When The Birth Mother Dies

My children’s biological mother is dead.

I only know because one day, I decided to be nosy and check jail records to see if she’d been up to anything. She hadn’t. Because it turns out that after years of being worried that I would run into her with the kids, she was gone. She had been gone for a few months but for us, she had just died.

When I looked her up that day, I wasn’t doing it for any noble reason. I was assuming that she was still a mess and I wanted the info. It quickly turned into something completely different.

The Gut Reaction

Through the years, I have struggled to make peace with the fact that one day, they would most likely want to find her. Selfishly, I dreaded it but I also planned to be supportive if the time came. But, suddenly, that wasn’t an option for them.

And, I was so relieved. They were now 100% mine.

But, the relief quickly changed to guilt for feeling that relief. I wish that I hadn’t had such a self-centered reaction.

She was their mother first.

The reality is that she was their biological mother and she is gone. Now there is no chance that she will get her life together, not that I really thought she would. Now, they wouldn’t ever have the opportunity to reconnect with her. That was that.

Of course, as my mind was racing, I was sending screenshots to Brian to update him and scowling at the obituary that included their names. There is definitely some irony in the fact that she claimed them from the grave but they weren’t notified that she passed. Anyway, Brian and I agreed to talk to the kids together when he got home.

While there is clearly some anger that we both need to let go of, Brian and I were more worried about the kids.

Telling The Kids

So later that night, one by one, we talked to the kids. Brian thought that it might be easier on them to hear the news without their siblings there so that they would feel safe to react however they wanted. We were gentle, compassionate and left our feelings out of it.

And they barely reacted.

It was a little odd. But, not completely surprising since only one of them freely shows his emotions, anyway. But, the reality is that they really didn’t feel much of a loss. I think it’s safe to assume that it will mess with their heads at some point but it was a relief to see them handling it ok.

To paraphrase one of them, “It’s hard to get upset about losing someone who didn’t want to fight for you.”

That one hit me hard. What must that feel like? To not feel that unconditional love that you deserved, right from the beginning. God knows, they have it now. I just hope it’s enough to fill the void that they don’t currently think they have. But, how could they not?

It’s so complicated, this adoption world. The fact that they are adopted doesn’t come up all the time, not like it used to. But, it turns out that a difficult conversation could be one google search away.

6 thoughts on “When The Birth Mother Dies

  1. Wow…I’m sure that’s a lot of emotion for all of you, even if the kids didn’t have a big reaction. Sometimes things take a bit to sink in. Or maybe they can’t miss what they never had. And the one thing they did have is a mom who loved them and cared for them the way they deserve to be loved. And if that’s the only mom they know, then they aren’t missing out on anything. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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