We have been out of touch with MsJ now for many months. I find myself wondering if we will ever hear from her again. I continue to occasionally e-mail, text, and send letters…but nothing comes back. The last time she disappeared on us, she had gone back to a criminal lifestyle. I have been worried that, but nothing had popped up on the law enforcement sites I checked.
Then, two days ago, I got an e-mail updating me on her “supervision status” (after the last time she disappeared, I signed up for this free service from the state prison system). She’s got another warrant out for her arrest, for skipping on her parole (a technical charge). She only had 5 months left of parole before she was free to do anything she wanted. Now, she’s back at the mercy of the criminal justice system.
From what I’ve read, a “technical” parole warrant is considered pretty light fare in the justice system in her state…versus a “re-offended” warrant. It could mean that she simply moved without prior approval or it could mean that she has stopped meeting her “supervision” requirements. Chances are that she’ll just have to pay a bond, and everything will be okay…but there’s also the outside chance that she’ll have to go back to prison (it depends on the technicality). And there’s also a possibility that this means she’s started re-offending again.
I walk this strange line of not wanting to invade her privacy, yet wanting to do what I can to stay in touch with her. The benefits to Cadet (and MsJ) of an open adoption are indisputable. And while we live across the country from MsJ, we still have hopes of having a close relationship. But it’s becoming clear that in order to try to have any sort of relationship with her, I need to involve myself in her life to a degree.
How do I navigate this in the most honest, open, and respectful way? Is it possible for me to do something that I’m not already doing? At some point, do I just give up? We are less than three years into this adoption, and already I feel like I’m working much harder to keep any sort of relationship going than she is. Which, I suppose, is her choice. But, I’m aware every time we miss a holiday or milestone, that she’s not part of it. That pains me. And, in the back of my head, I worry about how I’m going to talk about this with Cadet. How will I tell him about her prison time, her falling out of communication, or her lack of promises kept? I know, with every fibre of my being, that she loves him fiercely. It was evident when I met her. It was evident when I talked with her. I want him to know that love. I want him to feel how strong that is. I don’t want him to ever think that he wasn’t wanted or that she didn’t love him.
I was told recently by a fellow adoptive parent (via an online forum) that I “have it easy”, because I am not really in an open adoption. I nearly stopped breathing from the laughter that followed that statement. Easy? Easy? How is this easy? One day Cadet is going to have questions about his biological family…and without a connection to MsJ, how in the world am I going to help him? It’s not as if I stop thinking about MsJ because we’re not in contact, quite the opposite.
I’ve ready about adoptive parents closing adoptions or not wanting birth parent involvement. I want to shout at them, shake them, and slap some sense into them. Don’t they realize how much they will miss out on? Don’t they realize how selfish they are being? They simply don’t understand how much that relationship means!
So, at this point, I am waiting. Waiting for news from MsJ or the prison system. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting for something. I’m sure something will happen…good or bad. In the meantime, I occasionally open up Cadet’s box of letters from MsJ (the letters she sent to us from prison) and read parts of them to him. He may not hear her voice, but I hope he will hear her love for him.