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So Mo is going to meet his father....

 
 
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 01:48 pm
And I'm a nervous wreck about it.

For those of you who haven't been following this story:

Mo is my adopted son. He's 13. His parents left him with us just before he turned 2 and never came back for him. We were able to adopt him when he was 6.

We've always had a pretty open relationship with a few members of both sides of Mo's first family but recently he's reconnected with his father's sister and they have become quite close. She's really cool and we all like her a lot.

She did not tell her brother about her relationship with Mo. His life was finally getting in order and she didn't want anything to disrupt that. Then Mo started asking questions and asking if he could meet his father.

Aunt and I talked it over.

Mr. B and I talked it over.

We all decided it would be best for things to be out in the open -- that she would tell her brother and try to get a handle on how he felt about meeting, before anyone told Mo anything.

As of last night all the gears are in motion. My only stipulation is that I preferred to wait until school was out for the summer so Mo wouldn't have any additional pressure or distractions.

I'm really wondering about what to expect and how to help Mo with this.

Does anyone have any experience with meeting birthparents or birthchildren?

Should I try to meet with him first?

I want this to be a good experience for all of them.
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Type: Question • Score: 13 • Views: 2,479 • Replies: 48

 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 01:53 pm
I think it's a good idea for Mo. I also think you should try to meet with the man before he gets together with Mo.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 02:00 pm
@Setanta,
Yeah. I think me meeting with him first might make things easier on both of them just by getting some of the awkwardness out of the way. I'm careful about who I allow into Mo's life so I'd like to have a chance to look him over.

Aunt says he's really starting to get things together and that he feels a lot of guilt and sadness now for what happened.

I'd rather he not feel that way when he meets Mo so I'd like to get some of that grieving (?) over with first.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 02:11 pm
@boomerang,
Yeah, that's a good way to look at it. It shouldn't be just about making this guy feel better. There's nothing wrong with that, but Mo should be your first consideration. It might make it easier to arrange a meeting, too.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 02:12 pm
I don't know that i ever told you, but i like your dog. Only the dog is not a cute little puppy any longer, right?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 02:26 pm
@boomerang,
I agree it would be good for you to meet with him first. I think it would help you and help you better prepare Mo as well. And secondly it would probably help the dad.

Depending too how your meeting with the dad goes -- you could provide advice to the dad on how to approach Mo during this meeting -- again more to make it easier for Mo than the dad -- but it does have the benefit of a win-win. Helping ease this for the dad and Mo.
PUNKEY
 
  4  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 02:31 pm
I have raised my nephew from age 8 until now. He is now 25.

His parents never came to pick him up from Foster Care. His mother saw him occasionally, Dad was always drunk. They just could not parent him. They have shown very little or no interest in him and his life. His social worker wanted him as far away from them as possible.
(Birth mother is paranoid schiz / active alcoholic; birth dad is bi-polar/alcoholic. They are both in their 60s)

Lately the mother has been trying to develop some kind of relationship with him. In the past, she would send bizarre letters - all about herself. She has sent him money. Now she is hinting that she is sick. Something she has been saying all along.

Yes, she wants a relationship with him - but will it be a healthy one for HIM? I really don't know. She has had selfish love for him all these years.

I hope your son does not expect very much from this "meeting." This guy may feel very indifferent to this boy. Your son may not get "closure" from this meeting. Your boy's feelings are typical for adopted children. They are trying to resolve the "abandonment" issue. And often blame themselves (what did I do that made them leave me?)

I don't know if this man is mentally ill, but please talk to your son about people that just can't bond or accept responsiblity of taking care of other people - especially raising a child. I hope you can help him not to have such high expectations.

I wish the father were move assertive about this meeting. It is not his idea. He may feel like his life is being intruded upon. He may deny the meeting.

With luck, Mo will eventually view him like a long lost uncle that he hardly knew. But, that will take some years.
Ragman
 
  3  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 02:49 pm
@boomerang,
I am following this from afar...and can only add my support re one of life's toughest issues. what I have observed is you're a conscientious parent and seem to be raising a well-adjusted child. I wish you the best and expect the right things will result.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 03:09 pm
@Setanta,
I'm concerned about making him feel better only so he doesn't pour all that stuff out on Mo. I don't want Mo to feel responsible for making his father feel better about things. Mo has a terrible habit of making everyone's drama his own. I can't have that happen here.

Diamond is a good dog. He is 7 now. He smells bad, he's lazy, and he's mean to the puppy but I love him even more than when that photo was taken. He's my buddy.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 03:11 pm
@Linkat,
I absolutely want it to be easy on both of them.

