grand contact

We’ve had lots of activity this past week with Baby J’s birth family that has left us feeling really positive.

Last weekend, M and I took a drive to K’s hometown, where Baby J was born, and had a wonderful lunch. We visited with K’s mom, Baby J’s first grandmother. She simply adores this baby, her first grandchild. We are closer with her than anyone next to K and our time together is easy and comfortable. We genuinely enjoy her as a person, as mom to K, and as Baby J’s first (and closest in proximity) grandparent. We keep in touch by email and phone, and we all look forward to our monthly visits.

Afterwards, we headed to K’s dad’s home for the first time to see him and meet his wife. We had met K’s dad T the day Baby J was born, but he had been somewhat slow to warm to us until then. Since then, we have left the door open. Finally, he and his wife agreed it was time and invited us to their home for a visit with Baby J.

I wasn’t nervous exactly, since we had met T once before. But it certainly would be a different kind of visit than those we’re used to with K or her mom. Would we be judged, or scrutinized as parents? Maybe. But it feels so natural to be this little girl’s Mama that surprisingly I wasn’t worried about that. Of course I wondered whether Baby J would cry the whole time because she is teething. But I couldn’t worry about that either. Babies cry, they sometimes fuss. Such is life, right?

After some initially awkward introductions (we went for hugs when they went for shakes; we won), we had a really good visit. Like any relationship, those in open adoption get to know one another by bonding over something in common. We spent about two hours admiring our little girl, talking about her development, marveling at her strength, beauty and good nature. When they complimented us, I said we couldn’t claim credit for that. But they disagreed and said she is such a happy baby and that’s because of us.

We saw some pictures and heard stories about Baby J’s ancestors. We answered questions about ourselves, and we talked about our philosophy of openness. We explained why it is good for Baby J to have access and ongoing contact with her family of origin, on all sides, and how we think this benefits everyone. They thought it was great that we were “willing” to do that for her. They thanked us profusely for making the time to see them. And they hugged us goodbye.

On our way home, M and I were both relieved and I think a little proud that we were able to navigate this particular meeting so well. We both felt really good about our visit and the potential for our future relationship with Baby J’s Grandpa T and his wife.

Then when we got home, I opened an email from K’s mom that deeply moved both of us. We have spoken with her at length about how lucky we all are to have found each other. But this still got me. She told us how much she loves us and our little girl and how wonderful we all are. She thanked us for allowing her to really feel like Baby J’s grandmother and said that if things had been different she’d be feeling such grief right now. Our relationship is a celebration of how “right” this situation is, she believes, and the universe unfolded just as it should have.

Now I’m not cuing any unicorns or rainbows here. Of course adoption is complicated. And no, it is not perfect.

But truly, openness in action reaps such benefits. It opens hearts. It alleviates some measure of the pain of loss. It creates community. Yes, it can be hard. But there is so much to be gained, for everyone involved.

That night, we sent some pictures and a quick email to Grandpa T, thanking him for the visit. The next day, we got an unusually emotional email from him. He said how wonderful it was to spend time with us and our beautiful daughter. He admitted this had been a very emotional situation for them, but said they were so pleased with us as Baby J’s parents. They were thrilled to see how happy she is. He said they want to play an active, positive role in her life.

These messages were both so affirming to us as parents, to me as Baby J’s mother. It’s hard to convey the impact such positive interaction has on me as an adoptive mama, but it is profound. I am also seeing firsthand how beneficial ongoing contact is for these grandparents, who would otherwise be grieving the loss of that unique role in this child’s life. I know some day Baby J will further reap the benefits of openness too (she already has).

This week will culminate in baby’s first road trip on Friday to visit with K (our visit was rescheduled from three weeks ago because K was sick). K will hear all about our visits with her parents and we’ll show her pictures. And take some more.

We might even get to meet Baby J’s biological father.

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~ by luna on October 19, 2009.

25 Responses to “grand contact”

  1. Wow. WOW. I know absolutely nothing about adoption, apart from what I read in blogland. Thank you Luna, for sharing your story. What a bloody awesome gift you are giving those grandparents. Power to you. XO

  2. The way you manage to open your hearts and lives to include all these people to love Baby J is so incredible. I’m not surprised you got some emotional emails. And Baby J will have so many more people to love her. I just read this and felt such warm fuzzies!

  3. That is wonderful! I’m so glad your visits went so well and were so affirming. We have a semi-open adoption situation and I hope it will be more open one day. I think much of our son’s birth family would be open to that, but my husband is not ready for more openness at this time. You are blessed to have these relationships!

  4. So very wonderful, Luna. Thank you for sharing this amazing experience!

  5. This is all just so beautiful to hear, Luna. There is something about your story that is so powerful and I really believe that your story as a family is one that is making the world a better place, in that tiny but profound way each of us can change the world by living peacefully and thoughtfully. I love to read your updates.

  6. I’ve had goosebumps from the first sentence. Thank you for allowing us to peek into these visits. It is so affirming to see the magic that open hearts and leaps of faith and resolution of fear can do.

  7. All of you are doing so well with this – every single one of you. You’re all so very open and doing such an AMAZING thing for this little girl. It’s totally and fully admirable.

  8. What a beautiful gift for everyone involved, Luna. Baby J might be one of the most loved babies on the planet! Thank you for giving us this glimpse into the full benefit and gift of open adoption.

  9. Luna, everything about this just feels “right” for everyone involved. It is a testament as to how much Baby J is loved by so many. Truly beautiful.

  10. What a wonderful post to read and it must have been a million times more wonderful to experience those moments.

  11. This is amazing.

  12. I’m so glad to hear that it’s been very positive. How special for you all as a family.

  13. Again, amazing. Just completely and utterly amazing girl. xxooxoxoxo

  14. Another beautiful story, and while you were very moved – a part of me is not at all surprised that people respond to you and your family in that way.

    It shows how openness wins over self protection and teaches all of us a lesson. Me espectially.

    Hugs to you Luna.

    B

  15. This is so nice to read and I’m glad things are going so well. Your baby is lucky to have so many people who love her in her life.

  16. I left a comment about your blog on http://infertilitylicks.blogspot.com/ in case you two have not connected yet.

  17. It is so wonderful to read this. I imagine it can be difficult at times, but so rewarding overall. And it will be such a truly wonderful thing for baby J.

  18. congratulations! you are truly setting an example for open adoption. it’s not a traditional family – but what is these days? you know who my parents are when I refer to them? My mother and grandmother. It’s all about love, Luna.
    What a wonderful development.

  19. I’m so glad that things are going so well!!!!

    I’ve given you an Honest Scrap award: http://perchancetodream.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/honestly-scrapping/

    even though our journeys have taken different directions, thank you for inspiring me with your openness and for sharing so much of yourself.

  20. congratualtions

  21. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  22. […] family with a beautiful celebration in August. We’ve continued to reach out to members of her birth family, even when it has been challenging. And we (finally) enjoyed our first visit to our local pumpkin […]

  23. […] several plans to meet, T began reaching out to us when Baby J was a few months old. In October, I mentioned that we might actually get to meet him. And we did. Just before our daughter turned five months old last fall, she met her biological […]

  24. […] enough. We all have busy lives so we do what we can. Our interaction with her has always been very affirming, from the time K made her initial decision to the present. She continues to affirm our loving family […]

  25. […] party, nearly six months ago, and before that not since she was just five months old or so. That first real visit with Grandpa Tee was a bit awkward at first, mostly due to issues between Kaye and her dad. But we were determined […]

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