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I need some advice, help or ideas please.

Posted by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:42 AM
  • 14 Replies
Hi, I don't post a lot on herE but read a lot. We have an issue that has come up and would like some ideas.
We adopted 2 kids they are half siblings. They have 2 more half siblings.(all same mother) the oldest is in a foster home the next county over and the youngest is still with the mother in the same county.
The youngest that we have does not know birth mom as anyone but a woman she has seen a few times, the older one still remembers her when he sees her. The adoption was finalized in sept 2011. We agreed to 3 visits a year as long as She stayed clean and didn't cause a scene or problems. We did 2 of the visits the first was horrible the 2nd one a little better.(the last visit was oct 2nd 2011) during this last visit she was heard telling our oldest that she was his mom and telling him to call me by my name. I didnt confront her because it was a bday party, but have since where she says no she didn't. The oldest has a lot of issues that we deal with on a daily basis and it's worse after any visit . It's down right horrible.
We were going to have a visit in february but our oldest when he found out we were going to see the baby and her started acting up really bad in the car on the way, so we changed our minds and didn't go.
Since then she has sent us 3 or 4 letters asking for a visit with the kids.

Now the dilemma. We don't know what to do. I feel bad that we aren't following through with our agreement. But on the other hand I don't know how bad the oldest will act after seeing her again. Or if she will be telling him that she is hismom etc.. We want the kids to know the baby but since the state is no longer involved this would also mean that they would see her as well.

What would you do? Do you have any suggestions? I was thinking maybe a letter and a couple of pictures.
Trying to explain things to her is impossible, she doesnt understand a lot of things you tell her, or she forgets what you say. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I don't know what to do.

The older sibling we haven't seen since oct 2011 the same visit. She caused a lot of trouble. And then didnt want to talk to us. Now within the last couple of weeks she has started asking her caseworker to set something up with us. We are just finding it a little hard to forget what she did and she didn't/wouldn't apologize until just the other day when we told her caseworker that we thought she should apologize. Her apology was everything we said to her caseworker she needed to apologize for, so it wasn't really a heartfelt apology. She is 13 almost 14 hrs old.

Oh Yeah the baby is 2 years old. I'm sorry this is so long. I was just trying to give some background. If you have any questions just ask. I will try to answer.

Thanks
by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 12:42 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Apr. 10, 2012 at 7:26 AM
How old are your kids? Do they have any opinions about whether they want visits?

If you do continue visits, I think they need to be in an environment that you can easily manage. Neither BM nor big sister should be able to pull your kids off to the side for any private conversation like that. Set some clear ground rules, and make it clear that you will leave if they aren't followed. Let BM know ahead of time that if she brings up the mommy issue again, you will not have visits again. Speak with sister's FPs as well, and let them know your concerns and expectations.

You don't have to be harsh, but you can set clear boundaries ahead of time to protect your kiddos. Don't explain or try to reason, since you say she is incapable of understanding. Simply say, this is how we need to act, talk, behave for the sake of the kids if visits are to continue.
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raleyfamily
by Carla on Apr. 10, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I think I would give her one more chance, but lay the ground rules beforehand.  Tell her that you are the mommy now, and she may not tell the children anything different.  And that the older girl must be polite.  Tell her that your initial agreement said you would have visits if there were not problems, and if there are anymore, you will suspend visits.

And I agree with the PP, don't let her get the kids off alone where she can talk to them privately.

It does kind of sound like this isn't going to work.

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 10, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



mcginnisc
by Claire on Apr. 10, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I have no advice as I'm an IA mom... I defer to Sarah and Carla on this one! Good luck. 

Claire

Moderator: Healthy Weight Loss & Adoptive Moms

" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13

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tricia1332
by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

How old are your kids? Do they have any opinions about whether they want visits? If you do continue visits, I think they need to be in an environment that you can easily manage. Neither BM nor big sister should be able to pull your kids off to the side for any private conversation like that. Set some clear ground rules, and make it clear that you will leave if they aren't followed. Let BM know ahead of time that if she brings up the mommy issue again, you will not have visits again. Speak with sister's FPs as well, and let them know your concerns and expectations. You don't have to be harsh, but you can set clear boundaries ahead of time to protect your kiddos. Don't explain or try to reason, since you say she is incapable of understanding. Simply say, this is how we need to act, talk, behave for the sake of the kids if visits are to continue.



