Although I have some sympathy for a grandmother wanting to see her late son's children during the holidays, it's best for the boys if they don't have contact with her. Visiting would benefit her, not them. Sadly, this is one of those situations when a person is reaping what they sowed.
Monday, December 21, 2009
CW got back to me and reassured me that L's biological grandmother's request will not delay the process of our adoption. BGM asked for a visit, not custody. CW spoke with her and denied her request. Without going into detail, BGM is not safe or appropriate for the children to visit with. CW said there is no way she will allow visitation. She did tell BGM that she could write a letter which CW would pass on when she visits next. BGM was not happy about that, but seemed to accept it.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I attended a family party this evening and many of my extended family members met L for the first time. My cousin was the first one to see us. Our conversation went like this:
Cousin: Congratulations! How is motherhood?
Me: It's amazing. I love it.
Cousin: Is it what you expected it to be?
Me: It's more than I expected. DH and I are so happy. L is just the coolest little guy ever.
Cousin: Well, you're lucky you didn't get him when he was at the baby-baby stage.
Me: (stunned silence)
Cousin: At least you didn't have to deal with the not sleeping and stuff.
Me: (still stunned) Oh, I was lucky?
Cousin: So how does he sleep?
Me: (answering her questions but asking myself did she just basically say I was lucky that I didn't have a newborn, didn't get pregnant, didn't get L when he was younger. WTF did she just say?)
I do know that I'm lucky, not for the reasons my cousin thinks. I can't imagine being a mother to any child but L. I LOVE him. He is an amazing, joy-filled little boy. I am lucky that he found his way into our home. But seriously, why would you tell someone who struggled with infertility that she's lucky she never had to deal with a newborn? That's just clueless. I wish I could have raised L from birth. I wish I had been the one comforting him when he was new to the world. I wish I'd been there for his first smile, his first giggle, his first taste of blueberries (his favorite), his first birthday. I would have gladly given up some sleep if it meant I could have had L in my life sooner. But that wasn't how it worked out and I accept that. We're so happy now. But seriously, how clueless can you be?*
Oh, and she had her first baby via IVF. Uh, huh.**
* I know her ignorant comment has more to do with her own struggles with motherhood than my situation, but still. . .
**But her second was an oops, so maybe that wiped out her sensitivity to those with infertility?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
We got an email from L's worker today. His biological grandmother (BGM) is requesting visitation. This is the same woman who lost her sons, including L's biological dad, to foster care for years due to neglect. I don't think she's ever met L or his brother. Well, maybe she met his brother during the month he lived with his biological parents immediately after he was born. I can't imagine L visiting with her. He had such a hard time when he had his last visit with his biological father, and he used to visit with him every month. L's caseworker plans to deny the request, but I find the whole situation unsettling. I know it's probably the holiday season that started BGM thinking this way. I know there's no judge in his right mind who would give her custody of the boys, so I'm not too worried about that (but I am just a little bit worried, because it's my nature to expect the roof to fall in). I don't think very many judges would give her visitation, given her history. I'm going to call the CW tomorrow to check in on whether BGM can appeal CW's decision or if it's final.
What this new event has done is started me thinking about when L is older and wants to know more about his biological family. He doesn't have a pretty story about how his birthparents couldn't take care of him but loved him so much that they found a family who could love him and take care of him forever. I'm not threatened by L wanting to have contact with his biological family; I'm scared to death by it. These are not safe people (with very few exceptions). These are people who are caught in a generations-long cycle of abuse, neglect, substance abuse, and criminality. L and his brother have, hopefully, broken that cycle, but what happens when they want to get to know the only biological relatives they have and those relatives are still in the thick of that cycle. How do you protect your child in a situation like that, while still supporting his desire to feel a biological connection?
I know I'm probably partly transferring my worry about BG's recent request onto a future situation, maybe to avoid the present a bit. The thing is that right now I know I'm completely unprepared for that future situation. I found an adoptive parent support group in my area. I'm planning to attend their next meeting. I need help.