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Rose in BC

My son found his birthmother on Facebook -- update

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Good advice about walking away. My sister is a pretty tough cookie (she's 8 years older than me :)). I think she'll make a raucas if he doesn't come alone.

 

The food isn't necessary for sure...I just can't not let my sister get a little fresh produce etc. maybe we're being too soft but next week when I know he's getting money we won't be buying anything.

 

I think it is a good plan. He will have, perhaps subconsciously, the juxtaposition of "adoptive family buys me shoes and fruit....birthmom buys me nothing" and that is good to have in his head. 

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I'm praying that when your son is out with your sister he gets a glimpse into what his birth family is not providing for him and how poorly they handled getting him what he needed.  I'm sure it won't hit home in his mind today but I hope it is the starting point to what brings him home

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inquiring minds....

So, when dd was 12 she needed new pajamas. I told her that after Daddy got paid, we would get pajamas. Then one day I put on a pair of pants I hadn't worn for a while and found money in the pocket. So, to surprise dd, I went out and got pajamas and gave them to her when she came home from wherever she was.

 

She was FURIOUS with me. Why? Because I LIED to her. I said we would get pajamas AFTER Daddy got paid, and here I went and bought them BEFORE he got paid!

 

That story is now legendary in our family.

 

Tara, I've forgotten, isn't your RAD child now grown, or nearly there?

Yes, she's 19 and going off to college next week. She's much better, but I still have to remind her, "That's not the truth, that's just how you are choosing to see it so you can justify being angry at [whomever]."

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The updates are a window into the future relationship.  It's disturbing to believe they think of using you and your family in this way.  It's strange though too.  Kid needs shoes & food...Kid knows mom will move mountains to provide them.  My thinking may be off, but I think you may have to cut him off financially to allow him to see what you really provide...love.  Love and security are so much more important than good shoes and fresh veggies.

 

Working with ss is a two edged sword, but it looks like the only way to move forward.

 

I also agree with not allowing the bio-family on the shopping trip for any reason, and I would make sure all tags and receipts were removed before dropping him off.  (I feel like a hard-hearted person for writing that, but I think it would wise.)

 

 

You might even consider telling them you are recording the phone and texts in the future.  (That's if it's legal.)

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 I would make sure all tags and receipts were removed before dropping him off.  (I feel like a hard-hearted person for writing that, but I think it would wise.)

 

 

 

 

I was thinking the same thing. 

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I also agree with not allowing the bio-family on the shopping trip for any reason, and I would make sure all tags and receipts were removed before dropping him off.  (I feel like a hard-hearted person for writing that, but I think it would wise.)

 

Excellent idea. 

 

Continued good thoughts sent your way, Rose.

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So, when dd was 12 she needed new pajamas. I told her that after Daddy got paid, we would get pajamas. Then one day I put on a pair of pants I hadn't worn for a while and found money in the pocket. So, to surprise dd, I went out and got pajamas and gave them to her when she came home from wherever she was.

 

She was FURIOUS with me. Why? Because I LIED to her. I said we would get pajamas AFTER Daddy got paid, and here I went and bought them BEFORE he got paid!

 

That story is now legendary in our family.

 

 

Yes, she's 19 and going off to college next week. She's much better, but I still have to remind her, "That's not the truth, that's just how you are choosing to see it so you can justify being angry at [whomever]."

 

That sounds just like something that my Aspie would do/say. I remember once I arranged for DH to stop and pick up pizza (my son's favorite meal) on his way home, to surprise DS for doing well on a test or some such thing. DS asked if DH was stopping anywhere on the way home, as he wanted him to pick up something from the store if he was going by there. I said no, he wasn't stopping. Well, when he walked in with the surprise pizza DS had a total melt down because we lied to him, he DID stop somewhere and we said he wasn't. I explained it was a surprise. He didn't care, it was a lie. I explained that he wasn't stopping at a store, so couldn't have picked up the item DS wanted anyway. He didn't care. Was just furious he'd been lied to. I'm pretty sure I posted about it on here at that time, lol. 

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That story is now legendary in our family.    Oh, Tara.  Sending you virtual hugs.   It's helpful to have a story like that to encapsulate just how twisted the reality is for some kids.  What hurts is when you have tens or hundreds of those stories.   I wish I had a label for some of the ridiculous behavior we've endured: it's not RAD, but it is definitely a warped reality and just plain contrary behavior that started in the mid-teens and has gotten worse.  And I wish there were a way to make our family member seek help, but there isn't.   

