Friday, September 7, 2012

Dear Birthparents D & J

During the waiting process I wanted so badly to have an open adoption.  I wanted birthparents that wanted to be a part of our childs life so that my child would have the ability to really fully understand who they are.  I wanted to be able to change peoples perceptions of birthparents as my own perceptions of birthparents had changed during our wait and then we met our daughters birthparents and my perceptions were reality.

The adoption world pushes us all to speak highly of birthparents and I do.  There is a push to change the perception of birthparents from uncaring soulless people who discard their children because they came at an inconvenient time.  I never thought this.  Now that I've met D and J I realize that during my wait I may have shifted too far the opposite direction waiting to meet these people who were so amazing and I was disappointed.  I realize that statistically my odds were good of meeting an amazing birthmother however like any group of people there will be an assortment of people.  I know that women over 21 are more likely to place their children for adoption and that held true for our birthparents both of them were in fact older then both DH and I.  Birthmothers likely have graduated high school or will go onto graduate high school.  My mother used to tell us to be careful of putting people on pedestals because they will always disappoint you as no one is perfect- I think I made this mistake.  I now have to come to terms with reality- with my childs real birthparents.  They cannot be nor will they ever be perfect and neither am I.

I want to have only good things to say and when I discuss Baby Girls adoption I do make people use positive adoption language.  I am the first to stand up for D and J and do not allow anyone to speak negatively about them.  I stress D and J had a choice and it was the most loving thing they could do for Baby Girl and that D is one of the strongest woman I know because that is true.  I never go beyond that because there is not much more positive to say.  It hurts because I wanted something more for Baby Girl.  I can't change D and J.  I can only come to terms with who they are and in time help Baby Girl understand her story.

Baby Girl is blessed with an amazing extended birth family and I have every intention of giving her that biological connection that I believe that every adopted child has a right to.  I wish that D and J were in a place in their lives to give her that connection themselves.  I morn that loss for her.  I worked hard at obtaining a copy for Baby Girls original birth certificate even though PA does not allow for the adopted child to have one.  I'm glad I did because what I had been told was on there was not accurate.  Baby girl now has proof of where she started and who she is.  Her original initials were KMF and I had been lead to believe she was KML.  She now is LMF.  Again an original birth certificate is a right that every adopted child should have, I wish it wasn't a copy but its the best I could do until the laws change.

I think this letter was the most therapeutic thing I've done.  I feel like a weight was lifted.  From the start  I've said I love D and J just not their actions/choices, I now feel like I actually can believe that statement.  I feel like being honest in this letter has allowed me to break away from the facade that all birthparents deserve to be placed on a pedestal.  In our case we cannot- if we said otherwise we would not be truthful.  In so many cases birthparents are amazingly selfless women and men that make a decision placing their child first and their own pain second.  For our second child I have every intention of seeking out birthparents that can participate fully in an open adoption and D and J have not changed my opinion of birthparents as a collective group.  There is a lifetime for D and J to change, but for now I need to place my anger away and accept the fact that I love the two of them for out of all their poor choices making one amazingly selfless choice to give Baby Girl the life she deserves.  Yes I said it; not a popular statement in the adoption world but so very true in her case and this belief is shared not only by myself but her birth-grandmother and birth-sister.  Its not popular because it implies that the birthmother couldn't parent had she wanted to and in our case that is a true statement.  In many cases a birthmother could parent though it would mean possibly a single parent, or less resources for their other children; but one resource that never would be less would be love.  In our case the state determined that if D did not move forward with an adoption plan Baby Girl would have entered the foster care system with likely the same outcome- adoption.

I avoided this topic for a long time on my blog but felt I couldnt end my blog until I addressed it.  My guess is that it wont be a popular post.  I will likely get flack for bing "anti-birthparent."  I hope all that read this can realize that this is not anti-birthparent or even anti-D and J.  Its the sad reality of this particular adoption story.  If you cannot understand that distinction I ask now that you stop reading.

