In an open adoption, adoptive parents and the birthparents can tend to agree to open terms (not written terms ) of when visits can happen by either party or when letters and pictures can or will be sent. So today, after a near 3 month no contact time frame) we met up with Julia's birthmother at her friends house. We also got to see Julia's two birth siblings, her birthgrandma and the friends and their daughter who hosted the gathering. We all had so much fun.
A week ago, we knew we would be meeting up with all of them and I felt a little nervous about it, but today I was not nervous at all. More curious of how things would play out this whole evening. They went better than expected and lots of pictures were taken. (For Privacy reasons, I won't post those pictures on here.) I will always cherish these moments and pictures as we can tell Julia as she grows up who each of them are and how much they mean to her and DH & I. This gift Julia's birthmother gave us the best gift any couple could ask for in their dreams of being able to become parents. Especially after 5 miscarriages, two ectopic pregnancies and many heartaches throughout the 8 years of infertility and losses.
What a joy adoption can be and is for us. Julia's birthmother made the most unselfish decision to make an adoption plan for Julia and we were blessed to have been the couple she selected and felt would be able to care for and raise Julia to the best of our ability. That was not an option for Julia's mother at that time in her life while pregnant with her and up to delivery. But she reaffirmed this belief and feeling with us tonight when she hugged us goodnight and said she was so thankful for us in her life. I whispered back into her ear that we are so thankful for her in our lives too. Sometimes that frequency of seeing each other can be months away, but we know she thinks about Julia every day and night. I know she talkes to her kids about Julia and us and how we are able to provide Julia with a great home to grow up in. It is amazing how loving the birthsiblings are with Julia too. We got some good bonding time with them both and really enjoyed catching up on how they are doing with school and such. They are so beautiful and we are so lucky to have them in our lives to share with the milestones of Julia's growth.
Today I sat down and wrote our second letter to Julia's birthmother(bm). I wanted to do this a month ago, but with being sick I slacked off a little. Julia's bm did not mind it being late and was actually very thankful for me having brought the letter along with 15 or so pictures to give to her directly. Last time I wrote the letter was when Julia was 2 months old. We had not talked to her(bm) for a while so I had sent the letter off to the agency to send it to her when she was ready emotionally to handle reading it and seeing the pictures. This was during a time when we did not converse or see her in person for a while. I did not want to make her wait for the agency to contact her to see if she was ready for the letter and pictures so I brought them with us tonight and gave them to her. They LOVED the pictures and she said she would save the letter for later to read in private. I totally respect her decision for doing that because I think it might make her a bit emotional reading about Julia's milestones in the last few months and felt she did not want to break down in front of everyone there.
I'll make sure I keep on top of the letter writing starting tomorrow until the end of the next two months. I'll have lots of updates for her and many milestones Julia is meeting and surpassing. It will be fun to journal them into her letter as they happen. That is my goal, to keep up on top of the writing as it happens. LOL Good luck, right?
I have these letters saved on flash drive and also copied what pictures I sent with the letter (didn't do that for the first letter and now I regret it. ). So this letter covered Thanksgiving, day after Turkey day doctors appointment, December milestones, Christmas update and her January milestones and updates. So the next letter will involve her first ever Valentines Day, First St. Patty's day celebration and parade in dogtown (I took a day of vacation in hopes that the weather is nice and she and I can go to the parade together), Easter and then court finalization in April. Oh and our first SPring 2008 camping trips.
I am glad that Julia's bm enjoys getting these updates. We are so thankful for her gift of Life in Julia and we can only begin to help return the rewards by sharing Julia's life feats with her. Thank Goodness for our connection. Thanks to Crissy for introducing us to this situation of adoption. And thanks to our agency, A Gift of Hope Adoptions for helping our birthmother through the rough times and us through the new experiences.
Another note is that we mentioned tonight that DH and I want to adopt again and we hoped it would happen in the next 5 years or so, but DH and I decided (more dh than me) last night that we would want to do that quicker than 5 years from now. More like 2 if we can find the means of funding another attempt to grow our family. Everyone was excited for us too. They know now that we want Julia to have a sister or brother and to make our family a family of 4. Ahhhh, amazing to feel that joy!
Now I need to go start the process of planning Julia's Forever Family Day celebration party for after her finalization in mid-April.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I want to share this with others that might still be in the process of adopting for the sake that if they choose open adoption, it can be a great sense of Joy with the amount of openness we have with our birthmother situation.
We are a family of 3, but we have such an extended family. Yes, we inherited an extended family with Julia's adoption and we welcome that through the rest of our lives. What a pure blessing. They are all family no matter who and how we got there.