 

 

Yes, she's 19 and going off to college next week. She's much better, but I still have to remind her, "That's not the truth, that's just how you are choosing to see it so you can justify being angry at [whomever]."    I'm glad things are getting better.  I think they are getting a bit better in our family, too, but it's slow going.  If I had a nickel for every time I've said your words, I'd be going away for a nice weekend someplace relaxing.  ; )

 

Best wishes!

 

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Quick update. Just got off phone with my sister. She picked him up at 11:30, took him to lunch, took him shopping and even got him over to her house. At her house she showed him her downstairs and told him that's where he could stay if he wanted or needed a place.

 

She ended up buying him some jeans and socks and underwear along with the shoes. And a few groceries.

 

Ds (who has always had stomach issues) did tell my sister he was having issues (I think constipated). I'm guessing he eats very little produce and he's always been a poor drinker of water.). So she gave him some Metamucil and reminded him to drink water.

 

Overall she affirmed what we've known forever. My boy does/cannot believe we all love him. This is well known to me. He has often told me he doesn't "feel" loved. Dr says symptom of RAD. But my sister was a good advocate.

 

He doesn't believe birth mom as a mental illness.

 

He told my sister that he is confused having two moms.

 

My sister did an outstanding job. And the icing on the cake! My niece took him for dinner. By himself. (Haven't heard feedback from that yet.)

 

Another day. (Eldest son has been clammering to visit his birth sister. He has OCD so doesn't easily take no for an answer when het gets fixated on something. I told him we would take him maybe in fall (his bio sister lives in same town as where ds is now.. All my kids were adopted from same city. ). I want to say "please son, I can only deal with one family reunion at a time :)!")

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I'm glad she got him over to her house.  He will now know and understand that he had a place nearby to land if he ever needs it.  That's good.

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You're doing a fantastic job, MOM! Kudos to you for parenting your child through this decision of his. Consequences now are tough, but perhaps the future will be easier because you allowed him this freedom. 

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I think it's a good sign that he is confused by having two MOMS. Despite the biological connection to the other woman, he knows that you are really MOM.

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No update. I know he's back in the city his birth mother lives (as opposed to where his birth sister and my sister and niece live). I know this because he answered my question, are you in (city) with a "yup".

 

So for the first time he's with his birth mother alone. And now the pressure starts...registering him for school, etc. I would say the party will end quickly but I honestly didnt think he'd last as long as he has.

 

It also means sporadic communication and no family contact.

 

Thanks for asking.

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Hugs and continued prayers for you. So many don't realise that finding family has both good and bad points that require a certain level of maturity to deal with.

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We are still thinking of you and your son. As hard as it may be for you not to have regular contact, reality may hit sooner if he is totally alone with birth mom and begins to live a routine of school and home. I am guessing he may begin to realize that the problems he struggles with are still there in spite of the fact he has "moved".

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Like many others, I've also been following your story.  So he's just moving in with his bio mom and starting school there?  What an unexpected turn of events for you all.  It looks like he is trying out something new and hopefully will do just fine.  Maybe he needs time to balance out his feelings for your home vs his feelings for his biological family.  This situation *almost* reminds of how a teen child feels when his parents divorce. You need time to reconcile all sorts of feelings and relationships.  It's not easy on anyone involved, but it just takes time.

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Thanks for updating us, Rose; I image this just gets more and more difficult for you to understand.

 

I hope once life in the real day to day world vs. summer vacation fun settles in he experiences a reality check.

 

 

 

No update. I know he's back in the city his birth mother lives (as opposed to where his birth sister and my sister and niece live). I know this because he answered my question, are you in (city) with a "yup".

So for the first time he's with his birth mother alone. And now the pressure starts...registering him for school, etc. I would say the party will end quickly but I honestly didnt think he'd last as long as he has.

It also means sporadic communication and no family contact.

Thanks for asking.

 

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Thanks for the update, Rose.

 

I'm glad he will be alone with his bio mom for a while, and she will have to deal with registering him for school, making sure he gets up early in he morning and out the door in time, etc. And he will have to go to a new school and meet new people and handle his schoolwork, homework, studying, and tests with no help from you.

 

I'll bet reality will start to set in for him pretty soon after school starts. And the same for his bio mom. It's easy to be the "fun parent" during summer vacation, but the day-to-day issues and responsibilities during the school year may hit her like a ton of bricks.

