Saturday, July 07, 2007

My Sister Meets Her Biological Daughter

All previous posts on my sister are here.

My sister's baby was adopted by a very nice couple who were amenable to an open adoption. They allowed my sister to name the baby. The only contact over the years was a package sent around the birth date of the little girl with several pictures and a short note describing a few of the events and achievements of the child. The package would be sent every year to my parent's home as their address was fixed; Mom would forward it to my sister.

Somewhere between this young girl's fifteenth and sixteenth birthday she was allowed by her adoptive mother to make contact with my sister. I won't go into the particulars of why it happened when it did because it isn't all that relevant to the story of my sister and me. The adoptive mother first contacted my sister and discussed whether or not my sister was open to meeting her biological daughter. Naturally, sister was thrilled with the prospect.

One evening I received a phone call from my sister who immediately demanded an audience with both myself and my daughter. After my daughter picked up the other phone my sister launched into her news...she was on her way home from a visit with her biological daughter. She and her husband had spent the weekend in the town where her daughter lived and had gotten acquainted. She tried to get my daughter all excited over this meeting by telling her how alike she and her cousin were and then listed some dubious similarities that made my daughter and me quietly roll our eyes. She would follow up her rendition of their similarities by then asking my daughter, "Don't you want to meet, K? Aren't you excited about having your cousin in your life?" My sister tried to convince us that we should meet her daughter soon. We remained non-committal. We were also not terribly enthusiastic though we tried to sound happy for her. It was extremely inconsiderate of my sister to assume that now that her bio daughter was back in her life that it naturally followed that we would want to be in her bio daughter's life too. It was presumptuous and utterly inconsiderate for her to push us like that especially upon our very first hearing of this news. And by her pushing for our meeting her bio daughter in this very first conversation after her meeting with said daughter we were immediately set up to disappoint and anger my sister if we answered in any way other than in the affirmative. No delicacy was undertaken. No consideration for a viewpoint other than her own. I look back at her phone call that night and now see how utterly selfish and self-involved she was over this development from the very outset. I have never been able to deprive my sister of something she wanted from me and not end up making her very angry. I was set up from the beginning to have to disappoint and anger my sister. I resent having been put into this dilemma by her insensitive presumptions. There was no consideration for feelings or a viewpoint other than her own. I was to be condemned, ultimately, for having feelings and a viewpoint other than hers. I see no fairness in her way of reckoning. I did not condemn her feelings or viewpoint even though they differed from my own. I received back no such kind allowances. Typical for my relationship with my sister. One way street with all the grace going in her direction from me.

I do not think open adoptions are a good idea. I especially don't think that minor children should be in contact with their biological parents. Then there is the issue of bringing a kid into our f&*%d up family. With my evil mother, my complacent and complicit father, my sister who is consumed with herself, and my sister's extremely strange husband, I had some even more serious reasons to feel very uncomfortable with the idea of this young girl entering my sister's sphere of influence. I asked my sister if she intended to let her biological daughter, K, meet our mother. My sister assured me she would do all she could to make sure K never would meet our mother. I was only somewhat relieved as I know my sister could easily change her mind on that at some future date. Especially if my sister could use her biological daughter as a bargaining chip in her relationship with our mother.

K was a well-adjusted kid from all my sister's accounts for the first 18 months of having contact with her. K was doing well in school academically, excelling in athletics, well-liked by her peers, enjoyed a happy family life getting along with both parents and her siblings. In my opinion, she didn't need the complication of meeting my sister, her bio mother. As stated already, I kept my views to myself. It was apparent to me that my sister would tolerate no dissenting notes. She would often hint at how much she wanted my daughter and me to meet her biological daughter, but she stopped short of pinning me down to specifics or a commitment. I have no power or responsibility for my sister's decisions, therefore I did not feel like I needed to state outright what my differing views were. I figured if she wanted to know she would ask. I would only be forced to spell out some of my opinion on the matter if my sister tried to get me directly involved. So, what I'm saying is that I wasn't being dishonest by not explicitly stating my opinion from the outset. Opinion is not necessarily fact. I wasn't going to force my opinion on someone else. If solicited, I would then feel free to state it. Unlike my sister, I do not try to force people to take my view on things. When I have no power, I do not try to change a circumstance. I knew that my opposing views brought into the open would not change my sister's behavior in her own life. My opposing views would only become relevant when having to make a decision about my life. It was not insignificant to me that my sister waited two full years before directly asking me the question of whether or not I would want to meet her bio daughter. That it took so long was proof to me that she was quite sure I had an opposing viewpoint. She was not going to be able to graciously allow me to have a differing opinion therefore she avoided soliciting it.

