I'm meeting with my estranged son and his wife for the first time in years! Nervous

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    After trying different methods to try to set up a meeting with my estranged son, who is 33 and was adopted at six years old from Hong Kong, I finally called the mediation center at his church. I really like this church, although the beliefs there are stricter than my own (which are a mixture of Christianity and even some New Age).

    The mediator got in touch with him and his wife and they met two times. I got to find out why he was angry at me. He and his wife prayed over whether or not to meet with me again (something I had a slight problem with because nothing really bad had happened), but in the end I just want to see my son and my grandson. I would do almost everything that did not breech my self-respect. He is basically a good young adult...not liking something he perceived I did to him does not change that. And he WAS adopted at age six...that's late to form the right sort of bond.

    As it stands now, I am going to drive to Chicago, meet with his mediator for an hour first, then we are all going to get together. I feel cautiously optimistic. And I feel scared to death. And I wonder what kind of relationship we will have if we decide to resume one. He has changed a lot, especially after getting involved in his church to the extent that he has.

    How does one act in a situation like this? I almost feel like I'm going on a job interview...lol.

    Honestly, I see kids who were abused falling all over themselves to treat their parents well. I have never even spanked my kids as little ones and have always put them first. They do not worry about me and my well being as much as the kids who have been abused...it's weird. Not that this child has ever been abusive to me or to anybody either. He isn't like that. But he can be very distant and cold if he gets upset.

    As usual, I have no idea what I'm trying to say (sigh).
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I saw this title and am beyond thrilled for you!

    So cool about the mediator...what a great opportunity. Just be yourself...whatever his perception is is most likely nothing that can't be cleared up in time. Heck, as an adult, I can give you a half dozen examples of times when I know people didn't mean anything bad by what they did, but it was something that still stung...it happens.

    Many hugs! When does this take place???
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I remember seeing you post about him, at one point or another, sometime around 2 years ago. And my heart hurt for you then. And it still does, now... I am very glad you are getting to see him!

    The way people perceive things sometimes has little to no bearing on the way they were intended. And it may be that you, and he, may have to simply agree to disagree and move on.

    I am praying for you, that this helps things out... That you are able to begin anew with him.

    MANY MANY MANY HUGS!!! I will be there on your shoulder in spirit!!!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    What an intelligent and caring way to reach out. I am thrilled that his church mentor has facilitated the meeting and hope that it turns into a happy time for all of you. Actually...much like a job interview...I would try to keep my expectations low to avoid possible disappointment. on the other hand, I am hoping and praying that it will be a bridge to a happier future. Hugs. DDD

    PS: Perhaps you could check out the Church's teachings and tenets on your computer to make sure you don't accidentally miscue in your conversation. There may be dietary restrictions or set prayers at mealtime etc. that would be good to know before the visit.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh - I am soooo thrilled to hear this!

    I agree with the keep expectations low and no judgements. Major open mind here. I hope the mediator can help smooth things out.

    Soooo excited for you!!!! HUGS!
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    MWM, I'm so happy that you're getting a chance to do this and I take it as a very good sign that he's agreed to the meeting. I'm keeping all body parts crossed that it goes well for you.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    I'm trying to set something up for the weekend of July 23. I'll be in Illinois at the time. She has to check with them on their schedules.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    What a SMART move.
    So glad that this is going to take place!
    My guess is that I would be as relaxed as humanly possible. Be yourself...as humanly possible.
    Offer unconditional love. Be positive, optimistic and hopeful and let it show through.
    Be the kind of person another would want to get to know and meet up with again in the future.
    Keep expectations down....hope for the best.
    Sending goooood thoughts!!!!!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good Luck MWM.

    one other thing I can think of is you might want to take a small gift for your grandson along. Something that would be personal but age appropriate. I am thinking maybe a build a bear would be cute. you can actually record your voice saying something I believe.
  10. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hope it goes well MWM.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I think you were BRILLIANT to call the church's mediation center. I think just going into with the attitude that you have -- that you love him and want a relationship on whatever terms he feels comfortable would be great. Since they clearly respect the mediator, I would follow his/her lead.
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    MWM - Just be you - we love you as you so he will too. Let us know when you're going and we'll start "rattling the beads" so to speak!