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What happens if she doesn't get him up or make him go to school?  If it's not a priority to him, will it be one to her?  

 

I think you said going to school was manditory for his staying there as per social services. But what happens if he doesn't? I know they can't force him home to you.  But if he doesn't go, does that cut off money to her?  Oddly that sounds like the best thing.  She doesn't wake him up, force him to go in the morning.  He's happy, she's happy, life is easy.  The money gets cut off, social services tells him why it is cut off because he doesn't go to school.  Suddenly she starts forcing him to get up and go.  Hopefully he'd see where her priorities are, if that is actually where they are. 

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I hope this serves as a reality check for all of them, that his eyes are opened to the truth, and that he will see things as they really are at home as well as where he is now.

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Any money coming from social services is contingent on school attendance. If he doesn't go, social services will cut off funding.

 

I predict that will happen. School has always been a disaster for him. I homeschooled until grade eight....I cried every single day...and I'm not exaggerating. He has been to three public schools, including one "alternate" school that supposedly accommodates kids like him.. It didnt work. I don't know how a very large public school with no idea of his need for an individual educational plan is going to work for him.

 

His biggest factor in not succeeding in school....attendance. I could not make him go. Really. I wished you'd all know in real life. I am a fairly strong woman. And I get along with virtually anyone (i have to say virtually because I'm having a little problem with son's birthmother :)).I work as a senior manager in local government. I supervise people. I could not make my ds go to school. RAD is an unreal experience. If you've never had a RAD child, well it's hard to believe their behaviour.

 

Next to a lack of attendance was an unwillingness to do what the teachers asked him to do.

 

I hope I'm wrong and this school will be the miracle solution. But I kind of doubt it.

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You already know what will happen. He might go . . . for a while. But nothing else has changed. Once he quits going and the $ is gone I bet birth mom will be singing a different tune. Be prepared for her to call you again to tell you that you need to "make" him go to school . . . or send money. Hang in there . . . I think things will deteriorate very quickly.

 

ETA - could he attend an alternative school that focuses on teaching a trade? I used to work at such a school and I saw teen boys who could not read or write and acted out because of that. But they excelled at the Vo-Tech part of their day. It gave them some confidence and hope. Just a thought.

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I am not a parent but I am following the adoption and social media trend on my own time.  I am not an attorney either but I have done some of my own research on this.  I am also a disability rights advocate and a former  technician and computer network administrator.  

I wanted to respond to Rose in BC and TaraTheLiberator.

 

First of all, we have a case in which the adoption world has not caught up to modern technology.    Facebook, Myspace, Xanga, Bebo, Google+, e-mail, YouTube, and other social media technologies are essentially unsealed sources of information, which are privately owned.  The fact that these sites are privately owned (corporations) makes them not under the same privacy laws as adoption agencies, child protective services, etc.   Many of them have a minimum age of 13 or 14 to create a profile.   Combine this with The powerful search capabilities of these sites that allow you to easily find people all over the world.  Combine this with the photos uploaded online on these sites, and other information on them, such as groups and friends lists.  This makes keeping birth family contact a court sealed secret till the child is 18 nearly impossible.    The more technicial saviness, reading comprension, memory capacity, rebelliousness, etc the child acquires, the amount of control social services has over restricting contact diminishes.   Even if a child's name is changed at the time of adoption doesn't prevent the child from initating contact, nor does it prevent the birth parents from finding their child who has been given up for adoption.  Something as simple as knowing one childhood friend who is not adopted and searching their friends list can be enough to find their new name.  Send a friend request, then accept it, and then sending an address and then type it into Mapquest.com, and the child would have enough information to make a reunion.   Sometimes Googling their name can locate a contact e-mail or phone number.    Internet contact does not go through the child protective services lettterbox system and is not censored or monitored.

The thing to realize, as the adoptive parents still have CUSTODY until the child is 18 in most cases.    For the birth mother to gain custody it would take a court to turn it over.    So legally the adoptive mother can legally go get their child, and if the visit was over a certain length, you most likely have a kidnapping case here.  

As to proceed from this point, I would first recommend that you use whatever means you have to get your child back to your house.   This may require a road trip or purchasing an airplane ticket. At least you know where he is.    


