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I got up feeling refreshed after a pretty decent night's sleep.  Baby Lily woke for feedings after generous blocks of time--at least 4 hours--and Tom and I split the work 50/50.  She was the easiest baby we ever had.

I couldn't wait to write Kendra, but when I sat down at my computer that morning, I felt immobilized.  What was okay/not okay to write to Lily's birthmother? Ultimately, I followed the recommended adoption etiquette by adhering to the social worker's script for "chatting with your baby's birthmother."  At exactly 10:10 am, I sent this email to Kendra:

Baby Lily continues to do great!  She is an awesome eater and drinks her formula like a champion.  She is pretty sleepy much of the time--the pediatrician said to expect a lot more sleep with formula.  The Dr. was very pleased that she got the colostrum too.  Her color continues to look great--with her rosy and fair complexion, she totally blends in with all of us.  She is a great baby!
I hope your OBGYN appointment went well, and that your breast infection is getting better fast.  Did they start you on the antibiotics?
All the best,
Jennifer :)

I checked my email constantly until a response arrived from Kendra at 11:09 am.  Her note was upbeat and thankful, and she expressed only positive sentiments.  It was filled with all good news:

1)  Her breast infection was much improved.
2)  Her in-laws called to invite her along on their Christmas vacation.  She accepted and would be traveling in a few days.
3)  She expressed deep gratitude and thanks toward Tom and I (Shelley too) and was pleased with how everything had turned out, including that she remained connected to us.

My reaction to Kendra's letter was a happy one, but I was also surprised that Kendra would be traveling soon.  Johnny had planned to cancel the annual holiday with his parents; apparently, he had not.  Although the in-laws ended up inviting Kendra along (the original plan did not include Kendra and meant she would be spending Christmas alone without her husband, either of her two boys, or her just relinquished newborn), I considered this a defeat for Kendra.  In the hospital, before her husband had agreed to cancel the trip altogether, Kendra had shared that she didn't want to travel, even if she were to be invited along:
"His family is super fancy.  They go to restaurants where we have to get all dressed up.  I wouldn't be feeling up to that even if I were invited.  I'm exhausted.  I just don't want to be without my boys for Christmas."
Now, Kendra would be packing for a trip less than a week after giving birth!  With a breast infection on top of it all!  After giving away her baby!

I thought it was all too much.

But...the last two paragraphs of Kendra's email were reassuring and comforting.  I felt good after reading them.  Now, I wonder whether Kendra was getting any coaching from the attorney and/or social worker on her end.  Maybe someone had given her some instruction on "how to talk to your baby's prospective adoptive parents after relinquishment!" 

Or...perhaps Kendra was trying to please us, trying to remain a "good" birthmother lest we cut off all contact with her?

As the day progressed, I reread Kendra's email--to myself, to Tom, to my mother, to various friends.  Kendra's words rolled easily off my tongue:

"I hope everything continues to go well!"

Things would not.

To Be Continued...

1 comment:

Kellie C said...

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law never offered any information to our daughter about her daughters well being. They've made her dig for every single scrap. I have a feeling they intend to use anything she doesn't ask for against her. As you can tell, I do not trust them.

It really is sad how much Kendra was punished. What her husband and in-laws did to her is unforgivable.