Open Adoption Communication
Our son’s birth mom has disappeared again. But as this is becoming more of a norm, I think I’m starting to figure my emotions around the silence a bit better.
I know a large part of my ongoing struggle with her decision not to respond is that I do not know why she’s not responding and when she does eventually respond, she usually doesn’t explain why she’s been so quiet. I like to think it’s because she’s busy with her child and her life. Or even that maybe it’s about access to communication. But, I realize that no matter how many or how long these random silences are, I will always worry that something is seriously wrong. And that’s a worry that eats at me.
But, it’s also more than that. It’s the worry about how am I (we) going to explain to Little MPB one day why his birth mother doesn’t respond for months at a time. I am not naïve enough to think Little MPB wont ask why one day – all kids love to ask why, and from what I’m told kids in the adoption community almost always seek to understand their unique why’s. So, I find myself worrying, how will I help him understand why, when I don’t even understand why? I will never lie to him about anything in his past – that’s not fair to him (and I’m a horrible liar anyways). But, in answering honestly I will have to say, I don’t know, it also seems so cruel to not have answers.
And so, while I have no real answer, I know that I will always be able to tell Little MPB that we love her, we care for her and we will keep reaching out to her. And when she’s ready, she’ll get back to us.
This response feels unfair to Little MPB, but it’s all I can think of.
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I can understand why you are concerned when you don’t hear from his birth mother. I think there is nothing wrong with “I don’t know” as an explanation for her behavior, though. I suspect that your little guy will have questions about many things where that will be the only answer you can give him, especially where other people are concerned. (My sons are 5.5, and I have already had to say this in response to various questions.)
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I think that as long as little MPB knows that you’re attempting to keep in touch with her, “I don’t know” is a good answer. I think some adoptive parents would give up on reaching out and then respond with, “I don’t know” when really, they know that they didn’t keep trying. You’re never going to be in that situation, so “I don’t know” will be an extremely honest answer.
You’re doing wonderful things for that little boy. Your love for his extended family will be felt by him. ❤️
You are so amazing to always think of your son’s well being in every situation. Talk about someone who was meant to be a Mom. I think the ‘I don’t know’ is ok and I also think it will come clear to your son that while you have a lot of love for her, you are the steady and reliable guiding light for him and that may help him realize one of the many ‘why’s’ of you being his forever Mommy. Just a thought. Love to you all.
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My guess is that she may have a lot of guilt where little MPB is concerned and not know how to deal with it. The best you can do is to be open and honest with him, and to let him know that you will always foster that relationship as much as is in your power. I have a niece who was adopted through an open adoption, and her birth mother does the same thing. She goes months without any contact, even though the adoptive parents try to keep an open relationship. Once after a very long absence, she did tell them that she struggles with the guilt, even though she knows the adoption was the right choice. She has also told them that she struggles with the thought of having another child, because she fears the child she gave up for adoption will feel like they were lesser of a person and less of a priority to her, because she gave them up for adoption.
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Yes, this. I imagine that could be a huge part of it.
I understand where you are concerned about the future why’s and what ifs, but like you said…..all you can do is keep reaching out to her and waiting for a response back. Little MPB will always know just how much you love him and how much you want him to know his birth mother.
So many great comments and perspectives here! It must be so hard but you are doing such a great job. I love that you keep trying to reach out. So many would probably decide it is too hard and that would be sad. Little MPB is a lucky little dude.
I admire you so much. It sounds like even though there is not a nice and neat answer, you are willing to get chaotic and messy for your little boy and refuse to give up on this relationship for the sake of him. I think he will see that more than anything.
I love the compassion you have for Little MPB biological mother. It’s clear he will grow up knowing how much you care about her.
I agree with what Jazzy said above, it makes sense. I’m sorry she’s gone quiet on you again. Like you said, all you can do is keep trying. Like the others have said, just make sure that he knows that you’re doing your best to keep in touch with her, and maybe sometimes she won’t be able to respond for a while. Maybe even let her know that you get concerned about her when she goes quiet…not to guilt her or anything like that, but just to let her know you care. I have no experience in this area, and that’s the best advice I can think of to offer. Hope that helps.
Maybe it’s difficult for Lil MPB biomother to regularly stay connected because…. I dont know…. it makes her sad? Eventho she knows that you guys love his son so much and it’s her decision to give him for adoption, but still…. being apart from your child cant be that easy. Sorry if my comment is wrong.
I am liking the suggestions that “I don’t know” is perfectly okay. I think that as an adult we always want to have answers for the child, sometimes we just don’t. I spend a lot of time with my nephew/godson and I have had to say “I don’t know”. Sometimes to very difficult questions, he once asked me why his Mummy was always mad and shouting and I had to say “I don’t know”, but I followed it up with, “but you know what I do know? I know that your Mummy loves you very much and I am sure she doesn’t mean to seem cross with you”.
It’s so hard, but I am sure you will find the right words.
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We’ve always been told that the best we can do is to continue to try and reach out for the sake of our child and the rest is on them. We want our children to know though, that we did our best to keep those lines of communication open for them.
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