I received a Facebook friend request from the maiden’s birth mother last week. I have wondered over the last couple years if it would happen, but when it came, it still surprised me.
I do not have an open adoption. It wasn’t asked for, and I didn’t offer one. All birth mom asked was if I would provide updates to her. I did this for a few years, but must admit I stopped. I asked her for information on a couple occasions – she never responded, so I just thought if she doesn’t want to give me any info then I’m not obligated to give her any.
The maiden has two siblings. One was adopted almost at birth by the foster family; the other was adopted several years after the maiden. The big difference is the last sibling to be adopted was still having visits with birth mom. Birth mom also had another baby just after the maiden was adopted. So birth mom wanted to keep contact with the last sibling to be adopted. It complicated matters as the maiden and her brother had no access but the other sister did. But the sister and birth mom still lived in the same city – keeping access easier. And the sister was the only one with a relationship with the half sister.
To keep in touch with her sister, I am friends with the maiden’s sister’s adopted dad on Facebook. He is friends with the birth mom. It was only a matter of time I thought until there was some type of contact.
Reconnecting in the Future
The maiden knows she is adopted because she was eight when I adopted her. She had a goodbye visit with her birth mom and that was it. Part of her attachment difficulties made it easier however for her to separate from the birth mom. There was not a big attachment between the two. She had not lived with her for four years when she came to me.
As she got older, I told her that when she was 18, she could get in touch with either or both her birth parents. The two were no longer together. She always said she had no desire to reconnect with birth dad, but wanted to see her birth mom – and of course her half sister – whom she has never met. I told her I would support her with any desire to meet birth mom or birth dad. I was always curious why though she held such contempt for her birth dad, when her birth mom was 50% responsible for the abuse and neglect – but that is not for me to convince her to see one and not the other or both or neither. That is for her to decide when she is able.
Keeping Calm through Contact and Connecting
Last Christmas birth mom provided gifts for the maiden and cards from her and the half-sister. They were given to the maiden through her adopted sibling. I was not there to intervene. Luckily, it was nothing personal that may have caused some fall-out – but I was upset because birth mom had breached the no contact order. Any contact was to be done through the CAS. I let it go though. I couldn’t be angry. I could understand even if it wasn’t the best way to do things.
But then the friend request came.
What to do? To friend or not to friend.
My Facebook account is for close friends and family. She may be the birth mom to my daughter, but she isn’t my friend. I am not ready to share my life and the maiden’s life in such an intimate way. But she did ask to be kept informed. What to do?
Decline with no explanation. Decline but send her a note to explain how I feel and the reason for my decision. In the end, I declined with no explanation. I do not owe this woman any insight into my life. She may have given birth to the maiden, but I am the maiden’s mother and will decide what I share and how.
Being Mindful and Respectful.
I have grieved for the abuse and neglect she suffered in the first four years of her life. I have lived with and experienced the result of that neglect, abuse and trauma. I have had my life turned upside down and inside out in my efforts to care for this precious child. In eight years there has been no contact from birth mom asking how things are. After all I’ve been through, I am not ready just yet to share the maiden.
To be honest, I will never be ready to share the maiden with birth mom. I wish she didn’t want any contact. But I won’t stop her or prevent her from seeking contact when she is legally able to. I have two more years before that will happen.
For now there is no dilemma. I will not be friends with birth mom. Nothing against who she was or who may be right now as a person. I am mindful of my own feelings and respecting my right to be the maiden’s only mother for at least a couple more years.