Thursday, September 19, 2013

What to Say?

For probably the first time ever, Jane put me in what felt like the hot seat when Fiona and I were talking on Tuesday night.  She wanted me to give Fi suggestions of what she could say to her mom when they have their first phone call.  They have been writing back and forth for a while now.  Fiona has struggled with the fact that her first mom has another child that she is apparently successfully raising.

I am glad she is having the contact. She needs it and anyone who has looked at my blog before knows that I support first family contact whenever it is possible to safely have it.  But I was petrified when Jane said that to me!  What to suggest?  What if I suggest the wrong thing?  Does not having something to suggest imply to Fiona that I don't support the contact?

I tried mentally putting myself in Fiona's shoes--what would I say if I suddenly had contact with my dad.  He left the state I live in more than 25 years ago and never said goodbye.  He still has contact with my sister and sees her yearly. So part of me does understand feeling abandoned, feeling "less than" and wondering why things happened as they did.

I just don't know how to help Fiona phrase things and I suspect that my baggage (I literally could not picture myself saying anything nice, helpful or healing to my dad) was totally in my way.  So I bought myself a little time.  I said that it was a good conversation for us to have and that Saturday when she is out, we should talk about that. One of my  go to parenting strategies is buying myself time when I need it!

I am thinking it is best to start by asking Fiona what she wants to say and building off of that. If she has no idea, I am planning to suggest that she share some of the things we have done lately and the placement plan, explaining to her if needed that J will be glad to hear what she is planning for her adulthood. I am glad the rest of our Saturday together has easy stuff like making some decorations and going pumpkin picking!

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