My little Sweet Pea had a minor surgery this week. Birth Mom signed her parental rights away two weeks ago, but is still visiting once a week until the paperwork is final (after leaving the state on the run from probation and not seeing her children for 3 months). And, she insisted on coming to the surgery. Now, I may sound like a callous foster parent, or just a callous person, but I really did not want birth mom at the surgery. There is no bond between birth mom and baby. I have had baby girl since birth, directly from the hospital. Birth mom has seen her a handful of times over her 10 months of life. Okay, okay, enough of defending myself. But, I just didn't want her there. This was my time with Sweet Pea to be her comforter, to cuddle her until she went to the O.R., to be there when she woke up. I am her Mama in my heart, and I will be soon legally. Before I get emails that I am a birth mom hater, I am not. I respect the rights of the birth mother, but at this point in time, she had signed her rights away Little did I know that having birth mom there would actually be somewhat of a blessing.
When we got to the hospital, they put me and Sweet Pea in a private room right away and started with the pre-op. About 15 minutes later, Birth Mom walks in and immediately takes Sweet Pea from me. She does not drive, so a social worker from the recently-out-of-prison-back-to-society program brought her. Sweet Pea just sort of stared at her, but didn't fuss, and I was glad, because I didn't want her to be upset before surgery. After we got all the preliminary pre-op questions out of the way, they let us go to a waiting area filled with toys. I decided since I could do nothing about birth mom being there, I might as well embrace the situation, and think of Sweet Pea's best interests. Luckily, birth mom likes me, so I was able to ask many questions about her childhood, her current relationship with birth father (which is none-they broke up as he is in jail for about a year), how she is doing with her recovery from addiction, what her future plans are, etc. so I have a chance to write these things down for Sweet Pea's benefit if she wishes to know about her birth mom in the future. She did open up to me, and I was a good listener, and gave her my support and best wishes for her success. She is pregnant with a boy, and she does not want to lose him to the system.
Right now she is sober and is really trying to get her life together. I truly hope she does. When they took Sweet Pea to surgery, we sat in an awkward silence, so I offered to buy birth mom lunch, and we then sat and ate our food in awkward silence. When they brought Sweet Pea to recovery, birth mom let the nurse hand Sweet Pea to me. About a minute later, birth mom said her ride probably wanted to leave. She wanted to hold Sweet Pea, so I handed her over. Sweet Pea immediately began screaming and crying. Birth Mom tried to keep holding her, but said "Here. She wants you anyway." and left.
So, that was my awkward three hours with birth mom. Looking back, I am actually glad she came, because I was able to get some family medical history from her as well as a glimpse of her psyche and childhood. I learned she was a foster child herself, not removed from the home, but put into a home by her mother who was at her wit's end with her behavior. The best part of her being there, was she told me she was glad that Sweet Pea was going to be adopted by me and my husband. She said she told the caseworker that she would not sign her rights away unless she could be guaranteed that we would be adopting her. She told me that she knows we can give her everything that she can't, and that we take very good care of her. Though awkward, I was grateful. I think that will be the very best thing Sweet Pea could know when she is old enough.
Blessings to you wherever you may be in your journey!
The Queen Mama