Last week my Daddy (super awesome, kick ass stepdad) passed away. At first I was (still am) angry that adoption has kept a Grand daughter from knowing her Grandpa. As the events unfolded I didn't have time to be angry, I had things to do.
Thursday morning while we were helping Mom with the funeral arrangements I had to get a head count of grandchildren and great grandchildren from my Stepbrothers (they weren't around much in the last 15 years). I told Mom it was 4 grandchildren from the brothers, then 1 from my sister and my kept daughter, 6 grandkids total. Mom told the Funeral Director there are 7 grandchildren. I told Mom it was 6, she said "No, there are 7, Ashley is his grand daughter too". Okay, I wasn't arguing.
Saturday morning we had the family graveside services and in the afternoon we had his memorial service, we celebrated his life.
After the Memorial Service we had a Reception afterwards. The place was packed. A friend of my Mother's who has been around since I was about 14 approached me. This woman Mother henned us like crazy since Tuesday. I'm not one to be smothered with "motherly love", I was trying to not have a melt down anywhere near my mom.
Mother Hen is an adoptive mom, before she and her husband adopted their daughter through Foster Care they were Foster parents. They are huge child advocates, at one point they managed to get the State of Texas to investigate how CPS handled things. Years ago they were going to adopt this 3 year little girl they were fostering. Two weeks before the adoption was to be finalized CPS took the girl away and placed her with a 16 year old second cousin who was married to and pregnant by a 50-something year old registered sex offender. Mother Hen knows people, people in the Foster World who can help make a difference, and they did...changes were made with CPS. A few years later Mother Hen and her husband adopted a 10 year old girl they were fostering.
At the reception Mother Hen cornered me. Adoption was not something that was on my mind, I lost my Daddy...I wanted my Daddy. She quietly apologized to me for consoling my sister on Tuesday. I had no idea what she was talking about. My sister buried her daughter 18 years ago on September 22nd, my niece died from a respiratory infection when she was 9 months old. She said she was not discounting that I lost a daughter to adoption.
Did she just say lost a daughter to adoption?
Mother Hen: Which Agency did you go through?
Me: Jewish Family Services.
Mother Hen: They were very expensive and they took very good care of the soon-to-be-parents. How did they treat you?
So I told her about the letters and cards that were "lost" and how they dropped me like I had leprosy when Ashley turned 21.
Mother Hen: I was hoping they would have treated you with more respect. Adoption Agencies only care about how much money they can make and it makes me sick.
I was a little surprised to hear Mother Hen say this.
Mother Hen: Have you tried to make contact?
I had told her what I have done. I also told her about the resume and I was wondering if I could get her forwarded address. Again, she surprised me.
Mother Hen: Write a letter and send it to the address you found.
Me: it would probably get forwarded to the adoptive parents.
Mother Hen: It doesn't matter.
Me: It does matter, if they got it then Ashley would never receive it.
Mother Hen: Send it! This was something they would have to explain to her. As an Adoptive Mother I am giving you permission to send that letter!
Mother Hen: You heard me, send that letter!
Honestly, I thought for one day I would be able to escape the fact that I was a Birth Mother. I never would have imagined getting cornered on the day we buried my Daddy and I would have an Adoptive Mother giving me permission to send a letter to my First Daughter.