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    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Oct 27, 2016, 12:56 PM
    Daughters meeting birth mother
    Me and my husband have been married since 2011. I had 3 biological children and he had 2. My childrens' father is in their lives and we have your typical standard visitation schedule. My husbands ex walked out when the girls we're 3 and 6months old. They are now almost 14 and almost 11. I legally adopted them in 2013. Now they are getting older and they want to meet her. This would be less of an issue if she didn't live 20 minutes away and we see her frequently. Girls don't recognize her, thank God. She never fought me for guardianship and even had visitation prior to that. It was NEVER excersized. They know me as mom. We got them into counseling to prepare for them to meet her. They know she had another child before them that she also gave up. And our almost 14yr old knows of her drug use and partying. Her and my husband were not perfect by no means and cheated constantly on each other. But because that is still their mother they feel the need to meet her which I respect that. I came from a broken home also so I understand how and why they feel that way. Any advice for our family as we start pushing this process through?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #2

    Oct 27, 2016, 01:15 PM
    First question (from me) is whether or not their mother knows about this, and what her feelings are? It sounds like she must know, be OK with it, and be prepared, because the girls have had some counseling.
    But is that true? And can you summarize some of the ideas from the counselor? Were you with them for any of the sessions?
    It seems to me that more advice piled on from total strangers online might just confuse the preparation you've had.
    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Oct 27, 2016, 01:22 PM
    The biological mother hasn't been contacted as of yet because I want to make sure first and for most, the girls are prepared. We plan to contact her within the next month or so. As far as counseling, they've been in it for 3 months and we're taking baby steps, the almost 11yr old has somewhat of a fogged sense of how this meeting will go. She thinks they'll meet her and they'll get to go with her for periods right then and there which we've made clear won't be happening. More or less, I didn't know if anyone on here had any experience in situations like this. I know the mother being gone is somewhat taboo, so I have no one friendship or otherwise that would understand what we're going through, if that makes sense.
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    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    Oct 27, 2016, 01:26 PM
    Your girls are old enough (especially the 14 yr old) to be mature enough to meet her. Going through counselling to prepare is an excellent move. Like Joy I have to ask whether the birth mother is aware. And, more importantly, whether the birth mother will entertain any notion of trying to get them back.

    I'm guessing the idea is coming from the children, not the birth mother. So the one thing that the girls need to understand is that you are mom and will always be mom. While their birth mother can be a part of their lives (appears she already is to some extent) she will not be mom.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #5

    Oct 27, 2016, 01:31 PM
    I'm still wondering if you can give us a summary of 3 months of counseling, so that we don't muddle the situation?
    What we have been through isn't important relative to what the counselor knows about the whole picture, and each person involved.
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    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Oct 27, 2016, 01:35 PM
    Biological mother basically told us 4 years ago, that she'd be there when they were ready. Before the adoption, we did EVERYTHING we could to have her involved with them. We finally threw our hands in the air when we kept spinning our wheels with her. We know she has a boyfriend and they are both actively involved in his girls lives. My biological children's grandmother actually works with her at the same nursing home, which makes it harder because my biological girls see her from time to time. They have so many questions and with them both becoming young women, I don't want them running after something to fill the void that she left. My husband is also struggling because he's been there, she hasn't. It's a rough place to be in. I am trying to be as supportive as I can be because I am mom and like any Mom, I don't want to see my kids hurt. But the longer we prolong this, the more they do hurt.

    Counseling is teaching them how to understand the feelings they have towards her: hurt, anger, love, confusion. She's been talking to them about proper ways to handle those feelings. Explaining that this will be difficult but we're trying to make this as less difficult as we can.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #7

    Oct 27, 2016, 01:49 PM
    OK, I was really worried that the cart was going before the horse! So bio mom has said that she will meet them...

    I will give my simple advice about logistics. Arrange a time and place that has an easy exit for everyone, such as a coffee shop or McDs at a quiet time like 3 pm, on a weekday, or a park in nice weather, or the food court at a mall. Not crowded and noisy, but not empty either. Just enough to be interacting with her, and just enough to provide distraction if it's stressful. I think this first meeting is extremely important, and the rest can't really be anticipated or planned. Total regroup after the first meeting.
    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Oct 27, 2016, 01:55 PM
    That's what I've been thinking we'd do as far as meeting. I guess I need to mentally prepare for what is and can happen. If she backs out last minute... Which she would do for visitations years ago. Tell us she cant meet because boyfriend won't sit down with husband in room... It's happened too. This isn't our first run in with her. Just this time, she's not just meeting adult to adult... The girls will be involved this go round.
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    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #9

