I was so excited to find out the names of M’s other siblings, their ages, and a bit about where they are. I was able to friend M’s brother’s dad (who has sole custody) on M’s facebook, and found out that the second oldest sibling was adopted in Texas by paternal grandparents, and the oldest sibling was raised by her great-grandparents. The family dynamics are certainly very complicated, as in most families but maybe more so when you factor in the loss, resentment, and intense feelings that accompany situations where people are raising their family members’ kids.
I felt it was necessary to check with Cindy before visiting or communicating too much with relatives. She is, after all, my primary focus as the first mother. I don’t want to trip a wire that I’m unable to see in the vast sea of family relationships that are happening over there. She assured me that I could visit Aunt K, the grandpa, the great-aunt… everyone who has expressed interest in knowing M. That was great to know. She had one person that she preferred M not to be around, and I respect that. I’m sure I will find out more about why in time but I felt it was important to give her a sense of involvement in the whole reunion process.
She also told me about her current relationship and… baby #6 is on the way. A boy. I hesitate to tell any of my friends and family this because I always get such a judgmental reaction. I, too, am in favor of responsible family planning and contraception, but it’s not my place nor do I want it to be to pass judgment on someone for how many children they plan to have. Of course, I am hoping and praying that little brother will not be exposed to substances and that Cindy will be successful in her parenting endeavors. I am of the mindset that I will encourage and support her (from afar) and try my best to get to know M’s first younger sibling. I sort of wish she lived in my state (or communicating neighbor state) so that if the kid went into the system, I could do an emergency kinship placement. M’s family is my family, and I would want him to be with me. But alas. I just hope he doesn’t somehow disappear and we lose track of him forever.
Otherwise, I have been super thrilled to learn new things about our daughter! She gets her big feet from her first mom! Cindy says people have always made fun of how big her feet were. And M was nicknamed Happy Feet during the pregnancy because Cindy said she kicked constantly. Yep, that’s my girl! And the doctors told Cindy that it was a boy at every ultrasound. Surprise!
I told Cindy that when M grows up she is really going to love hearing these things from her. But, just in CASE, I am recording them all to tell her myself, if I have to.
I have so many more questions for Cindy and her family. Just a few examples besides the obvious medical history question:
Where is Cindy’s mom? Do they have a relationship?
Does she have any information about the name or place of the 2nd sibling?
What are the details of M’s birth?
What is Cindy’s side of the story about her removal?
Does she have any info about M’s father, his nationality, his likes/dislikes, where he went, how they met, etc?
What led her to leave our state for the current one, and why did she choose to come back to have M here?
What was Cindy like as a child? Which sibling was she closest to?
I actually have a million more questions, really nosy ones, but I’m sure that with every new shred of information a hundred more questions will emerge. I will never know everything, no one ever can, but every piece is a little priceless gem to me.