my story is similar but different too.
    Hugs to you, it’s a hard road to navigate!

  2. My heart is breaking for you. How that must have been and still is.

  3. I totally understand this.
    When my mom asks me about the pictures we both get once a year (after being promised a completely open adoption), I want to scream at her, “you made me do this, you withheld your love, your support, your understanding, and you would have eventually come around and this all could have been avoided” and rip the pictures away from her. More than anyone else, even the coercive adopters, I hold her responsible for the “adoption plan” I made for my son.
    Shamefully, I sometimes hope that when she is spending time with my parented child, she dwells on how the pain of losing my son to our family could have been avoided if she had just supported me instead of judging me and shaming me.
    It’s horrible, but it’s there.

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