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A year since we said goodbye(20 Posts)
Apologies, I've been steering clear a bit for a month or so.
It's a year since I said good bye to my beautiful girl. The grief is very hard, unnatural, private, and difficult to reconcile the good, beautiful times with the very painful ones that I am deeply ashamed of. I'm a few months away from two years sober, and looking for work, and getting back involved in helping again rather than just being helped. Counselling is going really well, my emotional coping and the way I handle and react to my feelings is so much better. A long way to go but it took all my life to knit me into the mess I ended up in, so it'll take a while to learn new ways. So I'm doing all the right stuff.
I just miss her so very deeply. I have started to be able to feel the disappointment and 'let down' feelings with the various people in my life, and Social Services, who were involved - for so long I blamed and hated myself so badly, it's taken friends gently pointing things out, saying, it's ok to be angry, they have let me see it, and forgive.
This grief is unlike losing-your-parents grief, though that's bad enough, it's almost unmentionable agony. Even when I'm doing so well - or so I'm told. Sometimes that means 'please don't tell me about it, I can't cope with it'. Bottomless unanswerable grief is hard to look into, even when it's someone elses.
I pray, daily, that DD is well and happy and peaceful and that her understanding will grow, that she will grow up able to cope with her own feelings, and that she will learn about grace and forgiveness even where she is, as I believe in a God that is able to do all that and more. He holds her tight even now while I can't.
"Anniversary" type dates are so hard. In a couple of weeks her adoptive parents will be able to celebrate they've had her with them for a year. One person's grief brings another's joy. None of my letters have got through. I'm writing the next one now, according to the latest timings I've been given. I expect that I have disappeared, unmentioned. It's just so, very, sad and painful.
I am so sorry to hear you are in pain. I know anniversaries can be very hard.
But I hope you have not disappeared for your daughter, nor will you be unmentioned. Her adoptive parents should know about the significance of her knowing about her roots, but it is hard when you feel letters are going into a void.
There was a good thread recently about a grandmother who was finding the indirect contact very difficult.
This may be of some help/interest
I am sorry, I wish there was some magic I could do to take the pain away but I know from bitter experience that it just must be lived through, if you can bear it and I hope you can. Because I am sure one day she will want to meet you.
I've read through that thread. There's a lot of bitterness, and a bit of conspiracy going on in that thread though and I really struggle with that because it feeds my desire to believe that Social Services or somebody, anybody got it all wrong and was out to get me in some way. Because of course that would remove my wrongdoing. But the bitterness multiplies, if you give it headspace, and it's me it damages.
My first letter contained references to the past (not allowed) and my faith (not allowed) and memories (not allowed) and my life/recovery (not allowed) and reference to specific things I'd done (not allowed) and pictures (not allowed) and was too intense for a 6 year old (you what?! - my 6 year old, who used to write 4 page letters to her best friend in the evening after school!) The second was the rewrite of the first letter with all those things taken out, which was very short, as you can imagine, but I toed every line I possibly could. But the times for letters to be written had changed without me being told and it arrived in the window that the adopters would not now accept letters. But they still didn't tell me so I went on to write the Christmas letter and then wrote back to say that one was not going to be passed on and told me what the new times were to be, which start with March/ April (but don't mention Easter because that's a faith reference).
I think my frustration with contact is that, there is a beautiful thread with a gorgeous letter from a birth mum on here, with stuff I'm not allowed to mention, mainly memories of her son You always did love being on your feet and running around. - which I would have my letters rejected for (mentions the past). The inconsistency of applying the "rules" is something that makes it easy to feel injustice and unfairness.
Essay, sorry, obviously needed to get it out. My friends are sick of hearing it I think - I should be able to lay it to rest, and maybe, if I get a letter through then I will have some peace - which should really be within not dependent on events. And it usually is, just the back end of this week is really hard.
Thanks Spero I have always appreciated your encouragement and certainty that I will see DD one day. No need to reply to that rant, the therapy was mainly in writing it!
I am sorry, I had no idea there were so many 'rules' around what you could or couldn't write!
