Friday, September 14, 2007

Paved with...

I do have the very best of intentions...
dear god, did I finish cleaning up the smoothie from the couch or was I distracted by the pictures that need to be hung that I saw as I was using toilet paper to dab the smoothie from the plug in port hole things on the side of my laptop?

No, I have not finished cleaning the smoothie from the couch...
and I am going to type this instead of leaping up to do that.


You know how you fantasize about somebody just handing you money and what you would do with it?

Well, in a small way we have been living the reality of it here for the last week and it just isn't as good as it might sound.

My father in law died almost exactly, a year ago and oddly enough on the anniversary of his death is when my husband recieved his inheritance.

It was a pretty sad occasion for everyone anyway and the money just seemed to exacerbate that feeling.

Yeah, we'll get over it but it is a strange experience to go through.
Everytime we use the money for anything, I feel sad and think about how much I would give to have the man with us, instead of a part of his estate.

And this is ME saying it.

I didn't even like him that much.
Or him, me.

But my husband did.
My children did and
he loved them.

We miss him.

Monthly lunches at an all day breakfast place, thoughtfully considered and painfully purchased birthday and Christmas presents, funny cards - just knowing he was there and that he cared.

now onto birth parent relations and how they will play out in our situation.

To be honest, I have no real idea.

I contacted our old social worker right away and she said use the service that the government has set up, where pictures and letters can be sent, from either side, and forwarded on.

That makes sense to me.
And works for my comfort level too.

I would be lying if I said I didn't feel a little threatened at the prospect of BMom showing up in our lives.

I do.

They are MY kids. MINE.

But mostly, what I want, with both my heart and my head is for BMom to be healthy and stable enough to be a constant in their lives.

So in order for that to work, I do have one big requirement that BMom will have to meet if she actually wants to start seeing them again:
-she has to be clean, not using drugs or alcohol and she has to be somewhat stable, hopefully not living on the streets

Damn, but reading that makes me sound so judgemental.
But it has been four and half years since they last set eyes on her and I am not ready to deal with the fallout that seeing her would have on them, without some sense of her good intentions.

Right now, as far as I know, BMom is in jail and is telling Obie (older 14 yr old birth brother in care - which means a combination of living in group homes and on the street) that when she gets out, she will get an apartment and Obie can live with her and that he needs to ask me to give her our phone number.

Okay, so I am skeptical.

But I do have this fantasy, where she is a part of their everyday lives and is healthy...and I will continue to hold it carefully away in my heart.

BTW I have talked to all my kids about this stuff.
I figure they should now as much as is feasible for them to know.

Right now, neither of them want to see her.
they have both said, in different ways, that they are just worried about how hard it would be to do right now.

So I am encouraging them to think about letters or cards, picking photos to send and when I get to it, soon, I will print out and frame some of the recent pictures we have of her with Monkey's eyes and Buddy's smile and put them up on the family picture wall and hope and plan for it all to work out.

Thank you for your thoughts about birth family relations it is always helpful.
Now here is something else to ask for help with:

My two youngest kids are of native heritage, something we call Metis, I don't know if there is the same thing in the states or not - anyway I want to honour that and have it be a part of their lives but I also am very aware that I don't really have a clue what I am doing -
any suggestions on how to do it right?


hw said...

Oh my goodness. You're kids are part Metis! Our son, Bubaloo, is part native, too! Yes, I know that is different from Metis, but coincidences abound again.

We took Bubaloo to National Aboriginal Day celebrations on June 21 (I think that was the right day). We have a friend who works at a local aboriginal centre and she made him a dream catcher. She also brings us traditional native food like bannock and caribou stew. She shares lots of stories with him. We're also thinking of getting him involved in some programming with aboriginal elders - they have a weekly meal program here.

I think anything you can do to connect them to their heritage and point out things (simple, like the history of maple syrup when you go to the sugar bush) really helps. And, I think it's wonderful you're doing this.

Best of luck with negotiating the possible reappearance of their birth mother. You're dealing with quite a few unique challenges. And, I think you're handling it all quite well.

Catherine said...

As a birthmother, I think that what you are asking is 100% reasonable. She DOES need to be clean, stable (emotionally and mentally), and not going to trash/bad mouth you to the kids. I don't think you have any reasons NOT to expect at least that much (if not more).

I would also think that the visits should be 100% supervised at all times (no going off alone, whispering, passing notes, etc), and that communication should be censored until you know where she is coming from and if her reasons are good.

Granny said...

I looked up Metis just to see if we had anything like that but I don't think so.

Take care of yourself. Sounds like you're very busy.

Susan said...

I know there are pow wow's in the fall in a lot of states. I don't know if that is helpful.

We also (in addition to sustained sobriety and having an outside supervisor--not only us) require our BM to be taking the medication prescribed for her in order to have visits. She is really off the wall without her meds. The social worker should be able to find out if they keep her on anything while she is in jail.

ipm said...

life is an interesting thing... time is short and learning to appreciate what we have isn't always easy... I know that feeling!

birth mom needs to be clean, oh my yes. supervision is a must too. you have to do what is best for the kids, which means making sure that Bmom's involvement is positive for all.... it can't be just about her... you're not being judgmental, just careful...