Out of touch…

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.

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Categories: Adoption, Cadet, Choices, thoughts | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Out of touch…

  1. I understand you wanting to continue the relationship with Ms J. Maybe keeping the door open is all you can do at this point. Keep the lines of communication open and someday she will hopefully reconnect. I think sometimes we as adoptive parents get into our own fantasy of how the open adoption will look. It doesn’t always add up to what we imagine.

  2. Cadet will understand the depth of this love when he is older. Much older. At least in his 30s. Until then, he, like any other human being of that age before and after him, will be busy with other things. I am sure he will wonder, and ask you questions, and will want to know, and this is where I think is the most important role: repeat to him, over and over, all about this love that the people in his life had for him. Like the chinese drop :-), it will eventually leave a mark. Tell him the ‘love story’ over and over, until he does not want to hear it anymore, and it will come back to him when he needs to not only hear it again, but also feel it. This is the best you can do. You cannot control what. MsJ, but you can make sure her son knows about her as well. As with everything else in life, there will be moments when you will think you have done too much in this relationship, for too little in return, and other times when you will regret not having done more. Do your best, be true to yourself, and when the time comes to draw a line and add things up, you will see where you are. I say, you will be quite alright in this respect, mama. You love him something fierce as well. Love is not everything in life, one needs luck too, but luck is random, while love is not.

  3. This “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!” – Yes, I agree. I keep it inside, and don’t say if often. But I agree with you in MOST cases of adoption. The justifications I hear for it are always to appease the parent, never the child.

    I also agree that many adoptive parents want more contact, and don’t feel good about the lack of contact. (That’s why the anti-adoption people make me angry… so many of us want what is right.) Ugh.

    I feel like you are doing all that you can do right now. Offending is similar to drug use. They disappear when using their crutch again and it’s not about YOU. In fact, they are afraid to disappoint you. Keep making those contacts… for all of you. And I do believe she will come around again. She did go through a lot of stress with the pregnancy etc. and that had to be traumatic for her and you guys might be a stressor to avoid for her. I hope she will realize at some point, that it will also heal her too. XXX

  4. I really don’t have anything to add that the other commenters haven’t already touched on. I think you’re doing all the right things and I know it’s frustrating to be met with silence when trying to keep things open for MrsJ and Cadet. But I think Glasscase hit the nail on the head with MrsJ probably not responding out of embarrassment/shame. She knows the road she’s on isn’t a good one, but offending is like any other bad behavior: there’s comfort with the known, even if it’s unhealthy.

    So, keep reaching out. But remember what Lori Lavendarluz has also preached: there can be openness without contact. The fact you are talking about MrsJ with Cadet is huge, so keep doing it. As he grows, he may want to know more. It’s all up to him. The most important aspect is that he can access the information and you are doing a wonderful job in making sure that door is open.

  5. I think everything helpful has been said already. I agree with everyone that Ms J is probably not doing too great and she is not proud, and telling Cadet she loves him is the best you can do for now. I hope you hear from her soon, maybe with a drawing!

  6. Someone actually said you have it easy? What an idiot!
    Sorry, I should say something more substansial, but my brain is fried. MIL coming to visit… must… clean… everything…

  7. Like I’ve said before, most adoptive parents are ALWAYS thinking about the future for their kids in terms of their relationship with their biological parents. Always worried if they are doing the right thing. You are. Great advice above. Do your best, but realize that you are not responsible for the choices that other people make. That’s a conversation she’ll have to have with Cadet one day. Frankly, it takes decades for most people to understand what their parents do or don’t do.

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