Disturbing News
As you may know, I was just asking about how to move forward with Nugget's adoption. Well, we had a visit with our LW and heard some things that may change how we decide.

When we were at the monthly FPA meeting in December, we saw Nugget's aunt there with her FM. Reminder, this WHOLE family has a history with CPS. I have talked about them many times on this board. In fact, the aunt is in care right now because she asked to be.

Well, LW proceeds to tell us that aunt was really hoping to talk to us at the meeting. But she didn't get the change because her CW showed up and wanted a meeting with her. LW tells us that aunt says Birth Mom treated Nugget horribly during visits. That she would yell, curse, and threaten to beat him.

The only thing we have ever heard from Nugget was the one incident where she told him if he didn't behave that he wouldn't be able to come for any more visits. I never gave him the third degree after visits. For some reason, it just felt wrong. Now I wonder how much of the last two years was show on her part. She has always been "well behaved" around us.

DH was tore up. Parental instincts kicked in and now he wants nothing to do with Birth Mom. How do ya'll think this should or should not affect my decision? Would it make a difference to you?
Fostering since 2010. Family has grown to 1 loving husband, 2 biological teens, 2 adopted boys, and a fostered Pumpkin.
I can't remember what you were planning on for visitation but if it were me, I would only allow well supervised visits in a public place to ensure that biomom is "well behaved"!!!!!! Ugh, how awful to hear that your little guy was mistreated that way! [url]http://forums.adoption.com/images/smilies/hissyfit.gif[/url]
I stand by my suggestion in the other thread. Do a transitional end to phone calls and visits, getting down to one a month based on Nuggets desires. He may get to the point where he wants nothing to do with her. I would take what his aunt said with a grain of salt. I come from family like that and just as soon as they have someone's back, they'd be just as likely to stab them in it.

Also, I'll tell you, I was thinking about us just a few minutes ago. Sidetrack, for whatever reason I have been cranky as all get up today with both boys. Not being my best mommy. And I was just chastising myself when I thought about BFF who was a spanker and at many times not the best mom. (Who is all of the time?) so point being, even good parents an have bad days and maybe the aunt brought out the bad in Biological mom.

The transition needs to be from Nuggets POV and I think he is old enough to start framing it.
Forever Mom to Chubbs

Former Foster Mom to:

Blue Eyes
Princess
Monkey
I guess I would be a little cautious about trusting the aunt's statement. For one, why does she suddenly want to tell you this after two years?

I've read many of your other posts and my impression was that Nugget had a good relationship with his mother and genuinely looked forward to visits. Now, I understand that if he came from an environment where all he knew was screaming and cursing then that would be his "normal" and he wouldn't know any better. But he's been with you for two years and it should be pretty obvious to him that a "normal" family does not act like that. So if he was really being treated like crap at visits it seems that after having been with you for awhile he should've started reacting more negatively to the visits with his mom, knowing that there was a much better way to be treated.

My STBAS was treated horribly by his mom when he still lived with her. Other than a brief 6-week stint visits were supervised for two years. Even then when visits were stopped he hasn't really expressed any desire to continue them again. He's asked a couple times if he'll ever see her again, but there is no immediacy to his request (i.e. hasn't asked "Can we go see her soon" or anything like that). The visits were more of a burden to him than a pleasure, and he was always getting upset about a visit interfering with something fun at daycare. So, I guess just from my own experience it seems a little odd that Nugget would keep wanting to see his mom if it was that unpleasant.

I personally always thought I'd never want to do an open adoption. After seeing what my STBAS is going through I have completely changed my mind. My STBAS feels abandoned by his mom. If he knew he could see her every now and then I think it would make a world of difference. Unfortunately his mom is very unstable and I do not trust her around him, even in a closely supervised visit. She's 34 and at this point I've kind of given up hope on her ever changing. She also has other older kids and like clockwork she loses interest in them as soon as they go into school -- not cute enough anymore, too much responsibility, too many prying eyes on them. So I don't think she has any desire to see him anyway. I keep in touch with the dad of his half-sibs and it's been months since she's even bothered with a 5-minute phone call let alone a visit. It's sad.

So ... I would still recommend trying to hang onto some form of contact with Nugget's mom. I'm sure that you had no intention of doing unsupervised visits anyway. And beforehand you'd want to lay the ground rules out so that she would know the visit would immediately stop if she became unpleasant at all.

I know it would be "easier" to just cut contact but after what my STBAS has gone through I think it is a lot more important to the child's long-term mental health to try to maintain some form of contact if possible.

one thing you do need to do is let Nugget's mom know that he needs time to process this and that she needs to back off with the contact for now. Ideally it would be nice if you could get on the same page with her and have some kind of "goodbye" or 'transition' visit where you both talk to Nugget and let him know that she is making the ultimate sacrifice for his future. She could've fought through a TPR trial, but she didn't. Could be she has her own selfish reasons for that, but ultimately, that does mean his life is in limbo for a lot less time because of that.

If you decide right now that you don't want contact, I would still strongly encourage you not to burn your bridges with mom, and at least say something like you're thinking about it. I am not sure if Nugget knows what's going on but once he's fully absorbed it and he really starts reacting you might change your mind.
I am trying to take what the aunt said with a grain of salt. But knowing the handful Nugget was during all the back-and-forth I don't doubt it's true. Birth Mom is pretty immature and not good at handling problems.

Nugget did always look forward to visits. But I don't think it was because he wanted to see her. If she misses calls, he doesn't care. And when he asks for a visit, he will talk about wanting to see his cousin (they are about the same age and Birth Mom is living with them), not his Birth Mom. I am really getting no impression he is missing her anymore. I haven't for a long time. I think it is more a something to do, bye-bye thing. When he does see her, he pays her no attention. So I am asking myself if sympathy of Birth Mom is clouding what is best for him. Even that has been running dry due to her lack of...effort? Most of the last few visits she won't try to interact with him. She sits and talks to us. So what is the point?

I don't want to cut off the relationship to the harm of Nugget. But I don't want to push a relationship that isn't there. It seems counterintuitive to the adoption process.

What I'm thinking is that we cut the calls to once a week until finalization.

Have the "goodbye visit" at adoption. Then one or two visits around special days or holidays a year.

Maybe a birthday call? Urghhhh...I don't know. THIS IS SO HARD!!!
Fostering since 2010. Family has grown to 1 loving husband, 2 biological teens, 2 adopted boys, and a fostered Pumpkin.
I agree with last 2 PPs.. I heard SO many horrible things from relatives regarding T's treatment of J. While some may have been true, those relatives were driven by their hatred of T - not necessarily what was best for J.

W chose to do the OA, supervised visits in public places against most relative's advice. It was the right call for us.
I am in an open adoption. As long as my children's birth mother behaves herself in our presense, visits will continue. Remember, visits won't be like the ones where RU was an option. Most open adoptions have 1-2 face to face visits a year with pictures and updates 2-4 times per year. Our adoption has ebbed and flowed from one visit a month to now, its been over four months since we have had a visit.

In our situation, my kids were not bonded well to their mother at all. They have actually bonded to her better since we have had them. I have made the decision to have an open adoption with her after discussions with adopted adults in my family. My hope is that they will feel less of a sense of abandonment and have a realistic picture of what their birth family is like.

That being said, you can always have to option of closing off contact if the Biological mom is toxic or abusive during the yearly or bi-yearly visit.
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