Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Can't We Be Friends?
I heard from Ashley’s birthmother again last week. After finally making contact with her a couple of years ago, I get emails about every 4-6 months asking how Ashley is doing. Here is a post I wrote a while back after speaking with her about an upcoming surgery for Ashley. While most of the people who are aware of the circumstances surrounding Ashley’s birth don’t understand why I would even entertain a conversation with her birth mother, I do feel it is important for several reasons.
First, I want to have as complete a picture of Ashley’s life, and that includes her life before I met her at 18 months old, as I can. I want to be able to answer her questions should she have any about her birth and her birthmother. I need to know if anything happened to Ashley in those first 18 months of life that could possibly have a lifelong impact on her.
Secondly, I would really like to have some family medical history. Ashley’s birthmother has been reluctant to share that information with me about her family, and has refused to provide contact information for the birthfather. But, I’m still hopeful that one day she may be willing to share such information. Yes, Ashley has a lot of medical conditions already – most related to her premature birth and her birthmother’s abuse of alcohol during pregnancy, but is there more? Did heart disease or diabetes run in the family? What has been the average life span of the members of Ashley’s birth family? Has there been mental illness diagnosed? I don’t want these answers to judge, but only to help Ashley prepare for her future.
And finally, although this is selfish of me, I would like Ashley’s birthmother to know Ashley – to see what a happy, loving child she is – to know that Ashley is the love of my life and that I will always do what is in her best interest. I would like for the birthmother to agree that Ashley is better off now, and maybe with that knowledge, move forward to silence her own demons once and for all.
Ashley brightens the life of everyone who meets her, and I think her birthmother could use a little of that brightness – both now and in the future.