Yesterday my DD's mom posted on FB that my DD needs surgery :( It's not life-threatening, but she is an active young lady and I'm sure it's going to put a crimp in her style for some time. Coincidentally, for the past 14 years part of my occupation has been to give pre and post op patient support for those who are undergoing this particular surgery. I work for some pretty high end doctors, and have a lot of knowledge and experience about what DD and her parents are going to go through.
If it were anyone else the first thing I would have done was offer any sort of assistance: advice, support, connections. Instead I froze, and lost my voice.
As it stands now, my relationship is in limbo. I haven't heard from DD since before the holidays. I have sent a quick thinking of you message since, but she never acknowledged it. I've had mixed feelings about that, tho I know in my heart she is just busy with more pressing things (school, social, etc) Her birthday is coming, and I just sent out her birthday card, which she'll probably get in a few days. I don't want to be too intrusive or overwhelming in case she is processing our relationship and needs space. Her mom and I went from chatting and e-mailing several times a month, to nothing since DD and I reunited. I've tried to reach out to her to let her know that I still care for her and I have no intention of leaving her in the dust now that DD and I have connected. I still send X mas cards and I still comment on her FB page the way I always have. She has acknowleged that recently, but we haven't talked. I'm sure she needs space to adjust too.
I've been struggling with this. I offer help all day everyday to strangers, why can't I reach out to my DD or her mom and offer help? I know part of it is the dynamic, and the fear that my "help" will be misconstrued as me trying to swoop in and mother her. Part of it is the emotional baggage with it being her birthday and all. But it's frustrating that this is so hard! I did eventually comment, the same way all her other loved ones did, but it's still gnawing at me since it's just in my nature to want to do more regardless of who she is.
Advice? Shoulder? I need both right now :(
Does her amom know what you do for work? This is a tough one, b/c even though this is your field, a lot of people don't want unsolicited advice, even when adoption is NOT an issue. Add to it the adoption dynamic with reunion issues, and that makes it even tougher.
If you DID say something, I might approach your amom and just say something like "I wanted to tell you when I saw your posting on FB that daughter is having this surgery, I work in this field and have a lot of knowledge and experience in this area. I don't want to overstep, but wanted to make myself available if you have any questions or need more information." I wouldn't go much further than that with it. Let the ball be in her court. I don't think that would be like "swooping in" or being intrusive to just mention it, after all, you did see it on her FB, and you could send her a quick email.
If you DIDN'T mention anything and later they found out you work in this field and didn't say anything, do you think they'd be upset or wish you had said something?
I don't think it would hurt to just make a brief mention and offer your expertise, but be prepared that she may not want it. I don't think it would hurt to gently put yourself out there, nor do I think it would "ruin" anything about your reunion.
I think we tend to over worry and over think how our every move is going to impact reunion, and I understand the concerns you have, but I would probably say something. If you came off like a know-it-all or ultimate authority and kept badgering her, then I'd say you were being way out of line. But to just mention what you do for a living (it being such a coincidence, I think I'd HAVE to say something!) and offer to help if needed would be a nice gesture.
Good luck and hope all goes well with your daughter!
I think she knows what I do in a general sense. I'm not sure, this always falls under one of those things that she never acknowledged when I've brought it up.
The unsolicited part does bother me as well. I'd definitely "tone it down" and mention that I have years of hand holding experience she can take advantage of. I'm not the type to give advice otherwise, (ie: start questioning her doctor's orders or give medical advice). But just a few months ago, a FB friend from HS mentioned that she was having related surgery, and was really scared. Even though I hadn't spoken to her in a while, I still sent her a PM offering her luck and reassurance and telling her that I was there if she needed an ear. Why does the thought of doing the same for my DD paralyze me?
The other issue I thought of but forgot to mention in the OP was that DD will undergo anethesia, and likely need to update her medical history at the hospital. I know I gave what I knew at the time of the adoption, and I have sent offers to update DD's mom as well as taking initiative and updating if I learned of something new. But again, she's never acknoweldged that either. I always thought it odd, since that is so important, but figured maybe she hasn't needed it since we reconnected. Do I be proactive and offer it? Wait until she asks? I get this really weird feeling that DD might be passing off a "unknown" history, which is one thing when you are relatively healthy, but something different when you need surgery, KWIM?
I am sooo overthinking I know. I just needed a place to put this and get it out :) Thanks for the advice Peachey!!
But just a few months ago, a FB friend from HS mentioned that she was having related surgery, and was really scared. Even though I hadn't spoken to her in a while, I still sent her a PM offering her luck and reassurance and telling her that I was there if she needed an ear. Why does the thought of doing the same for my DD paralyze me?
Because there is so much on the line with your DD. The stakes are much, much, higher if we make any "missteps." But explaining to your daughter's mom that you have years of experience in this area and offering your support if needed would really be fine, I think. I just wouldn't assume they are scared or read into things about her medical history and such. You really cannot control what amom does with the information you provided in the past or even in the present. Is there something in your medical history that you feel is pertinent right now to this surgery? Definitely mention that to her. You could also say, I thought this would be a good time to give you an updated medical history and just attach it to your email. I'm not sure why you need to ask her if she wants it. Just send it so she has it. What she does with it is, unfortunately, out of your hands. One can only hope she relays the information to her doctor.
I have been thinking about it since I saw this.
I think updating the medical information is fine. I know when I learned a few things a few years ago I mentioned it (and amom didn't respond). So it is out there. They have it. Also let them know that you have experience in this area and see if that might open up a line. Maybe they have a question that they didn't ask the doctor.