Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Little Princess (and Little Princess guilt)

I have not been blogging for two reasons.  Number one, I have been crazy busy with work.  Thirteen hour days for a week.  Ridiculous busy.  Number two reason, I feel like I have nothing to offer on the adoption front.  I just can't think of any blog post that would be worth of the time it takes to write it.

If I was going to write about anything I think it would be the guilt I have been trying to suppress as it relates to caring for our Little Princess.  She is the little girl that I (we) keep every weekend while her mom works.  She is a little girl who was originally going to be adopted, but instead is being parented by her mother.  Her parents have a completely dysfunctional relationship (abuse, manipulation, etc) and her mother (who is a WONDERFUL woman and mother) felt like adoption would be the best choice for her child.  Turns out she just couldn't proceed with her adoption plan as her pregnancy progressed into the final months and she ended up choosing to parent instead.  She is now trying to parent two teenage boys and this little girl, from a position of poverty and survival in an abusive relationship.  Not ideal.

But this is not about her struggle but instead mine (could that sound any more selfish?...).

Anyway, caring for Little Princess is such a blessing to me.  Every day that we have her, I realize what great older brothers my sons are.  They are so amazing with her.  I also watch what a wonderful father figure BF is to her.  He plays with her, kisses her chubby cheeks, and plays peek-a-boo over and over again.  Little Princess snuggles with me and wants me to hold her.  She trusts me and nearly comes out of her skin excited when she sees me come to pick her up.  It warms my heart every single weekend.

So I suppose all of you who know me, even if it is just through the blog, know that this is a blessing wrapped  in pain.

I placed Brit because I wanted her to have a mommy and daddy who were married and who were ready to be parents.  I thought we were too old, had too many obligations already, and I thought Brit would suffer because of this.

And now look at us.

BF and I sit side by side and hold Little Princess on our lap and just laugh at her.  He and I have been her best example of 'married' parents for her entire life (she is now 19 months old - ironically born 9 months after we relinquished our sweet Brit).  BF and I are the only normal 'couple' in her life.  We are proud of her when she accomplishes something new.  We laugh when she learns a new trick.

I load Little Princess up every weekend and we head to ball games, sometimes out of town.  I take her with me to the grocery store.  I rock her when she is sick.  The boys play with her all the time.  They miss her and ask when she will be back.  She celebrates all of the holidays with us.  Our extended family assumes that if it is a weekend, Little Princess will be part of our family celebration.

We have boxes of baby toys, baby clothes and I carry a diaper bag.  My car has a carseat securely fastened in the back seat, even during the week when she is with her momma.

It appears a baby/toddler/little person would have fit into our life after all.

And let's not forget the irony of the fact that when I ran into Brit last weekend at the Farmer's Market, I was walking hand in hand with my Little Princess. She and Brit stared eye to eye with each other.  It was a surreal moment.  The little girl who I help parent looking straight into the eyes of the little girl who I should be parenting.

Something I remind myself is that at least Little Princess's momma was saved the birthmother grief and regret that I now suffer.  Because I can help her, this little girl is home every night with the momma whose tummy she grew in.  She sees her biological brothers every day.  She has her mommy's curls and will always know that they came from her mommy because she sees them as she lays her head on her momma's shoulder.

*Note:  The potential adoptive parents of Little Princess would have been and are great parents.  They ended up adopting a little boy soon after.  There is no doubt that Little Princess would have had exceptional familial support and ideal living arrangements had she been adopted. I know some will say that her life would have been better with adoptive parents.  I do not want to and will not debate this subject.*

I know God put Little Princess in my life for a reason.  Or maybe God put me in her momma's life for a reason.  Probably a whole lot of both.
Either way, Little Princess sure has alot of love.  Because of that, just her presence brings joy to a heart that sometimes has trouble finding joy among the grief.  And yet, her presence reminds me every day that there is a little girl just like her out there, a little girl who doesn't even know me.

So I think I will kiss Little Princess's cheeks a little more this weekend and maybe one of the sweet kisses will be felt by the little girl I wish I could snuggle and kiss too.


Lu Holt said...

Lisa, you are such an amazing person for helping this mother to care for her precious little girl. I had two girls and worked weekends, it was always a struggle for me to find someone to take care of them for me. You don't give excuses of why you can't take her, she's included with your family plans. You'll be forever blessed for what you are doing for both of them. It's huge!
Do you think if you were allowed visits with Brit during the year it would help your heart? I believe it would, but reality is; a birthmom's heart will always grieve. How could it not?
I admire you for all that you are and for not giving up. I don't recall if you've ever asked for more visits? I know my daughter wrote her child's adoptive parents a letter telling them just how she felt about the number of visits she wanted in a year. (the baby was about 9 months old when this took place.) It was more than they were thinking but now it's understood on both sides and has worked out. Not what you want to hear. I believe you have the right to share your thoughts with them. Do you think they know how you feel and how much it hurts and won't change the ways things are anyway? So selfish and I'm so sorry to you.
I'll never give up hope for you or your BF.
Your little princess is a lucky girl to have you in her life. She's a cutie.
Your Brit is so adorable, she got that from YOU!

J said...

Not entirely related, but I wish I could do what you are doing for princess. I would love to help out a mom who otherwise may struggle to parent, it would be great if there was some kind of matching resource for parents who need help and people who want to give it.

Thank you so much for helping this mom and baby stay together, you are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Lisa, I'm new to your blog and haven't read alot of the older posts but what I've read breaks my heart. I've asked this before but didn't see a response so I'm not sure you saw it but I'm curious if there's any possible way of getting your sweet baby girl back because of the fact that the couple that adopted her were apparently fraudulant in how they represented how they would raise her in an open adoption? Why is it that they are now staying away from you? I don't understand why people would feel so threatened that they would do this to a child.

Anonymous said...

I know your guilt so well. i placed my 2 sons for adoption and continued to raise my step children for the next 12 years. Not the same, I know, but guilt none the less. Hugs to you.


J said...

@Anonymous: No, there's no way Lisa could get Brit back. I wish she could, and I wish that people who misrepresent themselves to expectant parents did have to face consequences, but the fact is -- they don't.

Lisa and the adoptive parents did not sign a contract, and even if they did, they're not legally binding in most states. In the few states that they are legally binding, the courts still would not remove a child from the adoptive parents for failing to honor an open adoption agreement. It truly sucks. Once you sign away your rights, you're really at the mercy of the adoptive parents no matter which state you live in.

Lavender Luz said...

How utterly bittersweet.

I can only imagine that moment of running into Brit at the farmers market. How was it seeing her parents? And how did they react to seeing you with LP?

Thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

SUCH A COMEDY!!!! POOR KIDDIES..... SAD AS* MOTHER! Very Lovely children.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a circus! Feel bad for this baby and for baby Brit....I am so glad Baby Brit has stable family,without a question. I feel so bad when parents can't get their shit together for sake if the children. Wish y'all the very best for children's sake...

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