Letter Writer: So you already know about our son’s birth mom who had an endless need for us to send pictures. Your advice was SO helpful and insightful and we are now changing the way we think about her and approach Bianca. The second part of our request for advice has to do with a cancelled visit and with what I’ve seen on Bianca’s social media.
In the winter, we set up a date for Bianca to see Charlie, but on the day of the meeting, she stopped responding and hasn’t made an attempt to meet back up. We’ve tried to assure her that we’re happy to set up another date at any time.
Also, I saw on Facebook that Bianca has been sharing pictures of Charlie publicly, and in the comments, it looks like she and her family call him Frankie. Bianca’s mother also has Charlie’s photo as her profile picture.
Initially, I was bothered that pictures of Charlie were being shared on the internet without our permission, and that they are calling him something other than his name. I’ve also been bothered by the fact that Bianca’s family has reached out on Facebook trying to get me to add them as a friend (one aunt even said that she was frustrated that she wasn’t asked to adopt Charlie). I’ve had questions in the past on whether or not Bianca feels like we’re just babysitting Charlie or if she realizes that we are her parents, so this definitely stirs up some feelings in me.
I don’t want to overreact. I realize that my emotions and gut reaction might not actually be in Charlie’s best interest, so I’d love any insight or advice on how to handle all this.
Letter Writer: We adopted a baby boy almost a year ago. Initially, Bianca (birth mother) wanted a closed adoption, but a week after the Charlie was born, she changed her mind to an open one. We thought we were up for that, but in our first year, it feels like our son’s birth mom wants too much.
At first our relationship was mostly by text — Bianca would constantly ask me for pictures, and when I didn’t respond immediately, she would text again asking for more. I had to draw some boundaries and say I would update her with pictures once a week.
That soon became too much, especially when things got busy for me with my seasonal work. I had to switch to updating her with a longer update over email once a month, but still encouraged her to text me anytime and that we weren’t backing out of our agreement.
There’s more, but first, help us understand why she is being so intense.
Hi, Carla. Thanks for writing. Take a deep breath and prepare to be OK being uncomfortable. I’m going to ask you to be willing to stretch yourself and shift your perspective.
Rant: I’m frustrated that these questions still come up (and surprised because my readers are adoption-savvy, so I start thinking everyone is). Who is preparing adoptive parents for adoption telling? And who should be preparing them? What can we do for the current and next generation of adoptees to help them own their story from their very beginning?
But time alone doesn’t mean all adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents have gotten the message of dealing in truth and openness. The adoption professionals who are launching these moms and dads into the world of adoptive parenting are not, as a group, doing a good-enough job preparing their paying clients to parent with openness and disclosure (there are definitely some exceptions).