This week, in an unexpected occurrence, we drove to pick up Jacob and Saren's birth mom, Maggie, and brought her to our home for several days while we figured out how to help her return to her family in California.
I'm not pretending that our relationship isn't challenging at times, or even a little overwhelming on occasion for me. But, like all things related to adoption, I try to focus on the blessings, which are what adoption is all about. And this is what I am thankful for about this week with Maggie.
Being reminded of all the beautiful traits, innate gestures, favorite foods and expressions she has passed on to my children.
Spending time with Roby, my kids beautiful Marshallese cousin, who is so handsome, sweet, confident, smart, fun, caring and who we all adore.
Confusing our friends at church who didn't even blink as we arrived with not TWO but THREE boys who are exactly 42" tall.
Sharing an awesome meal with Maggie and Roby, made by my parents, and learning how much they both love flat iron steak!
Watching our good friends and family welcome her with open arms, huge smiles and lots of genuine love! Thank you Mom and Dad, Jared, Kenny, Amber and Jill especially.
Seeing Saren bond with Maggie, say her name and smile into her eyes. I could tell Maggie loved every second of it.
Pitching to Maggie while she cranked softballs around the outfield at our local ballpark.
Sharing my iPod headphones with Maggie on a long car ride and jamming to the same tunes.
Maggie getting to see what a little athlete Jacob is, and watching her face take it all in as he played Pee Wee Baseball.
Freaking people out by publicly spending time with my children's birth mother. People just don't know what to say.
Playing kickball in our backyard with Maggie and good friends.
"Helping" Maggie to iron her hair straight.
Learning that Maggie LOVES the Lifetime network.
Things I did not love about this week, waiting for an hour in a HOT Greyhound Bus Stop while Eddie took pictures of homeless people and Saren picked up a strangers iPod.
I'm the first to admit that our family life is a little bit complicated at times, and I know open adoptions aren't for everyone or every situation. But, whenever I get stressed about if I am navigating this crazy situation in just the right way, I think about my children and what all of this means for them. And they seem to be thriving. Any small inconvenience, stress or challenge birth parents might present to my life and Dave's life are a tiny price to pay if those caring interactions between ALL their parents help my kids in even a small way. Any opportunity my children get, to learn how much they are loved, who they are and how amazing and divinely orchestrated their adoption was is, I hope, a chance to help them be more confident, more self-assured, and have more gratitude and faith.
And I do love Maggie, with all of my heart. As well as Jenny, Eddie's birth Mom. I want the most beautiful life for both of them, because that is what they have given me. A beautiful life with a beautiful family.
Tonight I am grateful to have Maggie and Roby safely home, to have my sweetie, Dave, who is the only guy I ever want around in a crisis, and to have my perfect babies sleeping in our home, dreaming of what they will break and pillage in the morning.