Dear D and J

I have a great deal I want to tell you.  Some of it I've said before and plan to continue to say.  Some of it I plan to write here and try to let it go.  Adoption isn't easy for any of the members of the triad.  There are moments we all wish I'm sure to not be a part of this triad, but we have been brought together.  As the adults in this triad we have important responsibilities to put our daughter first.  When I use "our daughter" in this letter I am referring to myself, DH, you D and J.  We plan to refer to you two as D and J as well as Birthmom and Birthdad in our home but we are comfortable in knowing that you refer to Baby Girl as your daughter and more affectionately "Baby Girl" which is how I came to call her Baby Girl on my blog.  I know D that you asked me to refer to you as Mom, but I do not think that it is a healthy choice for our daughter but when I use your name as well as Birthmom I promise to always use it as a loving title.

So to start I want to thank you for searching your hearts and making the decision that was best for your daughter.  D your strength amazes me in standing so firm in your decision.  I know on more then one occasion you told me it was a hard choice but a choice you wouldn't change because you wanted what was best for our daughter.  I know you cried a great deal because you confided in me and it always broke my heart.  You are a caring woman that loves your children but you were just as ill as our daughter.  I also know that it pained you to see your daughter cry and hurt in the NICU.  I am sure coming as often as you did was painful and hard but really what was best for our daughter.  Our daughter will always know that you visited her routinely and love to feed and change her.  You were always so gentile with her and gave me so much advice on how to care for our daughter.  Some of the stories you told me about your life were hard to hear but help me explain to our daughter how it came to be that the five of us met.  The day we walked away from you hugging your Mom and crying is an imagine I will always remember how you were able to stand and not crumple to the floor demonstrates your courage and strength.  

J I want to tell you that I am working hard in forgiving you for the emotional storm you caused during each of your visits.  I know deep down that your visits were for your daughter and were not intended to cause me pain.  Your manipulative behavior was not a personal attack but rather a reaction to a situation in which you had no control.  The way you looked at our daughter reminds me that you do love her and you wished with all your heart lifes circumstances were different.  I wish you had been able to visit more often and come to terms with your decision before our daughter left PA.  As much as I dreaded your last visit I wish that you had come to say good-bye like you said you would.  I realize that although you are an adult you still have so much growing up to do.  I hope for you that this experience made you realize how much more to life there is and that it will result in positive change for you.

D and J I plan to work hard at forgiving you for not taking care of our daughter while she was in the womb which is a large part of why I cannot refer to the two of you as Mom and Dad.  D I plan to work hard at forgiving you for denying her existence in your womb for so long.  The role of Mom and Dad means sacrificing your own needs/wants for what is best for your child.  I plan to work hard at forgiving you J for using our daughter as a pawn in your threats.  J I plan to work at letting go of my resentment for your attempts to take advantage of our intense desires to be parents to make personal gains.  I plan on working hard at forgiving you J for not supporting D.    J I know we all want to present ourselves in the most positive light but I wasn't born yesterday.  I plan to work hard at forgiving you for making it seem like D was the only one struggling with demons.  I plan to work hard at forgiving you both for putting me in the middle of your relationship struggles.  I plan on finding it in my heart to let it all go.  I will not forget these things but its not healthy for me and its not healthy for our daughter for me to continue to be angry.  Our daughter will in time know this unfortunate part of her story, but I will share it as she is old enough to process the information.  I will do my best to always present the facts fairly including helping her understand the struggles the two of you endured that lead you to the place you were seven months ago. With the internet at her fingertips I may need to share with her more then I'd like sooner then I'd like as she will likely figured out Google and the results will tell her more then I may want her to know.  She will also know that you did have a choices and you chose to keep her from a system that would have been extremely painful for her and are so grateful.

