Gerilyn - posted on 02/28/2011 ( no moms have responded yet )
Open Adoption is a wonderful choice - it can work so well. It takes a good caseworker with great communication skills, and all parties in agreement that the child comes first. Here is where I could use help. We adopted from birth parents, (had been in and out of mental hospitals) both now in mental hospitals who met previously (2005) in a group home and given access to her mom's house (bad judgment) where the baby was conceived while birth mom and dad were still on mental health medication. Months of denial. Finally a pregnancy test happened andthe court ordered her off the medication. Baby born. Baby went into emergency newborn care (through private adoption agency) within 3 days, and it was our home. I am older & had no intent to adopt - just loved babies. Did it out of love...he was our third in as many months. Suppose to be only 30-day placement, but turned into six months. Then birth gram asked us to be permanent parents (she was birth mom's legal guardian due to birth mom's mental incapacity)....since then birth gram has been pushing her way into the family, our extended families as well. In our home for every holiday. Stops by. Stays. No borders - will stay up to 3 hours without blinking. Calls. Sometimes leaves 3 voice mails a day - if I don't call her back, she worries and calls repeatedly. She won't leave us alone. She repeats everything we tell her to her mentally ill daughter who then has relapses and set backs of anxiety if she hears bad news, like the child has some special needs inheritied from birth parents DNA and their medication. Why does birth gram conduct herself this way? We are thinking she is borderline personality but at first, she seemed simply caring, and now we do not know how to back track and work her way out of our family, with boundaries for visitations, limit information we give her, and for only my husband to be present for infrequent, short visitations with child. She does not act like a normal grandmother either - it always seems to be more about her image or her ability to get more information out of us, either personal, or about our famlies, etc...she has very cleverly worked her way into our lives and now we don't know how to back pedal and we do not want to hurt her. Birth grandparents must grieve the loss also, but she did encourage her daughter to get an abortion....we are not sure how she really feels about our child....if her visits are an act or real...her sisters from another state even called to warn us not to leave their sister alone with the child because she did not have normal grandmotherly feelings toward the child...things like not carrying a picture, not telling stories...the little cute things that the average grandparents do. Some have even suggested to us that we just ask her to step away from this situation. We don't know if that is right for our child either. Yes? No? Both birth parents are in mental hospitals and our child cannot see them and he is way too young to understand that he has birth parents - only five years old. He has no access to them, and they cannot, do not, write to him....they only send a surrogate gift of a "tell the little guy I love him" or a gift that really their moms got, the birth grams. Do we keep this birth gram in contact with our son - he knows her only as the lady who brings her a cookie or a treat. There is no real affection - he does not sit on her lap, he would never sit and read a book with her....she is aloof. And while she is here, she does not reinforce our discipline and in fact, even works against us. We don't know if it is intentional, but it happens. A lot of grandparents take latitude on that issue so we don't know if it is intentionally wrong. Oh dear. I want to do the right thing for my child. I want to be fair also. Any thoughts - any experience out there with setting boundaries in Open Adoptions - let me know. G. G.