Monday, May 31, 2010

Are you my mother?

I found this article online at adoption.com and wanted to share this with you. Because I am battling with the issue of letting JJ and Jezz meet their Bmother this time we are going to Thailand? We met her before, but then they were too young to understand and so they have no recollection of this meeting. But now the girls are 8 and they asked me if we could meet her. At first I said SURE! But actually I am not that sure... YET!
The girls are still young and I am afraid that a meeting with the Bmother and seeing the surroundings she is living in maybe a bit too shocking for them to understand and comprehend. What if the girls have nightmares later, I want to protect them maybe a few more years. And go back when they are teenagers and understand the situation a bit better....
WHAT DO YOU THINK? OR WHAT WOULD YOU DO??



My fear is that it will haunt the girls, and they will be constantly worried about how she is etc.. They are still young... 8 years old, but I am also afraid that considering the average life expectancy is not that high in the poorer community in Thailand and that in a few years when the girls are ready to meet her that she is not around anymore, or so sick that it will be even more traumatizing to see her.... She is now 49 years old, but looks quite older, and she doesn't look like a healthy, vibrant fairytale woman that the girls have in mind!

I am in a dilemma!! And I need your input!! When I read the article below, I am thinking maybe NOW is the time for a meeting! But I am afraid for the unknown and want to protect them! They don't ask that many questions yet, but I know there will come a time that the girls are wondering who they look like, who's brown eyes do I have? Do I look like my dad or my mom etc.. etc..

So read the article below and please give me your input. What would you do if you have the opportunity to meet the Bmother and maybe even the Bfather, do it now or wait??

If you have ever read the children’s book, “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman, you have some idea what people who are adopted feel like.
Can you imagine not knowing simple, taken-for-granted information about yourself? For instance, knowing your medical background, the time you were born, what hospital you were born in and many other important and emotional facts.
Do you know who you look like in your family? Adoptees are not able to answer this question unless both biological or natural parents and the adoptee “voluntarily” — usually after many years — are in good enough health and mental capacity to actively register and agree to physically connect or share pertinent information.
There can be medical conditions in the family, but the adoptee is not privy to that information unless the voluntary registration has occurred, which requires a fee to the adoption agency and or the state. Imagine not being allowed to know your medical history. If you have children, they also are unaware of at least half of their history.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day become filled with mixed emotions. I was very fortunate to have been placed for adoption through the Onondaga County Department of Social Services. My natural mother saved me from a life of poverty in a family where I would have been the seventh child. She made a very difficult decision to release me to what came to be a wonderful, two-parent family who later added a son. My experience is a good one, and there are many who are not this fortunate.
All adoptees go through life wondering about themselves and have an empty space filled with the unknown. It is always possible that we live in the same community as our natural family and neither party is aware of it. Consider always staring at people in public, wondering if because they have a similar nose, they just might be related; looking over your shoulder in a checkout line, wondering if he or she could be your mother, father, brothers, sisters or other extended family members.
I have got to believe that since all three of my children strongly resemble me, my natural family has very strong physical similarities. You probably know someone who has adopted, is adopted or has placed a child for adoption. It is also possible you know one of these cases and are just not aware of it. Please help these people you know find the lost part of themselves by supporting the bills to amend adoptees’ rights. We need to improve the bills — A8410 and S5269 of the Health Law — by adding section 4138-e. This will allow adoptees, when they reach the age of 18, to receive a copy of their original birth certificate and updated medical histories.
Remember, it is possible one of these situations is or can be part of your family history. Let’s help everyone to have their true family background. Genealogy has become a big concern for families. Please help to keep our histories well-known, especially for the future of our families.

by Susan Trody Huppmann.

Let me know how you feel! I appreciate your input!

Have a Marvellous Monday!
Mireille

9 comments:

Jeremy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

Mireille- yeah, I think about this all the time actually...I definitely want my kids to meet their Bmom's, and wonder if they will still be around when the time comes....as far as when the right time is....I have no idea, my kid's are still so little...I think YOU as their mom are the one that knows JJ and Jezz the best...I think you will make the right decision for them, whether it is to wait, or go ahead-- good luck! I'll pray that you have wisdom! :) Kim

plantagenet said...