    Oct 27, 2016, 02:36 PM
    Oh, not in a room at your or her house! In a public place. I'd ask that her boyfriend not go, and that you and your husband sit at the next table, with your 10 year old closest to you, but at her table. If she feels upset, she can hide behind you, or you can all say goodbye in a split second. The two girls may have very different reactions.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #10

    Oct 27, 2016, 04:34 PM
    Difficult situation. I agree with Joy, but I would do it at your house. It may be a stressful place for the bio mom but it`s a safe haven for your girls, and if they want they can retreat to their bedrooms. They can also, and I know if I were meeting my birth mom for the first time I`d want this, show her pictures of themselves growing up, or art projects they`ve done, school reports, how their bedroom is decorated. It`s their first time meeting the woman that gave them life and I`m sure they`ll want to show her everything about themselves.

    Having said that, it may be too much to ask the bio mom to meet on your turf, and it could cause a no show. I would talk to the bio mom about the first meeting, and talk to the girls too. Ask where they want to do this.

    Above all, don`t expect too much. It very well could be that she`s a no show and your daughter`s will end up being hurt. Prepare them for the fact that what they have in their minds, may not be how it actually goes. Also explain that the first meeting will be the hardest, so if it doesn`t go well that doesn`t mean subsequent visits won`t get better.

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes, and bravo for being such a great mom to these two young girls.
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    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,278, Reputation: 7690
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    #11

    Oct 27, 2016, 06:57 PM
    I may disagree and suggest a public place and make it a very limited time frame.

    I also think while good, you may be building this up, way too much for you and the children. But the issue is what role if any, is going to happen in the future, visits ? Phone calls, letters ?

    But what is the mother doing to prepare ? Is there rules that she will be asked to follow ?
    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Oct 28, 2016, 09:59 AM
    I've told the girls that how involved she may ( or may not) be is going to be up to them unless she runs off completely. As far as anything she's going to have to do, first and foremost, she will have to pass a drug screen. She has a history and reputation of using pain meds illegally and that will Not be around my kids. And if she says she's going to do something for and with the girls, then she better follow through.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #13

    Oct 28, 2016, 01:36 PM
    You are their mother and have been so since their infancy. Nothing wrong with calling almost all, if not all, the shots.
    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Nov 3, 2016, 09:14 AM
    Spoke with bio-mother on Sunday October 30 for approximately 45 minutes. First it was like talking to one of my kids which frustrated me, she played the victim card and I finally told she wasn't the victim... She's the one that left. Then told her I couldn't care less what happened in the past, I was wanting to worry about what's going on now. She at the time agreed with that. She text me Monday Oct 31,and agreed to meet up with us on Saturday November 5.I told her I'd check with her within the week to see if we would still meet up, and again, she's fallen off the planet, so to speak.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #15

    Nov 3, 2016, 12:18 PM
    You may be the only voice of reason she knows. Sorry it's such a drain of time and energy, going nowhere.
    I guess the main question is how the girls are handling never ending disappointment.
    I've seen that turn an absent parent into some sort of idol. Yet you don't want to put her down, so that they can figure it out for themselves...
    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #16

    Nov 3, 2016, 12:57 PM
    The almost 11yo has never met her or anything yet has a very distorted idea of who and how she is. She has actually told me I'm the reason biological mother and their dad aren't together even though I didn't come into the picture until much later. Yes tough doesn't even scratch the surface on how hard this is.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #17

    Nov 3, 2016, 02:41 PM
    Maybe you could draw a timeline with 3 columns. Put every year down the left side, and then first names of who was together in the middle, and the other people on the right. She might be able to 'see' the gaps better, and keep it to look at in her room.
    momma5's Avatar
    momma5 Posts: 134, Reputation: 1
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    #18

    Nov 9, 2016, 01:54 PM
    We met with her this past Saturday... She actually showed up and my husband and I almost died of shock. She apologized over and over again for not being there for the girls and admitted she should have never had kids. We told her that she didn't owe us anything, but that she did need to talk to the girls. She agreed and even asked to be a part of their lives on a more permanent basis. Girls are fine with that possibility. Also she made it clear that she knows she has no legal rights to them and they don't know her as "mom" so she had not intentions of taking my place. The girls are scheduled to officially meet her this coming Saturday. We're meeting at a local park... And we haven't ruled out her coming to our home from time to time... And their siblings will be there so they won't feel alone going through this.

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