I just attended my birth son’s seventh birthday party today. This was the first birthday party (the party that family members and friends his age are invited to) I have attended since his second birthday party.
I felt so uncomfortable and out of place at his first and second birthday parties that I decided I wouldn’t attend anymore. We decided to have a private birthday celebration each year with just Charlie, his parents, sister, and myself, my hubby, and my parented son and have been doing that ever since.
But things changed this year. Our open adoption has taken on a whole different dynamic as Charlie vocalizes his wants, needs, and desires. When he asks me to specifically come somewhere or do something I have a really hard time saying no. In the past it has been about my feelings and making sure that I was ok emotionally but now that he is older, it’s all about his emotions. I can’t really explain to him why I didn’t want to be at his birthday party so when he specifically asked me to come, I said yes.
I thought maybe that things would have changed over the years, that maybe I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable and while I did find myself feeling more comfortable than I did at those first and second birthday parties, there were still moments where I felt out of place and uncomfortable.
I’m always introduced to people at Charlie’s birthday parties as Charlie’s birthmother. While I’m glad that A is totally open about who I am, people still do a double take when she says I am Charlie’s birthmother or when they figure out my connection. My niece (who attended this party with me since my husband could not) suggested asking A to introduce me as a very good friend of the family. I objected to that though because I don’t want Charlie to ever think I am ashamed of being his birthmother or don’t want to be open about who I am in his life.
Have you dealt with this? If so, how have you handled it?