My dear friend. This is a tough decision and I can relate to your hesitation. When it was about the bfather of my daugther I didnt tell her until she was about 12/13. Then she was OK and had her own judgement. In fact she agreed with me having waited, while I didnt do it when she started asking at around 9 and 10. I just pretended that meeting was difficult/impossible etc. as I had the same gut feeling I shouldnt do it too early. They are full of myths and substitute expectations, the do not have the judgement and make up their own opinion. I should tell you to wait.... However, you must decide and maybe you will have a different feeling when in the country and see all again, see how the kids are. They wouldnt be able to talk to her. That must be frustrating, well even frightening. no?
Think of you and wish you all the best.

Leah and Maya said...

this is really hard, I think I would go by them and what you think they and you can handle. I myself would think that I would like for my daughter to meet her birthmother and like you the life expectancy in Gautemala isn't that long either. So if you are prepared and are able to prepare them a bit about the life in thailand so it doens't scare them ten I think it will be great, at least they will be able to meet her if she doesn't live long enough for them to be older. I always pictured goign back between 13-15 years old and seeing Maya's foster family who we are in contact with, I don't have any contact with her birth family.
If maybe you can make it a breif encounter that can be made short or if they are feeling comfortable and wanting it to go on be able to havie it longer, just so you have an out already if they are not as comfortable as you like. Good luck!

Mireille said...

Thanks for the comments guys, really appreciate it! I will wait till I am in the country and see how it goes. I will keep you updated! Another reason why I want to do it is, that all our video material I had from the previous encounters are stolen from our house, so I have nothing left, and want to create new material...

Ellie said...

Wow! That's a tough decision! I agree that you, as their mommy, know them best, and how they'll take it. That's what's most important. If you do choose to have them meet her, I would prepare them ahead of time, for what she looks like, and what to expect, since she's not the fairytale they've been picturing. It could be a wonderful thing... but you're right, it could make them worry about her. My Jacob tends to worry about his birth mother already! Keep us posted on what you decide!!

Wendy said...

Mireille,
I have to agree with everyone else who has posted so wisely. You are their mom and you know them best. In the end, you will make the right decision. I would also bear in mind how their birthmother may react to seeing them. Do you think that HER reaction might in any way upset or confuse them at their young age (i.e. if she is very emotional or clings to them). I'm not saying that's the wrong reaction for her in any way. That's how I'd react if I were seeing my children again, but you never know how that might make them feel at eight years old. I know that my daughter, at 17, was very unnerved at being fussed over by the orphanage staff when we went back to visit last year. But, again, that's my daughter, who is much older. She's also not an overly emotional child. She has an ability to detach from things. You know your girls best. When you get there and they see their homeland, you may get a better perspective on how you think they will feel.

Whatever you decide--and I'm sure you will make the right choice--have a WONDERFUL time!

Annie said...

Mireille,
This is a very difficult decision and I can totally understand your hesitation. Matthew is 11 and he is very sensitive. He may not show it on the outside, but sometimes, he will come to me long after watching something on TV or after hearing about an event, and express his worries. He even has a hard time sleeping when he is concerned. I personally would go with your gut feeling on this and wait a little longer. If life expectancy is shorter in Thailand, do you think it would be okay to hold off just a few years until they are 12 or so?
I think that is what I would do, but just go with what you decide, and if you decide to let them meet her now, that will be OK. You can explain them through it before, during and after. You can follow up by bringing up conversation frequently. Kids do much better when they can talk things out frequently. Let us know what you decide! xoxoxo

rosemary said...

I feel your pain. We worry all the time about making the right choices on this issue. I read something once that said that 8-12 is the best age for either meeting bio family that made be living under difficult conditions or have mental or physical illness because they are old enough to understand it w/out being an adolescent and filtering this new info through the haze of those confused and angry hormones. That made sense to me. Best of luck. You are a great mom!!

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