Then next would have a frank conversation WITH YOUR CHILD about how to proceed once he is back home.    Essentially you now have an OPEN ADOPTION from this point forward (even if it was originally a closed adoption).    The fact that your child obtained your birth parents contact information in an unauthorized manner does not change the fact that he/she has had face to face contact and knows their contact information now.   The chance of hiding the child's birth family now, with a teenagers memory capacity and technical knowledge, vocabulary and the fact that he had face to face contact before 18 is slim from this point.   

 

Some options you have from this point:

 

1) If he never wants to see the birth parents again, and you think they are a kidnap risk, get the police to issue a restraining order.   He may also want to block their contact on Facebook and you may want to change your phone number and consider moving if needed.

 

2) If he is really interested in having a relationship with the birth mother and sibling again, maybe set up some visitation through the proper channel, such as they visit for a week once a year or something or perhaps they only come to your house instead and visit when you are there.

 

3) It may be that he wants only telephone / online contact after this.   If this is the case, keep in mind the contact will not be censored and you may want to monitor this or create a separate facebook or e-mail account for communicating with the birth family. 


You may also want to read the book "Bubble Wrapped Children" by Helen Oakwater, the book "Facing up to Facebook" by Eileen Fursland, and the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute report "Untangling the web", as they also give insight into how Facebook is changing the adoption process.

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Guest inoubliable

 

The thing to realize, as the adoptive parents still have CUSTODY until the child is 18 in most cases.    For the birth mother to gain custody it would take a court to turn it over.    So legally the adoptive mother can legally go get their child, and if the visit was over a certain length, you most likely have a kidnapping case here.  

 

As to proceed from this point, I would first recommend that you use whatever means you have to get your child back to your house.   This may require a road trip or purchasing an airplane ticket. At least you know where he is.    

 

 

Then next would have a frank conversation WITH YOUR CHILD about how to proceed once he is back home

.  

 

Your Googlefu has failed. 

Try Googling RAD. 

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Guest submarines

Your Googlefu has failed. 

Try Googling RAD. 

 

I think it is wonderful when strangers strive to help strangers. The above response, even if it doesn't touch the RAD issues, is still very thoughtful, and the poster took his time to share his thoughts in a polite, respectful, and articulate manner. 

 

There's no magic pill that will make it all better for the OP and her DS, but when random strangers care, it is truly beautiful. 

 

Why the snarky reply?

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I am not an expert on RAD actually.   It's the first time I have heard of it.  I'll have to read some more about it. 

I wanted to add one more thing.   I also advise that once the original poster gets his/her adopted child back home, they should also make sure he knows his/her life story (the accurate version that is, not the toned down partially incorrect version given to little children when they are taken away), the reason why he/she was taken away, etc.   Ideally, this should have been given and discussed before the visit took place.    This will help them understand what is really going on with the birth famiy and the circumstances behind why he/she had to be taken away.    

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I am not an expert on RAD actually. It's the first time I have heard of it. I'll have to read some more about it.

 

I wanted to add one more thing. I also advise that once the original poster gets his/her adopted child back home, they should also make sure he knows his/her life story (the accurate version that is, not the toned down partially incorrect version given to little children when they are taken away), the reason why he/she was taken away, etc. Ideally, this should have been given and discussed before the visit took place. This will help them understand what is really going on with the birth famiy and the circumstances behind why he/she had to be taken away.

It seems you really want to help but there is a long history behind this thread that makes it much more complicated than simply going after the child. Rose is well aware of her legal rights and responsibilities and is working closely with several agencies to insure the best possible outcome for we family.

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I am not an expert on RAD actually.   It's the first time I have heard of it.  I'll have to read some more about it. 

 

I wanted to add one more thing.   I also advise that once the original poster gets his/her adopted child back home, they should also make sure he knows his/her life story (the accurate version that is, not the toned down partially incorrect version given to little children when they are taken away), the reason why he/she was taken away, etc.   Ideally, this should have been given and discussed before the visit took place.    This will help them understand what is really going on with the birth famiy and the circumstances behind why he/she had to be taken away.    

 

Not to be disrespectful, but you really need to read upon RAD---It is what makes all the difference in the case.

You cannot give advice until you understand the child and how RAD makes dealing with this child unlike dealing with any other child.

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Thanks for these comments. Our children all know their history and have always known. We've been very open and very respectful of their history. We adopted our dd (she was our first) from a private agency that dealt with open adoptions so we had a lot of counciling prior to bringing home our kids.

 

As for going together him, this boy has been physical with us. If he doesn't want to come home we won't be able to make him (and if we could get him picked up by say police he would just run away.. He's done that before even any of this transpired.