To both of you I hope you can take time to heal your selves.  The choices you make do not just impact you but also all of those that love you.  Included in those you hurt are your children, your parents, siblings, and now us.  Both of you have loving families that over and over reach out to try to help you heal from damage done when you were much younger.  You continue to reject those offers and it makes us all sad.  I know you have the strength to do it however you have been on this road so long I don't know that it will ever happen and in part of forgiving you is understanding that you will most likely not change.  D I think a great deal of your ability to admit your weaknesses the next step is to just take the help!

Our daughter is changing each day.  She is so smart, vivacious and amazing.  I see your faces in her face.  I see her birthsiblings smiles on her face.  She has hit every mile stone early- rolling, sitting, crawling, pulling herself up, and now taking steps when we hold her up.  She loves to clap and get those around her to smile.  She is the sunshine in our days.  She knows about you both and we always start her birthstory talking about her Birthmom D and Birthdad J.  She knows that you made a hard decision because you were not well enough to care for her.  She knows that the two of you picked us as her Mom and Dad and our job is to keep her safe and love her for always.

I hope that she is able to continue to visit each year and get letters from you letting her know how much you love her.  Our daughter is what comes first though.  I will not continue visits if you cannot come to those visits in a state that is healthy.  I will not allow you to hurt our daughter over and over- the potential damage you have already caused is enough.  She is a very sensitive and smart girl and will pick up if things are not right.  

Adoption is beautiful.  Adoption is what made our daughter, DH and I a family.  Adoption is a loss of ones birthparents and a gaining of adoptive parents.  In many cases an open adoption allows for a continued connection to help explain that initial loss.  I hope you two can heal for our daughter so she can receive hugs from you each year.  So far we have heard nothing and that tells me that soon I will have to morn and then forgive you for breaching your end of the contract.  Please prove me wrong.  So often adoptive parents are vilified for closing adoptions.  Remember you asked for visits, you agreed to send us letters.  Our relationship is not about you D, you J or even DH and I.  This relationship is singularly about Baby Girl and what is best for her.

I will continue to work to free my heart of anger.  I am not perfect.  Just as I ask of you to do your best I will try the same.  I hope you two can work to free your selves of your own monsters.  Know you are loved by one special little girl- please do not hurt her.

In peace,
M

6 comments:

  1. " Its not popular because it implies that the birthmother couldn't parent had she wanted to and in our case that is a true statement. "

    That's a true statement in our adoptions as well. I think it's more common than we see on the Internet.

    This is a wonderful post. I'll be sad to see your blog lay dormant.

    ~R

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really like the way you keep your daughter at the center of things, and how you enable her to claim and be claimed by her birth family (for example, by referring to her as "our daughter.")

    Best wishes in your journey

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you lavender. I read this post most frequently. It is still a work in progress. I struggle for some reason threading birth mom/dad then their names. I can call them d and j and I can call them birth mom/dad without a glitch but my voice catches if I call them birth mom d and birthdad j and birthdad j is hardest.

    Adoption has made me "grow up" and realize its not about me. At times I still struggle to remember its not about me. I need to let baby girl have a relationship w her birth family and based on facts create her own opinion. It's not right for me to formulate her opinion.

    It is still a work in progress.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I seriously love you. I don't know you. But I love you! I appreciate how honest you are in your posts, and how you have been willing to admit those hard things throughout your journey. It has clearly been months since I've read your blog (sad) but I'm so glad that you feel like you're getting the closure you need. I hope that when it's time for baby #2 you blog again! Thank you for reading my blog and commenting :) It makes me feel like someone loves me!! Your baby girl is growing up with an amazing momma, who is learning as she goes, but who will definitely do a spectacular job.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you K! I love reading your blog and I credit you and other birthmoms in the blog world at teaching me so much. The best thing about not blogging is having time to comment on other peoples blogs! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just read this post again tonight. A little over a year after I posted it and I still cry reading it. I'm getting there. The words are easier to read. I have fondness when I think about the hospital. Its hard to believe its been a year.

    ReplyDelete