Found a pic online...
Of DS's birth mom!
I had a dream about her a few nights ago...that she found out where we lived and was hanging around. In my dream I confronted her and told her I knew who she was. At first I was mad but then my heart broke for her and I hugged her. The dream ended there.
I was thinking about it last night and decided to go to Google images and search her name. It showed up on a website of mug shots (drug charges apparently)...I had no idea there are websites like this! The pic is dated a week after we finalized DS's adoption 3yrs ago :(.
I was shocked...she's not what I expected at all! I guess I was expecting her to look like what my mind has conjured up a repeat drug offender should look like (meth, ecstasy, heroin, and cocaine according to the charges). Please don't criticize me...I'm just being honest.
I can see DS in her...as soon as the photo popped up in the results I knew it was her. I'm going to print it off and put it in DS's file. I'm glad that some day when he's an adult the option will be there for him to see what she looks like...she's very pretty and I'm thankful the image he will have of her is this one (she has a hint of a smile). It may be a mugshot but he's sensitive to the suffering/pain of others and although the circumstances are what they are she looks okay.
Anyway, just wanted to share. It's good to be able to put another piece in the puzzle for DS :-) . He may never be interested in finding his bfamily or knowing about his life before he came to us but the option is there if he does want to know.
I just had to respond, because I think that is an amazing thing to hold on to! I was adopted as an infant and when I became a crazy teenager my parents gave me 2 pictures of my birthmother to help me find my identity. Those pictures were priceless to me because I was able to relate to all my friends that talked about which parent they looked like. So I know your son will appreciate that when he gets older!
But, I also completely sympathize with how you had your own mental image of what she would look like. I wondered a lot about what our children's birth parents looked like and while we have no pictures of the father, when we finalized the adoption the social worker gave us their life books and it had a few pictures of their BM. I would love to be able to say I handled the situation with grace and class, but I would totally be lying! I was unnerved because she looked nice and almost like one of my old high school friends. I had been guilty of making her out to look like a monster, but seeing the picutre made me realize she is just a regular person.
But, just knowing my own history - that picture will come in handy one day - if only to answer the simple of question of what did she look like!
very cool that you would save the picture. i know that you'd posted elsewhere about concerns about your role or security as an adoptive mom. clearly, you're someone who strives to put your kids first. as you know too well, not everyone bothers. It's worth noting and applauding!
Thank you for the replies!
Alyssa, that's what I thought too...she looks normal, like she could be my next door neighbor...not what I pictured at all. DS's foster mom said he didn't look like her which I can see when he was younger but now that he's older there are definite similarities. Fmom didn't have a very high opinion of her and seemed hesitant to talk about her so I didn't end up asking the questions I had at the time. I'm writing fmom a letter to put in the Christmas card and I'm going to ask her to share whatever she remembers.
Ibis, thank you for the encouragement!
The affirmation from both of you means a lot to me :-) ! We moved away from our support system earlier this year and my life is so busy with the daily ins and outs of a large family that I haven't really connected with anyone at our new location yet. I try to keep in touch with friends/family but it's difficult to really touch base (many of them don't get online often and it's nearly impossible for me to have a phone conversation so our preferred methods of communication don't sync well ). Thankfully, I'm starting to meet people so I know in time I'll form friendships locally it's just slow-going :-) .
I also have other info I've gathered over the years...I have his maternal grand parents' names and address and he has an aunt on FB. They only live about an hour and a half away. I've considered getting in touch with them some day. I've always been sad for his bfamily...just because they weren't able to adopt him doesn't mean they didn't want anything to do with him. Every Christmas (which is when we finalized his adoption) I've thought about sending his grandparents a card and a pic but I'm not sure how they'd respond. For now, the communication would be one way. Any thoughts on this?
maybe contact them first via snailmail to see if they would want that? Say exactly what you've said above: that while your son is an Owens now, you know that someday, the connection to his birth family will be important to him... that he may still be important to them, too... and that you have felt that they might be missing the wonderful boy that blessed all of your lives. Would they want some photos around the holidays? E.g., his pictures with Santa?
