As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Daffy received a photograph from her Fairy Godmother of herself and her Birth Mother. Daffy had been mentioning since shortly after she moved here that she wanted to write her Birth Mother a letter but had never gotten around to it. The photograph prompted her to sit down almost immediately to write to her.
The letter was perfect in every way. One of the things she asked, not surprisingly, was to visit with her Birth Mother. Since the letter is being mailed by the state to protect our privacy anyway, our social worker and case worker both had a chance to review it. Knowing that the parent’s rights were terminated years ago and the final visit occurred more than 3 years ago, I didnt think they would entertain the thought of Daffy having a visit with her Birth Mom.
Last week as we reviewed the records at the state office, we found cards for Donald and Daffy never delivered by previous caseworkers (likely at the request of the last group home because they wanted the children to “move on”) as well as 2 scrapbooks (one for each child) created by the Birth Mom. Discussion began between us about what is best for each child as well as their right to have these things. As the conversation progressed, we discussed setting up a meeting between the Birth Mom, social worker & caseworker and then eventually with us & Daffy.
This morning we met with our social worker to review the agenda for our upcoming team meeting. Again, we discussed the photographs and Daffy’s desire to see her Birth Mother. Our sw was giving us advise about boundaries, etc, when suddenly I realized that we were no longer talking about a single visit, but rather some ongoing communication/relationship with Daffy and Donald’s Birth Mother. Open Adoption in some sense. This is something I had never really considered. Donald & Daffy are children in foster care with terminated parental rights (including orders of protection against their Birth Father). I didnt think the state would even CONSIDER that they should have any type of relationship with her, let alone something ongoing. And yet there we sat, mulling over twice yearly visits, letters, phone calls and emails.
So tonight, I sit with my mind trying to determine how I feel about this. As an adoptee myself, I wished many times for the chance to meet my Biological Mother as a child. Now that I am an adult, though, I am glad that the adoption was closed and that I did not meet her until I was 24. I was far more mature and ready to deal with the the flood of emotions that came along with that reunion (a loooong story for another post). Is this in Daffy’s best interest? Is this in our family’s best interest? What if her Birth Mother doesn’t like us? What if she doesn’t respect our boundaries?
I have so many different thoughts right now and am glad I have some time to sort them out. I am also glad this isnt a decision that I will need to make alone. I am grateful for the many people on our team with such incredible experience and insight. I pray that the best decision is made at the end of the day.