Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What to do?

Lily's birthday is coming up. I've already been asked on several occasions what the "theme" will be, which, thankfully dear readers is NOT the topic of this post.

Instead, I'm in need of logistical advice. As you know, we *heart* Lily's maternal biofamily - she stays with her aunt every Friday, and her great-grandparents are about the sweetest people in the universe. We have planned for a while now to invite them to Lily's first birthday party, which we were planning to have at our house.

We don't know Lily's paternal biofamily. I've spoken with PGM once. I've never met either of them in person, and know next to nothing about them. Nonetheless, I want them to know that if we *did* know them and *were* comfortable with them, we would be fine with them visiting Lily, no matter how the case is resolved.

Back to the birthday party - I don't think I'm ready for them to know where I live. Also, I don't think they necessarily get along with Lily's maternal biofamily. Especially not MGGM. And, honestly, I'm not sure what kind of reception Lily's dad would get from my parents, and PB's parents - who after all, are only along for the ride and are pretty resentful of the fact that we can't just adopt Lily after like 1 week or something.

So what to do? I've thought about having two parties - one in a public place for my friends and Lily's family, in the city where we live. And one for mine and PB's family in our hometown. But that doesn't eliminate the problem of MGGM and paternal biofamily. And it doesn't really solve the I don't want them to know where I live problem. And two parties? Really??

One big party at a public place is another option. But that only solves the don't want them to know where I live problem and no others.

Just one party our family and friends is another option. Except for how I want Lily's maternal biofamily to be there and I already told them that.

The final option, and the one I most *want* to do is have one big party here, then offer to drive Lily to her biodad's house so they can have their own party there. But that seems kind of mean to biodad's family - inviting everyone but them - and I feel like I need to put up or shut up on the open adoption front.

CRAP! I am so not a crazy, everything has to be perfect mom and this party is making me nuts. And I haven't even started planning.

Sometimes my life is just stupid.


Dawn said...

I think having a party and offering to bring her to the paternal family's house is totally reasonable.

Think of it this way -- you might make similar decisions for a bio family that was having issues. (After the divorce my parents didn't like each other -- there was a time when we celebrated holidays w/grandkids separately and eventually when some of the rough stuff smoothed over we started celebrating grandkid events together again.)

Good luck with making your decision!!

Susan said...

We have our party without the "undesirables" and we don't mention it to them. The we offer to meet them at the park, lake, beach, Chuckie-you-know-what if they want. They can plan anything they like and we will be happy to provide baby for it. We bring the camera and make a fuss about getting pictures with everyone there. We do not plan any "party" or provide any food or entertainment, just the baby, the rest is up to them. Twice they have taken us up on it and once they passed.

It is the same situation reversed, Paternal side knows where we live, come to our house and we love them, maternal side, well, we need boundaries.

JUST A MOM said...

OK try this,,, have your COMFORT party with yoru family and the bio family you DO like... then have another small party at a public place with her bio dad's family. you do NOT have to run the risk of having both families duke it out at your place or around her AND you dont' have ot let them knwo where you are untill you are sure abut them. Good luck hope it works out.

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

WOW - that's really tough. I honestly don't know what I would do. Do you think that paternal and maternal families would be openly hostile to each other? If not, it might be worth having one big party in a public place. If you think they would be, then, yikes, I would seriously go crazy trying to make a decision.

No matter what you decide, Lily will have a great time picking the frosting off of the cake and playing with the wrapping paper!!


FosterMommy said...

Dude, you don't have to invite her biofamily to your party.

If they want to see her on/around her birthday, they can ask to see her. You can bring her out there, if they want. They can have a party for her, if they want.
a) it's her 1st b'day - she doesn't give a cr*p about any of it.
b) you're the foster parents. it's your job to take care of her. yes, you want to be nice to the biofamily because it will benefit you and Lily in the longrun (if you adopt her), but you're under no obligation to let them into your life and your home. if they're so great, why did they let it come to this? why is she in care to begin with? they could have stepped up at the start.

anyway...Niblet's biosister asked, at a court day, whether we were having a party for Niblet when her b'day was coming up. We simply said "No. well, maybe something small." and ended it there. They were cruising for an invitation, but that soooo wasn't going to happen.

so, anyway, don't stress out. just have your party and bring her to them if they want.

Cookie's Mom said...

WOW. Holy cow. I honestly think my position falls more in line with fostermommy above. My own issue is with wanting everyone to like me and approve of my decisions, so I try hard to stop doing that. I think I would go with doing what me and my family wanted with our daughter, and let the biological families do as they wish or request. I'd also err on the side of safety and privacy always - without a doubt. You can always get more open, but you can never go back and become more private once you reveal things (home, etc.)

rebecca said...

I'm with FosterMommy. Why bring all the BioFamily into the picture.

I understand you are friendly with them and such, but I guess I'm in the camp that if they want to celebrate her birthday, they can do it on her regularly scheduled visitation day.

If Paternalf Side of her biofamily wants something to do with her regarding her birthday, then you can work with them accordingly - with Children's Services, IMO. Are they having unsupervised visits yet?

At this point, you are her parents and while I realize there are supposed to be some goals here, I'm not sure why you have to disclose your privacy and impose on your time with YOUR own biological family, and be this one big happy family and put yourself through the strain and overthinking about it.

They can all do her birthday - on their time. Your family is just that - yours - and who says you have to combine all these worlds? You are the one the county decided was best suited to care for her. I don't think you signed on to bend over backwards for everyone.

But perhaps I'm just being a biatch.

Steph said...

You just can't please everybody all the time, you know?
Did the dad family even ask about her birthday?? Also, you JUST met them. There's not any pre-established boundaries or demonstration of real commitment there yet like there is with the maternal family. And if Dad has a drug history, wouldn't trust inviting any of them to your home.

Are visits at bio-dad's house yet? If not, I would go with the neutral location, but only if they/he initiate. If visits are at a CPS office, they could bring the party there. We had lots of that happening at our office. And I don't know what the visitation schedule is but you may want to check with the case manager before doing anything.
I had some families with good intentions, but didn't always want the outside 'unsupervised' contact.....

Dream Mommy said...

DO NOT let anyone know where you live. You'd be surprised how quickly that will get to "mom and dad." As for parties, you throw one where you want, and the bio family can give her(and pay for it) a public party if they want to, but at YOUR convenience.

Runergirl said...

I agree with Dream Mommy. I just would be worried thye would find out where I live or come over inappropriately.

Amy said...

Wow, this is a dilemma. I've been thinking about it for days and can't come up with an optimal solution.

I like your final option - with the exception that I would have it at a public place. (Come on, didn't you always want that McDonald's birthday party when your mom would only ever let you have the party at home with a *gasp* homemade cake?) I would agree with the others that I wouldn't invite them to your home yet. Even though the relationship with the maternal bio family is good you don't know what the future will hold. I'd be cautious there.

Paternal bios? I wouldn't worry about inviting them to the party and would instead offer to meet somewhere to celebrate her birthday. They can take it or leave it, IMO. What's important is that you're giving them the option to celebrate with her - the where and how shouldn't be that important to them.

Good luck with whatever you decide!