Teen Mom OG stars Catelynn and Tyler Baltierra met with their adoption counselor for advice on navigating their relationship with daughter Carly. The couple relinquished their parental rights to their eldest daughter in 2009 when they were teenagers because they feared they wouldn’t be able to give her a good life.
She’s 12 years old now and even though they agreed to have an open adoption, Tyler and Catelynn haven’t seen Carly for two years because of the coronavirus pandemic. As the Teen Mom OG stars geared up to have their fourth child, they couldn’t help but think of their firstborn.
“I feel like we’re missing out on getting to know her,” Catelynn said on the April 6 episode of Teen Mom OG. “Placing Carly for adoption was hard. The communication with her adoptive parents Brandon and Theresa [Davis] has always been complicated and I don’t want to offend them with how we reach out to her.”
Out of fear of offending Brandon and Theresa, Catelynn and Tyler stopped making an effort. “I feel like… they don’t want us super involved,” Catelynn told Dawn Baker. “It’s almost like space feels like the best thing for them.”
Tyler Was Frustrated by the Situation
Dawn advised the couple that it was their job to make an effort with Brandon and Theresa.
“So the responsibility on our part is to reach out and ask all the time constantly and then their responsibility is just to respond?” he asked, getting emotional.
Dawn urged them to keep trying even though it would leave Catelynn and Tyler’s feelings exposed. “There is a child that you both love tremendously,” she said. “Everyone knows their position in the relationship right now but in order to build the relationship with Carly as a person, and as an individual, that’s going to require you guys to come out of your comfort zone.”
“I want you to be able to say to Carly one day, ‘Hey, we sent you letters, we sent you cards, we sent texts, we tried to FaceTime.’ Hopefully, she’s already going to know that because all those things are going to be normative; she’s going to be a part of that process,” Dawn continued. “You can’t expect a relationship unless you make the investment.”
Tyler Is Afraid of Losing Carly
Catelynn told Tyler that she reached out to Theresa to ask if she could send Carly a digital picture frame for Christmas. Theresa agreed Carly would love it. Catelynn added that she was going to write Carly a letter and would include extra paper and stamps in case the 12-year-old wanted to write back.
Tyler was flummoxed that Catelynn was able to reach out to Theresa so easily. “I think what bugs you is you can’t be your true authentic self — you’re loud, the way you communicate — without them getting offended or hurt in a way,” she said.
Tyler agreed. “I gotta tame my language, my words,” he said. “It’s gotten me in trouble. I feel like every time I get involved things don’t go well. I think that’s why it’s the hardest for me out of all the relationships I’ve ever had. It’s the only one I feel that if I don’t tame down I risk the relationship with my daughter.”
“I guess I never felt like having anything held over my head. Or if I don’t perform the right way something will be taken,” Tyler continued. “Nothing’s ever been that important to me where if someone threatens me, I’m like take it. You’re not gonna threaten me with [anything].
“I feel like this is the only thing I’ve ever had that [I didn’t want to lose],” the father-of-three added. “I’m vulnerable as hell. Like, oh my God.”
Catelynn agreed with her husband and said there are probably plenty of other birth parents who feel the same way he does. “It’s always gonna be — for a lifetime — navigating, weaving,” she said.
Even though they don’t always agree with the decision Brandon and Theresa make, Catelynn said Carly’s parents will always have a “special place” in their hearts. “They are the people that [raised our kid],” she said. “We can agree to disagree on a lot of things but we’re still going to get along and that’s all you can really do.”
To find out what happens next, don’t miss Teen Mom OG when it airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on MTV.
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