Well now I will never get to sleep. It is almost midnight and I was having difficulty falling asleep. So, I did what most Americans do these days instead of counting sheep; I got up to go surfing…the computer kind. Low and behold, who do I find on Facebook… one of my kids birth mom’s, who we have not had contact with in over five years.
The choice to slowly vanish from our lives was made by her when the adoption became finalized. I tried to maintain a relationship but letters came back, “address unknown” and phone calls were met with, “this number has been disconnected.” So I, somewhat reluctantly, let it be. However, once in a while I would search the Internet for her and today I found her.
She is just as beautiful as I remember, although older then the youthful girl I first met. I was a new foster parent and caring for her son with severe special needs was a demanding task. The injuries from being shaken by his birth father were extensive and my desire to love and protect him was tremendous. As the state slowly gave custody back to this immature and struggling mother we offered, and she gratefully accepted, help in raising her son. As it became clear the challenge was just too much for her and medical neglect was occurring, despite her great love for him, she willingly agreed to let us adopt him.
We have kept in contact with the birth father’s family but after a while her whereabouts become unknown and I have regretfully accepted this and now…well what do I do? Should I honor her wishes and stay out of her life? We have had the same address and phone number all this time and she has never made any efforts to get a hold of us. Or do I make contact with her and offer her the chance to get to know the son we share?
I am really at a loss here. I am a huge fan of open adoptions and feel they have benefited my children, who have experienced them, tremendously. However, my son is at an one-year-old developmental level, due to the brain damage his sustained, and I cannot really see how it would be helpful to him. So I would mainly be doing this for her, and perhaps on some level for myself. While I do not want to bring up painful memories from the past, our son is doing so much better than once predicted and I would like a chance to introduce the two.
So the question is do I contact the woman who gave birth to my child and perhaps invade the life she is content with? Or do I leave her alone, as her younger self silently requested, and rob her of a chance to get to know our amazing kid? Now you can see why I will not be able to sleep tonight.