R, L's biological mother, has been on my mind a lot lately. Sometimes I look at L and I feel such sadness for R, for her abusive childhood, for the choices she made as an adult, for how her life ended. R was not a bad person. She was just not capable of parenting for many reasons, especially given her relationship situation. I don't want to get into details, but trust me when I state that she was simply not capable.
I keep thinking about her in the hospital after giving birth to L. I have his hospital bassinet card, thanks to his awesome adoption worker. It has BF/F written on it. I'm interpreting that as meaning R was breastfeeding L and supplementing with formula. It touches me for some reason that she wanted to breastfeed him. She probably got the chance to try while she was in the hospital after her delivery. Did she think she would get to keep trying at home with L? Did she realize that she wouldn't get to leave the hospital with him? She must have had some idea because she was circumspect about her due date whenever L's brother's ongoing worker asked during monthly visits. R was getting prenatal care so she certainly knew when L was due. Did she buy a bassinet? Did she buy a going home outfit for him? Did she make plans, buy supplies, dream about having him home?
I'm sure she hoped the Department would give her a chance to parent L, even though her older son P, was already in care. However, L left the hospital with P's worker. Her signature is on his discharge papers. The home he went to was the foster home his brother had spent his first year in. I think about how L must have felt, being taken from the only mother he knew by a stranger and being handed to another stranger to be cared for. How confused he must have been. And I picture R leaving the hospital without her baby. I can only imagine how empty her arms must have felt.
I know the strangers were kind to him. I know the decision to remove L from R's care was the right one; he would not have been safe with R and J. I know that without these events happening L would not be our son.
But it's still all so very sad.