Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letting Go

Earlier this month I wrote about the Cardinal Rules of open adoption and I mentioned that I learned about a few of them the hard way.  I just wanted to briefly talk about one of the rules that I broke.

This is a photo of me, my husband, and our birth mom taken last fall
Adoption photography by Tonja Day

Throughout this adoption journey, I feel like I've transformed into The Mother Bear.  And as The Mother Bear, I felt so protective of our birth mom.  (Which ultimately lead me to break Rule #3.)

For months and months I felt like it was my own personal responsibility to make sure she was right with the world.  It caused me to lose sleep and everything. The truth is, there is nothing I can do to make her feel better or feel differently.  (She even told me that herself.)

Our relationship has evolved since placement, and I've resisted certain changes.  I resisted like crazy.  And that led to mistakes.  

I learned that I need to let her be her and to let go of my self-imposed feelings of responsibility regarding her choices.

If she needs to have space to do whatever it is she needs to do, I should be ok with that.  And I am ok with it... to a certain extent.  But I still miss her.

I am learning to let go and it's difficult.  (Just so we're clear: I'm not letting go of her, I'm letting go of my anxiety which is caused by me wanting everything in her life to be ok.) I know she needs space so I now resist the urge to text her all the time.  I resist the urge to invite her on every little outing we go on.  I am also learning to resist the urge to take certain things personally.

I guess the bottom line is, I'm learning.  I just pray she can be patient with me while I do it.

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