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I’ve been missing for awhile now, because Chelsea has come home from England, and I wanted to spend some time with her. She crashed at our house for about 3 days, and got some much needed rest. Jet lag was really getting her down, not to mention that I don’t think she went to bed before the early morning hours, the entire time she was gone.

When she got off the plane, she stepped into an “uncivil” war between her birth mom and grandmother. The grandmother (hereafter called Nana) even refused to spend Christmas with her daughter (Chelsea’s birth mom.) Their feud has been going on for years, and the grandmother was exhausted from all of M’s scenes and actions. (But Chelsea hated that she was in the middle of this–with each one talking badly about the other.)

Her trip was nice, but the relationships were rugged, and often disappointing. She stayed with her grandmother first, who was very generous financially, but who smoked like a chimney, and never stopped talking.  At that point, early in the trip, she desperately wanted to come home. Fearing she could not survive much more, she went to the house where her birth mother was staying (rent free) with an old man, who was a friend of Nana’s. (I know, this gets complicated.)

But her birth mom turned out to be a drug addict (mostly prescription drugs, for a disease that Chelsea’s grandmother swears she does not have.) Nana says that she was there, when the doctor anounced that M did not have MS, and that M actually seemed disappointed. Apparently, she has convinced some doctor that she needs the drugs, so she has them supplied (also free) by the government medical program. Chelsea reports that her birth mom likes to drink and flirt with men. And she does this on a daily basis.

For Chelsea’s 20th birthday, she took her to a transvestite bar. (No, you can’t make this stuff up.) Chelsea called me in the early morning hours (their time) to share her birthday adventures. What kind of mother takes her daughter (who she hasn’t seen since age 3) to a transvestite bar? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

As the days wore on, the relationship between Chelsea and her birth mom soured daily. She made several calls to us, sounding very distressed and hyper, and said that her birth mom had commented, “It’s just like looking at myself at your age. Your parents think you’re great…but you’re not.” Etc. Etc. Etc. This surprised me, as we were very honest with her  (in a phone call before Chelsea went to London) about the problems that we have had with Chelsea, and told her that she was a difficult child to raise, but that she had lots of good qualities, and many talents. So we didn’t at all make it seem like we thought she could do no wrong. We certainly knew better than that.

I never could quite get the chronological order from Chelsea, of how it all went wrong, but before the trip was over, she was so angry at her birth mom, that they were barely speaking.

Chelsea said that she seemed to be competing with her, when they were in the pubs, and that her birth mom would indiscriminately give out her phone number to strangers. She seemed very angry that her mom didn’t have a steady job, and that she used drugs that she didn’t need. She said that her mom just wanted to talk about herself, and she also talked incessantly.  (She is a diagnosed narcissist, according to Chelsea’s stepdad, who has long since left her. Chelsea says that she has been married 4 times.)

Before the month long trip was over, Chelsea returned to her grandmother’s house, and was angry that her birth mom “bailed” on her for New Years Eve. They had plans to go to Trafalgar Square, but her birth mother texted her that she didn’t want to go, and later used the excuse that Chelsea wouldn’t want to be with her “mom” on New Year’s Eve. This really made Chelsea mad, and she told her not to pull that, because they had made plans, and her birth mom didn’t show. (Chelsea went out with her newly acquired friends.)  So it seemed to be one let down after another.  At one point Cheslea apparently told her that she clearly wasn’t “mother material.”

She did stay with her aunt in Bath, (her birth mom’s sister) who had a five year old son. She is much more stable.

Chelsea says that everyone in London walks, or takes the tube. Well, not everyone–some have cars, but she walked a great deal, as do many there, apparently. I feel that she was not supervised properly, because she recounted often walking after getting off the tube, through a very dangerous area to get home. Chelsea is not all that street-wise, after growing up in a small seaside town.  Of course, she is of legal age, but still very immature in so many ways. You know how it is when you are young–you think you’re invincible, and going out takes precedence over all the dangers of finding your way home. And so it was…

She did get to see many historic places, and she made friends of her own, which I knew she would, in a very short time. She is a survivor, and this was a LOT to survive.

