Last week I had a call from a withheld number on my mobile. Normally it is a social worker calling and this was no exception. We shared pleasantries and then she dropped the bomb shell. Spuds birth mum had died the day before.
All the preparation training, reading and being in the adoption world had not prepared me for that telephone call. Never had it crossed my mind that it could happen. I don’t know why it was not even in my outer most thoughts as birth family had a very chaotic life with drugs and alcohol.
Suddenly I was swept by such emotion, tears, upset, fear and heartbreak.
How was I going to tell Spud? What had happened? How? Why?
My little boy’s life was never going to be the same again.
I stayed talking on the phone for a few minutes really not being able to take the information in. I asked a few questions but couldn’t make sense of the information I was being told.
When I put the phone down I tried calling Mr Football. He was at work and didn’t pick up. I then tried several of my bestest friends who are all adopters who I knew would understand. No-one picked up! I needed to try and talk and to try and make sense of what I had been told.
I was not sure how I should be feeling. Of course there is no right or wrong way to feel but such a strange feeling.
This young women had caused so much hurt to my son but she was the reason he was my son. She was always going to be something I never could be to him – his birth mum.
I had always tried to stay as neutral to her as possible. I was surprised by the feelings I had and also for her extended family. I felt for her mum but maybe that is because I am a mum myself now.
I was also angry that this could happen especially just before Christmas.
I felt sorry that a young life had been taken, that Spud would never be able to ask the questions to her when he was older.
I managed to speak to a couple of friends who I am very grateful to that were there for me, that listened to my ramblings, didn’t judge and understood.
I also spoke to Mr Football who came home from work early. We decided to go straight to school and pick Spud up. School were amazing and we took Spud home and told him his birth mum had died.
He was shocked and went very quiet. He asked questions like I had of how, when and why which I answered as much as I could but said we really didn’t have much information. He said he was not sure how he felt which I totally understood. He said he was sad but could we carry on as normal.
That evening he stayed very close to me, we talked through information like how old she was, where her funeral maybe etc.
Spud needed to be held in bed that night.
The last couple of days have brought no more information which I think has been very hard.
We have spoken about if Spud would like to send flowers to her funeral. He wants to send pink roses. He then tells me they are the only flowers he knows the name of!
We also promised Spud we would be open and honest and feel that we have and this has helped during the last few days.
He has come to me for a cuddle and said he is sad. For Spud I think it is spilt loyalties. Like me, he has no idea how he feels.
I have told a few of our family members and the responses have surprised me. My parents can’t understand why I am upset. I have tried to explain but to be honest, I am not really sure why I am so upset after what this women’s did to my son.
My siblings have been a bit more understanding which in it’s self has surprised me. All we can do it take each day as it comes. Validate mine and Spuds feelings, acknowledge that she was and will always be his birth mum.
We have to ensure that she is not on some pedestal and that a balance is maintained.
If I am honest, now I have had a couple of days to really think, I am very very slightly relieved that she will never come back into Spuds life when he is older, won’t be able to drag Spud into her chatic life and I can stop scanning and looking over my shoulder. Not proud of these particular feelings but they are there.
So back to the title of this post. That telephone call did change everything forever but also changed nothing. We don’t see birth mum, have contact with her apart from letterbox once a year or have her in our lives so in that respect, nothing has changed.