Divided Loyalties

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Adoption / Foster Care / In Transition

I’m struggling with loyalty issues. When E and I were matched, I was told that loyalty might be rough for him. He loves his bio-mom, and has been a care-giver for her, so I was warned that it might be hard for him to attach to me as a mother. Well. I think it was maybe January when he started calling me “Mom” on a regular basis, and not just in a joking way. Then in February, he had the major blow-up with his bio-mom and sister, and since then, has struggled a lot. He decided he wanted to suspend visits with them for the time-being (I found out the hearing to decide this is Friday, actually). Then, when we were on vacation last week, he was trying to delete an old Facebook account and found posts from his sister. He responded by writing, “You’re not my sister.” There was a little more back and forth before I put an end to it.

He’s angry at his bio-mom and feels betrayed by her, and his sister is absolutely loyal to her, and defensive of her (she is in care, but has no interest in being adopted), and so the anger transfers to her as well. Plus, they have never had a close relationship. He has every right to feel this way. He hasn’t had a great childhood, and has to deal with the emotional garbage leftover from that, stuff that’s due to his bio-parents choices, and not his.

And yet. I don’t want to encourage any idea he has that he has to choose between us, that to love me and call me mom means that he has to completely separate himself from his bio-family. I want him to feel he can love us both. That’s what I want for him: to know he has a choice. Then, if he chooses to pull away from them, it will be because he feels it is best, not because he feels obligated in order to build the adoptive relationship.

So I struggle. So complicated, so many grey areas.

The Author

I'm a pastor. I believe in radical love and ridiculous grace. I love to sing and sew, and have a shop on Etsy. I'm trying to make my ecological footprint smaller. I have chickens who provide endless entertainment. Oh, and I'm a formerly single mom by choice, son E (born 6/00, placed 11/23/11, adoption finalized 11/21/14) and now making a life with The Dude and his two kids, Girl-E (12/02) and C (9/04). Baby Bumpy due to arrive around 5/25/15! This blog chronicles my thoughts on faith, family, and the wild adventure we call Life!

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