For two years, rather than ask me my own thoughts on the matter, she would just regale me with stories about their visits and phone calls. She was always overly excited (by that, I mean it seemed like contrived excitement) and braggadocios about her relationship with her "daughter". I have a long history with my sister where she finds something exciting and works over-time to try to whip me up into an emotional high resembling hers. If she is excited about something then everyone around her needs to feel the same way. I always felt she was trying to manipulate me when she would do this. It never worked to her satisfaction. I would give my honest reaction and leave it at that. Sister is someone who wants to hear your affirmation not just once, but over and over again. For example, she might call me and say how she had an answer to prayer over something. Voila, everything worked out perfectly (i.e. how she wanted it) so it was obviously an answer to prayer. "Isn't that incredible??!!" I might reply with something like, "Yes, it is. I'm very happy for you. You must be so relieved..." That is far short of enough for the likes of my sister. A few minutes later she would say something like, "Aren't you amazed at what God did? Aren't you thrilled?" Poke, poke, prod, prod. She was none too subtle that my response was not nearly enthusiastic enough. She wants effusive confirmation that I see things exactly as she does and am just as thrilled as she is for something that went well for her. It was usually just as subjective as the example above as to the "facts" of the case which required that I take her subjective opinion as my own in order to be just as thrilled as she was about it. It felt manipulative and childish when she would do this kind of thing. For someone who showed so little interest in my own life, why was I supposed to be as thrilled as she was about hers? It was just another manifestation of her extreme self-focus and it wearied me. I would have been embarrassed to conduct myself this way in my relationships. If my telling of an event in my life doesn't excite people then who am I to try to force them to feign excitement they don't feel? Why would a person feel satisfied with a prompted excitement in others? How does one convince themselves it is real when you had to force them into it? Very narcissistic, if you ask me. Only someone who can relate to an artificially constructed reality as if it was real would be satisfied with such a thing. It requires a certain level of narcissism in order to live happily in a false reality. I finally realize that my sister was inelegantly attempting to get me to mirror back to her the reality she wanted with this kind of behavior. She was trying to use my person hood, my face, to reflect back a certain rosy glow over her version of reality. A classic maneuver of a narcissist.

I remember clearly one phone call when my sister was angry, though not at me. She was angry with her biological daughter's adoptive mother. I will refer to the daughter as "K" and the mother as "P". K and P had both been over at my sister's for a weekend visit. P seemed a bit insecure during this visit and showed signs of being uncomfortable with my sister spending alone time with K. My sister, instead of understanding this mother's justifiable reaction, instead was furious at the mother's attempts to not allow K and my sister to spend alone time. By the way, "furious" was the exact word my sister used. My sister later chooses to forget the obvious problems that P had, at least this one time, with having allowed her adopted daughter into my sister's life as you'll see in her second email to me.

My concern was greatly increased the day my sister, in her usual over-excited way, called me to let me know that K was going to come live with her and finish out the last half of the school year where my sister lives. (They live in the same state but are a many hour drive apart.) This was going to happen in January of 2005. I was shocked. Dismayed. Terribly worried. I know that I was unable to hide my complete lack of support for such a decision. I wasn't going to lie and pretend I thought it was a good idea. So I uttered a series of "uh huh"s and "I see"s. Again, my sister didn't ask me directly for reasons for my cool response. I found out later she was quietly simmering in anger over my lack of happiness for her being reunited with her bio daughter going back to that first phone call two years earlier. I was failing her as a sister by not "entering into her joy".

