Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A Time To Mourn
We've made it through to the other side of the mediation conference. It wasn't easy and I felt so apprehensive walking into that room. We had to wait for over 30 minutes before getting Boo's bio mom on the phone (it's tricky getting an inmate to a court ordered conference call, apparently).

We weren't sure what to expect. We expected that IF Boo's bio mom was considering relinquishment, she'd want much more post adoptive contact that we were willing to offer. We were preparing for the worst, that the negotiation attempt would end miserably and we'd be waiting for the second severance trial court date to press on.

The mediation did not go as expected! When Boo's bio mom got on the phone, the mediator started it out by asking her, "What do you feel is in your child's best interest?" or something to that affect.

There was a long pause and then we heard Boo's bio mom begin weeping. Through her tears she said, "This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do! I love my little girl so much, but as much as it pains me I know it's in her best interest to be adopted by her foster family."

We were shocked! We weren't expected to hear those words from her. We sat in stunned silence.

Then Boo's bio mom said that she did not agree with amount of contact that was written in the draft post adoptive agreement, that she wanted much more than that. As my mind churned, trying to process everything and trying to figure out a way to tactfully tell her that the amount of contact she wanted was not going to happen at this point in time, the mediator took over.

The mediator told Boo's bio mom that before the specifics of the post adoptive agreement could be formalized, she needed to understand that her decision as to whether or not to relinquish her parental rights had to be made entirely independent of what we might or might not offer her in the way of a post adoptive agreement, otherwise it could be construed as an attempt at coercion on our part and the mediator was not going to allow that to happen. She told everyone that she was going to ask us to leave the room (along with our lawyer and the CPS case manager) so that she could speak in private with Boo's bio mom and her lawyer before this went any further.

We left the room and sat waiting, mostly in stunned silence. Eventually the mediator came out and said that Boo's bio mom had made the decision to relinquish and would accept the terms of our post adoptive agreement. She told us that we were free to go, unless we wanted to say anything further to Boo's bio mom.

Tears welled in my eyes and I said, "Saying thank you seems so inadequate in this situation." The mediator encouraged us to come back in and talk a bit more with Boo's bio mom.

We went back in and I told Boo's bio mom, "I want to thank you for trusting us with raising Boo and being her family. You know how much we love her already." Boo's mom said, "I know. I just hope that you'll make sure she knows how much I love her." I assured her that we'd be raising Boo with the knowledge that she was adopted and that her bio mom loves her very much. I reiterated that we would share age-appropriate information about her to Boo as Boo grew older. I encouraged her to write Boo a letter for us to give to her later.

I asked Boo's bio mom if she'd be willing to provide us with her family medical history, a picture of herself, and a baby picture of Boo (since we only have pictures of Boo from 12 months on). I explained that I thought these things would be very important to Boo as she got older. She said that she would get those things to us.

The mediator said something to the effect that she was sure we realized that Boo's bio mom was disappointed that we weren't offering her more frequent contact but that she explained to Boo's bio mom that she would need to lead a healthy, crime-free, sober life-style after she was released from prison and maybe that would help build trust between us and later change the frequency of our contact with her. We said we would keep an open mind about that.

So, now we wait. We wait for the lawyers to gather the necessary documents and get them faxed to Boo's bio mom in prison. We wait for her to sign the relinquishment papers. And while we wait, we mourn.

Yes, as strange as that sounds, we are mourning in some respects.

Of course, we're relieved and thankful that Boo's bio mom has made the decision to do what she feels is in her daughter's best interest, to allow her to be adopted by us.

But we're also experiencing sadness. It was difficult hearing the pain and tears in Boo's bio mom's voice as she told us of her decision. It was bittersweet to finally hear her admit that she was not able to provide her daughter with the stability that she deserves and that she wanted us to adopt her.

Boo's bio mom has fought so hard and for so long (over 2 1/2 years) to maintain her parental rights and to get her daughter back and in the end she couldn't overcome her personal demons and do what is necessary to make that happen.

But in the final hour, she put her child's needs first. She made it very clear that she loves her daughter and that this decision is the hardest she'll ever make. I believe that to be true. And, as a mother, it pains me. Her loss pains me.

That's the thing about adoption that many don't truly understand. As an adoptive mother, it's very hard to reconcile that my happiness has to come at the expense of another mother's pain and sadness. My gain is another mother's loss. No matter how brave or noble that mother is trying to be, that loss will always be with her. And it will always be with me as well. I will always be conscious of that loss.

And there will come a time when my children will be old enough to understand the sacrifice that was made and they will feel a sense of loss too, I'm certain. If I, as an adoptive mom, feel it then certainly my children will feel it at some level as well. I just hope that I can have a solid enough relationship with my children that when they reach that level of understanding and begin to mourn that loss, that they will come to me and I will be able to at least offer to listen and empathize and support them. And maybe we'll be at a place in our relationship with their bio moms that they can speak directly to them about their feelings as well.

