Given that I live a large part of my life in the dark, because no one tells the foster parents anything, I've had to become resourceful at getting information.
You'd be surprised how much stuff you can find on-line. Most counties have their court records on-line to some degree. Some just have charges and dates others have summaries of what happened in a particular hearing and if fees have been paid in full.
I stumbled across Sheila's profile on a social media website this week. From there I found siblings and cousins and pictures. Pictures of my kids when they were little. You have no idea how excited I was.
I saved picture after picture. I looked at their adorable 2-5 year old faces. I have no idea who the adults were in some of the pictures but I assume they were family members.
From their I stumbled upon Sheila's Facebook page. She uses a completely false name which is why I never found it before. It was an interesting peek at this woman that I share so much with but hardly know. Picture after picture of herself. Quote upon quote about men and relationships and only a handful of stuff about her 6 kids.
I know from others that watching the newsfeed of a bio parent can be gut wrenching. And in fairness, Facebook is an edited version of everyone's life but Agee months ago there was a post about how disappointed she was in her kids' father for never being there for them.
I was flabbergasted. Umm- which father? Because there are 5 and how can you write that knowing that's none of the six kids has lived with you for 2 years. How about you start worrying about you being there for them?
That's when I stopped reading. I shut Facebook off. I gave some thought to how I felt about the kids being on her page with her 1000+ friends. I know this is a big source of tension for other adoptive families. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I'm grateful that I found the pictures for their lifebooks (including pictures of their siblings) and names of family members in case the kids want to connect in the future. I also found a store that Stella talks about visiting with her Mom. Should we ever visit her birthplace, this will be a landmark to see.