Monday, November 17, 2008

One care package with a side of guilt....

Sometimes thoughts pile up and push me in a certain direction. I have to admit, blogging about purses on my parenting site is a bit of a stretch. Maybe I'm just avoiding the things that are really pressing on me. This morning The Almost Royal's post tugged at my heart. Exmi is thinking of moving (happens to be away from parental units) and it's good for me to consider her perspective. I haven't spent much blog-time bemoaning my children's decisions - especially the decisions that led to my grandchildren all being out-of-state/out-of-reach...away from my hugs and kisses. It makes my heart ache.

Grandson #1 is in New York. This weekend I made video recordings of myself and my husband each reading children's books for him. I adjusted lighting and angles. I did retakes. I zoomed in for close-ups. I played around with Movie Maker and spliced all of the bits together, including opening/closing credits. It's a nice production and I'm hoping our #1 grandson will enjoy it. I'm also hoping he doesn't forget us. We're working on plane tickets for a trip in December. I would trade a million minutes of hobbies and a million tears for unlimited access to our little guy. Sometimes, it's all I can do to hold onto my forgiveness and my love of our daughter and not let my sadness & angst spill out when we talk to her. She's in Houston these days....

Grandson #2 is 5 months old and *fortunately* in a nuclear family. I'm pretty sure that's what you call it when Mom and Dad are married and raising their children. This is our daughter in PA that we visited last month. She calls 2-4 times/week and WE LOVE IT!!! She called tonight to get tips on a recipe from her dad. Some day I'll devote an entire blog to the teen angst and parental heartache of two years ago. Cutting and attempted suicide are distant memories, although it's only been two years.... It seems like a lifetime ago.

Our granddaughter is out of reach, location irrelevant. We were recently rocked by the news that her adopted parents thought it best we not be part of her life. We missed her b-day (combo of life circumstances and emotional roller coaster. Who wants to be told they can't come visit their beloved grandchild?), but will try to do better in the future. This is a new role for us. There is no precedent that we can follow. One of our 4 children is adopted but the terms/conditions were so different there are no applicable lessons. I plan to document the story of our blessed granddaughter, and the heartache. Someday I may start an advocacy group for grandparents.

We have no current pictures of Grandson #1. The last we received were from the Spring. We sent a disposable camera and SASE, but haven't gotten the roll back yet. We sent a cable to connect her digital camera to her PC, but .... I know she's busy raising 2 boys of her own, plus her nephew (our G-son). We have been in ~regular contact. The book video is the 2nd one we've sent. These videos definitely help our grandson maintain some bearing on us as a factor in his world. I don't want to be a stranger to him when we finally get to hold him again. At 3 1/2 years old, time is fleeting. We've talked to him on the phone a few times (a fraction relative to the number of messages we've left) and I'm really looking forward to seeing him again. I miss him so much. It's been almost a year and it hurts as much as it did then. I wish I had words of encouragement for TAR, but I have faith that our love for Gs#1 is enough, and the best we can do. That's all I can say to anyone who is not the "custody parent", but who still loves without measure. "Have faith that your love is enough."

We have a few hundred pictures of Grandson #2. The disposable camera/SASE system is working well. We have no way of knowing what the future holds, but it's nice to dream that the PA team will be back in TX come summer. He's 5 months old now, and he'll be 1 year in June. I can only hope they're in town with us to celebrate that milestone. And that we've seen him more than once between now and then.

We have a few pictures of our Granddaughter, but I wish we had more. I want to be an advocate for adoption, but I am in such pain when I think about the sacrifice in letting our granddaughter go to a home that we KNOW is better for heart and my mind are in conflict. It's been awkward (to put it mildy) from the beginning. We don't want to deny her existence, ever. But it definitely makes for some interesting conversations when people (mostly casual acquaintences) ask about our grandchildren. I try to be open from the beginning. "We have 3. One's in NY being raised by his aunt. One's in XXXX being raised by the lovely couple who adopted her. One's in PA with our daughter and her husband." Is it any wonder why we're so proud of M??? We trust God's guidance. We trust our granddaughter's parents. We may not understand the decision to exclude us from her life, but we can't renege now. We must keep our faith.

Meanwhile, this morning I filled out a card & paid for a care package (basket of goodies) to be sent to C (our 3rd daughter) for support during upcoming finals. C has declared herself a lesbian and is roommates with her SO. My response? "Thank you! No grandbabies!" She has declared her religion as Pagan - Goddess Spirituality ... whatever that means. My response? I'm sad, but patient. We raised her to know God. She's 18. This weekend she invited herself over to my parents, who live near the college she's attending. She went with her g-friend and another friend. I've refrained from elaborating on the situation so I won't go there now. It's easy to say "I wish things were different." I'm not who my daughters have rejected. One has already admitted as much. One is coming around. I have hope for the 3rd. {NOTE: Our youngest is still at home, in 9th grade, and has not rejected us....yet.} I remain steadfast in my love. Their rejection doesn't deter me.

I haven't heard from C in over a month. I don't expect or receive any response to the cards I send (she did send an e-mail after the card from Malaysia). I've tried to give her room, but I'm not sure how much space is the right amount. I know if I push, she'll run. If I don't push, she'll resent. I accept that I'm walking a thin line. Maintaining a difficult balance.

But ... I have to admit ... I kinda hope the care package comes with a side of guilt.

And on that note, I think I'll go give my youngest a hug.


Jeanette said...

I haven't posted comments lately. Sorry, been reading but seems like everytime I start a comment, the baby wakes up or my hubby has something he HAS to do right this minute on the computer. I have been thinking of you. BTW, great talk at Cursillo! I know your kids and their stories and you are doing a great job of letting Christ lead you in your interractions. I know T and C best, then M, and barely H. So, I will commment on C. She has a STRONG foundation in Christ. I have had numerous conversations with her back when I was her youth leader. She is searching to be filled right now and unfortunately looking in some irregular locations. She will find her way. I delved into my own "spiritual" things outside of Christianity. He beckoned me back after a long walk in the desert. Be patient, pray, and be there when she calls. You are doing a great job! And, while you have him there, hug T until he complains. =0)

ExMi (expensive mistakes and cheap thrills) said...

wow, this is all so heartbreaking. i never considered it from any perspective other than my own..

but should knowing that it will be hard on my son's grandparents if we move away, be enough to keep us here?

it's such a tough decision..

i hope you feel better soon. cheer up! (if possible)

Pare said...

It's nice to know someone out there understands. She's not my baby, but she's my baby, you know?

SIGH. Here's hoping things look up for BOTH of us soon. :)

dallasdiva said...

I love you.