Happy Valentine's Day! Since y'all are the closest thing to friends I have, I wanted to send you best wishes for Valentine's Day.
A few questions and then a note about my sister.
May I ask a question, Ruth? Did you ever become very close with a sibling you helped to raise so that you felt the baby was your baby instead of your sibling?
Yes. That's, frankly, what kept me in my family as long as it did. My mom wasn't a hands-off mom, but the demands of ATI/Homeschooling and the demands of meeting my father's needs were so great that she just couldn't get around to meeting all of our emotional needs. As the oldest girl in the family, I did feel like I was tagged as a substitute mother. Rachel and Rani will always feel less like my sisters and more like my children. Rebekka and I were close enough in age that I didn't have to take on an emotional role in her early childhood. Rachel and Rani were handed off to me almost exclusively. That's also why I have such a deep-seeded need to protect the two of them.
How can we help?
Your emotional support is worth more than anything!
Any tips I have received since the first Rachel post has gone to Rachel. I have noticed that people here are saying they left something for me- thank you, but Rachel needs this so much more than I do. Please don't feel like you have to tip me.
How is Rachel? Did she decide on adoption?
Rachel is feeling well, physically. She had an anatomy scan on Thursday and found out that she's having a girl! My brother's boss went with her and said that it seemed like the ultrasound actually resolved Rachel in her decision to place for adoption. I spoke to Rachel later and she confirmed that. Rachel isn't choosing adoption because she has to (I know some people are concerned about that). She's, at this point, choosing adoption because she's seeing a bigger picture. Rachel is, emotionally, where I was several years ago. She's just left a place where she wasn't treated like an adult or expected to make any adult decisions. She's just left a headspace where she wasn't allowed to; choose her own clothes, go out of the house alone (EVER!), listen to a radio, watch a television, or do anything without asking my father for his authorization. While she could physically care for a child (change diapers, nurse, or whatever), she has very real concerns about meeting the emotional needs of a child when she's really needing care herself. She's wanting to grow up first and find someone to share her life with before having a family. She trusted someone she shouldn't have and, from what I hear, didn't realize what they were doing was what would get her pregnant (as far off as that sounds). She's trying to do the best she can for her and this baby.
We have managed to secure basic legal aide for her for free. This law office is working to find a lawyer specializing in open adoption for her. Rachel really does NOT want to go through an agency. She's spoke with several and everything near her has a large religious component. One even told her that she was a cultist and that they would ensure her baby was "raised in the light". As you might imagine, this scared the crap out of Rachel. She wants the baby to end up with a good family, with a strong support system, and no fundmentalist leanings of any sort. So there we are.