The photo book for Sam’s birth father arrived Thursday from Shutterfly.* Two copies: one to send and one to keep. (It’s the 5×7 soft cover, and it came out GORGEOUS.) Sam and I read it together that night. It’s about twenty four pages, back and front. Great photos and captions describing Sam, his passions, accomplishments, and things he has in common with the few things we do know about his birth father. I’m reaching out to him and his parents. All this movement on my part was inspired by an interview I read last week, as part of the Adoption Bloggers Interview Project.
I haven’t shared so much as a photo with him in five years. I promised to update him yearly, and didn’t. I was stuck in my fear around him, which I have hinted at, but that I am not comfortable talking about at length to protect him mainly. An interview I read from a birth mom got me moving into the vault of my memory to excavate a hard copy of our last email connect. Upon rereading his words, I decided it was time to try and reach out again. All of the contact with Marcel’s donor is another reason I felt like I needed to shake things up a bit, with both the birth father, and Sam’s first mom. We had so much important connection, and it all started with effort, love and trust in the best outcome. It’s almost like I feel an inequity in where I am placing my relational energy on my kids behalf. I wanted to right that balance.
After we read the book Sam said; “Either he’ll write back right away…or I’ll never hear from him ever.” Then he asked if he had our phone number. I explained that years ago he made it clear to me that he was not ready to be in relationship with either of us. But, perhaps today that had changed. I then added that maybe I was also part of the reason we were no longer in contact, and I wanted to extend an invitation to him to be in touch with us if he was ready, willing and able.
After some thought Sam offered this wisdom; “Either he’s ready now or he’s not.”
I suggested that the pictures, and my letter might serve to help heal any hurt or hesitation he felt from the process we were all involved in years ago. I explained that he had chosen not to reach out to us with the address he had (the agency) but that that didn’t mean he might not now or at some point.
Sam looked at me and said; “Well if you tell him I like remote control helicopters, and ask him if he does too, he’ll write you back.” I hugged Sam gently, and whispered, “Sweetheart, who wouldn’t want to know you?” Then my heart imploded .
And now we just wait, and send out love, and pray.
Maya’s birth father has been unavailable for five years. He recently became available and called her mother while we were visiting. He wanted to speak to Maya. I was torn. I never promised him anything. His rights were terminated by the court. And I had to protect my daughter. If he is not going to be a good presence in her life, I can’t allow it. And she is only five. While she understands she has a birth mother and came from her stomach and lived with her when she was a tiny baby, she doesn’t understand that a birth mother also means a birth father. Her only father is my husband. And yet, I had great sympathy for this man who has not been able to share in the joy that is my daughter. And, on a practical note, while we are in another state and he doesn’t know where we live, I still wanted to stay on his good side. I had a decision to make. I decided he could talk to her but only on speaker phone and only if he didn’t say who he is. We told Maya it was someone who knew her when she was a tiny baby. It went very well and I was proud of my decision. There was absolutely no impact on Maya. She loves talking on the phone. And I imagine it was a joy for her birth father to hear that his daughter is well, happy, smart, and in good hands. He said thank you and I could hear that he was crying. Clearly the right decision.
That is such a wild story. I am one big chill. Did you invite/discuss/wonder together around a future connection? Thank you for sharing it here!
oh Catherine, your last paragraph made me weep, it hits very close to home with us, good work mama
Good luck, beautiful family
What a sweet boy. His understanding of this concept is admirable. Either he will be ready or he won’t. If only us adults could see the simplicity in that! You are doing a beautiful job!
Good for you. Even if he does not respond or reply, the book will have a deep affect on him. If nothing else, he will know how loved and safe and cared for he is.