I've been thinking about my previous post, and, instead of changing it, because I think it's important for me to chronicle this journey as I'm experiencing, I'll just add an addendum. What I meant was that we were not actively seeking to adopt any child before the advent of A to our lives. We feel so blessed, though, with the opportunity to give her a shot at life. She was NEVER going to be allowed to go back to her BM because the court was going to make sure that that would not happen. What we did for her and for her child was to ACTUALLY MAINTAIN AND PRESERVE their relationship. I think it is a gift.
I AM her mama now. Legally and practically. The other person is always, always welcome to be with her daughter when it's appropriate (she is not allowed, by the court, to be alone with her). And she will ALWAYS be her "first mama" - in fact, I don't care if dd calls her mama also. My heart is very open to this girl (my sister-in-law). I have known and loved her since she was a baby. That can't and won't stop just because of these circumstances.
I know that I have issues to work out for myself. All mothers have their lives changed by becoming mothers. I just had ZERO, literally zero, preparation for this particular change to my life. A requires an even higher level of care because of her medical issues - many of which have been gravely exacerbated by her BM's neglect. I'm still learning how to cope, and it would be a comfort if A and her birth family - MY family - would acknowledge me. Sorry if that seems selfish. Perhaps it is.
I know that A loves me. I know that I have improved her life. I know that I am her mama.