My sister had told me in other conversations about the little problems that had started cropping up between K and her adoptive mother with increasing frequency. (Any coincidence that the problems didn't start until after K had met her bio mom? I don't think so.) My sister was pretending she knew better how to raise her bio child and would criticize the adoptive mother in her conversations with me. It was hard to listen to my sister acting like she knew something about parenting. She has never raised a child. She has certainly never raised a teen. Now, like her mother, she acts like she is some kind of child-rearing expert. I had to chew on my tongue. Now I'm hearing how K wanted a fresh start in a whole new town. Another reason that open adoptions are a bad idea. Adoptive parents are not babysitters. K perceived an escape hatch from her life because she knew she had an open door at her bio mother's home. Instead of having to stay and deal with life and learn the important life lessons that come from working out one's problems, now K would be living with my sister for at least a full six months. It was shortly after K came to live with her that my sister finally posed a direct question to me about whether or not I wanted to meet K.

It was the beginning of the end.

I reproduce now the correspondence that occurred starting with my sister's email. This was sent March 31, 2006.
Hi Anna,

I have been looking for my copy of the letter I wrote to Dad and can't find it in my files. Would you happen to have it? I want to show it to K. What I explain to her about mom and my relationship with her is incomprehensible to her. I think the letter will help. If you have it will you send it to me? Thank you.

I am so glad N [my daughter] liked her gift. Did she have a happy birthday all around? I had forgotten that my lovely niece [referring to my daughter] was able to do the eye thing. that's so cool. I want a picture. By the way, your niece can do it too.

Tonight K was asking me about you and N. She really has a deep desire to meet you both and know you. Tonight she asked me if you two even wanted to meet her. And you know, I didn't know how to answer. Is that something you would even want?
She also wants to meet Mom and Dad. She is curious.

Love you,
My sister had attached a picture of her self where she is crossing one eye. It used to make me laugh back when we were kids. It was a little ridiculous for a fat 40 year old woman to be sending a pic of herself looking like that. I was not amused. Notice the little pushy statement, "your niece can do it too". Um, not really my niece considering this child was adopted to another family effectively terminating my relationship to this child. The mention of the familial ability to cross one eye is another way my sister is pushing the whole genetic look-how-related-we-are thing. I am not exaggerating when I say that every conversation where she talked about her bio daughter to me, my sister would over-emphasize what she perceived to be proof of how strong the genetics are that link her daughter to us. It was interesting to me how K didn't inherit any of our family's bad traits. Amazing, really. Also, this child had gotten half her genetics from the father! What had she gotten from him? I saw her pictures for myself and could see how much she looked, physically, like her father. Something my sister never would admit to. In my sister's world, it was like the father never existed. My sister's psychologized view of life had made her look for biological explanations for all human behavior. It also convinced her that genetics are a much bigger factor in human development than it can be proven to be. With her, it boils down to an attitude that "blood is everything". In this way, my sister was taking much of the credit for the good qualities and accomplishments of her daughter. I find her willingness to take credit like this to be outrageous. I do not operate from this perspective. I put much more stock in the ability for humanity to rise above genetics and circumstance through the power of choice. I believe in personal accountability and that good character is no accident. My sister does not. This basic philosophic difference was a substantial one and placed a chasm between us on how we view the world. Sister's bio daughter coming into her life was an event that was destined to underline and highlight the very wide gulf between our philosophic views on family, personal responsibility, psychology, and basic morality.

