So I received this e-mail yesterday and I'm still reeling. I have no idea how to deal with this. My first instinct is to say h*@l NO! I did NOT sign up for this. We never agreed to anything but a closed adoption. Because my children are older we really didn't have a lot of choice about allowing contact with biofamily (siblings (when biomom wasn't around), grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins). They had the numbers memorized. I did draw the line at contact with biomom, which the kids were fine with - they "hate" her. Long story, but biomom got my e-mail and began communicating with me. She gave me baby pictures and answered questions about their past so I decided to go with it.
I am sorry that is has taken so long to write back. I have been busy with the semester ending and the baby was sick with RSV and in the hospital. She is better now. I would like to answer some of your questions.
As far as the childrens fathers, the information that I have already given is all I know about either of them. But do know (Bear)s dad didn't know about him until he was 5 years old, and (Kitty)'s dad, doesn't know about her, I have seached many times to try to find him. I have come up with nothing.
I thought the children were already diagnosed with childhood bipolar, that is what the dr. here told me. They both were on many medicications, and we went to a psycologist for these problems. Yes, there are many relatives who are diagnosed with this and also, ADHD. and learning disabilities. As far as (Bear)'s tatoos, I don't know when he got those, because he didn't get them while he was with me. And M (ex-husband) is the only one that hurt him, J (ex-husband and father of one fo their sisters) was very good with (Bear) and wanted nothing more than a father son relationship with him.
I have a very big question to ask you and will understand if you say no, but my friend and I are coming to Texas in a couple of weeks for a class we are taking (the study of another culture) We are going close to the border to examine the Mexican Culture and the ways of life they have there.), and I was wondering if in a theraputic session, if maybe I could see the children. I know this is a hard decision, however, I am asking you from the bottom of my heart, it has been 4 years since I have seen them. I would also like to meet the wonderful woman who is has taken in my children and given them a good home. I will come alone, but I asking you from one mother to another if there is anyway this is possible. I would love to explain to my children what had happened. Mary, I am not a bad person, and I care deeply for my children, this is why I asked for them to be helped, because I couldn't do it myself. I wasn't strong enough, if I knew then what I know now, it would have never been done. I wanted my children to have a good life and be taken care of, and that was something I couldn't do at the time, I have grown up alot in the past 4 years, and am really trying to get my life back together.
I am now studying to get my Bachlors Degree in Businees, Computers and Sociology. It has been a very hard semester last one, but I am hanging in there. I am attaching some pics that we have had taken. The kids grow so fast. (Bear) and (Kitty) are absolutly gorgous Children.
I do want to say thank you that you keep in touch with me, that does mean alot to me. Anyway I am done rambling and am hoping that we can work something out, about me seeing the kids. But I do understand if it isn't possible.
My phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx, if sometime you would like to call me.. and again, Thank you so much.
Here is the e-mail she was responding to.
--- On Wed, 11/26/08, Mary wrote:
I realized it had been awhile since I’d sent you any pictures. These are from (Bear)’s birthday. He was being awfully silly! His hair has grown out even more since then and he has gorgeous curls! The bandages on his arm and hand are from tattoo removals (don’t know when he did these to himself, but it was before he came to us. Removing them was his decision.).
Both (Bear) and (Kitty) are making good grades. (Bear) made all As on his last report card and (Kitty) was pretty close. They’re still having a tough time in school, but are working hard to get caught up. Everyone is impressed with how hard (Kitty) works to compensate for her learning disabilities.
(Kitty) in particular is asking a lot of questions about her birth father lately. She eventually wants to search for him. Any additional information you have would be greatly appreciated. You mentioned he was in his 40s – I assume you mean now and that he was in his 30s then? Do you know what state he was from? The name of the fair. Anything that might be helpful? Also we would love any photos or stories you might have of him or (Bear)’s biodad. You mentioned (Kitty) looks like your Aunt, she’d love to see pictures of her too.
(Bear)'s account of yours and his relationship with his birthfather and after is a little jumbled. An adult’s account might be very helpful in his therapy.
Also any medical history would be great. Specifically is there anyone with bipolar disorder related to the children? (Bear) was diagnosed with this fairly recently and they are considering it for (Kitty). Learning disabilities, any other mental illnesses, or health issues, in the family? I assume ADD runs in the family since you mentioned that one of their sisters was recently diagnosed with it too. Also was there any head trauma for either of them that you know of? I know when (Bear) was hurt by Mike (and others?) that this could have occurred, but wondered if there were any specific instances you were aware of.
I feel I need to assure you that I would NEVER make judgments about you, I didn’t live in your shoes and I don’t know what you’ve been through. I want you to know I NEVER say mean things about you to the children. I have ALWAYS reassured them that you loved them, but just could not take care of them at the time. (Kitty) still misses you and the girls very much, but mostly understands that she is where she belongs now. (Bear) is still hurting (and angry), but he gets better every day. The children are blessed that they have two families who love them very much.
" Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."
So I forwarded the e-mail to all the therapists, but of course it's the weekend so they won't respond until next week. I was going to just go with my first instinct and tell her "H*@l NOOOOO!", but then I realized that all the biofamily would probably know about the trip, which means the kids would know too, which means if I make the decision without telling them, they will hear about it, and that could damage MY relationship with them.
I think Bear would say no as he is still VERY angry with her, but I could be wrong. I know Kitty would want to see her. So of course Kitty is the one who is in the worst emotional place to deal with this. *mega sigh*.
We've kept biomom away from the kids because the NE therapist and social workers recommended it. They said biomom repeatedly claimed it was the kids' fault she put them in foster care (and had no problem saying so to them). It took almost a year of therapy to convince Kitty that she didn't lose her whole family because she threw a chair and was out of control. It was hard to convince Kitty that biomom's choices caused most of Kitty's behavior issues, without putting down biomom.
To be honest, I know biomom hasn't changed much in regards to her lifestyle (abusive men, running from her problems...), but what concerns me most is that she didn't lose custody for abuse (although she should have). She only has to convince the kids that it was for their own good, or that she didn't actually want to give them up (which biofamily has told my kids repeatedly). I KNOW this was not true. NE was totally floored when biomom decided to TPR (terminate parental rights) and tried to talk her out of it - they even required that she take a class first, but she still TPRed).
If I allow the kids to see her for an hour or so she has no reason to act anything but wonderful, sweet and loving. It's a short period of time, and out of context. Biomom gets to look good in the kids' eyes. With their black and white thinking they are likely to forget all the nasty history and think of her as wonderful. Which makes me the evil woman that keeps them from their loving Mommy. This could be a great opportunity for closure, but 4 years after the fact, with a mom that doesn't have to explain why she terminated rights? I can't win!
So what would you do?