That must make the whole process so difficult. No wonder indirect contact so often falters and it is a shame it still seems the fall back postion for many social workers.
But you are right about the bitterness. I can see how easy it is to slip into it, but how ultimately corrosive.
I am sure your friends, if they are real friends are never 'sick' of hearing you talk about it. They may feel helpless or worried they won't say the 'right' thing, but this is a massive, massive issue in your life and it is understandable that it is going to call upon a lot of your attention and your grief.
I only get irritated with friends when they ask advice over relatively trivial issues, then refuse to do anything about it and then moan some more to me. Then I get fed up. But this is not a situation you can 'fix', only one that you can hopefully find easier to bear as time passes.
I am so, so sorry for your loss and grief. I hope you find peace and your letters are acknowledged.
Please know, you are a vital part of the adoption triangle and that you will not be disappeared from your daughters life and memories.
Be kind to yourself at this vulnerable time and reach out for support or just conversation whenever you need it. We will listen and not judge. X
Zoo I am so sorry for your grief.
Could you get help with writing these letters from social worker?
"There's a lot of bitterness, and a bit of conspiracy going on in that thread though and I really struggle with ........But the bitterness multiplies, if you give it headspace, and it's me it damages."
I am sorry "weregoingtothezoo" if my post was upsetting for you. I am, you are right very bitter, but conspiracy may not be right word for me. There was so much of my experience that has not been nor will ever be addressed due to the sheer laziness or incompetence of so many people involved and it is not helped by the number of children who have died since my situation started. I had a professional knowledge of things not done yet was powerless to request it be looked at. I have often thought how much easier my sense of loss would have been if my grandchild really had been abused. I may have then seen it as a relief. However, my pain no matter how hard it is for me, cannot even compare to the pain of a mother who has lost her child. If that mother then comes to some realisation of her part in the story I can only imagine how much harder that must be. Anniversaries for my two miscarried children are burnt on my heart. I will always wonder what the outcome could have been, had this all been my child instead of my grandchild.
Bitterness you are right multiplies, it is self destructive. For me it is still early days and I have a lot of trust issues. I need to find someone who can get me back on track. Until now I never had any reason to believe I would ever be lied to by professionals, especially those I knew in my day to day life at work.
Only time will tell if the very helpful comments I have had here come to anything. You have your faith, something I do not have and sometimes wish I did. Forgiveness might have been easier for me to achieve.
I hope someday you find the peace you need and are able to achieve goals you set for yourself.
I agree that Clarke66 clearly said she didnt feel the victim of a conspiracy - 'just' poor behaviour and lack of professionalism over all.
But I wonder if the same strand runs though both your stories - the fact that the enormous emotions stirred up by these proceedings simply aren't acknowledged or handled with any kind of sensitivity and they are left to fester, causing so much more grief and anguish than is necessary.
I think it is sad that the letter writing has caused so much pain to you both when the purpose behind it is supposed to be something good - for you and the child.
Spero -I think the " rules" around these letter must part of the contact agreement between the adopters and the birth family. I have never known of so many rules.
Spero No wonder indirect contact so often falters Absolutely. I am determined, I write letters to friends and family anyway, literate, educated, and I can't get a letter right. How much worse must it be for those who don't write letters, whose literacy is poor, whose recovery from the initial problems is absent.
Clake my apologies if I have misrepresented you. I guess the only way for me to be well is to forgive, to remember that I don't know what's best even if I think I do, and to pray for my girl. I can hear your pain, and I'm sorry it's so hard for you.
I don't have a contact agreement yet, because the adopters wouldn't sign it until after they had the adoption certificate for DD. They then changed their minds about the times they were happy for contact to happen. The social worker left before Christmas, as yet unreplaced and the letterbox co-ordinator retired last month. So, I am pretty stuck. I had a 3 page letter back after my first letter saying what was wrong with it. And after the Christmas letter, another letter saying that not only was there not to be contact at Christmas but that it was not acceptable anyway (it mentioned the real meaning of Christmas, and my own childhood Christmas traditions). The court said twice, Christmas and summer, but apparently the court order is just a "guideline".