You might make this the christmases of all christmases for them just to have the offer to see photos of their grandchild... or maybe they won't respond at all. I guess if you feel it out first, then you will know whether it would hurt or help them? (or whether it would intrude on your own family?) My only potentially negative thought is that they may get so enthused that they'd want to meet sooner than you're ready. Is that something that you're willing to do now if the response is "OMG, you're only 90 minutes away, we're headed over now..." Or if they just showed up (which of course is unacceptable, but if you open that door...)
I think it's great that you found a pic and are saving that info for him! I've actually been thinking about asking birth mom if she'd like us to take a pic of her with baby girl at the next visitation. Mostly I'd like one for her so that she can have a pic with her daughter which I don't think she has, and if this ever does lead to adoption we'd have a pic for baby girl when she's older.
I do think it's hard to open that door with contacting the birth family but I understand completely why you'd want to. Knowing that more than likely this baby will be with us for her first Christmas makes me sad for her birth family, birth mom especially. I was thinking of dressing her up in a Christmas outfit at her last visit before Christmas and of course taking lots of Christmas pics of her for mom. I think I would feel as you do and I'd struggle with wanting to go ahead and contact them knowing where they are and wondering if this has been eating them up inside for a long time or waiting until the child is older and letting them make that decision. It's a hard decision to make. Some of the stuff I read indicated in a situation like that that it might be best to wait until a child is older and can make that decision for themselves, but I think it should be totally up to you. No one knows your child as well as you do and what he can or can't handle you know? :) It's wonderful though to have all the info that you have! I do think that'll be really important for you all one day if not right now.
Leah, I think that's a wonderful idea!! I would also have baby girl's sw put a pic or two (one with just baby and another with baby and mom) in her file. In the off chance mom goes through a tough spell and destroys the pics (you just never know) baby girl would still have access to them.
Originally Posted by Leah26
If I do send pics to DS's family it would be via snail-mail and at this point I wouldn't include a return address. I want the ball in my court and don't feel comfortable with them knowing where we live quite yet. I think DS can decide when he's older if he wants them in his life...I don't want to inadvertently create future issues for him (I know nothing about them other than their names...don't want them taking advantage of him...kwim? He can decide if he wants that responsibility later after I'm able to explain potential risks/benefits).
Also, it allows them to decide whether or not to open future mail from us without any obligation to respond. I plan on marking it so they'll know it's from me and they can toss it if they're not interested.
I'm going to go through DS's pics today and make a photo collage to send with a letter in a Christmas card to his bfamily. It's hard not knowing how they'll respond but I hope it will mean a lot to them. Maybe I'll include a drawing by DS too :-)
Thank you everyone for the replies!
I think that all sounds really good. I can understand exactly how you feel. If this little one by some miracle stays with us, I can see us doing the same thing in a few years. I hope it all works out and that it makes them feel good to see that he's doing so well and that he's so loved. On my dad's side of the family, I have a cousin who got a girl pregnant TWICE in high school and then disappeared pretty much. He signed over his rights years later so that her husband could adopt the girls. It was hard for our family because they still had contact with the girls and had pretty much since their birth. Their adoptive father is wonderful though and he brings them over to my Grandma's house a few times a year to visit. He says it's important for them to know who their dad came from though he never sees them and never acts as though he wants to. It means the world to my family that their dad does this for them and had such an open mind about it all. I think things like this can be especially hard for grandparents. I know it's been hard on both sides of my family any time a grandparent has been separated from the grandchild either from distance or family issues as with my cousin. I bet it brightens up their Christmas! :) Let us know how it goes!
I think keeping pictures is a great thing. I had one photo of my bio brother that I carried with me for years and haven't been able to find in the last two years. But, now I know him so it's not as bad but still, it was one thing I made sure was always somewhere safe. Even now that I see pics of my dad (and will probably meet him and his wife in a couple weeks) I have yet to see what my mom looks like. My brother has been following her online via her court/incarceration records and says there's a photo with her listings but I've never been able to see it. As much as I have no desire to ever talk with/meet/have anything to do with her, I'd still like to know what she looks like. No matter the source it's still part of the history.