Friday, February 25, 2011

Our First visit with Birthdad

We just got home from our visit with birthdad. It was a rollercoaster, but overall really good. One of the first things he asked was where the kid was, that he'd really wanted to meet him. I explained that the small office we were in at the agency was much too cramped a space for the kid to be in for an hour, much less with 5 adults (it was tight squeeze, y'all); it would have been impossible for us to talk. Also, he was getting to have some special time with his beloved Gram. He said that made sense, but that he is looking forward to meeting him. We took this as a good sign  :)

Overall, it was a good visit. We learned a lot about him. He's super personable and friendly. And very open and frank. All of those are certainly qualities I appreciate. We got several pictures, which I know we'll treasure. D grinned from ear to ear every time he looked at baby E. It was so cute. And it was really cool to see that baby E sure got his nose from D. And his hair, too, I think.

Were there some difficult parts to the visit? Sure. He repeatedly referred to himself as daddy, and to R as momma. We knew to expect that, and it was mostly okay, just a, I don't know how to articulate that feeling. He's had a hard life. Some of that was related to things that have happened to him, others to choices he has made. Regardless, it made me feel sad for all that he's had to deal with.

However, as I sit and watch this beautiful, healthy, happy baby chew on the toy on his exersaucer, I am overwhelmed with love for him. And with gratefulness to D. He could have kept this from ever happening. He wanted to at first. There are no words to express how I feel about him when I look at our son. How grateful I am, will always be. How he holds a very special place in my heart.

I don't know what the future will hold in regards to our relationship with D, hopefully there will be one. I don't know what it will look like. I know it will be different than any kind of relationship I've ever had before. I know it will look different than any kind of relationship I've ever seen. We have models for other relationships all around us - whether those models are good, bad, or ugly, they're there. Unfortunately, this relationship isn't one we see. It's hard to even know where to start, because the opening dynamic is so fraught with conflicting emotions - our joy, his grief. The dichotomy between those two is hard to overcome.

Today's lesson - The relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents isn't something that we often see in society. There is no neat little box to put it into. We rarely have any frame of reference for it. That, I think, is probably part of why it can be so challenging. Then there's that whole somebody else callin' himself "daddy" part. It's different. It's challenging. It will be good, for all of us. But in order to make it easier, we need to talk about it. It needs to be seen (other than just Oprah and her sister), discussed, made normal.

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