a possible severance

A deep exhale:


My last card to F was returned to sender, the social worker reports.

And she has been unable, the past couple of days, to get an email response from her.

Which might just mean that F moved and forgot to let the sw know, and that she’ll call her soon with the new contact info.

Or it might mean that This Is It: We’ve Lost Touch.


I am so sad and worried and unsure what to do.

(nothing, I guess.)

I feel like I had been talking on a tin can-phone out my window to a friend, rambling on and on, and then a breeze blew the cut string in through the window.

(Oh, I thought she wanted to hear me…)


I worry that something bad has happened to her (which is unlikely – she seemed to lead a very healthy and safe lifestyle) or that she hates us or that she is immersed in terrible grief and needs help (which: Please No.)


But what’s most likely (and what the sw suggested) is that she just needs to “step back” for awhile. Maybe, I tell myself, she is confident that you love him and that he is happy and blossoming, and she needs to not be reminded of what she’s not doing and who she’s not with every week or two.

I think I’ve told her everything I want her to know (the big stuff, like how we feel about her and how we feel about Rainbow) in letters, and I have mailed her my email address a few times, so she should have that. It became very clear to us that she is a strong, fundamentally happy, warm person during the time we spent together, so I am hopeful that she will be fine. Better than fine. I am hopeful that she will be be great.

I feel that I am carrying part of her heart with me, and I hope she knows that I treasure it.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin
    Nov 23, 2009 @ 04:28:53

    I think you have a very smart SW. And I’m sure she knows. 🙂

  2. Jane
    Nov 23, 2009 @ 13:31:37

    Yes, what the social worker said.

    And even though you are a wonderful person, it can’t be easy to have a part of your heart somewhere away from you.

    Time heals all things…

  3. Wendy
    Nov 23, 2009 @ 14:44:28

    We’ve dealt with something similar with one of my step-son’s birth mothers (both of my teenage step-sons are adopted, one open adoption, one closed). The birth mother in the open adoption kind of comes and goes in his life. We’ve gone as long as several years without her making contact and we’ve been without contact information for her for a few years now but I trust that when she needs/wants to make contact again she will find us/my step-son. She seems to step away when her life is more chaotic and seems to make contact more when she is in a stable and healthy place. That’s good, I think.

    Thankfully, my kiddo is very confident and secure and seems to be okay with the irregular contact (maybe he feels like between me and his mom he’s already got more mothering than he wants). My other step-son (who has never had contact with his birth mother and expresses a strong disinterest in finding her) would not be emotionally able to handle the uncertainty of not knowing when/if he’d be able to make contact again, so we would have to have a different set of boundries in place if he were the one in the open adoption.

    I think F knows that Rainbow is deeply loved and treasured and hopefully that is just what she needed to know for this phase of her life.

  4. thisbumpyjourney
    Nov 23, 2009 @ 15:32:47

    Thank you, ladies. I’m sure you’re right. I do hope the SW can make contact with her and verify that she’s okay, but if F wants her space, that may not happen.

    And thanks for sharing your family’s experiences, Wendy. Maybe something like that is going on – maybe she is going through changes. I’m going to be hopeful that when she gets in touch with us again (if it does end up being some time from now) that she’s in a good, stable place and will be able to let us know how she’s doing. She had told us about some of her personal goals, so it would be great if she were focussing on them right now.

  5. CA Mamma
    Nov 24, 2009 @ 05:45:40

    I would keep writing the letters, and xeroxing them, as F suggested(!). When she does renew contact, soon or later, I can only imagine getting a slew of letters from you will lessen any feelings of guilt she has in taking a break from the intensity of this unique situation. And even if the break is a long one, you can at some point share the letters you’ve been sending to F with Rainbow. He can even contribute at some point.

    We are fortunate to have close relationships with our kids’ birthmothers, which take a fair amount of energy to nurture. They are both joining us for Thanksgiving, in fact. That said, as the kids are two and a half and four months; it’s early days on these relationships.

    This post leaves me very reflective. You do what is right for you in order to feel all entitlement to parent Rainbow. My inclination would be to keep communication ad open as you can on your end.

  6. thisbumpyjourney
    Nov 24, 2009 @ 15:05:58

    So, you think send the letters on to the SW and have her keep them there? I think I like that idea, too. That way, F could pop by in person if she wanted to and pick them up at any time, and if/when she checks in with the SW she can be reassured that there are letters and pics accumulating for her when she’s ready to get them. Yes.

    It wasn’t F who suggested copying the letters, though, it was one of the parents at my son’s school. All I’ve heard from her is through the SW, that she likes and appreciates the updates and pics. That’s partly why the SW is concerned; it seems odd that she told her that, and then the card got returned with no notice. But, really, who knows what’s going on. It could just be an oversight on F’s part after she moved, or she could just need her space and it’s hard for her to find the right words to let the SW know.

    I think it’s great that you have close relationships with your kids’ birthmothers. I really like the notion of birthparents being part of the family, and not mysterious, invisible people, if that’s possible.

    Both F and J weren’t enthusiastic about the idea of in-person contact after we brought Rainbow home; they wanted pictures and updates on big events and milestones, but I think they thought it would be best for them and for Rainbow to have distance. So maybe this is my own doing entirely; I had hoped to hear from her, and hoped she liked the very frequent letters, and hoped to maybe see her soon, but that’s not what she expected. I just really want to leave the door open for her.

  7. CA Mama
    Nov 25, 2009 @ 06:01:41

    With our first adoption our daughter’s birthmother was ready to be a part of our lives immediately. In fact, three weeks after the birth, she was at our house meeting our siblings for a great aunt’s birthday. She knew that she wanted an open adoption, and was ready to embrace us. We of course, were totally in love with her from the start, and had no hesitations about starting with a full embrace.

    Our son’s birthmother knew very little about adoption before we talked with her. We had one of those fantasy situations where she was introduced through a family member before we even started outreach. We thought she just wanted to learn about adoption options, when she already felt strongly about her choice, and about us (the benefit of knowing our extended family). Our interactions have been more tentative, and she and her mom are both so grateful for any information and contact.

    So, who knows what’s up with F. There is such a range of human emotion and experience. I just have this feeling, based on reading I have done and on our kids’ birthparents (keening at first) desire to know anything and everything they can about our kids, that F will be grateful for whatever awaits her.

    My thoughts about keeping Rainbow involved in the letter making is that he will know that you’ve always made the effort to keep F a part of your lives. Even if she doesn’t write back, Rainbow is the driving force for the contact. His need for…continuity…can’t think of the right word now, is being anticipated now, by you, his mama.

  8. CA Mama
    Nov 25, 2009 @ 06:07:50

    Sorry to be rambling here. My other point about the birth parent role is that they may have no way to anticipate what they want or need, and that the needs change over time. Our son’s birthmother hasn’t seen him since his first week. We see her Thursday. I am nervous/excited to see how she responds to him four and a half months later.

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