Friday, 8 March 2013

Mothers Day....

This has never really been an issue for us before - the children make things at school for their Granny, but this year things have seemed a little different. Maybe its part of the settling in process or a form of grieving for the past.

However, this morning on the radio there was a Mothers Day special, a phone in for children to tell their Mum's how much they loved them. My immediate reaction was to turn it off but at the same time I didn't want to be making a big deal out of it. So I left it on. The radio presenter was saying that the children could also call in to thank their foster mums, or Grannies or any lady that was special in their life so I thought it would be ok. Of course, once the children started phoning in they were all telling their Mum's how much they loved them - it was quite sweet but I could sense that Lea was listening just a little too hard.

TJ didn't seem to care. He just got on with life as normal. He asked if he could have his £2 pocket money early so he could buy Granny a Mother's Day present. The PTA run a stall each year to raise funds and the children buy little gifts and sweets with profits going back to the school. I thought this was very sweet of him and gave him his pocket money. I asked Lea if she wanted to buy anything for Granny, she simply shook her head. I decided not to push it.

I know that Lea has some fond memories of her Mum - she was four when he went into care, so had built a relationship, no matter how chaotic. I recall reading the Primary Wound (its not my favourite book about adoption) but one thing that always stuck with me was when the author noted the example of the child sitting in the hospital bed with third degree burns crying for his Mum, even though it was his Mum that poured he petrol over him and lit the match. Its a horrifying analogy but one which helps me to understand how Lea must be feeling.

Lea then asked if she could go and see her rabbit. I followed her into the garage after a couple of minutes to find her hugging her rabbit in floods of tears. I asked her what the matter was, but of course she couldn't tell me. She doesn't want to upset me. I'm sure she thinks that if she tells me she is missing her Mum (or what she remembers her Mum to be like) then it will mean she loves me less, or that she is in some way betraying Papa and I. My therapist told me that gay Dad's often make better adopters for older children as they don't have the 'issues' of being a second Mum. I'm not sure how true that is. I still get jealous knowing that this woman allowed my child to come to so much harm. But I am going to be able to sit with Lea later and talk about hierbirth Mum and know she is completely separate to us.

TJ has after school club today so at least I will have a couple of hours to sit and chat with our older child.

I guess Lea is grieving for a life he has lost. No matter what I think of that woman, she was still her Mum and for the first couple of years I think she really tried to be a good parent - she just didn't know how and when she met TJ's Dad it all fell apart. It was unfortunate that it was Lea that took the brunt of her and her partner's abuse but we will help her get through it.

Mother's Day maybe the one day each year that we sit and talk about Lea's memories of her - both good and bad. I think it is important that we emphasise the good (no matter how hard it is for me to hear) as that is where the children came from and if we only look at the bad the message they will eventually receive is that they must be bad too... If that makes sense.

I read the later life letter the other day - and it is truly horrific... this is a letter designed to give to the children when they are older which gives them the truth about their past.... I only hope that when they read it they are secure enough to be able to deal with it....

On a happier note Granny will have some lovely chocolates. TJ adores Granny, I only wish we lived nearer so he could see her more often. So does he, then she might share the Moshi Monster chocolates with him!!!!!!

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