Should I invite my biological mother over for Christmas?
I'm considering inviting my biological mother over for Christmas, but unsure whether or not it is a good idea. For some background information, I last saw her close to a year ago. She lives in a rehabilitation center/nursing home. She isn't able to take care of herself, she's in a wheelchair, and she's somewhat mentally challenged. I've been battling with the decision on whether or not I want to pursue a relationship with her. She gave me up for adoption (actually I was taken from her) when I was 6 weeks old. When they took me from her, I had a fractured skull and had been hospitalized 3 times for different things. I was very much abused at such a young age, and wasn't expected to be a "normal" child. Luckily, I beat the odds and thanks to my adopted parents, have a very healthy, happy life. I am now 32 years old, have 3 children and 1 stepson who all live with us. I have a wonderful husband, house, great job, etc. My parents even live next door to us, needless to say, we are VERY close. I had very little knowledge of the abuse I endured until recently. An adoption agency called me to say that I had a sister, and she was searching for me. This came as a shock because no one knew that my bio mom had any other kids. Come to find out, it was some sort of a scam, and there is NO sister. This is what led to me searching for my bio mom though. My adopted dad went on a search and found her in that home. He gave me the contact information, and after sitting on it for a few days, I decided to call her. After talking to her for a little while, we arranged a meeting. This was in January of 08. I met her once when I was 16 years old. My adopted dad had sought her back then too...Anyway, I don't know what it is, possibly the holiday giving me warm fuzzy feelings, I don't know. I haven't talked to her since we met in January. I haven't been sure that I want to keep a relationship with her. She isn't "right" and the thought of bringing her into my kids lives kinda scares me because of the confusion it would cause. I don't believe she would be capable of hurting my kids like she did me considering she's in a wheelchair, and has the mental capacity of about a 9 year old. I'm really confused and need some advice.
I think you are the only one that can make a decision like this. How do your kids feel about having her in their life? I don't think I would want to have a relationship with anyone that abused my Mom. I am so glad that you had a good life and beat the odds.
I agree with momagain, in that you are the only one who can make the decision... IMHO, I would take the kids to visit her on Christmas Eve or Day - that way, if things get weird or uncomfortable, you can leave... It would be on your terms.
It is O.K. to love your biological Mom and still not have her in the lives of your children. She really doesn't sound like a safe person (mentally) no matter who she is so, my answer is NO.
I read this to my 13 year old daughter and she said that she wouldn't want to go because it would be kinda creepy. I guess that is another NO.
You are absolutely right! I don't HAVE to have her in the lives of my children and have been leary of that from the get go. I don't think she would hurt my kids due to her physical (and mental) incapability, and I honestly don't know if she could handle kids period because of it. And of course if for some reason I did bring her around my kids and she did something bad, I would protect them by any means necessary and never think twice about talking to her ever again. I don't owe her anything!! It saddens me to know that the woman that gave birth to me, and anyone else for that matter, has NO ONE to spend the holidays with when it's a time for families to spend together. Regardless, I can't save the world either, so I have my answer...I'm not going to do it. THANK YOU for your input, and hope you all have a wonderful holiday!!
"It saddens me to know that the woman that gave birth to me, and anyone else for that matter, has NO ONE to spend the holidays with when it's a time for families to spend together"
You sound like a very kind person and it is great that you don't seem to have any anger toward her. I am glad that God gave you the kind of parents that you needed. You can be a positive example to many people in this world. The old saying still stands, we have to lay in the bed that we make. Don't let it bring you down, turn her over to God and he will take care of her needs. Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!
Your comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for saying that! I don't have any anger toward her, just sadness. Thank God I was too young to know what happened, otherwise I might not feel the way I do. I found out about 6 months ago that her abuse to me as an infant is what caused me to have a "dead" kidney. I had to have it removed when I was 26 and everyone, including myself, was so baffled as to why such a young person had a dead kidney. My dad let it slip that it her and that she had punched me so hard that it caused me to have it removed in my adult life. Talk about upset!! I couldn't stop crying for days! I figured what's done is done and can't change the fact, just do everything I can to keep my "good" kidney from going bad. It honestly makes me love my kids that much more each day, and they will NEVER have to know what that kind of mother feels like. I still keep her in my prayers and wish nothing but the best. Thank you momagain for your kind words and I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas as well.
I had decided to go see her instead. I went the Sunday before Christmas and took the kids with me. I actually had no choice but to take them because I had no one to keep them (as usual!). We stayed for about an hour and that was all I could take. The kids were bored and we didn't really get to say a whole lot to each other because I was constantly having to keep an eye on the kiddos. I had to explain who she was to my 7 year old. I didn't tell him about the abuse, just that she wasn't able to take care of me so she gave me to some people that could give me a better life. And the only reason I told him about it was because I KNEW she was going to call them her "grandkids" and I knew my oldest would wonder what she was talking about, so I explained a little and left out the bitter stuff. Sure enough, the first thing out of her mouth was "Are these my grandbabies?" I haven't seen or talked to her since though. Not sure how much of a relationship we will have, if any. I have been so confused about the whole situation since it started and can't explain how I feel because I don't even know. I don't hate or dislike her but I don't feel any love toward her either. Anyway, that's a whole other post...LOL!
