We found out recently, that my step daughter, the mom to the little ones we are raising, is coming for a visit at the end of this month. She has not been here in a year and now she is coming with her new baby, our new grandson. Our relationship with her has been strained, to say the least, which is understandable with everything that has gone on...through the trials and tribulations of these past 2 years we have persevered, yet it has left us worn out. Although we have rejoiced in getting custody of our two little people, it breaks our hearts more than you can possibly imagine, that we even had to go through this fight...that we even ended up in this place of raising our grandchildren. This victory is bitter sweet.
For the first time in two years, she will stay in our home with us. We have agreed to give her another chance to come into our lives and earn our trust. This scares the hell out of me. To give you an idea of why this scares me, you could read this post called I am not an evil step mother. This will give you a little bit of the history I have had with her.
More than anything in the world, I want us to have a good relationship with her. More than anything else, I want her to get her life together, which up to this point she hasn't, but is now saying once again, that she wants to. We have said all along that once she is ready, we would be here with open arms to her. Up until now, she has rejected our open arms. So now she comes with another baby in her arms...our grandson. As much as we celebrate his life and already love him, we struggle with her choice to continue to bring children into this world without being capable of mothering.
Most people that know our situation, are fearful of her motives and worry that she is going to bring us more heart ache and cause more problems. Some people think that we will let her into our lives and that she will manipulate us once again and in the end, be left with another child to raise. Maybe I am being naive, but honestly I don't think that is going to happen. To be perfectly honest, none of this, is really what worries or concerns me the most, even though it is in the back of my mind all of the time.
What I worry about is my little people. They don't really know her anymore...little lady was 10 months old when she moved out of state...from the time she was born, she has spent most of her life here with us. She doesn't know her. Little man's relationship with her has never been a real mother son relationship, even though he knows her as mommy or as he calls her his "other mommy". She calls him on the phone and promises him everything...that she is going to buy him a puppy and kitty...lots of candy and toys...that she will let him do pretty much anything he wants...all of their conversations are centered on this.
When she did live here, his behavior issues were almost unbearable at times because she could not, would not, ever, tell him no or take one ounce of authority with him. Because she didn't give him appropriate attention, he would have outbursts almost continuously, while in her presence. When she did give him attention it was teaching him inappropriate things. We worked very hard on these behaviors and I am happy to say that these behaviors are but a distant memory now. The wonderful changes that have taken place with our two little people, over the last year, have been very noticable to those around us. We have worked hard to get our little people to this point and now we fear that this stability is going to be shaken up by her coming...and coming with a new baby.
It's hard because just like with parenting, there is no manual, that tells us how to do this. My heart feels torn by everything we have gone through and wanting to do the right things, by all those involved...especially the little people. It feels like I am inviting the enemy into my home, yet this is my husbands daughter and someone I love. I know that we will have to deal with her hurt feelings when she gets to see first hand, how much they have naturaly bonded with us and call us mommy and daddy. Even though she knows this already, I know that this will hurt her. Which in our defense to this, we did not ever tell them to call us this, they did this all on their own. She will see that their lives have went on and the truth of this is going to hurt her and I wonder if she will be able to cope with the truth.
These last few days, I have been praying for my own heart to be softened towards her and that I will continue to forgive her for the hurt she has caused our family. If I want her to be part of our family, I have to be willing to offer her the gift of grace.
This interruption to come, has left me distracted and unable to focus on much of anything but this. I feel like a mother bear that wants to protect her young. That is pretty ironic, when I am not really their mother and the person I want to protect them from is their mother.