Here is my response (sent on April 1st) to my sister's direct question:
You directly asked about how I feel about meeting I will give you a direct answer. I have thought long and hard about meeting K over the last many months. I have talked to my family about it. We all want to meet her.....just not yet. None of us feel comfortable meeting her yet. I hope you will not be offended or try to pressure me to feel otherwise. I will try to explain a bit what my thinking and feelings on this are....not as justification, because I don't think I should have to justify myself in this, but out of respect for your feelings and desire to know why I would come to this decision.

K is still very young. I had imagined that if she came into our lives she would be older and out on her own. She would be an autonomous adult, in other words. I will be ready and willing to meet her the day she can get in a car or a plane and come on her own to visit when she's an adult making her own decisions about her life. She will then be able to decide when to come, how long she wants to stay, and if she isn't feeling comfortable, she can leave when she wants. As a dependent minor those decisions are made for her. When she feels confident enough in her own skin to come visit us without you holding her hand, then she will be ready to "get to know" us.

Supposing we meet with her in the near future and the visit goes smashingly well and she likes us. Now what? How does she further develop and maintain a relationship with us? In other words, "get to know" us? It isn't like she would be able to come visit with any frequency....and long distance relationships are hard to maintain by phone. Or how about if she is uncomfortable, bored, or just not clicking with us? She is NOT going to say so to us. She will very unlikely tell you because she is not going to want to disappoint you. You've made it very clear to her that you think a lot of us....what if she doesn't? How is she going to be equipped at her tender young age to deal with that possible dilemma? I don't see how she is going to be able to "get to know" us in any meaningful way at this point in time. I will not feel comfortable with a visit until she is completely a free-will agent. When she has control over the decisions and doesn't have to worry about disappointing you.

The reality is, D, that K has a family. She doesn't need us to be in her life right now in order to make her life complete in some way. I respect adoption very deeply. Adoption, both in our legal jurisprudence and Biblically, is more significant and binding than natural birth and blood relations. I don't feel like she is being deprived of something important to her life and maturation by not meeting her right now. What teenager needs two families with all the complication and obligation that entails? Her mother doesn't need the sense of worry or insecurity that having her minor child all wrapped up in another family could induce. P [the adoptive mother] has had some struggles with just having you in the I don't think it is far-fetched to think she'd struggle some with K bonding with your extended family. I highly respect and admire P for her loving, generous heart that brought K into her heart and home. She has given K every advantage to make a success of her life. I can't articulate how much I respect and honor that. I don't want to add even a smidgen of anxiety to that dear woman's life. When K is an adult, then pursuing some kind of relationship with us will be much less threatening to P. We don't even know yet how things will ultimately pan out between you and K. So giving this time and letting a meeting occur organically when K is able to do so under her own steam isn't a bad thing. It is prudent and cautious.

My concern, ultimately, is for K and for her adoptive family. Even though I expect you will disagree with my concerns, I know there is nothing you can say that will change the basis for those concerns. So, I hope you will respect my feelings and thinking and not put one more drop of pressure on me to meet with K, or on K to meet us. It will happen when it is supposed to happen without you having to orchestrate it.

I also hope that you will put the most positive construct on this as possible for K. I don't want her to feel like I, and family, don't want to meet her. We do! But under the above described circumstances. You are free to read this email to her so I can, in my own words, explain to her what I'm thinking and feeling about this, if you wish. I don't doubt for one tiny second that K is a delightful, beautiful human being. Everything you have told me about her has made it clear that she is a wonderful girl. She hasn't turned into this sensitive, thoughtful, kind, athletic, smart person because she is related to me...or to you, for that matter. I think she is a living testament to the loving home and good parents that chose her to be their daughter...and most of all, because there is a God in heaven whom K has met because of being raised in a God-fearing home. She is who she is because of her Heavenly Father who has guided events since before her birth and Who has used your many prayers on her behalf to bless her life. She has had everything you had hoped she have. Myself and my family are simply asterisks in her life at this point.....and I'm fine with that. It needs to continue to be that way until she gains the maturity to know her own mind and to pursue what is best for her once she is able to determine that from the perspective of an adult.

