View Full Version : Deep Breath - Here is why I have been MIA

12-12-2010, 09:14 PM
For a touch of background, DD was my stepdaughter. I adopted her in August after her bio-mom walked away in June of this year. DH has always had custody of DD since she was 6 months old, with every other weekend visitation to BM. I have been in DD's life as her stepmom since she was 3. She is now 8.

DD is ADAH Impulsive. We do not medicate, and have never told her of her learning disabilities.

DD started reading at the age of 4, and was doing basic math at that age. We put her in private school, with 4 students total, for K and 1st. Then the private school closed. We put her in public school for a month before we got tired of fighting with them. We started homeschooling in October of this year.

Anyway, we were on track to have the second grade curriculum completed by December, with DD already doing pre-alg. and reading at a 6th grade level. Then everything went to h-e-double toothpick.

At the beginning of November, DD's older sister, S., (BM's first daughter) asked to see DD. Her grandparents called and said that she was living with them (she was living with her own father and stepmom) and could DD come over. We said okay, and then decided that it would be better if we picked up S for a few hours and take her to breakfast. During that time we noticed a lot of whispering and secrecy. DD refused to tell us what was up, even though we have a no secret policy in our home.

Right after that visit, DD refused to learn anymore. She refused to pay attention, she started being mouthy to me, and she did all of this outside of DH seeing it. I kept telling DH that there was an issue, and he would try to be understanding, but he was not seeing it, so he thought I was just being too sensitive. Then it happened. She did it in front of him in a big way after I decided that we should unschool for a bit. At the end of November she went off the deep end. She told me to "get the f*** out of her house. She started telling me I was a nobody. She told DH that she did not have to respect me. We took her to a counselor, and she tried to claim that I beat her (I have never laid a hand on her - ever!) We took her to a general doctor, and she lied and said that everything was fine.

Then it escalated. She started destroying her room while she was supposed to be sleeping. This included drilling holes int he wall with a paper clip, using a marker on her comforter, tearing open her feather tick, etc. DH and I found this and decided to go through her room. That is when we found out that her BM had smuggled letters into our home though the sister. These letters told DD that I was nothing to her, that BM was going to come save her from us - and on and on. We were devastated. We were trying to keep a relationship between the girls, and we were duped (and poor S. was used). As a side note, BM has access to DD through letters sent through our attorney.

Anyway, we talked with DD and showed her the letters. She started crying and saying that BM was going to come get her and what we said did not matter. Things have been getting a little better the past few days, but we are nowhere near close enough to trust anyone, much less start schooling again.

Input would be nice but not necessary. I just needed to get this out.

12-12-2010, 09:23 PM
I'm just sending you some virtual hugs!

12-12-2010, 09:42 PM
BM sounds like one of the most selfish people I've ever heard of. I know of a case with an open adoption that is now being contested by the birth parents three years after the fact. They want to take the child away from the only home he's ever known. I can't fathom that level of selfishness, and in this case, the foulness that it takes to twist around the brains of two children to achieve what you want. Unspeakable.

Hang in there. You're doing the right thing.

12-12-2010, 11:33 PM
oh, crap! You probably should head back to a therapist now that its all out in the open. poor kid! Is there any legal way bm can get custody? I've followed one blog some about a woman who adopted some traumatized kids and is really in to theraputic parenting and she has been posting some stuff about how adoption is ALWAYS traumatic for the child (ok, there are some ppl who seem to come through it fine) - but that sense of abandonment from your MOTHER . . . it is so hard to come back from that feeling that even your mother didnt really love you . . .

anyways, this is the blog if you are interested, even tho I have never adopted or stepparented, I find her advice is amazing for handling kids when they are out of balance emotionally.


12-12-2010, 11:33 PM
Oh, warning, she is very religious, her husband was a minister, but even tho i'm pretty athiestic/agnosticy, i just look past the god stuff. she's really cool.

