Birth Mother

GB’s Birth Mother is homeless. Again. GB is struggling with a lot of feeling she doesn’t understand and can’t find words for. Again.

She was suppose to go to her grandparents to bake Christmas cookies and enjoy a spaghetti dinner on Monday. Her grandmother called shortly before the girls came home to tell me BM had been evicted for non-payment of rent. She was at her father’s house, along with GB’s half-sibling and her brother. I could hear the ruckus in the background. There was no way GB was going into the middle of that.

As I waited for the bus to come, I searched for words. Again. There were none. Nothing was going to change how GB felt about this long anticipated visit being cancelled.

As the girls got off the bus, GB was bouncing with excitement. “Where’s Grandma?” I told her Grandma wouldn’t be coming. Instantly her eyes filled with tears. “Why not?” I mentally ran through possibilities. BM was spending her rent money for drugs. BM was caught stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from a family member. Social Services denied her any assistance for a one year period because of fraud.

When I spoke, all that came out was BM was homeless and a lot of people were upset. GB’s face showed nothing. “I hate BM. I don’t know why everybody gets upset. BM is always homeless.”

I hate to see my child in pain. There is nothing I can do but be there and listen if she wants to talk.

Dealing With the Past, Again

GB has been struggling with the past actions of her birth mom. When  she saw BM at her grandparents four weeks ago, it was not a good visit. I don’t think  there was any one incidence during their visit. GB was just looking for a sign of connection or love from the woman who gave birth to her. She didn’t find what she was looking for.

GB spent a couple weeks coming to the conclusion that she no longer wanted to see BM at her grandparents. It took a few weeks after that, for GB to tell me how angry she was at her BM because of how little her BM cared. The whole thing is still something GB is processing.

GB found her own way through her current stuck spot. We are going to see J in Michigan next week. J is her birth father. She called J today and invited him out to lunch- Just the two of them. They will be going to R*by Tuesdays. She is paying. J said he would really enjoy it and thanked her for inviting him. She hung up from this conversation with a large smile on her face.

How can I help an eight year old with ASD, FASD, and Bipolar Disorder process what has happened in her life, when I can’t even process it myself ?

A Letter to GB’s Biological Mother

I read a post on Corey’s Blog the other day that made me cry. It wasn’t really the post- it was the sense of loss because I could never write that kind of letter to GB’s biological mother and GB will never have the comfort of knowing that her mother loved her and took care of her until she made the life giving gift of adoption. My letter would to be more like this:

Dear GB’s Biological Mother,

I am writing this letter because there are things I want you to be aware of when GB comes asking you difficult questions during her rapidly approaching adolescence. Since you have never lived more than 10 miles from our house, I am sure when she wants questions answered, she will be able to find you.

I suspect her first question will be about drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. She knows that none of these things are good for babies and she knows you chose to do them anyway. She knows she has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and she knows it doesn’t go away. She knows that you promised both me and your father you would not do these things while you were pregnant. She doesn’t know why you didn’t keep your promise. Neither your father nor I have that answer for her.

She wants to know why you don’t like her anymore. She remembers being four and being a flower girl in your father’s wedding. She remembers you being in the wedding too. She doesn’t remember seeing you, or you calling her after that day. I have told her that you called her 2 or 3 times and visited several times in that following year, but she doesn’t remember it.  She thinks she did something wrong. My words cannot change the rejection by you that she feels.

She asks why you didn’t eat good food while you were pregnant. I have no answer. She wants to know why she was in daycare before she was a month old. I used to say “Your birth mother had problems”. I stopped saying that when GB started asking what kind of problems. How do you explain a personality disorder to an almost eight year old who is emotionally five? When she asks these questions now, I tell GB that you are the only one who knows the answer to these questions and when she is older, she will have to ask you herself. This is also the answer I give her when she wants to know why you left her. Since Hope came to our family from a disrupted adoption, GB’s awareness of her own story is very much more evident.

Sometimes, in the past, GB has asked if you didn’t want her, why you wouldn’t sign the papers so she could be adopted. I don’t have an answer to that question either. Don’t worry, GB won’t be showing up on your doorsteps tomorrow. You probably have four or five years before that day comes. Remember, though, the years pass surprisingly fast. She remembers all the times we went to go to court during the process of terminating your parental rights. Everybody has to answer for their actions sooner or later, and you only have a little time to figure out the real answers to difficult questions.

Maybe a therapist would help you figure out the answers to these questions, so that both you and GB can live with them.

GB’s Mom