I had angered my sister. She shot back a reply rather quickly. She, I'm sure, was convinced her anger was not apparent in her answer. I begged to differ.


Anonymous said...

Your writing about malignant narcissism is some of the best I've read. Truly. You have nailed NPD.

But adoption? With all due respect, I'm sorry to say you have a lot to learn.

My heart goes out to your niece. As you said, the teen years are tough for anyone, but they are especially tough for an adoptee. I really hope you reach out to her. I'm guessing she needs you.

Your family includes HER. No matter if some legal document says otherwise.

Anna Valerious said...

I am entitled to my opinion in this. I'm sorry, but you have no evidence to support your assertion that I don't know what I'm talking about where it concerns adoption. My entire focus and concern has been for K and her adoptive family. My choice was to wait a few more years. It is not an unreasonable way to proceed. My reasonable stipulation was based on my knowledge of how interactions with K would be entirely controlled if my sister was present. I wasn't interested in being a actor on my sister's stage play while she orchestrated Happy Family, Inc. using K and me and my family. How I choose to proceed in my decisions concerning K is entirely my business. Not my sister's. Not yours. K was not a troubled teen. She adored her family and was thriving in every way a kid can thrive. She only started developing problems after she had been in contact with my sister. That is not a recommendation to me that my being in her life was going to make her life better. It certainly wasn't working that way by having her bio mother in her life. My presence in her life at this time is not a requirement for her mental health. I do not believe that a child's curiosity is somehow sacrosanct and therefore an imperative as to how I must conduct myself.

MOL_Am_Ris said...

Please look up "genetic mirroring," and ask yourself if that really amounts to "curiousity."

I come from a family of really mentally ill people. My contact with the only semi-normal person was limited, therefor so was her influence on me.

As the "normal" person in your family, you can help to give this child a sense of positive identity.

If your assertions are true, then all she will get from her mother, grandmother, etc. will be the negative parts of her heritage identity.

I understand that you feel you are doing her a favor by refusing to play a part that you feel your sister has appointed for you. However, I would ask you a few questions, not in order to elicit an answer from you, but simply for you to ponder and think about for your and your neice's sakes.

1. If you do meet your neice, do you actually have to play your assigned role as expected?

2. Are you certain that it's just "curiousity" and not a genuine need (something that every child NEEDS) to see something in their heritage to relate to- genetic mirroring?

3. Are you not being selfish yourself, by refusing to meet this child's needs in order to hold onto your determination to spite your sister?

Agreed, it is your business. But you have made it public here, thus inviting the opinions of the public.

You are, of course, entitled to your own feelings and opinions. So, too, are we. It seems that you are very focused upon your own rights, and have little care for the rights of your neice to see some part of her heritage that's not all FUBAR. It is more important to you to thwart your sister than to listen to those whose experience state that it goes well, well beyond "curiousity."

And if the experience of adult adoptees fails to help you understand, please turn to scientists and look up genetic mirroring.

Your sister, no doubt, is putting her own feelings and needs ahead of her daughter. You could help the child, but instead you choose first and foremost to "prove your power to make your own choices" to your sister.

Please reconsider. And also, please consider the possibility that you misunderstand your sister's reasons for wanting you to meet your neice.

Can you be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that your sister asked for selfish reasons? Really?

Anna Valerious said...

"Genetic Mirroring" - 37 unique hits in Google. Could not find any sites that explained the "science" or theory behind it. Most sites were adoption related and simply referenced it. This theory is either so new it hasn't been web published yet, or it is a "common knowledge" myth. In either case, it hasn't enough support to be at all convincing. Mostly it appears to be a meme circulating amongst anti-adoption sites. The scientists are not saying anything about this theory.

"Genetic Mirror Theory" - 1200 hits, almost all seem to be tied to the plot of the TV series "Lost". Watchers have looked for the book/author of the theory and cannot find it/him. It appears to be a hoax or a fabrication for a TV show.