    You're brilliant...any way you slice it! :congratualtions:
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    This is such an amazing break thru....I am glad that the the mentor is there to lead this....Does the mentor suggest you talk about the thing that has made him so angry for so long?
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Calling the mediation center was a great idea, MWM. Hope your meeting goes well.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Ahhhhh...........the power of a Warrior Mom is truly amazing to behold.:bow:

    I know how much pain this has caused you over the years. I imagine the mediator having them pray over meeting with you was a creative way to open his heart and mind to the idea. I'm sure it may have caused him to view this distance between you two differently too. Sometimes you can get into such a groove thinking such a way......that even as time passes and the emotion that may have caused the distance is no longer there.....you continue mostly because it's habit. (and sometimes because it's just too much to admit you were wrong)

    Hopefully the mediator will be able to help mend the relationship. Such a wise move you warrior mom you. lol (I'd have never thought of that one)

  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I do hope your meeting goes well, MWM, and that you reconnect with your son in a joyful, positive way. Sounds like some healing and forgiveness can take place on both sides... I hope you can talk over things in an open, honest and non-violent way together. Hugs.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are all so amazing. Thank you.

    I'm not going to bring up my grandson unless he does because I don't want him to think that he is the only reason I am doing this. I would want to see him again even if he had no children.

    The mediator is truly wonderful. For her, I may bring a box of Fannie Mae candy :)

    I am more than willing to listen to him talk about his anger (he does not express himself well) and he can criticize me and it will not upset me. I just want to iron this out. I have missed him so very much. Although his wife and I did not get off to a good start, I look forward to getting to know her better. I am grateful to her for giving him a loving partner (herself) and the biological child that he desperately needed (he is my one adopted child who strongly identified with his roots...in his case he is Chinese as is his wife). His son will never have to suffer identity crises that I feel he did.

    This particular child is absolutely brilliant. He is not one to fight (nonconfrontational) and considering he lived in an orphanage until he was six, he has cut out an amazing life for himself. He is quite well off and successful and everybody loves him. He just seemed less attached to his parents than my other kids...I love him dearly though and am willing to work very hard on that. Whatever I may have done, I am so sorry I ever hurt him. I have no anger in me...just a mother's unconditional love.
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I was so happy when I saw the title of this thread! Others have given good advice. I will be keeping you in my thoughts.

  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    YOU........don't change a thing about YOURSELF>..that's how you behave.

    He's the one that had to come to conlusions, a journey, and agreement wtih Jesus, and find himself. Whatever the "BIG DEAL" was? YOU are human, you make mistakes, and you can say "You know what? I'm sorry for what I said, DID, etc, and I mean it, I've CHANGED, I DIDN"T KNOW, I"ll learn about it..and I hope you forgive me." and can we move on from here? I have always been willing - I have never stopped loving YOU.

    THEN YOU get to say YOUR peace - YOU Hurt me, I've MISSED you, I don't want to loose you again....I have missed my Grandson, my DAUGHTER IN LAW.....I don't want to loose touch again.

    How do we (WE) work this out - What is good for US - ????? A call once a month ? A visit once a month? HOlidays? Whatever works for the THREE OF YOU........(since he is married)

    It's not that hard. But you BOTH have to be willing to meet in the middle, forgive EACH OTHER......granting it is something that is workable.....work on it =====move on------and acknowledge each others pain - then MOVE ON.

    It's not a job interview.....he's not better than you......you're not better than him......part of him needs to be acknowledged for his pain.....accept that......and make sure the mediator acknowledges your pain. Then move on. It can take some time but I'm happy for you both. THis is wonderful news.

  20. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm so thrilled that you are getting this opportunity and you've gotten great advice from all the responses. I think the only thing I read that I'd slightly offer was part of Star's response (no worries, I think she's bang on actually, I'd just reword one part if you use this approach). I wouldn't say the words at all that he's hurt you, I would if appropriate to the dialogue which I imagine it will be, say that it has hurt me greatly to have this divide between us and I've missed these past years being able to share in your life and that of X (the wife) and Y (your grandson).

    One of the hardest things I find, and I'm not sure if it is applicable to your situation or not, is if someone is hurting for something I really don't believe happened in the way they perceived it. However, given the chance you have to hopefully build this bridge as a start to reconnecting in their lives, even if he does express why he's been hurt/angry to a point of no contact, I would not express that you don't perceive it the way he does. I would say something very affirming without taking blame for something you don't agree with, but that comes across in a way he needs to hear it. Something like "I am sincerely sorry you have been hurting/angry (whatever term he uses) about that all of this time. I am hopeful we can move forward and with good communication to ensure that you never again feel that way so that we can find a healthy relationship that feels good for all of us.

    Best of luck to you and I think since he is this involved with his church, I would definitely follow the lead that he and mediator set, even if it isn't how you might prefer to follow their way of going about this. When someone involves their church so fully into their life, it is obviously important to him and his wife to be guided through his faith and their ways of handling things. It can only help him come to terms with his issues and move forward from them to have his mom there and allowing him to guide the process how it is comfortable and safe for him.

    I'm very excited for you. (((hugs)))