This is not a done deal yet by any means, and it's certainly pre-mature to be celebrating. Right now, for me personally, this is a time to mourn for Boo's bio mom. It could've been different for her but it's not, so right now she's making what she feels is the right choice for her daughter. She's placing her trust in us and I'm determined to be trustworthy.

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11:46 PM

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

I understand your feelings of mourning...I've felt them myself when I think of my daughter's bio mom. But I am also relieved...for you and for Boo. She deserves the stability of growing up in a family that is as devoted to her as you obviously are. We'll pray for the rest of the adoption process to go smoothly. And we'll pray that her bio mom gets her life together.

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Erin said...

I had to comment on this post because I too can understand your feelings of mourning. There is no denying, no matter the reasons behind relinquishing, that loss is present in adoption.

Take care as the next few weeks go by.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Sally said...

Oh, first off, I'm crying tears of joy that everything is working out for the best for Boo. So exciting.

And i can understand the mourning, too. My hubby is adopted, and even though he's known from a very young age that he's adopted and he knows his parents love him so much, there's always that wondering about why he was given up. We don't know his medical history or the reasons why he was given up (we suspect his mom was a teenage mom, and in the late 60's, you didn't keep your kids very often), and he feels, on some level, that he wasn't worth it to keep...b/c his mom gave him up.

But, he also knows that he was given a chance to grow up in a great home and he's grateful. Although, you always wonder about his bio mom. It's awesome that Boo will know her whole story!

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Magi said...


I completely understand how you are feeling. As you said, people don't realize that at the basis of adoption, there is loss. A loss we will have to explain to our children some day.

I actually envy that you will be able to provide that information to Boo. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to explain to my daughter her story.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came today unsure of what I would find, and I read this! I couldn't stop crying for you, your family, Boo, her mother, and even her family.
It breaks my heart to see that Boo's mom let her personal demons win, but at the same rate, she was able to level with them and realize what was in Boo's best interest.
Wow. I'm speechless.
So grateful to read this for you all.
So happy!

Rejoicing with you!
Happy Momma in TX

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Leah W said...

i am so thankful to hear she does want what is best for boo! that is a miracle!

obviously there is a lot more to deal with but I am so glad they aren't going to ship her off to a different foster home!

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Kelli said...

Oh, how my heart is rejoicing for you and Oronzo right now!

There are no words to describe how i have mourned for the two for you at times through this process.

I am not an adoptive parent, so I have no understanding from that perspective of what you are experiencing, but can only imagine how the parties on both side of this are feeling.

I will continue to pray that this finalizes with no further drama or delay.

Oh, I am SO happy for your guys :)

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Forgetfulone said...

This has been a long road, and in some ways, it will never be over, but you've crossed a major hurdle. I'm glad the mediation went well.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Kerry said...

I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago, it's so refreshing to read the words of a fellow foster-to-adopt mom. I agree with you that living in the space of foster care and adoption brings us to a different view of the world. I would even say a different perspective of mothering in general. I wish that there were never a need for the path of fostering/adoption that we've been set on, but I'm blessed for the lessons I received from this path.
I am so happy for your little one that her mother was able to see the situation for what it is, that she will have her medical information (hopefully she'll follow through here), and that she'll have photos of herself and her birth mother.

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Jericho said...

Foster-to-adopt is a completely unique way of life, that's for sure. Keep pressing on to the goal...no matter what, it will be worth it.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Thalia said...

I'm so glad that the situation has finally been sorted out. And totally understand that it's a bittersweet situation. I hope as Boo grows it becomes possible and appropriate for her to have some contact with her first mother so that she gets that sense of where she came from originally,as well as feeling securely loved in her family situation.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Monique in TX said...

Not everyone would feel pain for Boo's bio mom. That you do, and express it, and will share it with her, indicates how big and loving your heart is. As Boo grows up with you, you will model that for her in ways you won't even realize, and she will be the better for it. She will know that *both* her mothers love her.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger boysmum2 said...

You mourn as long as you like, you know you need to!
Then you will be happy to rejoice.
I am so happy for you and you determination that you have put in in the last few years.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Dawnelle said...

Wow. What a gift she gave her daughter, I think it tells that she does love her very much, to finally put her daughter's needs first. I'm so happy to hear this, and I know that meeting must have been full of all kinds of emotions. Congratulations on your daughter!

At 11:38 PM, Blogger james said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:38 AM, Blogger james said...

I can understand your feelings of mourning.

Karachi city


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

In case you're wondering...
Snow Day
Severance ruling overturned for Boo's case.
Baby Bug's 2nd birthday
I'm home from surgery!
Going into surgery tomorrow morning.
Slowly moving forward with Boo's adoption.
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Grilled Sweet Pepper ...
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Salad Edition)
My life as a SAHM.

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