There is no formula, road map or plan when dealing with birth parents, each story, parent and scenario is different. We are navigating the unknown and in some ways fighting statistics and time, neither in our favor. The likelihood that birth mom will relapse is likely and the risk to press is great.
My Mama Bear instincts are heightened and I want so badly to protect my babies from the hard world out there, from the reality of adoption. Navigating this road with my Littles following close behind causes me to pause and step cautiously, making sure the next step is the right one. Balancing cautious action and redeeming moments, small gestures like saving gold coins brings a smile and some healing.
During foster care classes they talked about our relationships with birth parents, they advocate for it. They ask us to engage and press in, long run it is better for our babies. Harder for us in the now but better for them, that pretty much sums up this journey. Pouring into the people around us costs much at times feels overwhelming. A cost that I must pay for the sake of my children, redemption and healing.
Where once my heart cold, superior and judgemental towards our parents, I find myself humbled, grateful and protective. Instead of lines of division I see purpose in unity. I once was intimidated by our birth parents, afraid and insecure of my role. I would find my pride puffing me up so that I could look down on them. I would be territorial with the kids and circle them afraid to share. I am ashamed of how ugly my heart could be at times. How has my heart changed, been challenged, quieted and convicted to be better and love well.
My two baby mamas have two very different stories. One struggles in her addiction, when she is sober she is loving, smiley and a good mama. Her and I have realized that we love the same four children, desperately. She has one, I the other three, doing this together is the best option. Boundaries are set, she respects them. We are all advocating for her sobriety.
My other baby mama is 18, plagued by mental illness, stating she does not want to parent. Three of my children have memories and bonds built with birth parents, one has no memories outside of the womb. Contact with his mom probably won’t be a reality. Her disability has stolen her ability to be a mom. Her womb carried him and the greatest gift she will ever have given him is the gift of life.
There is no right answer, no right path and no mold that fits it all. Each story unfolds slowly and differently. Sometimes the trauma is great and the door must be closed completely in order for healing to come. Sometimes the parents haven’t found their stability and we protect to preserve. There is no right answer, the cost is great, the road is long and uncertain. I suppose it is one of those roads that at some point we will look back realizing we have arrived and we had no idea we were heading here.