Monday, July 28, 2008

Birth Families!


Ok....so here is a sticky subject for our families! I am not sure what happens in anyone else's family but Birth family is an ever present part of our lives. My children came to me at older ages. Marie was 9 when we met her and she moved in and Rose was 8 when we met her and she moved in. We met both of them after their birth parents had their parental rights revoked.

Both girls had lived with birth families until they were around the age of 5. They both have family histories that are complicated and I won't discuss because I do respect their most personal information. Again, full disclosure, they do know I am writing a blog regarding their birth families. I have promised them what I will and won't share. I love and respect my children and we always discuss these things....NO Shame in my house!

My husband and I read part of a book this past weekend that discussed an adopted child's lack of self worth. Many of them have self esteem issues that begin on the premise that they are unloveable because they could not stay with their birth family. In this book, the author discussed an adoptive mother that gave her son a letter from his birth mother saying that she loved him, thought of him, was proud of him and was really happy that he was being raised by a wonderful family. In the book, there was an amazing ending to this story. In reality, I am not sure that the ending will be "perfect".

I have been thinking about this. My little one, more than my oldest, struggles with those feelings of worthlessness and that she is not lovable. I have decided that perhaps we try this. I mean, we have tried so many other things! We have attended Attachment Therapy, she has been in a psych facility, we go to therapy every week, we read the books, we have done diet changes and vitamins, we say all of the right things, we respond the right way(most of the time!), and we still have this incredibly heart "sick" little girl in our home.

I contacted bio family members tonight. One by email and two by phone. Just so you know, before either of my children moved in, I met their birth mothers. It was my own rule. I always felt that the devil that I do know is better than the devil I don't know. Turns out that they were more sad and pathetic than horrible. I am finding it hard to navigate this part without becoming too personal so I will have to defer this to a later time.

Needless to say, I am truly hoping I will be able to give them these letters and perhaps quiet the beast in their belly. Both girls have deep pain from the loss of their birth family connection. Although it can be challenging and painful to us, I truly feel that they need some sort of closure with their birth family. A letter may not fix anything, it may only create other problems but we may have to navigate more pain to find healing! And that is what we are looking for! To have our children healed!

I want my children to grow up to be secure in themselves and to know what true, unconditional love is. Not only to know what it is but to experience it personally.

Today, after one of my conversations, I have great and wonderful hope for my girls. I wish you the same hope for your own families!

Be Well....

Me

4 comments:

jess said...

I give you a lot of credit. I do NOT want my daughter knowing anything of her birth family. I hope that she will never want to find them though once she is old enough I would certainly allow whatever she needs to do to close the circle.
I suppose it is different when your child is older and knows their family, my child does not. She had three supervised visits with her mother from age 0-6 months and each was one hour long. How much bonding could there be? Even in the hospital, there was no bond as birth mom was discharged hours after giving birth due to her behavior.
I wonder if I could embrace her family...I am grateful certainly for giving her life and what a life it is, but we take most of the credit for the person she is.
You are awesome Queen Mum ;-) terrific outlook as usual-keep it real!

Christine said...

Children knowing the truth about their birth family is vital - even when the truth is ugly. Granted, you give them certain details in age appropriate language. However, if you don't give it to them, they will make up their own reality - either much worse or inaccurately glorified. Every adopted child wonders, even if they don't ask.

You're giving them a piece of the puzzle that they need to keep navigating through their personal journey of life. It may not be pretty, but it is vital. They need it to understand themselves. They want it, even if it's painful. They need to know that YOU are okay that they have it. They need your permission to wonder and seek and understand.

They may not take it for all it is today, but they will always have it at their fingertips.

You rock.

Accidental Mommy said...

My situation is different because I've adopted my nieces and nephew but with that said, I think if it is what the child needs...it's very important.

My half-sister kept hinting to the kids about housing and them going back with her knowing full well she was never offered reunification.

I felt so bad for my kids because they would enjoy themselves and then feel so guilty and terrible because they had fun when they felt they shouldn't be because their mom made it clear she wasn't and because she wasn't they shouldn't either.

I finally talked to their mother (long story about why we weren't talking) and told her she needed to cut it out and let her kids be happy. I basically had to force her to tell them they could have fun without her and it was ok and they didn't need to feel bad.

They needed to hear that and know that life could go on for them. That could be what your child needs. Permission to move on from the person they fear and love. I think just knowing that their parent wants them to be happy is a good start but of course they have to hear it from their parent.

Tough place to be...

Brenda said...

WOW! You are brave. I have to admit I am afraid of birth mom. For probably many reasons. I'm very interested in hearing how this goes.