Been thinking about Jmommas and others statements about expectations.
Specifically, wondering what is an expectation versus what is hope.
I am not sure I am clear on one versus the other..at least not as they pertain to my own situation and thought processes.
In the case of uncertainty, expectation is what is considered the most likely to happen. An expectation, which is a belief that is centred on the future, may or may not be realistic. A less advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment. If something happens that is not at all expected it is a surprise. An expectation about the behavior or performance of another person, expressed to that person, may have the nature of a strong request, or an order. – Wikipedia.org
Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.  Hopefulness is somewhat different from optimism in that hope is an emotional state, whereas optimism is a conclusion reached through a deliberate thought pattern that leads to a positive attitude. – Wikipedia.org
I would love for Jmomma and others to talk about how their expectations got them into trouble in reunion for the only expectations that I can confidently come up with in regards to my own is the following.
I expected (erroneously) to be treated like a person, a human, even a stranger. I expected my daughter to say thank you, no thank you, please, happy birthday, merry christmas, go away, etc. In short, I expected her to give me at least the courtesy she would given a stranger. (Yes, this is where adoptees pipe in and say “but you are not a stranger”). I did not expect to be avoided, have presents refused without explanation, have emails go unanswered for years on end. I expected basic common courtesies to be extended. Even if those expressions were rude and hurtful. I expected to be communicated with. (And yes, yes, yes, I know why I might not have been. Just run with me here. This is not about defending her actions. It is about explaining me and my feelings. There is a difference).
For the longest time it boggled my mind why I couldnt get a response to an email. How they could just go into the ether and never be answered.
I expected some interest (or hoped?) in her medical history, in her brothers, in her family, in her story.
And this is where I cross the line and get fuzzy. Did I really expect those things or did I hope for them? Did my expectations get formed based on all the other adoptees I knew? Did I wrongly assume that my daughter, like hundreds, maybe millions of other adoptees, would care about her medical history? Did I have unrealistic expectations and if so, why?
- I hoped I would find my daughter. I did.
- I hoped she would be happy and have had a good life. I don’t know if she is or did. I continue to hope.
- I hoped she would want to meet me. She doesn’t want to. I continue to hope.
- I hoped we could formulate some sort of relationship, even if cyber only. I don’t think we have. I continue to hope.
- I continue to hope she will consider getting to know her first family in the future.
Do I EXPECT those things? No. (Or do I?)
Does that then become some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy? Since I don’t expect, don’t really have much hope anymore, does that mean something negative? If she were to read this and see that I have little hope and even less expectations, would that be helpful or hurtful to her? Would she say “Whoof, thank god the pressure is off. Now she will leave me alone” or would she feel left again?