Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome Back

I'm a strong believer in open adoptions. Unfortunately with the children I have adopted from the foster care system, maintaining a relationship with birth parents doesn't usually happen. The only birth parent that I have been able to have somewhat of a relationship with is Ashley's birth mother.

Several years after bringing Ashley home, I was really driven to see if I could locate her birthmother. I'm not sure exactly why - maybe because I was so proud of the beautiful child Ashley was that I wanted to let her birth mother share in that joy.

With the help of an adoption document that wasn't fully redacted, and with Detective Internet, I found the person I believed to be Ashley's birth mother. I wrote her a letter and included a picture of Ashley. I didn't pressure her to contact me back, but I hoped she would.

Two years passed before I received an email from her. Then there were a few phone calls and then we became Facebook friends. None of this is to imply we were close or even had much of a relationship, but it was a tentative connection that was important to me.

I learned that Ashley had two younger siblings, children who like Ashley, were adopted by a family headed to Delaware. I was disappointed that Social Services had not contacted me about the siblings, but such was the fate that was determined.

Then Ashley's birth mother dropped out of touch again. Another couple of years passed, and just today, she showed up again on Facebook. We've commented to each other, and I hope we can continue to do so.

I learned that she is engaged and has a 9 month old son. She seems very happy, and I sincerely hope her life is headed in the direction she wants it to head in.

And I sincerely hope that we can meet one day. I would still like for her to see Ashley, and most importantly, I would like to thank her for the gift she gave me almost 14 years ago - the most wonderful gift in the world, my darling daughter.


kiki said...

Dear Ashley's mom, I have an honest question for you. I don't want you to think I am being mean or rude, and if it comes across this way I am deeply sorry. I really enjoy reading your blog and agree with many of your opinions and I love love the fact that you are open to welcoming any child who needs you into your home. but something has always bothered me. Why is your user name Ashley's Mom when you have so many wonderful children? I find it hard to belive that you would have a favourite, but would never think less of you if you did. How do your other children feel about this? I am just curious, I will still read your blog, enjoy your stories and take of your wisdom if you do not answer me. I don't expect you to answer in the comments section so her is my email

Kiki Mikolahi

Ashley's Mom said...

Kiki, I don't mind answering in the comments.

This blog started well over 1000 posts ago as a tribute to my daughter. Hence my title of Ashley's Mom.

Over time, it has evolved to be more - more about my other children, more about disability advocacy, more about technology for the disabled, more about adotpion, etc.

As with any task, initial thoughts and actions often grow into something much bigger - and that is what has happened with this blog. The more I write, the more I find my voice and my true purpose.

But my blog's roots are in my life with my daughter, and I don't want to change the name now.

As with the many labels that so often beleaguer people with disabilties, the labels themselves are not so important - it's what's inside that counts :)

kiki said...

Thank you very, very much for indulging my curiosity :)

Kiki Mikolahi