My ds is 5 ( he is developmentally slow but he still remembered her) and dd is 3(she doesn't know who bm is)

The youngest who lives with bm still is 2 years old. And the oldest sister is 13 and she lives with a different foster family.

Neither of my two ask about bm. They only mention seeing the sisters when they come across a picture, and thats not every time they see one either.

We have set the rules, and gone over them again before the visit with bm but something always happens.

I guess we could try again...maybe the 3rd time will work.

Thanks
SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Apr. 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM

It doesn't sound like the 3rd time will necessarily work any better... :(

But I agree with Carla's advice 100%. Don't just lay the ground rules, but also let her know that if she does anything out of line, you will leave right then and this will be the last visit.

Up to now, it sounds like there haven't been any real consequences for her acting inappropriately towards your children. She wasn't confronted at the time when she told DS that you weren't mommy, and she's gotten to have more visits even after they went badly because of her own actions. I think you need to draw a clear line, especially if you feel as though her understanding is limited. If you behave in X way, then there will be no future visits, period.

That way you have been up front about not only your expectations, but also the consequences. The ball is in her court to behave appropriately (for the sake of the kids) for just a couple of hours; it's not on you to change anything or to handle it differently. I think for me, my conscience would be clear in that case.

I'm sorry you find yourself in this difficult position. :(

SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Apr. 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

By the way, all of this is just my own opinion. I don't think any of us would claim to be experts or to really know for sure what is the best thing to do in this situation...

I think you probably know what is best for your kids, and what you believe to be right in this situation. If you don't think your kids can handle one more visit (even a short one) where BM will likely behave inappropriately, then maybe just write her a letter explaining why you are suspending visits based on her behavior at the past two visits. She's already violated your agreement to not cause problems for the kids, so I think you have to do what you need to for the sake of the kids.

Either way it's not an easy thing. I was just trying to imagine what steps I might take in your position so that I could feel I'd done everything I could to honor the agreement.

mrsminter
by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

If she is causing problems I wouldn't visit her anymore. I'd send a letter and pictures 3 or 4 times a year but I would leave it as one way communication.

Sincerely, 
Katie M. 

Stop by my blog!

January 2009 - TTC 
October 2010 - Unicornuate uterus discovered; infertile. 
February 2011 - DSHS Orientation 
April 2012 - PRIDE Pre-Service Training (27 hours) 
April 2012 - First meeting with adoption agency 
April 2012 - First Aid/CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens Training 






aprilz1225
by Silver Member on Apr. 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

 i think all this advice and agree... i don't think the social worker get's it either..

Malley
by on Apr. 10, 2012 at 11:18 PM

 I have difficulties with visits because BM is my dd. What I wanted to mention is be careful of the venue for the visits. We allowed my exh (formerly grandfather who we've had problems with) to attend their birthday party at the children's museum. At one point he took our 4 year old by the hand and walked out of the party room. My dh went chasing after him because there are like three unsupervised exits. He was just taking him around to play, but he should have checked with us first. As we were leaving, he pulled Derek aside and started whispering in his ear about the fun activities he was going to take him to. Not cool. At this point if we allowed visits they would be in our living room with us present.

tricia1332
by on Apr. 11, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

It doesn't sound like the 3rd time will necessarily work any better... :(

But I agree with Carla's advice 100%. Don't just lay the ground rules, but also let her know that if she does anything out of line, you will leave right then and this will be the last visit.

Up to now, it sounds like there haven't been any real consequences for her acting inappropriately towards your children. She wasn't confronted at the time when she told DS that you weren't mommy, and she's gotten to have more visits even after they went badly because of her own actions. I think you need to draw a clear line, especially if you feel as though her understanding is limited. If you behave in X way, then there will be no future visits, period.

That way you have been up front about not only your expectations, but also the consequences. The ball is in her court to behave appropriately (for the sake of the kids) for just a couple of hours; it's not on you to change anything or to handle it differently. I think for me, my conscience would be clear in that case.

I'm sorry you find yourself in this difficult position. :(




I just want to clear up what I typed.

The reason she wasn't confronted at the time was because I didn't hear her say it, my sister did and she didn't tell me until after the party. And we haven't had a visit since then, which was oct 2011. She has sent letters requesting visits but we haven't done any.

Thanks for offering advice. It is hard. If I didn't feel bad she wouldn't have any more visits ever. But I did give my word and that's what makes me feel bad.
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