Communication Barriers

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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35 Comments on “Communication Barriers

  1. I’m so sad for her. I’m sure it’s bad enough that she can’t afford these things and now she doesn’t get to her about your son. Does she have an email address she could check at the library to get pictures and updates about Baby MPB at the very least?

    I hope her situation changes in the future so that she doesn’t have to live worrying about money all the time, and you can maintain contact.

    I’m sorry. I’m sure you feel helpless and heartbroken that you cannot help her the way you would want to. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too am so sad for her and for our son and honestly for Mr. MPB and i because we want her to be part of our lives too.
      We are still sending emails and just hoping she finds a way to check them. But for us its weird not knowing if she is able to and its really hard not knowing how she’s doing.


  2. How heartbreaking! I hope there’s a creative way that you guys can keep in touch in the interim. Like Lindsay suggested, possibly the library internet. I believe most cities in the US offer free internet at the library, although most limit use to an hour at a time to ensure availability.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, this is so sad. It’s got to be so hard to have come around to wanting so much contact, and then not being able to have it. Did she let you know this was happening before it did? I ask because my phone is my contact center and if I lost it, all numbers would be lost with it (I know…. Back it up). Will she easily be able to reach you if things change and she can have a mobile phone again with a new phone number?

    I hope the situation changes soon. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ya she let us know before hand so we knew it was coming. I so wish it was just a situation of a lost cell phone. We have made sure she has every possible way to contact us (mailing address, email address and both of our cell phone numbehav so hopefully one day she will and until then we will just keep sending pictures and emails knowing she may be able to check her email from time to time.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh Sweetie, I am so sorry! I was going to suggest the same thing as Lindsay. If she has access to a library, she can go there to get and send emails for free. I hope she’s able to find a way to keep in communication with you that way at least. Sending you all love, hugs and prayers!


  5. What about good ‘ole snail mail? Would that be a way to stay in touch for now? Maybe you could even buy her some stamps online (unless you’re not allowed?) so she can write you if she is able?


  6. I am so sorry you are losing communication for now. I am sure that is devastating for both of you. Hopefully this is just a phase and the connection you’ve already made will make it easy to pick up where you left off in a few months. Thinking of you.


  7. Oh my gosh, my heart breaks for all involved. What a tough situation to be. The strength of character the birth mom has is something to be commended though. I truly hope things turn right side very soon for you all.

    If only there was a way to have an anonymous gofundme page just so she could afford to keep contact…know that this world will surely help in anyway if a creative solution pops up. Hugs 💙❤️💜


  8. That poor girl must be going through so much. At least she has you on her side rooting for her. Sounds like she could use all of the love the universe can spare.


  9. I’m so sorry to hear about this. Despite the bad situation it is really wonderful to see how much you care for her. I do hope she is able to find a way to check her email for updates and I know she will greatly appreciate you guys sending her updates without hearing back like you normally do.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s so sad. I do hope that you will be able to keep in touch via “snail mail” at least. Hopefully things will get better for her some time soon, and you will be able to communicate by faster means again someday. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m sorry. It’s hard when someone in your life needs help, but you can’t be the one to offer it. (Either monetary or emotionally.) It’s frustrating, though if I read in between the lines of your email, it is possible that this is only temporary. So take heart that this isn’t forever– or at least that it doesn’t have to be.


  12. This situation never occurred to me either. I’m sure you will continue navigating unknowns for many years but I’m glad baby MPB has a birth mother that you all feel close to.


  13. That sounds awful. I assume you can still send snail mail. One of the things I was wondering was whether you could send her prepaid envelopes? When I was younger we had airmail envelopes (the blue ones that fold up into an envelope) and we used to keep in touch with our friends over the holidays with those. I’m assuming they would be negligible cost and they would not be considered bribery in any way as they don’t really have a resale value.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This post made me feel grateful for what luxuries we have. I could not imagine losing connection. Hoping the situation is temporary and she finds herself better off soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I, too, function in an open adoption. And, a semiclosed one as well (I say semi, simply because we all know each others info, and so it can not be completely closed…).
    I hope when she is able she will reach out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I keep thinking about this post and coming back to it but my thoughts have finally coalesced a couple of days later… and all I keep thinking is maybe it’s too hard for her to keep in touch so that’s her reason for not communicating anymore. I know if if I were giving up a baby for adoption that well I was intellectually think open adoption is a great idea once the baby was out of my arms I could very well decide that it would be better to just stop communication so I can heal and move forward. Everyone has their own way of dealing with such complex situations and I keep wondering if that may be what’s really happening with her. I disagree with those who want to push the decision and start fundraising campaigns or letter-writing as this to me is the kind of thing that needs to be respected, because no answer is ever as simple as we think it is. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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