Sunday, October 24, 2010

Suck it up

You want to know something I don’t understand? Something I CAN’T understand? Birth parents that choose not to see their children, even though the adoptive family would LOVE for them to come and visit.

Let me back up a little.

Today, I was supposed to go hang out with M, S, J, and Robbie. We were all going to go to a corn maze and carve pumpkins and such. All four birth parents had been invited. I knew neither birth father would be able to attend, as they are both currently living out of state. However, MK (J’s birth mom) and I had both agreed to come. I was pretty excited! I mean, I was going to spend the day doing AWESOME stuff with the most AWESOME kid EVER! Who wouldn’t be excited? Also, it was going to be my first time meeting MK, so I was looking forward to that as well.

Anyway, I got a call from M this morning. Turns out, Robbie is sick, and therefore won’t be able to go out anywhere. They offered to still let me come up and hang out with him at the house, but I knew with him not feeling well, he wouldn’t want anyone to hold him but M or S, and that would just suck. So I opted to reschedule for later this week, and then went out for Starbucks and chocolate ice cream to help me not feel so sad (lol).

A few hours later, M calls me again. Apparently, MK never showed up.

Now, I know adoption is difficult. I know people handle difficult things in different ways. I know for some birth parents, seeing their child is just “too hard” for them.

You know what I say to that?


That’s right buddy. Suck that shiz up, stop being a whiney pansy, and go see your child. This isn’t about you. This is about THEM. I don’t care how hard it is. And trust me, I know it’s hard. I know it sucks to be there with your child screaming his head off and you can’t comfort him because you aren’t his mommy. But you know what? No matter how hard it is, I will ALWAYS be a part of Robbie’s life. It’s the LEAST I can do. I could NEVER imagine intentionally disappointing him by not showing up for a visit. I hope and pray that I never disappoint him.

There are so many amazing birth parents out there that can’t see their child due to closed adoptions and insecure adoptive parents. Not seeing your birth child when you are offered the opportunity is like spitting in the faces of those who can not see their child. Not to mention what you are doing to your birth child. You know how they say adoptees deal with feelings of rejection, feelings of worthlessness and not being wanted? By choosing to not have a relationship with them, you are just reinforcing those feelings. Not to mention you are reinforcing the stereotypes we all have to deal with.

I really do try not to judge people, but this is something I just can not accept. If this offends you, then I guess you can go read some one else’s blog. I promise it won’t hurt my feelings.


Beck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beck said...

Just found your blog and wanted to say WOW. What a unique perspective. My parents are foster parents and in the process of trying to adopt a little 20 month old, and birth mom is making it really hard. She had signed away the rights but because of the length of the process is now trying to get her back. The situation is very difficult, as she CANNOT parent the child. My heart breaks for her, as she is the same age as me. To see how much you love Robbie, and how hard you are trying to have a relationship is just amazing!

Not Just A Birth Mom said...

Thanks for your comment :)
That is definitely a tough situation. Usually, I would be all for the bio mom raising her child, but I know from experience that kids are in the foster care system for a reason (my parents used to be foster parents too!). I don't know why her child is in the system, so I won't comment on whether or not she should be able to raise her child. However, is it possible for your family to set up visitation with her? Once again, I don't know the situation, so I don't know if she is a danger to the child. But if visits wouldn't be detrimental to the child, perhaps you all could work something out?

Thanks for reading!

Beck said...

It is definately not a good situation with her. She has major family issues, and she knows she cannot raise her, has said so herself. We have had visits outside of the court ordered ones with her and would love for her to have a relationship with the child. She has done some things that makes it impossible for her to see her at the time being, but the fact that she is trying to fight just makes it upsetting for us. We are definately all for having the relationships though!

Meg and Ken said...

I am so worried about this for our next adoption. We have an amazingly close releationship with our son's birthmom and we hope for another with similar openess. We would like it to be similar so both children have their birthparents in their lives and I am afraid of what will happen if the next birthparents can't handle contact after all is said and done. It will break my heart. I know so many expectant parents considering adoption are worried of the ap's closing the adoption, well we are worried about the same exact thing :( I am happy to learn of your thoughts on this, I agree, it's all about the children!!

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Thanks for voicing this. I sometimes feel the same way. I know it can be hard, but just to have the opportunity to see your child is such a blessing. And I do mean blessing for all! I had two adoptions that were very different in every way. I saw my daughter many, many times throughout her life and we are all the better for it. She and I have a relationship and continue to discover more every year about each other, about ourselves.

