The beginning of this month we dropped my daughter off at college. This has proved to be more of a challenge than I thought. You see my daughter; husband and I are very close. We get told often that we aren’t normal. I suppose this connection the 3 of us seem to have can be explained by a few defining experiences.
1. Kate came to live with us when she was 1. At that time we were on good terms with her birthmother, and everything went smooth. Soon though everything changed. Her birth mother started to cancel visits for ridiculous reasons. Her car broke down once a month, working overtime (but she never had any money), she couldn’t afford gas (but she was working overtime?) and a hysterectomy (twice). Often she would call the day before or the day of; a few times she would call hours after she was supposed to pick up my daughter after we had called to make sure she was OK. Long story short she picked up Kate and ran off with her. She had her 3 kids with her and no job, no permanent residence, and she refused to call us. We got a lawyer and fought to get Kate home. We won, the state awarded us child support, and the birthmother had visitation. Well, she could have had visitation but she continued canceling (not every time, but it was frequent). She ended up moving and not telling us anything, other than telling me she had fibromyalgia and could not pick Kate up anymore. Flash forward I adopted Kate when she was 16. She did not like being too far from home after that, and we weren’t crazy about it either!
2. My health. When Kate was younger she and I were almost always together (I did home daycare) and she even went to doctors appointments with me. I was diagnosed with both diseases at 21, so she grew up knowing I was sick. Our family has no secrets. When she started in middle school the progression of my Mitochondrial disease changed. Before it had been minor issues, now working was getting more difficult. Within 3 years I had to stop working and apply for disability. My husband and Kate had to start doing the house work, they split it up. I am not exaggerating but Kate, never once complained.
3. It has always been the 3 of us against the world. Our families and friends are a great support, but no one truly understands our struggles as a family (health, financial, and personal).