My husband and I went Christmas shopping this past weekend. We have made an event out of it for the past several years because the towns we have relocated to for jobs have had little, if any, good places to shop, and online shopping just doesn’t satisfy. I usually like to find those things that people wouldn’t normally buy for themselves, and the big “W” that’s in every little town we’ve ever lived in just lacks that personal touch. Plus, my shopping tastes have evolved as we are no longer broke with three little kids.
This weekend we visited the local Mecca for shoppers and had a wonderful time. My husband said he felt guilty because of all the people who didn’t have jobs or the money to spend like we did. Me, being the good little capitalist I am, pointed out that we were doing more for the people who didn’t have jobs by going out and spending our money than sitting at home and saving it all.
My capitalist thoughts led me to, once again, compare our adoption system with our market economy. The more demand, the more people put to work to satisfy that demand. In adoption, we have a middle man that is essential to the production, the mother, and the mother has to be convinced to give up her child. There are middle men in markets, but they are not “essential” to the exchange of goods (and you don’t have to convince them to give up their goods).
I know a lot of people would love to simplify the adoption marketplace by “getting rid of the middle man.” In my opinion, the law has done that as much as it can. You can’t threaten them to behave the way you want, but everything else is pretty much fair game. You can withhold information, you can lie to them. This isn’t something you can do in any other market situation(not without risking a law suit). However, it’s accepted in adoption. It’s accepted even though a child’s future is forever altered by the adoption.
In other news…
My mother-in-law continues to send cards. We received a Thanksgiving card a few days prior to the day. My daughter was home, and she collected the mail that day. Of course, it upset her. It upsets me every single time she sends one.
I think I understand her motivation. The cards are a way to make her feel better about this situation, to feel better about herself. I understand she may be distressed, but it seems her concern is more for herself than anyone else. To me, it’s like a slap in the face. It says she doesn’t respect our request to stay out of our lives, and she doesn’t respect the pain and suffering we have all endured. The cards do nothing but aggravate an already horrible situation, and they always trigger a bout of anger and depression for our daughter and me. My husband takes it in stride and tosses it in the pile of other cards she’s sent.
They sit there unopened and untouched until the next one is added to the pile.
For the last few weeks my daughter has been planning what she wanted to get Olivia, but she never would come to a decision. I thought maybe money was an issue, so I told her I would pay but she needed to make a decision so we could send it in plenty of time. She finally came to a decision after hours of discussion by text. We ended it with a conversation on the phone while I was at the store trying to make sure I picked the correct gift. She started crying and said she didn’t know why we were doing this anyway, Olivia probably wouldn’t ever get it. She said when she went to their house she didn’t see any of the things we’d sent to her, and that her uncle had told her she didn’t have to buy anything. She said they probably got rid of everything she’d sent.
It became clear to me then why she’d put off buying anything.
I told her what he did and said didn’t matter. It mattered what she did. I told her she cannot control his behavior, and that he will probably have to answer for what he’s doing one day.
She was invited to her uncles house for Christmas. She’s always invited there. They never bring her daughter to her. They don’t make anything easy for her.
She tried to rearrange her schedule to make it, but it wasn’t possible. Her sister leaves for Afghanistan in a few weeks. She was torn about what to do, but it’s not hard to understand why she wouldn’t want to spend time with people who care so little for her during a holiday that’s supposed to be spent with people you love and who love you.
I’m sure her decision will be held against her.