What was the effect of all this? Chelsea got some of the answers that she needed, and her love for us grew. She told me after she got home, that she loved me, not only for adopting her, but for who I was. She said that I had always been consistent, and I could see that the instability of her birth mom had her feeling very insecure. I got a text message yesterday that she described as a “love letter” just for me. She said that she loved me more than my best home cooking, and her tatoo. Then she added, “And that’s a lot of love.” What more could any mom desire? LOL!  Truthfully, it made my day!

In the long run, this has turned out to be a very positive thing for our relationship. She seems to be truly grateful for the life she had with us. She appears to have a greater appreciation for the way she was brought up, and she genuinely seems to be thankful for the life she leads now.

(There are no fantasies anymore–just the cold, hard facts that are very hurtful.)

At one point, after Chelsea got home, she said she didn’t want to see her  birth mother again, but later changed that to say that she would see if there were any changes, but she doubted that she would ever change. This was very sad to me, as I could see that Chelsea had been hurt by her mother a great deal. (There are times when you love someone very much, that you take no pleasure in being right about a situation. I had hoped for the best for Chelsea’s sake.)

Her grandmother was very happy to see her though, and she had saved her christening dress, and some of her baby clothes, all these years, and sent them home with Chelsea.  I thought this was very special. Chelsea wanted me to have them for now, and display them in her room. Her grandmother spent a lot of money on her, and even provided the money for her airplane fare, souveniers, and one month’s rent (for the time she was out of work.) Chelsea lives and works about 45 minutes from us, in a nearby town.  Her grandmother is a retired barrister, but is by no means well to do. She lives in a small flat, in a not so great part of town, so her generosity meant that much more. I know she truly loves Chelsea. She’s a character though, and before Chelsea left, Nana purchased a motor scooter!

So that is Chelsea’s journey, and we have come full circle. Well, not completely full circle, because now she wants to find her birth dad….

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

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4 Comments

  1. Wow…how wonderful for you and your daughter. I have also gone through my own journey…trying to find my place in this world…funny how adopted children do that…kind of like you have two worlds and your feet are in both…not sure which you really belong in…but how wonderful that your daughter has the sense to know she has a “home” and a solid “mother” and “father” to come home to…parents do not take from their children…they do not take emotionally and they do not take physically. Children take from their parents…that is the way it should be. And it sounds like your daughter has taken much strength and the committment of family from you and your husband. With your guidance, your daughter will find that the place she has in this world is with you – both of you. Just like my adopted parents, I know that I would never be abandoned by them. I cannot say the same for my birthparents. I have one mom and one dad – adopted – but those are my true parents – the ones that cared for me, cried with me, hurt with me and were standing on solid ground for me when I came crashing back from “trying to find my place in this world”. So too will you be for your daughter. God bless all of you….

  2. Adopted Child: I would really love to hear more about your experience, if you ever feel like sharing it. Do you have a blog? If so, I’d love to read it. You aways lift my spirit. Hugs-Sparkle

  3. Sparkle, Wow, that Mother is a piece of cake–a Transvestite bar–now look I am as liberal as you can get and that is stepping over the rules and regulations of Momma Land!!

    I am so glad, though, that your daughter saw all this and came back with her thoughts to you. Sparkle, you are a great mother and stand out being able to do it when well you know with what you had. You need an award and you need to read you daughter’s poem more often so you never forget how good you are!!

    How is your sales booth going, or have you not had time to work yet. Just curious–just want to make sure that marine eats his words!!
    Take care my friend….Frank

  4. Sparkle,
    So happy to hear that your daughter has found a new appreciation for the true mother in her life. God loves this child a lot because He made a way of escape for her and placed her in your loving arms.

    The last time I was in London, yes, everyone walks. The tubes and the trains transport the majority of people. I can’t imagine the worst of areas in London can compare to the worst of areas here….but it never is a good idea to be alone in a strange city…

    I am happy for you, Sparkle. Your love and care saved a child from a bad childhood…now, we will have to see what this child does with her life. She has the best of the two possible worlds…What an adventure!


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