Thursday, November 21, 2013

~To my Children's Father~

Dear *Name*,

I wish I could write this letter in blood, so you would know how far from the depths of my heart this comes from.  I ask you to look at me, not as the enemy, but as a friend...humbled and sincere with every word I write. 

I don’t feel you and I have been honest with each other enough to form a foundational relationship. I know this somewhat falls on my shoulder, as so many times I’m speechless on what to say. 

Please understand I am not, nor have I ever had the mindset of taking your children from you, or in making them my own. Circumstances in life change with every season and I have been so blessed to have Brooklynn and Silas in my life.  I am not a person who likes to cast doubt or to blame others for the way they live life. I will not ever taunt you with your past mistakes. I am so glad to see you overcoming the obstacles in your life and that you are able to better yourself by moving on from them. 

I do apologize for not taking the initiative in the beginning with building a relationship with the father of the children in my home. I was adopted very young and never had the chance to know my biological dad. Even tho I was so grateful for my adopted family and have a wonderful relationship with my Biological mother, I always had a desire to meet my father. I began searching for him a little over a year ago and instead of finding him, I found his obituary. He passed away when he was only 27 and I would never have the chance to meet him. I really think it was at that point I was focused on making sure that Silas and Brooklynn really KNEW their birth parents. 

I honestly can’t help but have a certain love for you as I see you connected to these sweet children. These babies that you helped bring into this world, whom I so dearly love...ties my heartstrings to knowing you better. I desperately don’t want this to be a battle of the wills, or a fight for who can parent best. Despite what others may say, I cringe at the statement “they are better off with her”. Had you been this focused and determined a year ago at building a bond with your children, I would have been your biggest cheerleader.  I see your hard work and your desire to be in your children’s life. But I need you to see that when I look into their confused eyes what time has been lost in the last year. I do NOT believe you are a failure or that you are not trying hard enough. Its simply that time got away from you and so much has been built in their lives based on their relationship with me and the only home they remember now. 

Give me 5 minutes of your imagination and feel for a short time the tables turned.  Imagine over a year. Imagine MORE than half Brooklynn’s life. Imagine being so selfless and giving of your entire being to these two children. You’ve given your time, your family’s time, your money, your house, your car, your food...your entire focus spent only on them. Imagine dreaming of the future with them, seeing their strides and watching them overcome so many fears. Imagine teaching them every key step in life...walking, talking, eating, potty training, riding a bike, playing, sharing. Teaching them fear, trust, love and compassion. Imagine spending countless hours comforting them when they cried, holding them all night when they were sick, laughing with them when they were funny. Imagine your life...perfect. Then the day comes. A call from someone who wants a chance to do everything you just spent soooo long perfecting. Someone who you have never met asking to take everything you had just lived for away from you.  Now as adults, we can suppress our own personal emotions and feelings for the sake of our children. But now, imagine the kids...

Imagine birthdays, holidays, vacations, movie nights spent only with the family you know.  Imagine a normal schedule already in motion. Imagine as a child, your own special room, with your own special bed, with your own special pillow and blanket. Imagine having the structure and stability of knowing where things are and being comfortable in your own home. Imagine attending your school and class for a year.  Imagine your special seat and placemat at the table. Imagine having the security and strength to fully love who takes care of you and not doubting whether they will leave you or if you will ever see them again. Imagine in a split second that person who, after a whole year, wants to redo everything.

You are no longer are independent and strong. You no longer trust or feel loved. You no longer sleep through the night or eat well. You no longer want to participate in school or class. Instead you are fussy and sad. You are glued to your only caregiver’s side and burst into tears the minute they leave the room. Your world has been turned upside down. 

*Name*,I have to tell you these things because I know you love your kids. I can see it in your smile when you first see them every week. I know you care about their well being from day to day.  I don’t judge you at all for being that person who wants to come into their lives and desire to know them more. I don’t blame you for building a relationship with them. I don’t mind you desiring to be the father you feel you should be for them. I think it is admirable that you came back and have pushed forward with determination. But with all that has formed in their lives the last 18 months, there isn’t enough 2 hour visits in a lifetime to transition them over to a completely different world. There isn’t enough money, time, or counseling that will change who has been their mommy for almost 2 years. 

