June 22, 2010

I need your advice

So I've heard recently that Pie's birthmother is spiraling out of control a bit. We've known as long as we've known her, that there are mental health issues. She has, however, attempted with medical help to keep them under control. Apparently not so much anymore.

I have known that there have been problems since Pie's birth, a dismissal of meds, self-medicating, etc. But she has never been anything but even-keeled with Pie. So I have felt like it wasn't my place to say anything. Obviously Pie is my first priority, but how much of birthmother's issues are my responsibility?

Given our unique relationship, I feel like maternal towards Pie's birthparents as well. Like I need to take care of them...make sure they are eating, paying their bills, taking care of each other...

At this point I don't really need to worry about her relationship with Pie, maybe when she gets older, but right now it's cool. But I feel like in the mean time I need to take care of her birthmother. Am I crazy?

29 comments:

crisc23 said...

Your not crazy just means you have a good heart =)

sara said...

Thanks Cris =)

Her Momma said...

no, you're not crazy. if it weren't for the BM, you wouldn't have Pie so of course there's concern... but like you said, your first priority is and always will be Pie. And really, I'd venture to guess that only the BM can help herself...

Tiffany Harkleroad said...

Not crazy, just caring! I would suggest you be cautious however.

Jenny said...

I think that it is a natural "nurturing" instinct that we have as mothers/women to take care of others that can't take care of themselves. Just be sure that you are giving her tools and resources so that she can help herself and not doing things for her. If you make it too easy, she will never learn to take care of herself. Hang in there.

Jenny

sara said...

Her Momma - I think you're right. She really can only help herself. I just don't know if ther's something I can do for support.

sara said...

Tiffany - That line is what I'm struggling with...can't decide what's appropriate and not.

sara said...

Jenny - That's the right way to go for sure. I jsut don't know how to approach the situation with her...

Marc said...

WEll of course the baby is where your conerns should lie. An you know that, I know you want to help everyone but some people CANT be helped ( you know Ihave first hand knowledge in saying this) and honestly, she will need to help herself. Even if you fix the current situation there will just be more and hse wont learn..its like when you were teaching Pie to sleep in her crib.. she had to learn to comfort herself.. it felt bad when you were doing it and it was hard but now you are both better for it and she learned something important

Sara said...

This is such a touchy subject. And I'm sorry you even have to deal with something like this. I would be very cautious too.
And I think someone else mentioned this: She has to want to help herself before anyone else can help her. It's a lost cause if she's not willing. I've learned this from past experiences. And it's heartbreaking, yes.
My advice: You've opened the doors to Pie's life for them (and your own) and this is enough. They can choose to keep them open or they can choose to close them. Your family's safety and well being is your #1 priority, but you already know that.

Cindy @ This Adventure, Our Life said...

You are kind hearted to feel that way! I would feel this way also. Just as other have said be cautious that you are helping and not aiding in the issues. If you ever have issues it is always good to ask people who know about these things (I have a family member right now that has some major drug issues, I do not deal with her but our family is having to get help in dealing with hear and not aiding her. As your issue is not the same it is always good to know what is helping and not and how far to take it.) Good Luck, and keep us posted.

Crystal said...

No, you are definitely not crazy. You have a heart for your child for a birthmother who gave this world another life. Maybe now while Pie is small enough, take advantage of that and reach out. Offer resources and help and prayer. But people will only heal if they truly want to--sometimes just knowing others are there could lead them down that path.

Lacey said...

You've got the Mommy gene. It's just in you to take care of those in need. That makes you great!

-K said...

You're not crazy, you're a mama and this will carry through to everything. Being compassionate isn't a fault, it's a rare virtue.

Best Housewife said...

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sara said...

Marc - Always with the brotherly advice :) And I know well that you have first hand experience...WAY too much experience!

sara said...

Well said Sara.

sara said...

Cindy - I definitely don't want to aid her...but I really don't know how to help without doing so. I guess I need to get some more info for myself first.

sara said...

Crystal - I just don't want to come across as pushy or overstep my bounds. That's why I'm struggling with how to approach the whole situation.

sara said...

Thank you Lacey...sweet of you to say.

sara said...

K - Thank you for saying so. I know that since Pie's arrival my maternal instinct has jumped up considerably!

sara said...

Thank you BH! I'm headed over to collect shortly!!

Nikki said...

Your not crazy...you sound like a very compassionate woman. Wanting to take care of people is a wonderful trait to have....just make sure that you do what you think is best for YOUR family!

sara said...

Thanks Nikki. I just wonder how much of my family includes Pie's birthparents...

Katie said...

I don't think that's crazy at all- it's sweet. It's a wonderful thing, actually. Compassion and empathy are too undervalued in our society.

I am said...

My two cents can be summed up in one word: CAUTION!!!
As our friend at productionnotreproduction mentioned in the most recent book club round table, there are a lot of pressures for adoptive parents that needn't be there. I believe this is one of them. For me this is underscored several times with red ink because ongoing mental health questions are involved. There are many more connections and degrees of subtlety involved because of this.
My suggestion is to attempt to think of the birthfamily as friends. They helped bring a child into your family, but they are not your children. As I see it there isn't even a need to view this as tough love. This is about relational boundaries, and drawing them clearly is even more important when mental illness is an issue. Consider thinking of the b-mom as a close cousin. Family, but you're not worrying about whether they've paid the rent. The mentally ill deserve lots of compassion and deserve to be taken seriously. The damage the illness can do must be taken seriously as well. As I'm sure you know, no one can "love her better." Be compassionate. Be cautious. Love knows no bounds, but it cherishes healthy boundaries.

sara said...

Thanks Katie.

sara said...

I Am - as ALWAYS well said. Even though you're a internet connection as opposed to an IRL connection...I value your opinion.

Ally said...

Oh no Sara, please be careful. Don't let yourself be taken advantage of. You seem very caring, loving and kind, I would hate for you to get too involved in something over your head. It is definitely a tricky situation, please just set limits.

I hope that didn't come off sounding harsh. I understand where you're coming from and would be feeling the same way you are. Please don't think I'm judging you. Keep us posted!

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