Many of us use social media that likes to tell us exactly what we were doing this day 1,2, or more years ago. This is a cute little feature when you see what you and your dog were doing or some silly meme you posted. Its excruciating when it shows you how much you were in denial about an ex or when someone you loved passed on. Today it would say that 2 years ago today was the day BB was born. Like all births it was a scary, amazing, and beautiful day by all directly effected by her birth. There were hopes, dreams, and expectations attached and as they normally require, not shortly after adjusted to reality. I could very easily continue to regal you with how great everyone involved is and how wonderful the adoption of BB has been. I could also very honestly tell you how well adjusted and amazing BB is. She is funny and smart and polite and really very special. Instead I am going to try to pull my “I just love these people” brain out of it and try to explain all that is traveling between the walls of this house.
Today’s theme is taken from BB and her moms standard Tuesday routine…even though it’s a Sunday. Each Tuesday BB and her mom head to Taco Johns for a Taco Tuesday lunch date. So for her second birthday she is having a Taco Two-sday theme. While her mom worked to make two recipes at once for a homemade ice cream cake and a breakfast French toast, I had some time talking to BB’s grandmother. With all the different relationships and roles in two generations and 3 families of children honored by adoption and families blessed by adoption, BB’s grandmother is the only “Mother of an adopter”. It should be mentioned that BB’s grandfather passed only months after her adoption was finalized. It was a tragic and unexpected death and this of course paints some of BB’s grandmother’s thoughts and ideas. BB and her grandmother are very close and I think this relationship has helped some with the on going healing after the tragic and unexpected loss of lifetime love.
I knew we would get along well as soon as I sat down with her the first time because she immediately looked at me and said ”can I ask you a personal question?” WELL turns out we are peas-in-a-pod when it comes to asking questions and being open books. It didn’t take long to ask her how she felt about the adoption. How hard it was to be so far away and not be able to be there when her daughter met BB the first time at the hospital and having to wait 3 weeks for legalities to catch up and allow BB to travel back to North Dakota? Was she scared, worried, thrilled? She asked me to let her think about it. She was of course thrilled and a little scared that something would change and her daughter would be heart broken. She was mostly happy for her and while she was not at all familiar with open adoptions she was confident in her daughter and son-in-laws confidence in Jacque and the relationship. We did talk some on people’s reactions to such an open adoption and like most of the rest of us she has heard some skepticism and concerns about “how does that work?” She believes it’s just not something many in her generation have heard of or are familiar with. In her day it was all secret and sealed. She (like everyone else involved) likes this better.
So Grandmom is going to think about it and consider what it was she was thinking back then and let me know. For now she is going to just hold BB and help get ready for a party. I took the time to ask BB’s mom if she, like Jacque’s mom, ever experienced any fear that someone may take the baby back. Was she worried at all? She said she really wasn’t afraid because of how confident and sure Jacque was. At least she wasn’t afraid that Jacque would change her mind or decide she wanted to take BB back. She was mostly afraid that Jacque’s parents wouldn’t like them. She was aware they would have rather that BB stay with them or hoped Jacque would keep BB. She, in this moment so scary for so many, was concerned not just with her, her husband, her new baby, but was able to show true empathy and compassion for this other family. Jacques parents are still referred to as BB’s grandparents. They share photos and presents and get to see each when distance doesn’t keep that from happening. Jacque likes to tell the story about when her grandfather who suffers from dementia met BB. BB’s parents vacationed in St. Louis with Jacque and her parents and this allowed them to introduce BB to her great grandparents. I think Jacques father said it best when he said once “we didn’t lose a granddaughter we gained a Son and Daughter.”
Of course everyone involved is just a people trying to be a people. I am sure there are moments and thoughts and concerns that pop up. Old expectations and ideas of how things would/should be might creep in. For the most part what I have seen and heard has really just focused on this beautiful little soul and ensuring she is the most well adjusted happy person. This is a group of people who truly understand there is no “ownership” in children that they can love more than one person and be loved by more than one person and everyone agrees where the “legal and parental” decisions lay. There is not jealousy of a child loving someone “more” than someone else. Which is where a lot of parenting issues happen. This is true in broken biological families when parents start to get mad about stepparents. I have never really had that but I have seen it. I just figure if someone loves my child then I don’t have an issue with them being in there lives if they are not a direct mental or emotional threat to the child’s well being. It’s not a competition and I don’t care whom my kids call mom or any other name. I know who they are calling if they have an emergency or need some support and they know how much I love them. I am excited for today mostly because of seeing all the family together but also because its tacos and there is an ice cream cake that is suppose to taste like fried ice cream!
What I am most excited about is that each year and each anniversary that we see on social media, from the vacation we were on the day before Jacque found out she was pregnant, to the day she moved back to her parents until the baby was born, to the day they visited for BB’s first birthday, Jacque seems more and more at peace and love and less distracted by any trauma or anger that may be around the relationship that created this soul. I have seen Jacque for the soul she is and I hope I am always worthy to call her “my person”. I am glad that she is a healthy person who has true forgiveness in her heart and is able to let the bad go and live her life without carrying the burden of someone else’s crappy choice and inability to be a human. I am also glad we have each other because I get to still have the option for kicking the crap out of someone who hurt my bestie! Its kind of the best of both worlds when you can hold space for someone, or they hold space for you so you can heal and be at peace but also know they will whack someone and steal the watch that was a present they don’t deserve to wear any longer in your defense. AHHH friends… They Rock!