Finding Family on Facebook

I try to keep it together but man…this weekend.  It seems that the weekends provide the time for my greatest mothering fails.

On Friday, the CPS caseworker and our agency worker stopped by for their monthly visit. Since we are getting close to adoption placement, the final stage before completing our adoption, the CPS worker has been doing some family tree work at my request.  She said that the whereabouts of Nana’s siblings were unknown. She even started storytelling, information that didn’t feel right or based on fact, about the mother and her other children.  Her statements seemed surprising to both me and my agency worker and seemed like a fairly easy things to confirm versus stating things not found in any official documents.

It continued to knaw at me so on a whim, I went on Facebook and found them – the siblings and some extended family. I’ve read on forums of other people find biological family members on Facebook after CPS makes it out like they can’t be found.  I wonder why CPS can’t find folks when a quick google search finds just about anyone that has a social media account.

I looked through their Facebook pages and surmised that were regular teenagers doing regular teenage things.  But then, scrolling through pictures, I found something that made my heard beat fast.  A smushy faced baby with a nose like Nana’s with the comment, “My B _you_Tee Ful lil Sistahh” My heart caught in my throat. What else?  Would they say something about her?   I scrolled a bit more and found a picture of Nana at a couple of months old.  I thought, oh my goodness.  My child looks like Audre Lorde in this picture.  Fascinating.

Even thought I was happy to see those pictures, finding them hurt my heart.  It was proof of what I already knew in my heart – her siblings loved her.  Her family loved her.    These pictures were posted when she was still with her family. She was loved and adored and I’m sure her siblings wonder from time to time what happened to her.  I wonder what was told to them about her disappearance from their life.  I wonder how her parents are dealing.  Have they just shut that part of them away to never discuss again.

So now that I know how to find them, I can never go back to not knowing. And this is the thing: as adoptive parents,we have the power to determine at least the initial trajectory of the relationship between Nana and her biological family. As we contemplate how to tell Nana about her adoption, we’ll also be asking ourselves if we have the courage to share her with other people who probably love her just as much.

NOTE:  This wasn’t my parenting fail and there is another part of this story


One thought on “Finding Family on Facebook

  1. I have to remind myself sometimes that Splash has 19 months of life experiences I know nothing about before she came to us. The past 8+ months with her feels like we’ve had her her whole life, but I remind myself she had a lot more time with other caregivers before we ever laid eyes on her.

    I haven’t looked up Splash’s mom on Facebook (yet), but I did look up the parents of the first child we fostered. It was a bizarre window into another life. The only photos they had were of the mom and dad on a beach vacation before mom was even pregnant. It was weird to imagine the trajectory that led from that vacation to their child living in our home.

    For our second foster child, we Googled and found mom’s multiple mugshots from various arrests. She looked in bad shape in all of them. We saved them just in case we adopted Lucky 13. There was a chance those might be the only photos we’d ever have of his mom. While happy to have something, we felt terrible thinking that this was how he’d have to remember her. Now that he’s placed with his family at least they should hopefully have more pictures to share with him as he gets older.

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