One of my favorite pictures of Gus and Claire
The month of May was a whirl-wind of activity and visitors for us. We celebrated Gus's fourth birthday at the beginning of the month and we were blessed to have Steve's dad and Sue Ann come down and be here to celebrate with us.
After they left, we had one week without visitors and then the following week, my mom and dad came down for a visit. They came on May 22nd and stayed through the 31st. It was so good to see them, as we had not seen them since our trip to North Carolina at New Years. Five months was a long time to go without seeing them and I was so happy to spend time with them.
They were here for Memorial Day and my dad was able to come with us to a lot of MOMS Club events. My mom recently fell and hurt her back, so she was not able to do anything with a lot of walking. Thankfully she was able to stay here in the AC and she was happy to relax and actually enjoy her vacation.
At the end of May, Gus's birth mom, Claire, came down with her boyfriend Ray. They've been dating for a year and it was our first time meeting him. We weren't sure what to expect, but when Claire came down at Christmas, she had told us about him and that she cared deeply for him and we were excited for her.
They arrived on May 28th and there were a few days when everyone was here at the same time. Thankfully, none of them cared about the overlap, and everyone had a great time together.
We said goodbye to my parents and then we had the rest of the weekend and the next week with just Claire and Ray. I really enjoyed our visit with them and so did Gus and Hugh. We went to the splash pad and Claire was able to meet some of my friends from MOMS Club. Some she had met back in December, but a few she had not met before.
I really enjoyed our visit with them. Ray is a very nice guy and cares a lot about Claire. I can see them eventually getting married, and it was important to see how Ray felt about kids in general, but also how he got along with Gus. Of course, Gus and Hugh loved him and immediately warmed up to him. Ray has a fun personality and is very easy to talk to. He's outgoing, considerate, and helpful.
Here are some pictures that I took while they were visiting. I didn't take as many as I usually do, but I did get some good ones.
My feelings about our adoption are changing over time. I feel so strongly connected to Claire's side of our family and consider them all to be a second family. Everyone from Claire's grandparents, her aunts and uncles, her cousins, her parents... all of them just feel like family and all of them have welcomed us into their family with warm, loving, hearts.
The other side of the equation has been rough from day one. It's been very difficult to form any sort of relationship with them, and I feel like every time two steps forward are made, four steps backward happen next. There's a feeling of entitlement that I get regarding them. I feel like they all feel entitled to a relationship with Gus and they all take for granted the amount of time/effort we put in, to include them in Gus's life. Recent events with Gus's birth father's sister have caused me to take a HUGE step back and reevaluate the relationship. In all honesty, I have to ask myself, "What's in the best interest of Gus" and that's always what I think about.
Is it in his best interest to be around people who call his mother (yep, that'd be me) names? No. Is it in his best interest to have him around people who use racial slurs? Words that are highly offensive to me as an individual, but more importantly, offensive as the mother of a child that's half black? Absolutely not. I have to think about how I feel about Gus's birth father's side of things.
Do we have to have an open adoption with them? Absolutely not. Do we have to keep sending them texts with pictures and videos? Absolutely not. Do we have to keep them as Facebook friends so they can see pictures and videos of Gus? Absolutely not.
There's a lot of disrespect and I'm not happy with things. I don't need anyone to kiss my behind or feel like they have to do anything special to get to build a relationship with Gus. But, I do demand that I'm respected and I demand that when someone doesn't respect me, there's just as much anger on that side, as there is on mine. And right now, it's not happening.
So, I'm not sure where the future will lead us, but right now, I have people that I consider to be family and the ones that I don't consider to be family, have been cut off to Gus or Hugh. The more things are said by others, the more that will be added to the list of not being connected to Gus and Hugh.
We are not going to Michigan or Indiana this summer, so it's wonderful that we were able to see Claire this May. Hopefully, she'll and Ray will be able to come back and see us again soon!!