"Genetic Mirror" - 1800 hits. Mostly "Lost"-related appears to be a theory that everyone has a genetic twin somewhere on the planet. Doesn't relate to adoption.

You assert that I am selfish, am only doing what I did to "spite" my sister, focused on my own rights, and again, "it is more important to you to thwart your sister", etc. It is obvious from your own blog that you have personal reasons for having to believe these things about me and my motivations in order to maintain your subjective world view. In your mind, my sister is the sympathetic character; I am the villain. You have to impugn my motives and my character, ignore my explanation of my relationship with my sister over decades, deny me the right to make the choice I did by telling me I'm selfish and only concerned with my rights, and pretend that you have the authority of science to back your points. None of your comments have the ability to prove your points and only result in being annoying and offensive. You have your own agenda where adoption is concerned. You are anything but objective on this subject. If you don't like what I have to say on this topic then you need to go somewhere else. You have succeeded in treating me very much like my family narcissists. I am selfish, uninformed, denying their "needs", and considered "spiteful" when resisting their opinions on something. You need to leave me alone lest you give me more reasons to think poorly of you.

Anna Valerious said...

By the way, for all of you who are reading these comments, mol_am_ris also posted this comment, though I deleted it initially:

MOL_Am_Ris has left a new comment on your post "My Sister Meets Her Biological Daughter":

PS, you don't need to publish that, it was for YOU, personally.

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by MOL_Am_Ris to Narcissists Suck at 6:58 AM

This writer tells me that since I've made my opinions public I've invited the publics' opinions. Exactly. Which is why I published her comment even though she told me "It was for YOU personally". She is the public therefore I am making her comments public. This admonishment to keep her words to me private is yet another way this commenter is treating me like my own N family members...private ambush. She wanted to be able to pummel me in private with her unkind assessments of my motives, character, knowledge, and actions. She wanted to be able to say her piece to me without me having any way to respond. Fuck that.

Don't assume that using the comment fields on this blog gives you some sort of right to privacy. If you're not proud enough of your statements to let others see them then you shouldn't bother posting them.

chickwithbrain said...

Since we're going with anecdotal and subjective experiences here, here's mine. Having not known my biological father as a little child then later meeting him and spending significant amounts of time with him, I have to say that in my experience meeting biological parents (and extended family) is highly overrated. Ultimately, I cut myself off from that side of the family and chose to be adopted by my step dad. That legal document does not feel like "just a piece of paper" to me.

MOL_Am_Ris said...

Actually, I meant the "it was for YOU" in exactly the opposite way you took it.

I was not requesting that you keep it private. I was saying that it didn't need to be published, because it wasn't meant as an unkindness. Simply a "here are some thoughts for you" way. And to prevent the possibility of it turning into a big argument. But since that idea doesn't bother you, then I'll go ahead and respond.

I have no opinion on whether or not your sister is the "sympathetic" character here. In fact, the "sympathetic character" from my point of view is indeed... your neice. She is the one most helpless in the situation and most in NEED of knowing someone from her family who isn't nuts....

However, you take it to be about you and your sister, when indeed it is about your neice.

Which sadly simply goes towards supporting the theory that you care only to thwart your sister and have no consideration for your neice. Makes me sad for her.

Here's a video on the concept I was incorrectly referring to:

Although he is speaking of transracials, the same is true on a lesser scale of people who are looking at others of almost, but not quite, the same features.

The drive to find and know your heritage is far more for adoptees than simply "curiousity."

But you should do whatever you want. After all, it's only about you and your sister, right?

Anna Valerious said...

"I was not requesting that you keep it private. I was saying that it didn't need to be published, because it wasn't meant as an unkindness."

I suppose that actually makes sense to you when you say it. It seems rather obvious, but I'll say it anyway: I own the buttons. It is my decision to print or not print. I don't need your instruction or permission as to whether or not to print your comments. Nearly every sentence you've written to me has contained this condescension.

