Erica and Ashley had a visit on Saturday, and during that visit Ashley asked some difficult questions about why Ashley and her siblings had been removed from Erica and why they didn't go back. Erica answered honestly, in age appropriate language, and an important conversation about addiction and recovery ensued. Ashley was reassured that nothing that had happened was her fault. She got to hear that Erica had always wanted her but just hadn't been able to get well in time.
It was a good conversation. As Ashley's other mother, I am OK with everything that Erica shared. More than OK, in fact. These are all things that I wanted Ashley to hear from her.
But it was a lot to process. And when an adopted child is processing difficult stuff, guess who usually bears the brunt of it? You guessed it -- the adoptive mom. So Ashley pushed me away, and then she reconnected. For whatever reason, that was something that she needed to do as she walked through this.
She needed me to be her punching bag for a while, and to see that I loved her anyway. She needed to push, and see that I respected her boundaries but wasn't going to disappear. She needed to take out her emotions on someone, and I was the safest person to be the recipient.
And then, bit by bit, she made her way back to me. She sought me out and found little ways of reconnecting. We are back on track ... for now. It seems inevitable that more stuff will come up for her through the years as she makes sense of her journey through foster care to adoption. When that happens, her dad and I and Erica will all do our best to guide her through.