Thank you for asking me to update and for your concern. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
"she wasn't able to take care of me so she gave me to some people that could give me a better life"
This is the exact story that I tell my children. Is this what your parents told you growing up? Do you have any advice on what to tell children that have been adopted? I never want my children to hurt because of their bio-parents lives. I think this is probaly just a normal defensive move on my part. Is there anything that your parents did that helped you turn into such a positive person? Thanks
My parents told me I was adopted at age 5. That way, I would know, but not fully understand. I agree with that tactic because I never had any resentment toward my parents about it, but did have a lot of questions. My parents didn't tell me about the abuse until I was older (I think I was 16, but not sure). I didn't want to believe it at first and decided to seek out my bio mom for answers. My adopted dad found her in a halfway house and took me to go see her. Of course she was of no help and either lied to me about the abuse, or doesn't remember. She told me she had epilepsy (which she does) and she just couldn't take care of me. I can understand why she lied. Admitting to the child you abused as an infant can't be easy, but I wish I could have heard it from HER. She was on the influence of some pretty major drugs throughout her pregnancy with me and that was the cause of the abuse, she couldn't handle hearing me cry. She threw me against the wall, didn't feed me, left me out in the sun, etc. I am so thankful my parents got me when they did. Otherwise I might not have survived past infancy. Anyway, I'm getting off track...lol! My parents are wonderful people. My dad is a pastor for a Baptist church and my mom has been a stay at home mom for as long as I can remember. They are old fashioned people with HUGE hearts and I was raised in a christian environment. I have done my fair share of rebelling, hence my screen name, but I have always loved and appreciated everything my parents have done for me. Your kids will too. It's a very delicate, emotional issue and it has to be handled with care. Giving them basic information is the way to go until they are adults, or at least old enough to understand. I'm not so sure I wanted to know that I was abused because it has caused me a great deal of pain throughout my life. I have asked myself "What was wrong with me" and "Did I deserve it" even though I was so young and did NOT deserve it, I still felt that way. The things you tell your kids about adoption will follow them their whole lives. They will most likely not forget a single word you say, so until you think they are ready for the truth, be as basic as possible. I hope this helps and please don't hesitate to PM me if you have any questions or need advice.
My children all know they are adopted. I just wanted to be sure that I had not made a mistake. I do not want to do anything to hurt them. Four of them (two different sets of siblings) came to us through foster care (ages 4 yrs., 5 yrs., 3 1/2 yrs., and 11 months.), so they know and unfortunately, the older two remember some of the abuse that occurred. I still find myself trying to sugar coat what happened. I do not lie but I do try to justify why their parents might not have been able to care for them. There were drugs, alcohol, and a family history of neglect. Their birth Mom was in and out of foster care but always returned to a bad situation in her home. I feel she was created from the way that she was raised. I blame DFS. She loved my girls but no one taught her how to be a Mom. No one took care of her when she was little. The youngest two are special needs and I just tell them what they ask about. They were left home to fend for their selves; I do not think I will ever share that with them. They are both so sweet, but have many behaviors from the abuse that I just feel the need to protect them from what they do not remember. Is that wrong?
P.S. I hope you do not feel that you are just an addict because you are obviously so much more. (I just had to share that because of your screen name)
No, what you have done and said to them is not wrong at all. You are protecting them from the unknown, which is what a mother does. God bless you for all you are doing for those precious babies!! My heart aches knowing the two youngest were left to fend for themselves. I cannot even begin to imagine what they went through and hopefully those memories will never surface.
I believe you have done the right thing. There is no need in dwelling on the past and you are doing all you can to make sure they have a wonderful future and THAT is what matters now. I wish I didn't know what had happened to me and I think my parents told me about it so I would know what to expect when I met my biological mother. Some things are just better left unsaid, especially when it comes to protecting our children from something like this.
"P.S. I hope you do not feel that you are just an addict because you are obviously so much more"- Thank you for saying so! I've been off the pain pills for a year and 3 months now. I owe it to my kids! If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have felt guilty about my usage, and wouldn't have stopped. I do so much for my babies, but they have also done so much for me too...
.Wow, a year and 3 months is a long time, congratulations! I am so glad that you are staying clean. I have held many children while they cried and questioned why their parents drink and use drugs. Most children want to be with their bio-parents and it is so painful for them when the drugs and alcohol win. They take it so personal. Great job.
