To my biological father’s wife
Oh shit. I’ve made a huge error. I overlooked you in the excitement of reunion and in the subsequent years. It’s too late now to get back that time and we may now never have a proper heart-to-heart or even go for a coffee just us. I should have suggested it. I’m annoyed I didn’t. I wonder if you found it difficult seeing him so strongly in me?
It took the podcast Adoptees On to make me realise your role in it all. How could I have been so silly? It was never just about me and him. I wish you would listen to the episode. I’d love to know if you can relate to Haley’s dad’s wife and her feelings around the reunion.
I’d guessed you felt mildly threatened and the adjustment to a new normal was probably tricky, but I hadn’t considered the pressure you may be under from friends to shut it all down; to ‘preserve’ your precious family. Of course, in the rush of reunion, and without an expert to counsel us, there would be no way of knowing what was going on in each other’s minds and hearts.
I wish I had thought to include you more. I wish I’d made more of an effort to always acknowledge your birthday, etc, and not just enquire after your health via my father. Of course I know deep down this would not have made the deciding difference, but it may have helped smooth things along.
In the podcast episode, Haley’s father’s wife reassured Haley there was nothing she could or should have done differently in early reunion, but I still managed to find a stick to beat myself with. The wife. Of course! The family lynchpin and decision maker.
Haley’s family worked really hard to iron out the issues around reunion and move to a positive, loving relationship. As part of this they had therapy. I feel like if I had suggested therapy to you both it would have been a flat no. Although admittedly I didn’t try. Thinking about you saying no to therapy makes me feel I am not worth a bit of hard work, let alone fighting for. However, it may mean that as a family and as individuals you are not at that place where you consider therapy as a useful resource for any life challenge.
I appreciate the card you sent me when I was struggling with anxiety and I appreciate how welcoming you were to my children when we visited. I don’t know when we will meet or speak again but I hope it is not under horrible circumstances. I choose to believe you are feeling exasperated at at both our stubbornness (guess that’s hereditary!) rather than feeling relieved that I’m out of the picture. Look after him and tell him I miss him.