The kids' birth dad called today. He had tried calling once or twice this past month while I wasn't with the kids but Ms. D didn't want to call back. Today he called while we were all here, so Ms. D talked to him.
He told Ms. D that one of the older brothers is in our town now. Oh great! It's just what we need, another gang banger around. Of course, he hasn't tried to contact the kids, which is fine by me, but it hurts the kids. He obviously doesn't care as much about them as they care about him, which to them is another rejection.
Ms. D also found out that Birthmom is mad at Ms. D because she thinks Ms. D called the oldest daughter a B... Well Ms. D told her dad she didn't, so the dad told her that Birthmom isn't doing well right now and is kind of crazy. This doesn't surprise me at all. Birthmom usually is able to hold it together for a few months, but as soon as the outside supports are gone, she goes back to the drugs. And when she goes back to the drugs, she gets mean or she stays away from the kids. I'm glad she is staying away for the kids' sake, but I can't imagine what the kids are going through right now.
They really acted strange and dysregulated after the phone call, yet they didn't want to talk. Later, Ms. D was able to tell a friend what went on, and it was the friend who answered me when I asked if there were any more details about Birthmom and how she was doing. The friend told me no, but it was probably because Birthdad was trying to protect Ms. D. I am thankful for Birthdad's wisdom in this. I'm thankful for Ms. D's friend. She really understands what Ms. D is going through, because her father is in jail and she lives with her mom and step dad. But her friend is able to think things through. Ms. D struggles. We talked about how even though both girls are being taken care of, they still think of their birth parents. Well, I actually told her, "Even though Dalina has the most awesome, wonderful, amazing parents taking care of her, she still worries a little bit about the birth family. And I'm sure you worry about your dad too." Her friend said, "A lot. But there's nothing I can do about it."
So tonight I'm asking for wisdom in how to talk with the kids about their realization that things aren't going that well with Birthmom. Ms. D, especially, needs to find a way to process her feelings without seizing or sleeping too much. I guess it's better than drugs and alcohol, but it's not the best. On the other hand, it's really hard for me, as an adoptive mother, to say anything that can be taken for criticism of the birth family. Because when I say something negative, even if it is true or I think it could help Ms. D not take the lack of contact or hurtful behaviors personally, it can be interpreted as being negative toward the kids themselves. My instincts are to shield the kids from hurt and stay as far away from the birth family as possible. But whether I like it or not, there is a deep connection to the birth family. I just wish the birth family would get it together enough to make it a good connection. But things aren't looking to good for that right now. And that's just so sad.