While pointing the finger at me and accusing me of making everything about me...truth is that you're making this whole argument about you. Your so-called facts, your feelings, your perspective all informed by your unhappiness about your son's adoption. You pretend you are only looking out for my "niece", but you're actually using her as a rhetorical device to support your hobby horse.

You, like my sister, act like I said "NO, I won't ever meet K." I said YES, but I dared to stipulate the terms of my being willing to meet K. The terms were not unreasonable or wrong. She, at the time, was 17. Very near to adulthood. So, obviously, I wasn't putting off our meeting years into the future. I had zero choice when my sister got herself pregnant. I had zero input or choice when she decided to adopt out her child. I had zero choice as to whether or not my sister chose to meet with her child. Both you and my sister would pretend like I still have zero choice and I MUST meet the child and I must meet her on my sister's terms. I'll be fucking damned if I let the narcissists keep making the rules as to how I live my life. I graciously agreed to meet K. I defined the parameters of what circumstances I would grant such a meeting. I had good reasons for stipulating the terms I did. It wasn't good enough for sister. It isn't good enough for you. A pox on you both.

You are determined to act like this all is about my sister's biological child, while my story makes it clear that this child was a catalyst for what ultimately happened between my sister and me. Apparently, the point is too subtle for you that this blog is about malignant narcissism, therefore, the story I'm telling is focused on my dealings with, and my understanding of, narcissists. I purposely did not go into all the views I have on adoption because this isn't a blog about adoption. YOUR blog is about adoption. Go post your comments there. Of course I think this story is about me and my sister. I purposely am telling it that way because that is consistent with the subject matter of this blog. People don't come here to read my comments and views about adoption. They are interested in my views and personal experience with narcissists. You obtusely object that I make this story about me and my sister like your objection proves the inherent selfishness of my character. I am sure that others without all your emotional baggage are able to see why I would make the story about me and my sister. Simply because it is. Unfortunately for K, her bio mother is my sister. Unfortunately for K, my sister acted like a total ass toward me for the last time. I am not required to put up with my sister just because K is now in my sister's life. K has a family. She doesn't need to look at me or my daughter because we don't resemble her at all. No one would look at her and think she looks like either of us. We don't look any more related to her than her adoptive parents do. If such silly and superficial things as looking at someone's face who resembles you is necessary for mental health then I guess mental health in this country is more tenuous than we thought. It is very immature and shallow to think such superficialities compose the substance and meaning of one's life.

You continue to insist on your rightness and my wrongness in the absence of facts. Your statements, "genetic mirroring" and a YouTube clip are not even close to a presentation of a fact. I never presented my opinions on adoption or my opinions about whether or not to have my sister's child in my life as anything other than my opinion. You, like my sister, can't be gracious enough to allow me to hold a differing opinion. I'm not being dogmatic about knowing all the facts about are. You insist on ignoring my right to have an opinion and lead my life according to it without being called selfish and vindictive.

You know NOTHING about K. You know nothing about the lovely family that adopted her. You do not know that when K told my sister she was excited to meet her that it wasn't because she felt she needed another mother. She expressed her love and happiness with her present family and that she simply wanted to meet the person who loved her enough to let her go. This kid was amazingly balanced and pulled together. The imbalancing of her attitude only began after extended contact with my sister. I am not in the position to counterweight my sister's influence on this child because I live hundreds and hundreds of miles away from my sister and her daughter. Meeting me will not equal me being in K's life. There is no practical or possible way for me to be in K's life. It is geographically impossible. Ka-peesh?? I'm sure you don't. I know that meeting me would be only an exercise in satisfying curiosity because it can't go further than that due to certain facts on the ground that you are entirely ignorant of yet freely commenting on like you actually know something. If seeing someone who resembles her is so important then you should be insisting she meet her biological father because THAT is who she looks like. I don't hear you or my sister insisting on K's NEED and RIGHT to meet her bio dad. Which is interesting to someone who is looking at what you're saying objectively. This omission completely undercuts your arguments.