Miguels mommy
12-13-2010, 02:15 AM
All I can offer is hugs. Hope your situation turns around soon.

12-13-2010, 06:48 AM
Carla and I are offering virtual hugs and moral support. I hope your family can get past this bump in the road of life. We just mailed our letters in the penpal exchange with your family, but we completely understand if you need to put that aside for now.

12-13-2010, 09:34 AM
I adopted my stepdaughter when she was 9. By me adopting her this severed any legal relationship between the birth mother (in our case she had already died) and her birth mothers family.

Call your lawyer. If you legally adopted her, YOU are legally her mother and the birth mother has no LEGAL claim to her. With the letters and your daughters behaviors as evidence, I would go to court to get a restraining order. As for the sister, I don't hold her responsible, she is a product of a dysfunctional family. BUT, I would put ALL contact on hold. Your daughter needs to understand that there are reasons she may not understand, but this is just how it is. She has to trust you and your husband have her best interests at heart.

12-13-2010, 10:46 AM
I'm sorry for your trouble and lots of cyber hugs your way.

I'm with Berta on this, tell your lawyer! Legally the BM has NO RIGHTS to this child! She was nothing more than the egg donor and incubator. BM's actions may even have been criminal with the covert communication and resulting behaviors demonstrated by the child. I'm also with Cara too, time to revisit the counselor with this new information (BM's sabotaging letters). The child is definitely confused and conflicted between the differences of a BM and adoptive mom. Fairy tales tell the child that the step-mom is supposed to be evil and the "real" mom is supposed to love them. But we as adults know that reality is often different. A "real" parent is the one who takes the responsibility to love, protect, provide, nurture, and raise the child, even if it is not biologically theirs. Bio parents can be neglectful and abusive and the step-parent can be the rescuing hero. She needs help seeing this.

Good luck.

12-13-2010, 11:05 AM
You have all of my sympathy. I helped raise my ex-common-law husband's two children for 10 years. Their mother was a passive-agressive and she would constantly lie to them about everything. She was so selfish, didn't care if she hurt her children. And of course, when they are children they can't really see the truth--That's their mom so they keep hoping she's telling the truth. We split up when the kids were 14 & 15 and the girl who is now 25 still calls me occasionally and still considers my parents her grandparents. I wish you all the best. Being a step-parent is tough enough but gets really bad when you deal with people like BM.

12-13-2010, 11:37 AM
You definitely need to get back to the counselor. I dealt with issues like this for many years with my ex. I had full physical custody of the children and he had every other weekend visitation. Oy, the things he and his new wife would say to the girls about my husband and myself. They've destroyed my reputation in my hometown; although I suppose if I cared I could set things straight.
If it is any consolation, that sort of thing usually only works with young children. Eventually, she will grow to see things for the way they are; my girls did. They see their Dad very rarely now and they know not to take anything he says seriously. I know that it is hard to see now but it will work out.

Just be the bigger person and focus on making your home a better place.

12-17-2010, 10:32 PM
there is a great series of books by Heather Forbes from her website Beyond Consequences (http://www.beyondconsequences.com/) I read these based on my son's mental abuse in PS, there is a tendency towards religion, but basically she says all negative behavior is fear based, getting to the root of the fear is the first part of getting trust back (for you and for your DD).
Good luck, at 8 they can be so afraid of so much, they don't think rationally- their brains are not fully developed, I hope you all find some peace.

12-18-2010, 05:39 AM
Oh I'm so sorry this is happening. Sending you virtual ((hugs)) and my deepest sympathy.

12-19-2010, 02:31 PM
Holy crap, you have had your hands full! I don't have anything to add except to extend my sympathy and sincere hope that things get resolved for your (YOUR!) family. Your daughter needs you now more than ever, even if she does not realize it. (It sounds like BM needs help, too, as much as I don't want to be sympathetic to her at all.) Good luck and warmest wishes!

12-21-2010, 12:53 PM
I can't imagine how difficult this must be for all of you. Keeping you in my thoughts.