Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Because you were you...

I remember the day like it was yesterday, even though it was only 5 months ago. We were still working with our CPS (Child Protective Services) worker, as we had not been assigned our DCFS (Division of Child and Family Service) worker yet. Caseworker had arranged for a visit for Emma with her birth mom, our first visit. He didn't tell me specifically to use the "back door" and I had never once before gone through the back door of the office for visits. I remember Emma was wearing the yellow Minnie mouse outfit. I walked right in the front doors and knew right away who her birth mom was. I don't remember if there were other people in the waiting room or not. I went to the receptionist and told her I was there for the visit, they had me come through the secured doors. The caseworker took Emma from me and then had birth mom come in and he handed Emma to her birth mom and I left. When I returned to pick up Emma caseworker apologized for early and told me it was poorly planned and I should of used to back door.

That next Saturday I was out with my friend looking for dressers. There was a rummage sale at the park, it was a nice day out and I had brought my dog so we decided to wonder around the park. I looked over and saw Emma's birth mom. Now, I didn't know her at all, I didn't know WHY Emma had been taken from her, I knew nothing... I panicked that if she saw us she might attempt to kip nap Emma. I told me friend we were leaving because Emma's (back then she was still Jay) birth mom was there. We left... That next week we got our awesome caseworker and had another visit. We used the back door this time. Before the visit I told our caseworker what had happened at the park and she asked if we wanted to meet the birth mom, "YES!" I left for the visit and came back before it ended. Our caseworker was going to talk to birth mom and ask if she wanted to meet us. I waited out in the lobby with birth mom's boyfriend (who is baby #2's dad) for the visit to end. We ended up not "meeting" that week. The next visit she had Brad and I wait outside the play room and handed Emma over to her birth mom and were able to officially meet face to face.

Since our "Closure Visit" with DCFS we have had 2 visit with Emma's birth mom alone. I think right now I'm more likely to visit with her because she is carrying my baby. Not to say that I wouldn't have visits with her if she wasn't...

Well, we were down in the same town as her and had to get together. She has told me over and over again, I wouldn't of relinquished if you weren't you! On Sunday she said, "If you hadn't been so open to meeting me and being open with me, I would still be fighting for Emma!"

The sentence makes me cry. What if I always used the back door? What if I never wanted to meet Emma's birth mom? Birth mom told me she knows she would of been able to get Emma back, but because I acted the way I did, she felt that Emma was meant to be mine. Not only would I of lost Emma, but baby also!

I know far too many foster parents that are "scared" to meet with birth parents. They opt to use the back door only. They make sure the birth parents don't know what they look like, or even what car they drive. Every time I talk to our caseworker she tells me that she is constantly talking about our case and how being open can be such a good thing!

My friends were hoping to get a sibling group recently, unfortunately because my friend is pregnant they decided not to place the kids with them. As we talked she told me how important she thought it was for the kids to stay in contact with their grandparents that currently have them. Something I wished all foster parents understood...

I'm tired of negative comments from friends and family about how Open Adoption can be a BAD thing. They don't want to see the good. They think I'm letting Emma's birth mom be too much a part of her life. They think I'm giving her too much info about me and "something" might happen. As of right now the ONLY thing she doesn't know is where we live. Even my husband who has been pretty private about the whole thing has come around to being okay with sharing info.

And while I was writing this blog post we got to chat on FB! Man, I love technology! She had an amnio for the baby yesterday, she said it went well, but hurt a lot! The results came back on Friday and baby is 100% perfect!

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