Would they have so much that can't be mentioned for adopters - Kristina suggesting she's not heard of it suggests not. It's so difficult to jump through the hoops when they keep moving and no-one will give you "rules", just send back the letter with a (new) list of what's wrong with it.
I'm going to retreat a bit now. Sometimes it hurts too much to even talk about. Grief is in overwhelmingly intense bursts - because, says my counsellor, it would be completely unsurvivable otherwise. During the great intensity sometimes the only thing is to hang on for when "this too shall pass".
I find the rule that you can't mention your religion very strange. If the child is to be brought up in a religion different from that of the birth family, it is usual to stipulate that the child must be brought up with an awareness of that religion .
Naturally, any attempt to proselytise would be unacceptable. But if a child is to be brought up with eg An awareness of Islam by agnostic adopters, it's hard to see why saying " we all had a big party for Eid" would be unacceptable.
Likewise, I cannot see why the Bm is not allowed to talk about her life and specific things she has done. Off course she can't say " I play hockey every Friday night at the western hockey club in jones street. But why can't she say " I have always loved sport and play hockey in a team" ? If you can't talk about the past or the present, it's hard to know what's left .
Sounds to me like the adopters are only reluctantly on board with idea of contact - which is not good. Certainly doesn't seem much if any support for anyone to make it work.
Such a shame -agonising for the birth family and distressing and potentially damaging for the child. The APs might thing they are making their lives more straightforward now, but they are storing up trouble for themselves later . I can only hope that they wise up a bit and become more co operative for everyone's sake
zoo have pmed you.
I know you do not want to talk at the moment but we are here when you do.
It's early days for the adopters, they may feel differently over time. I would write letters as you wish to and keep them, your daughter will see in years to come that you were in her thoughts. As hard as it is, concentrate on answering any questions that are asked in her letters to you and otherwise keep it light and simple. This will encourage the adopters to accept your contact.
Parsnip that's a helpful suggestion, thank you - writing short "fluffy" letters to send and writing my own letters to keep.
My first response was a wail of "early days... but they have my beautiful girl, can't they throw me even some tiny crumbs" but I realise I am irrationally grieving and that maybe they don't appreciate having to deal with a BM who is actually well and recovering.
Kristina I'm a Christian (go to a fairly ordinary C of E church) and I do know that asking for her to be placed with a Christian family was, to SS, something that just slows down the adoption process. But I was told that I would be able to continue to write to her about it (this was before they placed her) as they said the faith she was being brought up in prior to adoption was important. And then the letters came back.
My blog is on blog of the day today, I know some of you have noticed. I'm really humbled to be able to talk about the unspeakable and that these things can happen to anyone. It's here
Zoo - I can't bear your grief and it must be so hard for you now that you are 2 years sober (no mean feat). Maybe your daughter's adoptive parents lurk on this board and it might help them re-consider.
I, too, thought Miracle's letter was gorgeous - how can it be ok for her to write that and you not to write something similar? It seems so unfair.
I am so pleased you have your faith - it helped my parents tremendously when they lost my sister (to cancer, before she was 30). Obviously death is different to what you are going through.
I do think post adoption contact needs to be re-thought - but obviously it will be too late for you. I am not advocating open adoptions but I really struggle with the letter writing situation - and your experience is totally at odds with other birth mothers.
And through what you have shared with us on this board and what Miracle has shared too - it has made me realise that even though it might be uncomfortable for me, as AM, to receive a letter like Miracle wrote - it is so beneficial to child - and that is all that matters.
I really hope your DD's adoptive parents read this and have a change of heart. And the social workers on your case.
I can't thank you and Miracle enough for sharing your experiences.
There are many parents around the country who strugle with addiction and most of them do not lose their children forever. In most cases , the child is able to stay within the extended family, with an aunt / uncle or grandmother. There are some regular posters here who are family adopters .
This means that if the parents is able to get clean /sober , they can still play some active role in their child's life.i know this isn't always possible , many cannot quit their addiction and I'm not minimising the impact that it has on the child or the trauma they suffer . Or how hard it is for family members. But where it's possible it's better for everyone I think. I'm so sorry this was t possible for you and your DD zoo.
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