While it is natural that the children want to be with their biological parents, it doesn't mean that is the best thing for them.They are in much better hands with you and you have really taken on a lot and that shows you are such a wonderful person. The world can be such a cruel place and unfortunately even children aren't immune to the cruelty. We do all we can to protect them but there is only so much we can do. It's even more horrible when it's the very people that are supposed to love them the most, turn their backs. Thank God for people like you who are willing to step in and fight the battle for those precious kids!
Adoption and helping children is my calling in life. I do not feel that I have done anything great by adopting my children. I did not do it for them, I did it for me. I am honored to be their Mom. When I was little, I used to think, "When I get rich, I am going to open an adoption center". Well, I never got rich and the closest that I have got to opening an adoption center is through living my life. Adoption is a privilege. Being a Mom is a privilege. Ask your Mom, I am sure she feels the same way.
You have done something great. You've given those children a life that they wouldn't have had if they lived with their biological parents. I find that incredibly unselfish and absolutely wonderful! I agree, you are lucky to have been blessed with those children just as much as they are lucky to have you as a mother.
I, too, think that you are a very compassionate and forgiving person to be able to see your birth mother and not have resentment as to what she did to you. You've been able to separate the mental disorder from the person, and that's a difficult thing to do.
My heart kind of sank though when you said that you had taken your children to meet her, and that she had referred to them as her grandbabies. I would think that it would be confusing for a child to understand their biological grandmother's limitations and not be a little uncomfortable or even scared by it.
I hope that's not the case. I would just be very careful in maintaining a relationship with a woman who is so mentally unstable. I would hate for anything bad to happen to you or your precious children.
Perhaps you could visit alone, or write letters. Something to show that you still care for her but that does not put anyone at risk.
Thank you for your kind words! It was a very difficult decision to take my kids, and I had a talk with my 7 year old before we went so he understood. My other 2 little ones that went with me didn't know the difference. They are 4 and 3, and they just thought we were visiting a friend. I didn't go into too much detail with my 7 year old and definitely didn't tell him about the abuse, but I did want him to understand what adoption meant and if anything, it made my adopted mom and dad a little bit more "Great" in his eyes, as well as mine. I haven't seen my bio mother since Christmas, and I have only talked on the phone with her once since then. I don't wish to pursue a constant relationship with her, but I will visit from time to time (alone). Basically the only reason I took my kids with me that day, was because I had no choice. And what I mean by no choice is I am a woman of my word. My husband wasn't home to keep them, and I had promised her I would come. My intention was to come alone, but when I found out I had no one to keep them, I decided to go ahead and keep my promise to come visit rather than backing out. I had visited her a few times before, alone, and I didn't feel my children would be in any danger, although I wasn't about to leave them alone for one second with her. The things that happened to me was over 30 yrs ago and my bio mom isn't physically capable of hurting anyone else. She's in a wheelchair and her movements are very slow. My eye was on my babies the entire time, and we took them outside so they could play and so we could talk. We were there about an hour or an hour and a half, and that was the last time I saw her.
I appreciate everyone's views and opinions. It does help me cope with my decisions when it comes to her. I always question myself and you guys really do help!
I agree with momagain59 that it is clear--extremely clear--that you are far more than "an addict", and as an ex-smoker I can tell you that you *will* stay off those pain pills and it gets easier and easier with time. I think you did the right and kind thing in taking your children to visit your birth mom. I am a reunited birthmother and I find it very important that my birthson includes me to an extent in his life. It sounds as if you did the intelligent thing--visiting your disabled birthmom rather than having her visit--so that if she got strange, or if the kids got too upset, you could more gracefully leave, protecting the children as much psychologically as from any (sounds very unlikely now) physical harm. Probably you should keep tuned for any comments/questions/behaviors from your oldest kid that may indicate he's concerned about his grandmother's disability, or about your adoption; it sounds as if you are sensitive to everyone's feelings, and so may well catch any slight signs and know what to do. I am very impressed by you. And by you, momagain59---by many persons on this forum, in fact.
Thank you! I too, am impressed by MANY people on this site, and I am lucky to be a part of the MedHelp family. It feels so much better to talk things out and I have found I get the best advice from people that have never met me...an outside opinion if you will.
When my parents told me I was adopted, I was only 5 years old. I had a lot of questions, and my dad explained to me (when I was older) that the reason he told me at such a young age is because children are expendable, and so that I wouldn't hold grudges if I had been told later in life. My dad didn't explain the abuse of course, so I took his advice and did the same thing when I told my son that I was adopted. It didn't phase him, he just had a few questions. I was very careful with my explanation and he understood. I didn't want him to be confused when she called him her grandson, and to ask me about it in front of her. I think the whole thing went over pretty well.
If it wasn't for the people on this site, I think I would go insane! LOL! The whole situation has really affected me and brought back up feelings that I really didn't want to deal with again. I try to put my own personal feelings aside sometimes but that isn't always the healthy thing to do. All the feelings and emotions come back and don't seem to go away, no matter how much I try to face and deal with them. But I try and do the best I can, and try to make the best out of the situation.
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