I have some old photos of his dad, with him, stashed away in the house. Maybe it's time to bring those out....
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  4  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 03:19 pm
@PUNKEY,
I'm so glad we didn't really have to deal with that kind of inconsistency outside of the first couple of years Mo lived with us. Randomness is hard on kids.

I'm also glad Mo isn't much older so I can still act as a buffer if I need to.

Mo's father isn't mentally ill. He only met his own father once -- when he was a teenager. It did not go well, from what I hear.

He's agreed to a meeting. He's excited/nervous about it. He asked Aunt if he could see me and Mr. B too. Aunt makes a good go between. She and her brother are close to each other (Aunt says they survived their childhood together and that makes them close for always). We've all become good friends with her over the last year and I trust that she handled telling him about Mo in a good way.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 03:20 pm
@Ragman,
Thank you!
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 03:21 pm
Sounds to me like its working out all right and you all seem to be handling it just right. As long as there's nothing really scary about him, why shouldn't they both meet. Sounds like dad potentially could have come around at any time and upset everyone but didn't for whatever reason. Did he sign away his rights? He may have some rights to make himself known to your son but hasn't.

Sounds to me like you all are being careful and doing everything just fine.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 04:14 pm
I support you all on this, including aunt and birth father, but primarily Mo and Mr. and Mrs. B.

Whatever you decide, B & B.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 05:04 pm
@boomerang,
It's going to be a process.

Both of them may have reactions to the planned meeting and then the meeting itself for some time.

Mo is lucky to have you and Mr. B with him during the process. You can't really make it easier for them but you can make it a bit safer.

I've got some friends who met their bioparents. Best description for all of them was a rollercoaster. For some of them it was a fun ride overall. For some it wasn't good. Not that any say they regret having met the bioparents - there just weren't relationships to be made. None of them were as young as Mo is when they met the bios - not sure how that changes things.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 05:07 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I'm really wondering about what to expect and how to help Mo with this.


given what I've heard from my friends (and experienced with two of them at the time) - everyone has a really different reaction. As a result I don't think you can do much in advance other than to do what I think you always do - be supportive and strong.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 05:17 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I'd rather he not feel that way when he meets Mo so I'd like to get some of that grieving (?) over with first.


Something I read recently about this talked about how some adoptees don't really have a strong reaction until they have their own children. Makes sense in the context of one of my friends who went on a bit of a name-changing binge for a few years after her daughter was born. She'd used her step/adoptive father's family name til she was close to 30. After her daughter's birth, she changed to her mother's maiden name, then her husband's name, then her biofather's name and then back to her step/adoptive father's family name. She did this in just under three years.

In this jurisdiction, you're allowed to change your name 3 times (for non-fraudulent purposes) before you have to go before a judge. The judge who saw her for the second required court visit suggested she see someone about whatever was bothering her. She eventually worked out with the therapist she went to that it was a delayed grief reaction to having met her bio-dad, spilling out when she got to know her own baby.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Apr, 2014 07:37 pm
@boomerang,
Blimey.

I agree re meeting him first.

I would hope, in that meeting, to agree upon a consistent narrative about why dad has not been in Mo's life...something that is true but not too full of drama from dad...for instance that he wasn't ready to be a parent, didn't understand how to be one, that as he has grown and matured he has realised that he is an important part of Mo's background etc.

I'd also be wanting to get some idea of what his intentions are.....does he imagine regular contact with Mo, for instance/

That's likely somewhat inherently impractical, as these guys sometimes can't deal with the emotional impact of realising the magnitude of what they did.

I'd have a true, but making sure it is all about the dad, nothing to do with Mo. story ready for if dad says he'll do things thta he later reneges on.

Wow...this is big.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 07:53 am
@boomerang,
Hopefully the dad is reasonable -- if so you could voice your concerns and be honest with him -- how Mo takes things. If the dad really does care, I am sure he would want to do what is best any way. Makes this pre-meeting so much more important.

To play devil's advocate - have you thought about what is his dad is a real jerk or you are afraid after meeting him it would be worse for Mo that you might say no to meeting Mo or perhaps a longer delay? I don't want to give you even more stress, just thought it might be better if you are prepared for the worst.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:27 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Both he and Mo's first mom had to sign away their rights in order for us to adopt him so neither of them have any legal rights regarding him at all.

We aren't hard to find. They could have interfered at any time, they didn't. This meeting was totally Mo's idea.
 

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