Monday, December 15, 2008

Their Christmas

Not too long ago I found out, through my adoption agencies message board, that it was possible to do a birth mother search. I had read other peoples posts about how the birth mother was found, and then you could send needed things to the birth mother. This non profit organization would also try to help the mother with donations and their services

Without hesitating I quickly emailed the woman from my agency, inquiring about how to do this, how much it would cost, the extent of contact I would have with the birth mother, etc.

When I told a friend about this, she paused for a moment and said, "Well wait a minute Nik, don't you think you should leave it up to Liv, to see if she even wants to find her birth mother, Maybe you should just wait till she's older and see if this is something she wants."

The truth is I didn't even think about what Liv would want. All I thought about was what my heart, my emotions, were telling me to do. In fact I think about Liv's birth mother often, every time she hits another milestone, or does something new or funny. I think of her when Liv is throwing a 2 year old tantrum, how would her birth mother handle this? Would her birth mother think I am spoiling Liv? Would she think I'm doing a good job raising Olivia?

All these things pop in my head from time to time, but lately , now two years after Liv has been home, what really occupies my thoughts is Liv's siblings. Olivia has 3 sisters and one brother all living with their Mother back in Guatemala. Her oldest sister is 12, her brother is 9, the other sister is 7 and the littlest one is 4. The oldest daughter goes to school the others don't. When I see Olivia curled up in her crib with 5 blankets, I wonder where they are sleeping. Are they begging for a tiny bit of food each day, when Olivia has her pick of the refrigerator anytime she wants. But lately as I am buying Liv Christmas presents, I think, what will Liv's birth families Christmas be like this year. Will their mother have to work, and the children be left at home alone. Do they believe that Santa will bring them something, when in truth there might be no money to buy food let alone a gift? There may not even be a house or a bed. Gifts might not even be a thought in their mind. They may need just basic food, water, and shelter.

Do I owe it to these children, Liv's brother and sisters to find their mother and try to help her anyway we can. Do I owe it to Liv to let it be her decision to find her birth family? Will Liv be mad at me in the future if I do the birth mother search? Will she be mad at me if I don't? I am haunted by these unanswered questions.

This I do know, whatever we decide to do, this Christmas I will be thinking about THEIR Christmas.


Kim said...

I'm SO there with you!!!! I want to do a birthmother search so badly - Jay thinks we should wait and let Alex decide. Alex also has a sibling - a brother - that his birthmom is parenting. I think about both of them all the time. Let me know what you decide. :)

Sandy said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. What a beautiful family you have.

Interesting that your post is about finding your daughter's birth mother. My husband and I were just discussing this last night.

I have two adopted children. One from Guatemala and one domestic.

We've kept in contact via e-mail with the domestic birthmother. I want to know where she is in the event Elijah ever wants to meet her later. I don't want any unwanted surprises/disappointments for him. It's worked out really well so far. Our contact is infrequent and brief. Just enough to say..."hey, I'm ok, how are you?"

We would also like to help financially support Elliana's birth mother in Guatemala. I feel like I can do this and still respect Elliana's right to decide whether or not to have contact with her when she's older. I would hate to lose contact with her for 16 years and maybe never be able to find her again. Of course, if she does not want contact with us (which is a possibility) I would definitely respect that also.

Just wanted to share how we are handling it.

Hope to chat again soon!

Deb said...

I have done a birth mother search- the birth mother was not found, but there is always hope. i choose to do the search now becuase according to many people, you do dnot know that the birth mother will be in the same place when your child is old enough to search, you do not know that she will be alive. Searching now increases the odds that she can be found and that you will have information.

There is a yahoo group for Guatemalan Birth family searches. You cna get a lot of information from the group. Just search on the text I used above and that should bring up the group to join.

Love to you,

Ferrick said...

Nikki, I am with you. My Bella is very much my daughter, but not one day has gone by that I have not thought about her birth Mom and birth brother. We met with them twice and have a special bond with them. Like you, I just want to do whatever I can. I pray about it and wait for God's direction in what to do and I always pray for her. These woman gave lift to our girls, but remember, you are her Mother, and a wonderful one. Blessings, Susie

Anonymous said...

For those of you who don't know me,I am the adoptive mom of 2 grown (in their mid-30'children) I also am a mentor for the Preg/Parenting Social Services of Catholic Charities and deal with adoption placement as one of my responsibilites. That said,birthmoms are one of the most important people to influence our children's lives in that they made the selfless decision to place their baby's future in our hands. As your children grow you will each explain the concept of adoption to them on their individual level. You are their moms and dads and some will also have siblings. That is their family. To them for the most part there is litlle or no interest in the birthmom for she is someone that is no longer a part of their lives. You are their mommies and daddies. Birthmoms,while sad,but a reality, fade into the background as your family develops. This is positive for you children so as not to confuse of make an issue of being adopted-re:different. If for some reason as your children mature, a few may have interest and actually persue a search, but statistics show this is by far the minority. Movies and T.V. would have us thinking differently. They are your children, and have all the lifelong support and experiences to share with you and their extended families. We can pray that the birth moms have gone on with their lives, as you lives as a family have done. May God Bless you all as your families develop and grow!Lesley