 

We are following council of social services. Not that we always agree but we need some objective, professional advice.

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Another following this thread quietly...

 

Rose, you are doing an amazing job!  The fruit will not likely be seen for a while down the road (maybe years!), but your sacrifice is not in vain.  Your ds has a safe home where people love him, even if he doesn't see it that way.  He has a safe place to land when his new world comes crashing down. He has a measure by which to compare what a healthy person and a healthy family look like.

 

 

RAD aside, I had never even considered how fb changes adoption. Wow!  I'm sure you aren't the only one living this sort of nightmare. :crying:

 

 

 

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Any money coming from social services is contingent on school attendance. If he doesn't go, social services will cut off funding.

 

I predict that will happen. School has always been a disaster for him. I homeschooled until grade eight....I cried every single day...and I'm not exaggerating. He has been to three public schools, including one "alternate" school that supposedly accommodates kids like him.. It didnt work. I don't know how a very large public school with no idea of his need for an individual educational plan is going to work for him.

 

His biggest factor in not succeeding in school....attendance. I could not make him go. Really. I wished you'd all know in real life. I am a fairly strong woman. And I get along with virtually anyone (i have to say virtually because I'm having a little problem with son's birthmother :)).I work as a senior manager in local government. I supervise people. I could not make my ds go to school. RAD is an unreal experience. If you've never had a RAD child, well it's hard to believe their behaviour.

 

Next to a lack of attendance was an unwillingness to do what the teachers asked him to do.

 

I hope I'm wrong and this school will be the miracle solution. But I kind of doubt it.

I know that the financial support the state is giving the birth mom is possibly a motivator for her to try to keep him....but I wonder if this isn't a mixed blessing for your son, in terms of his education.  Based on his history, yes, he may drop out as soon as things get rough.  OR, maybe, just maybe, this whole situation may be the motivation he needs to actually stay in school.  It would be an odd blessing....but it would be something!  

 

You know how RAD works, it is always the oddest situation that seems to finally 'click' and motivate the RAD person.  It can be thing that is the most unexpected, and honestly, sometimes the most ridiculous for the person on the outside looking in.  I wish this wasn't the way it is, but it is just how it seems to be.  For my dd, it seems like she just takes our lives, gives it a good hard shake and then prioritizes things based on how they randomly fall.  The easy things are hard, and the hard things are easy.  The pleasurable, only lasts for a few seconds, the uncomfortable....seems to be physically painful.  And then just when we get it figured out...she gives us all another good hard shake and the pieces start falllng like glitter in a snow globe again. 

 

 I really hope that this peculiar situation creates such a strange dynamic, that he feels an actual obligation to his bio-mom.  One thing that I doubt he has ever felt..... is that his dropping out of school could lead to someone not having rent money!  Maybe, he would benefit from some real world consequences for his behavior.  Even as parents who try to allow natural consequences to guide their discipline, the kids still know that the parents are still often in control over the consequences.  This circumstance could remove some of that perception, and some consequences may actually hit home.  That is, unless he decides to blame you for everything, for always....and then, well, all bets are off!  LOL 

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Rose, I check in on you every day on this thread. I hope and pray that this situation turns out to be a blessing in disguise. I just see so much potential for your son to learn, grow, and to see the world with more perspective. Whether that will happen sooner vs. later is unknown, but I see the potential. I had a time in my life when my world was turned upside down and inside out. It was the hardest and darkest time of my life, but now I look back on that time and am so grateful for it. To claw my way out of the darkness I had to do some deep soul-searching. I had to find who I was and find my inner strength. I had to let go of my fears and learn to embrace each moment just as it was even when the moments were imperfect in my mind. By embracing the imperfection I was finally able to release my frustrations and fears. Only then was I able to move forward and direct my energy towards creating a better reality.

 

Does school start soon? I'm sure we're all interested to hear how school goes for him.

 

You're an amazing woman, Rose. Your strength comes through in your posts. I had a friend who once told me she thought she had become a worse person since having kids. Being a parent can be so difficult we have to find new strength to make it through and to still have our own identity as a good person. What you have done for your son and what you are doing now has been and is difficult, messy, and stressful, and I have found that it's people who are willing to perservere through such times (as you have done all these years) that are able to understand what unconditional love is all about.

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I've been lurking on this thread. Have been thinking of you and your son. Hope everything is ok. Well, as ok as it can be in this situation.

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