Well, the next few weeks were not easy. I received lots of advice from family and friends telling me it was time to create some distance between us and our birthmother. This did not make sense to me. I couldn't understand why, just because she didn't do what I thought was right, I should cut her out of my life. Her decision to parent didn't mean that she needed a friend less (in fact, she needed one more). It also didn't change the fact that she is and always will be Katelynn's birthmother. She gave us the greatest gift a person could give! She gave us a family!
I know our family and friends were just trying to protect us and help us heal from the failed adoption. It just isn't the way that I am and it goes against what I promised when I agreed to an open adoption.
Bit by bit, we began to heal. My husband continued to tell me that he still had a feeling that she would choose adoption for this child. I wasn't so sure. The one thing I knew for sure was that I couldn't go on the adoption roller coaster again. I was sure that after all this, our family was complete.
Still, I was bothered by the fact that our birthmother still didn't have her life where she wanted it to be. I knew it was going to be hard to watch her struggle while raising this baby. I just wanted her to see that she wanted so badly to make her own decision but she was letting herself be influenced again by the other side of her family. I just didn't know if I wanted to jeopardize our relationship by pointing that out to her.
My fabulous third grade team then offered some counseling to me one day at lunch. They reminded me that I had nothing to lose if I spoke freely to her. It wasn't like she could take Katelynn away, and she already decided to parent. I needed to say what I was feeling because I needed closure and I needed to know that I did everything possible to give that baby the opportunities she deserved.
So....I called her. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I carefully chose my words and explained to her that I felt she was being pressured into a situation that she might not be prepared for. She was very understanding of my need to say what I did.
She opened up and told me that she needed to know that she tried parenting. She wanted to find out if she was an unfit mother. This broke my heart. I truly believe with all my heart and to the depths of my soul that this girl will be an amazing mother -- some day. I told her that if she tries and does not succeed it isn't because she is unfit. It is because her life is not where it should be to raise a baby.
I also told her that if she still wants to try and she changes her mind after a few months, my husband and I would still be willing to adopt this baby. She said I gave her a lot to think about and she thanked me for being so honest with her.
I guess I didn't need to create distance. I needed to be right up close!