E's birthmom, R, moved back to her home state a couple of years ago. We got sporadic text messages from her, from a different #, every couple of months. And then, late this summer, we got a message from her that she was in town. But not just to visit. She's moved back.
Since then we've had several scheduled get togethers, only one has been successful. It was good. And painful. And beautiful. And hard. She said hardly anything. Just watched him. I can only imagine what was going through her mind. I tried to just sit there, hold space for her, and not get in the way of her loving him.
I offered random tidbits about E. What he likes. What he doesn't like. How he's really funny, in a little old man kind of way. How he loves music and dancing, but will only engage in either when he's in the mood; there's no cajoling him into it when he doesn't want to. How expressive he is when he talks, especially once those hands get going. How much he still loves to cuddle. How he can have quite the temper when he doesn't get what he wants. How much he adores and looks up to his brother. How he's rather introverted, particularly in big groups, or unknown situations. How hilarious he is when he gets going about something random, even when he isn't trying to be. And how mad he gets when we laugh at the times when he isn't being funny on purpose.
She smiled and responded a bit, but mostly just watched him play with his brother, with his (birth) sister.
I wondered which was more painful for her, seeing him then, or not having seen him for so long. I imagine both were horribly hard.
This weekend we're planning to have family pictures. And R and her daughter are coming, too. These pics are our Christmas gift to R. I had thought to set some up, but hadn't figured out who would do them, or when, or even asked R if she wanted to. And then she texted me asking, well, more saying she'd love some. I'm so glad she mentioned it.
This is a first for us. I'm hoping the photographer can do some family pics of me, hubby, and the boys before R arrives (she nearly always runs really late). Then some pics of us all, and some of her, her daughter, and E.
Confession? I want to be the adoptive mom who is all "oh, yeah, I'm 100% comfortable with this". But, I'm not. I think in my head I am. But, I can't really articulate why the rest of me is having all kinds of feels about it. And I can't even really identify the feels, just some kind of discomfort.
I'm pretty sure it's rooted in R's pain. For a long time, it was easy for me to essentially dismiss my boys' birthparents' pain, for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because adoption was a choice they all made. And while that's true, it doesn't mean it was an easy decision to make, and certainly not an easy one to live with. I, of course, didn't take these boys away from their biological families. However, that still doesn't negate their pain, or make it feel any better to me. And it doesn't make it any easier, really, for any of us.
I really do hope the pictures this weekend go well. I hope R shows up (like I said, there have been some canceled at the last minute visits). I suppose if she doesn't it's just more time for pics of the 4 of us. I hope I can work through some of this discomfort before the pics, so I don't ruin it/them for everyone else. And, of course, I hope the pics turn out well.
Today's Lesson: Sometimes we think we've done the work to know what we're getting ourselves into. And perhaps we have, to some extent. But often, what we neglect to do, is the work to know what we're getting others into with our decisions. Particularly as it relates to children, who have no say so in any of it.