No matter where I am or what I do there is an invisible person in my life. The car. The house. Church. Always someone else with us. We adopted our girl this past February. Before the adoption, she lived with us for almost 3 years. She moved in with us just shy of 5 so she has memories. Memories that are not always accurate but then perceived memories are still memories.
Memories of a birth mom and dad. Not always happy but not always sad either. Some days the memories are the retelling of a funny thing her bio parents did. Other days it is a glimpse into her life before she came to live with us. A life of yelling. A life of uncertainty. A life that was frightening.
Then the reality. We live in the next town where she was removed. When we go to town there is the constant looking around. Looking over the shoulder. Waiting for the first time we will run into one or both of them since the adoption. It has been over 2 years since Little girl has seen her biological parents. She has changed a lot. I fear they have changed a lot too…not for the best. I hear through the grapevine where they are and what they are up to. Sadly their life choices have not left them in a good place. I am afraid of the first time we encounter them. What will be said? Will there be a scene? Will they even approach us? I have talked about this with Little Girl. She has a safe word. If and when we run into them it is up to her if she wants to engage. If she does and needs an out she can use her safeword with me and I will make an excuse as to why we need to move on. If they are not in a good mind space will we need to engage the police? I honestly don’t know? Perhaps they have seen us already and have gone the other way? Little girl is bigger and in a great headspace. She may ask questions they can not answer? She may regress and the suitcase will come open. (see here for background information regarding PTSD https://viewfromthebeachchair.com/ptsd-in-foster-kids/ ) This is my reality. Don ‘t get me wrong. Not for one second have I nor my husband regretted our decision to foster and adopt. We love this kid with every ounce in our bodies and she knows it. She loves us right back. There is no fear in our family. Just the uncertainty of the next time we see them…if we see them. That is the ghost of adoption.