My stepdaughter's birthday is coming up. Last year, we tried very hard to make it clear to her that she would get gifts that showed we could give her as much as the other family, things she wanted, things that supported what who she tried to tell us she was or wanted to be.
It wasn't enough. What she really wants is her own room, to be left alone, and her own TV. We found that out later, when it was too late- and we wouldn't give her that until she was older, anyways. We own a townhouse and can't give her her own room until she's older, but then- Why? If she won't live with us more for shallow reasons and she tells everyone bad things about us that aren't true so that a court or psychologist think they shouldn't live with us anyways, why should we stress and spend more to get a 4 bedroom house in the hopes of her wanting to live with us?
There's this constant split between letting them know we can provide for them in the same way and just letting go of any hopes of an equal or better relationship in order to move on. But it always comes back to the same thing- We will not give up, because they are just children. They need us, even if they make the bad choices (and are being manipulated to do so).
Let me turn this to you for a second: If a child, who is not your own, said bad and maybe even horrible things about you to a court of law representatives and your extended family members for years, what would you be willing to give them for their birthday?