As a new mommy, specifically a new mommy whose child come to us through open adoption, there are a few things that make our family slightly unique.
One of these unique things is our relationship with our son’s birth mother. Mr. MPB and I have made the decision not to discuss her in too much detail with anyone, including on my blog. We firmly believe in her right to privacy and her right to tell her own story should she ever want to. We also realize that we cannot speak for her, our perspectives are bound to be different and so I will not try to.
With this in mind, today I want to share something (without details) that has happened that has completely and utterly broken my heart:
She can no longer afford the ability to communicate with us. And, it is 100% completely against the law for us to help her.
I always knew that modern day open adoption is almost always predicated on access to wealth. While this might be a slight over simplification, it seems that in the open adoption world typically someone has money, and someone doesn’t and what brings us together is that everyone is looking out for the best interests of the child. On many occasions in the last year I have been very vocal in complaining about how much our adoption has cost us, I firmly believe the lawyers and agencies involved (particularly in the USA) have made a fortune off us. Yet, we live in a safe community and have a never have to worry about the roof over our heads. I know we are fortunate. And while I complain, we have never truly worried about our personal safety, food bill or our mortgage payments. Simply, our version of worry is completely different then what many others worry about. And it breaks my heart that our birth mother has to make decisions about how to meet her very basic needs.
When we were first matched our USA agency told us to buy a pay-as-you go phone so she wouldn’t have access to our real phone numbers. We refused to do this as we believe she has the right to be in touch with us. So, we actually asked to pay more in birth mother expenses to make sure she could reach out to us whenever. But now, under the USA laws we no longer pay birth mother expenses. Basically, until the adoption is finalized we cannot do anything that can be seen as coercion. This means absolutely no financial help from us which means now she’s on her own again. And right now, the bills related to communicating with us are beyond her means.
This is the side of adoption I really wasn’t prepared for. This whole birth mother relationship stuff was one of our biggest fears with open adoption. In fact, it petrified us early on. When we first started looking into adoption I remember other adoptive mothers saying to me you are probably going to want more contact with the birth family then they want because you’ll realize the more people loving a child can only be a good thing. I remember thinking she’s crazy. It turns out she knew what she was talking about. This is precisely our situation today.
And now, I sit here with tears in my eyes absolutely devastated that our relationship is changing further. We already have thousands of miles between us, and now our contact is going to be limited further. While we were in the USA we spent time with her, we got to know her, and we fell in love with her. We realized very quickly that no-matter what happens in our lives she will always be a part of our family.
Yet unlike any other relationship in our lives, we have very strict restrictions on our relationship for the time being. And truthfully, I don’t know if in the future we will provide her with ongoing financial support. Until just now this thought had never crossed our minds, so we have no idea what we will do but we also realize we don’t have to think about this right now because it’s going to be months before we will even be allowed to (more on this in the future, I’m sure).
And so all we know right now our hands are tied. We cannot help her. We can offer her our love, and our hope that she can do it on her own. But, that’s it. And it feels to pathetic and unfair that we cannot do anything more.
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