Bio family relationships - Part 1

This was an incredibly long blog, so I am breaking it up into multiple days

Sometimes stuff with bio family is lovely with adoptions. Sometimes, stuff with bio family doesn't exist. There is no contact, everyone just goes on with their merry lives.

When we were setting up our contact agreement with Bio Mom (when the state basically told her that she was going to lose her rights, she could sign them over or they could take them) - Bio Mom wanted us to agree to weekly visits.  We said no way, that would not allow the kids to truly attach to us as their parents etc.  So then she asked for monthly. We asked our caseworker, the GAL, anyone else we could get our hands on what was a typical contact agreement like, spent a lot of time talking it over, looking up info online on what was "normal" etc.

We came up with twice a year as what we were comfortable with. She said she didn't want to be like "santa clause or the easter bunny", that if that was all we would allow then she just wouldn't see them.  But we held our ground. She signed the papers.

Then..she stopped visits in May of 2012, even though her rights weren't gone yet. She didn't actually sign over her rights until June or July (can't remember exactly), she just decided to stop having visits.

She didn't want to see the kids at all, for four years.  I continued to track her down every December and May and mailed her a package with a nice book of pictures of the kids, letters and pictures from them (if they wanted to write/draw them), plus I would write a letter kind of summarizing what was going on, their interests, all that kind of stuff.  A couple times we even sent a DVD of the kids talking to her or whatever.

She would be in contact with me sporadically every few months. Usually when she contacted me that meant she was drug free and doing well, and if she was silent for a long period of time I could guess that things were not going as well for her.

Fast forward to May 2016.  D graduated from high school (at the age of barely 17). Our relationship with him was very rocky, he was struggling with things from his past, with feeling like he was an adult and wanting to be treated as an adult (stay out til all hours, no curfew, not wanting to tell us where he was, lying, etc).  It was a very rough time for all of us.

D initially didn't want to invite Bio Mom to his graduation, he feels as though she abandoned them. Can't imagine how hard it was for him to suddenly go from living with her 1/2 the time to not spending the night at all, and then not seeing her at all when she suddenly stopped visits.  I do know that the rest of his bio family has very negative feelings toward her; however, out of her 16 siblings, countless aunts and great aunts and other relatives, exactly ZERO of them stepped forward to take the kids. It blow my mind that D can still put so much weight on what they say; he does not see that if she abandoned them then they certainly did too.

Finally, about 2 weeks before his graduation he decided to invite her. I left the decision up to him, but I encouraged him to invite her, she did raise him for 11 years and she did the best she could (in my opinion, hell I don't know, but I am sure it was hard for her and felt like she deserved at least that much).  At that time she had moved to to a city about 5 hours away and had been living there a while.

He invited her, and she showed up!  We all got together at a park after graduation, and things were fine. The kids were happy to see her, though I'm sure M and maybe even Y can't have hardly any memories of her, you know what I mean? M was 1, and Y was 2 the last time they saw her! Even C was barely 4...I'm sure he has some memories but who knows.

Then she contacted me asking if she could see the kids more.  I immediately contacted an online friend that has adopted from foster care...it was very weird for me. Yes she's their biological mother, but her coming out of the woodwork after 4 years was very unexpected.  The friend suggested that I tell Bio Mom that she and I need to have a relationship first.  You wouldn't let your kids just visit with a stranger regularly when you don't even know this person. That made a lot of sense to me, so that is what I told Bio Mom.

That is where our story for the day ends! I'll post part 2 tomorrow. Or whenever I think of it. ;)   

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