Tears streamed down my cheeks overwhelmed by the emotion I felt for this incredible child. The fact I get to be their mom and the harsh reality our story is at times leaves me overwhelmed. Our conversation unfolded when I made the choice to set a boundary with a birth parent being invited to an event. I asked them why they wanted their birth parent there, so I knew how to explain the boundary I was setting.
After they finished I asked if I could be honest about how I felt about it all. I shared that I was struggling with the fact that sometimes I needed to set boundaries. I explained how a huge part of my job as their mama, is to keep them safe and they will not always understand that may even be upset with me. I sat down on their floor handing them a lollipop and began sharing the next level of conversation. Talking about the choices their birth parents made, choices that got us all where we are today.
The conversation left us both in tears as we talked about the reality of addiction, the boundaries we have to set and the fact that our story will always be complicated. The balance of bitter and sweet will fill our days as our story is written. I shared some of the facts and figures about addiction and how hard it is to fight against. I shared how our future could possibly look.
We talked about the boundaries and the reason we have them. I explained how sometimes when we welcome people into our space and places it can steal some of our joy. I explained to them how I had to start “reclaiming” some of my favorite places following a breakup, many of my favorite places now cause my heart to ache because I shared them and made memories. Untangling that heart mess is a long road and I want them to be spared that reality. I want us to be smart and thoughtful as we welcome birth parents into our lives. When people come into our worlds, we are left changed by their presence, no matter the length of their stay. Some people hurt a little more to say goodbye to while others just kind of fade.
I encouraged my child that I wanted to help them create space to love freely and without fear. They have the power to let in or to set a boundary. They get to know themselves, feel fully and allow others in as they see fit. One thing I shared is that our home will always be a boundary and it is very unlikely that we would ever have a birth parent enter our home. I want our home to be a sanctuary, a place of rest, peace and good things.
Walking this life with birth parents is not easy, especially birth parents who are addicts, statistics are not always in our favor. The longer I am in this world the more I despise the shackles of addiction. At first you think how could someone just choose drugs over their child. The dark reality is that at some point I think the choice disappears and they become conditioned to choose, use and lose. Three of my Baby Mamas are good mamas when they are sober, all of them desperately love their children. Using has become their escape and it is not a kind reality.
I pray each day to love my Mamas well. May I be humble and kind as I teach my kiddos that there is another way, praying we break the generational bondage of addiction. Desperating wanting my children to have a different story.