Now trust me when I say...You’re the best *name* in town. Why wouldn’t you be? You play only with them for 2 hours, you bring fun snacks and amazing toys. You don’t have to been “mean” by putting them to bed or taking their batman slippers off after 4 days. You don’t have to battle it out with them to eat their salad or see who can last in a stare down when you told them to clean up. You are FUN to them:) What an amazing relationship you could have with them as a fun *name*:) Being the one who comes over with toys, yet doesn’t have to take them away when they are naughty...being the one they wait beside the door for when the holidays come around. Being apart of our family, yet not taking away everything they know and love. 

*Name*, you don’t have to prove anything to me. You don’t have to prove anything to Silas and Brooklynn. They already have a certain love for you. 

I know you can’t see behind the scenes when the kids come home from a visit. Its not you that stifles their growth and way they process life...its being out of their scheduled comfort zone. And at 2 and 3, those zones are so vital for development. There would be no backlash from visits had you been able to come into their home and build a solid relationship with them without them feeling left at a center, with people they don’t fully know. The bonds they have built with your family and mom’s family are amazing. I believe fully that the reason for those strong bonds is those people blended into Silas and Brooklynn’s already built life, not the other way around. I believe you could have the same awesome bond with them, if you blend into their life...not them into yours. 

I know you don’t want to hear this, but these kind of visits are hurting them. They hurt the kids when they had them over a year ago too. Let me shed some light on what I’m seeing. 2 months ago, the kids were in a great place in their lives. Happy, independent, structured and really growing for the good. ( I do not blame you for this, just the interruption in their lives for visits) But now, since then the kids are regressed to old habits. Silas cries at everything. He can’t focus in school. He has had potty accidents. He isn’t eating his food right. He is crying in the middle of the night. He can’t think through a problem, like putting his PJs on. He OVERLY tells us all day “I love you”. Something he started again, that he hasn’t done in a VERY long whisper to himself. He does it during bed, eating and even watching tv. That was his coping back when He had visits before. These will only get worse as his life seems off track to him.

Brooklynn is a mess. She has spend so much time glued to my hip. Grabbing the back of my shirt when she lays on my shoulder. Crying hysterically even when I put my hoodie on because she thinks I am leaving her. She’s not staying bed, but coming to “find” me many times a night. She also has had many potty accidents and not been eating well. When I leave the room she frantically tries to find me, shaking because of crying so hard. 

Again, it is not you yourself that are causing their behavioral outbursts. Its simply the situation of mixing up all they have known for almost 2 years. Being our friend and coming over for get togethers, or holidays or even meeting halfway would never have phased them. I really think you are a good thing in their life. I want them to know their dad since I didn’t have the chance. But I also don’t want them to think that after 2 years, their lives were a lie and now everything has to change. Their minds can’t take that, and moving them would truly hurt them in the long run. 

My dream in helping this process for Silas and Brooklynn, is that all this could stop and our life with you could begin. I don’t feel like adopting them would be taking them from you, but that adopting them with your blessing would allow our two families to bond into one for the main cause of these kids. I don’t want you to feel like we are playing a game and in the end someone wins. I want us to have a relationship and combine our minds together to give these kids what they have grown so much to love. The winning is left for the kids and what life already is for them. I want you and I to talk and focus hard on whats best for the kids at this time. And if you would allow me to continue to be their mommy, I would LOVE for you to be a vital part of their life as fun *name*. I am willing to put forth so much effort to make sure they know you are amazing and that you gave of your time and love. I want them to know that you wanted them, but in the end, giving of your own emotion...gave them the best ever. Not us, not our home, not our money, not our love...but gave them back their structure and stability and life...the only life they know or remember. I wouldn’t be a good mom if I didn’t let you know how I feel about them and I wouldn’t be a good person if I didn’t let you know how I feel towards you. You are not the enemy, you are their father. And I respect that. You have honored me with the greatest part of my life...Silas and Brooklynn. Thank You!

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