If I am only behaving in this situation out of a vindictive spirit toward my sister then I don't understand why you would think that anything I have to say on my blog that is worth reading. If you believe that I am motivated by "sticking it" to my family then that would make all my comments and observations suspect. I think you need to go read someone else's blog. By the way, I am done arguing with you. I am sure that other readers here are able to discern what my points are and able to grant me the right to my opinion and the right to live my life according to my conscience.


After Beckett said...

I have to say... my biological N mother kept me, and denied me the possiblity of a loving (immediate) family. My father ultimately abandoned me, and my mother allowed her second N husband to adopt me, all the while telling me he was my father. If I was lucky enough to be given away to a new family as she originally considered, I believe I would have had an infinitely safer and happier childhood. I believe your sister's child should wait until she is older and independent emotionally and financially in order to determine on her own what she would like to do, exactly as you said. It is too complicated at her age to try to integrate who she is by biology and who she is by environment (her new family). She is probably being misled by the "romance" of her biological origin. She is going to be confused enough by your sister's behavior. It is not your job to temper the craziness of your family by being the only sound or rational person. Sounds like they, your mother and sister, will do everything they can to discredit you if you do not "play along" as they wish, and then the girl will never know you are a safe person to approach in the future.

Anna Valerious said...

Thank you for being a sane voice in the maelstrom. Other than my voice, of course. *big grin* I, too, think my sister's child is caught up in the "romance" of what she imagines her bio mother and extended family to be. Great way to put it. I have been wondering at what point this child will grow up enough to see what her bio mother is really like vs. the constant press releases she is given by the same. Obviously, I have no power to counteract my sister's version of events to this kid. Therefore, to insert myself into the situation is only asking to be used by my sister as a prop, at best. I refuse to be used that way. I can not be swerved from my belief that this child needs to grow up and become autonomous before she is going to be mature enough to decide who she really should have in her life. Kids lack that kind of wisdom as a general rule which is why God gave them something we like to call parents.

Anonymous said...

Coming several months late to the funeral here, but I agree with you and with the last poster 100%.

Your sister basically behaved like the European Cuckoo - left an egg in another bird's nest, and left the other birds to raise her young. On their time and their dime, naturally.

Now, like the narcissist she is, she has swooped in, destroyed the adoptive family, appropriated the child as some kind of trophy, and wants you to put a stamp of approval on the heinous act.

I am amazed that only one other commentor here was able to see this, but denial is very strong, narcissistic brainwashing is equally strong, and the [perfectly legitimate and understandable] emotions associated with being adopted are even stronger... as is the idiotic cultural notion that biological maternity is somehow equated with sainthood. Thus, the motives of 'a mother' must never be questioned. Not very reflective of reality, to put it mildly.

In cutting off contact with your sister, you have done the right thing. God only knows what vile plans she had for your family, as part of her machinations. Quite possibly she was attempting to recruit you to assist her in gang-bullying the adoptive parents.

I pity those people who adopted her child. And I pity her child, who is now a Junior Narcissist In Training. I hope the kid flunks out...

Since this comment is coming in so late, don't feel obligated to post it. I have only just discovered your blog, and thought the responses here were skewed in favor of enabling.

You have absolutely nailed it. Stay. Away.

Anonymous said...

I think you're doing the right thing and hope your sister will read the letter to "your niece", or let her read it herself.

My own sister is a narcissist, and she has similar e-mail habits. She replies extremely quickly, while I try to put some thought into what I write. Also she always ignores my questions at her convenience, every time. Fortunately we live very far apart. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

My nephew was adopted by a step father and did not meet his biological father until he was in his 40s. The incident left him shaken and unsure of himself. His biological father is a drunk and liar. It was a big mistake. Why did this girl's adoptive mother ever acquiesce to your sister's demands? Because she's a nice person in the clutches of a N and doesn't understand the situation. Narcissists do indeed suck. They suck your soul and the souls of anyone who will let them. I like your analogy of putting them in the zoo where they belong.