My twin sons I have not seen since they left the hospital two deccades ago. I did keep in touch with the parents, always exchanging letters and pictures ... not to mention reassuring them that I was not changing my mind and doing well in my life. That contact lead to my children seeking me out, and now we all are talking via the internet. I would LOVE to see them in person, what a wonderful day that will be!

So, I too would say DO IT! Each and everytime you are asked, GO! And kudos to you for going, being there and letting Robbie know that he will always be a part of your will only show him that you do indeed care and want to know him. Just to be brave enough to face those fears and make the best of what you are given, what a wonderful attitude you have. I applaud you for your strength to speak up and share these thoughts with us. Great post!

k said...

My adoptive couple is kind of doing the opposite of this. I know they're crazy busy and I'm really trying to respect that, but I used to get emails from them nearly weekly... now if i get them once every two months it's surprising. They said they'd send me pictures in June... it's now the end of October and I haven't seen my baby boy since we celebrated his birthday in June.

My question to you (and I have some of my own ideas and have already approached the adoptive couple, but I'd love to know what you think) is this: How do you say something about that? Either the adoptive couple asking the birthparents to be more involved, as with your post of the birthparent just not bothering to show up... or the birthparents asking for more openess from the adoptive couple? How do you balance that SUPER tricky subject??

Not Just A Birth Mom said...

Oh, K, you are right- that IS a SUPER tricky situation. I haven’t dealt with this much on a personal level. When we first started into our adoption relationship, we created a “contract” of sorts that outlined what our contact level would be. Originally, we were to have visits every three months, with pictures and updates every month. In the beginning, we kept to that contract. There were a couple of months that we didn’t receive picture updates like we were supposed to, and I had NO idea how to confront M about this. Fortunately, our visits became so regular that picture updates weren’t necessary. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most open adoptions.
My best advice to some one in this situation is to start off by emailing them (or contacting them some how) and updating them with how YOU are doing. Maybe attach a few pictures of your self, as well as family members (especially if you have any other children). Then end the email by asking how they are doing, what they have been up to, and that you would love to see some new pictures of them and your child.
This way, you can gently remind them about pictures and hopefully avoid “upsetting the apple cart”. If this doesn’t work, then I would recommend you suggest renegotiating your “adoption agreement” (the contact contract). If you do not have one, then maybe you could discuss creating one (but I would suggest using the term ‘agreement’ instead of ‘contract’). Explain that you know things change over time, and you just want everyone to be on the same page on what to expect.
As far as adoptive parents asking for more of the birth parents, I’ll have to get back to you on that. I have a couple of people I want to talk to before answering that part of your question. Check back either tomorrow or Friday evening. Or, you can email me at

Maryann said...

Thanks for this post! I am always in awe of what open adoption offers now, and then of those choosing not to take advantage of it.
Having placed a child in closed adoption 17 years ago, I would give just about anything for a picture, an update, and a chance to do something together?! That would just plain be a miracle! If they are asking you to be there - accept! You are lucky adoption offers that now!
Let your child know you still love them!
Adoption has come a long way. Let's not move it backwards by not participating when it is offered.

mamamargie said...

Thank you for your perspective. It is very helpful for me. We have adopted a sibling set of three through foster care and have an open adoption with their birth mom. I love it because I think it's helping the kids to see that they are loved no. matter. what. I was a bit nervous about it at first, because I had done foster care before and had some very negative experiences with other birth parents. But we took a leap of faith with this one and have been really blessed. We would definitely be open to doing it again.

Janessa said...

Great thoughts on this post, thanks. I placed my daughter 3 years ago and they live out of state, but we do have visits. Whenever I've been able to, I have visited, even though it hurt. I decided it was worth to pain to be able to see my baby at those different stages in her life.
But, a couple of the times, looking back, I think maybe I shouldn't have visited, because it caused too much pain and wasn't healthy for me at that time. But, my desire to be a good birthmom and let my daughter know that I was present at a certain event, forced me to go. I don't regret going, but I do think that we as birthmothers do have to take care of ourselves. My baby was only 6 months old, I know she didn't care whether I was there or not.
Its a tough situation sometimes, but overall open adoption has been amazing for me and I am so grateful for visits with my baby and her family.


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