Letting Go Of My Katie

Why would anyone say they “let go” of their own daughter? The truth of the matter is it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I absolutely love my daughter, Katie, with all my heart. So why did I let her go? I let my daughter, Katie, go because I love her enough to know she is not in a good place in her life right now, and she hasn’t been for a very, very, long time. Katie needs professional help but she refuses to recognize that she needs help and even when help was offered to her, she refused it stating there’s nothing wrong with her. It’s almost like she’s afraid to admit she has let her life spin out of control because then she would actually have to do something about it.

Being the adopted mother of both Katie, and Shantel, I have had the unique opportunity to see first hand the differences in the way they both have processed and perceived the fact that they are adopted. I never kept the fact that Katie or Shantel are adopted a secret from them. I believe doing so sets your child up for devastation when they eventually find out, and I honestly believe there will come a day when they will find out. Then, they will have reason to believe they can’t trust you to tell them the truth, and they may begin to think being adopted is something shameful if it has to be kept a “family secret”.

I have also had the unique opportunity to see how Katie and Shantel have handled the differences in the circumstances surrounding their adoptions. While Katie always knew she was adopted, we never knew who her biological mother was other than her name. As Katie grew up I always told her if she ever wanted to try to find her biological mother, I would help her because I am confident in who I am and her knowing her biological mother wasn’t going to take away from her being my real daughter. I’m the one who raised her, loved her, and was always there for her as she grew up. Growing up, Katie never expressed any interest what so ever in finding her biological mother. Each time I would mention finding her biological mother, Katie would say “why would I want to find her, she never wanted me”. I tried over and over to explain to Katie that she wasn’t being fair with those comments because we didn’t really know why her biological mother gave her up. But, still Katie said she never wanted to look for her so I “let it go”.

Shantel, on the other hand, always knew Katie was her biological mother, and Shantel always wanted a relationship with Katie. Growing up, Shantel craved time with Katie, and would wait tirelessly for Katie to call or come by to visit. When Katie did see Shantel, Shantel would do everything in her power to try to get Katie’s undivided attention, but Katie didn’t seem to have that same desire to spend time with Shantel. I have my own belief as to why Katie not so much rejected Shantel, but she had more of a take it or leave it attitude about Shantel. I believe Katie was so filled with guilt about not settling down to raise Shantel, and being a real mother to her, that when she would witness me mothering Shantel, Katie saw that as her failure and she couldn’t accept that and deal with it. Over and over I asked Katie to go to family counseling with Shantel and I so we could all learn how to manage our unique mother/daughter relationship situation, but again, Katie saw that as a sign of failure and rejected the offers.

As Shantel was growing into the beautiful, young woman she is today, she had lots of questions about why Katie wasn’t more present in our lives. Finally, Shantel asked for a meeting with Katie and I. She wanted to talk to Katie about why she left her, and why she doesn’t seem to want to maintain a consistent relationship with Shantel or our family. Shantel asked me to call and ask Katie if she would meet with us to talk so perhaps Shantel could get some of her questions answered. When I called Katie to set up a time, she had a lot of reasons why she couldn’t come and wanted to know what the “meeting” was going to be about. I told her Shantel had questions about why she gave her up etc.  Katie told me “I didn’t want to give her up, you talked me into it”. I was absolutely shocked and told Katie she knew that was a lie and I wasn’t going to let her use me as her excuse for why she gave up her daughter. I reminded her of what really happened and how she asked my husband, Bill and I to take Shantel because she said she just couldn’t do it any more. I also reminded her that she signed away her parental rights without duress and as easily as she signed for her driver’s licence. Katie hung up and we didn’t hear from her for several months.

Then, one day Katie called and said she was willing to meet with Shantel and I. We set the time and date and Katie actually showed up. We sat at the dining room table and Shantel asked me to open the discussion with why Katie left her and why she doesn’t want to be part of our family. Katie started crying, said she wasn’t going to talk about the past, got up and said she needed to leave and walked out without saying good-bye, kiss my ass, or anything!

The next day I sent Katie a text message letting her know we love her and if she ever changed her mind, Shantel and I would be here and we would be willing to try again but we do need to talk about the past so we can all move forward into a positive future. I also told her she owed Shantel at least the chance to ask the hard questions that apparently Katie doesn’t want to hear or answer.  That was several months ago and we have never heard from Katie again. So, I started the process of “letting go” of my Katie. I love her, wish her well, pray for her daily, but I refuse to let her hurt Shantel or our family again, even if that means letting her go!

Next: Taking Time For ME!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 20:39:39

    I really hope that one day…with age…she will come around. But know my dear that you have tried, really tried.

    xoxo your frissy


  2. Megs
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 04:13:38

    Breaks my heart! Sobbing, because I can’t image letting go, but you have to set bounderies to protect you all. I hope she wakes up and realizes how amazing you all are. She is missing out on the most amazing people I know. xoxo


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