Monday, November 12, 2007

Birthdays




Kayla

Yesterday was Breanna’s sixth birthday. She celebrated with her friends at Chuck E Cheese and I sent her some homemade socks and other goodies. I am waiting for pictures from her mom, which will be coming soon.
But today I am celebrating the birthday of my other granddaughter, Kayla. She turns 13 today. My daughter, Heather, was 17 and unmarried and wise enough to know that she did not have the resources to raise a child on her own. I was still reeling from my divorce and barely holding my head above water, financially or emotionally. The young man involved was not even ready to acknowledge paternity, let alone take over any responsibility for her welfare, or have any sort of ongoing relationship with Heather or his daughter. By the time he got around to admitting that he could have fathered this child, it was too late. Decisions had already been made. He signed over his rights without much resistance. Heather has seen him once or twice since then and had to mightily restrain herself from going over and knocking his block off.
It was a tough decision to make, and one of the most heart wrenching memories I have is the day that we gave her to Robert and Michelle to raise. It was supposed to be an open adoption, and for three years it was. We saw her several times and took lots of pictures. She was a beautiful little girl and her parents loved her. So did we. She was being raised by two loving parents who had two older boys, also adopted, and lots of animals all around. Even though we lived a few miles from each other, we respected their boundaries and tried to not interfere with her upbringing. Michelle is an excellent mother, and she works very hard at providing the best she can for her children.
And then things changed. Robert and Michelle got a divorce, then Michelle took the kids and moved several states away. We corresponded for several years more. We sent Christmas an birthday presents. Kayla has known from the beginning that she is adopted. She has pictures of her and Heather from when she was younger.
I don’t’ know what happened about seven years ago. I know that Michelle stopped responding to emails, and then stopped sending pictures. Did she feel threatened by Kayla’s independence? Did she become afraid that one day in a fit of anger, Kayla would want to come live with Heather? I don’t know. I do know that from our side, that Heather never ever considered that as an option. She has abided by her decision from day one. We would have sent her right back to Michelle.
So, today my thoughts are with Kayla. I wonder what she looks like now? Is she a typical teen ager, interested in lots of things with her friends? Is she still taking dancing lessons? What subjects does she like in school? Does she like school? What are her dreams and hopes for the future? Does she still live in a household with lots of animals?
I know where she lives. I found Michelle online last year, living in a small town in Washington. Robert is also living up there, too. I don’t know whether they are together or not. I wrote a letter to Michelle last year, and it was returned. It was a friendly, non-threatening (I hope) letter wishing her well and updating her on the rest of the family. It was returned to me. I sent it to Robert. I don’t know if he got it or what. I just know that it was not returned. I really don’t want to intrude on her privacy, but I wonder what my granddaughter is up to these days.

2 comments:

Boyd said...

I hope you get to see her again soon and reestablish at least some minimal contact.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

This is a really heart-wrenching story, Anne. I ditto what Boyd said. Is this photo of Breanna or when Kayla was little? Beautiful little girl. I'd say you have had just about enough pooh-pooh-caca in your life--and so it is.