Like many other things in life, the process of open adoption evolves. It's impossible to predict its outcome, but, like everything else, it has its own stages of development. Perhaps we can imagine the ideal situation and try to pave the path, but where it ends up is not solely left up to us.
No two adoptions are the same because no two people are the same. The experiences and feelings of those involved are unique. I've learned to embrace all of it and see how beautiful it can be.
I wasn't always in a place where I understood the beauty to be found in open adoption. I couldn't imagine myself ever engaging in such a situation. Thankfully, I listened to others' experiences, educated myself and put aside my "fears". Where we come from is a gift. All of us have a right to experience all parts of who we are, even if sometimes it's hard or messy or not what we're instinctively comfortable with.
Little Miss and E are old enough now to express their own feelings and this past mother's day, our Little Miss did just that by initiating a visit with her birth mom. And to her delight, her birth mom graciously accepted. A couple of weeks ago, she came to visit Little Miss. They spent time swinging on swings, making rings on the rainbow loom, reading books and chatting.
It's hard to express through words what such a visit does to my heart, but I think these pictures tell the story beautifully.
(I have permission to share.)
"Children thirst to hear where they came from...
they need to know that they were desired,
that their birth was a wonder, and that they were always
the object of love and care." -Marcelle Clements
"The greatest experience, the one which shakes a soul with hopes and fears, the results of which are never ending, and incidentally, the one which pays the biggest dividends, is to be found in the adoption of children."-Anonymous
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength;
loving someone deeply gives you courage."-Lao-Tzu
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break."-An Ancient Chinese Belief
"Adoption carries the added dimension of connection not only to your own tribe but beyond, widening the scope of what constitutes love, ties, and family. It is a larger embrace." -Isabella Rossellini
We learned where Little Miss gets her love of sunbathing, pickles, pasta and cheese. We know why she is so scared of fireworks and where she gets that space between her two front teeth.
I'm so very grateful for this beautiful, priceless gift for our sweet little girl, a gift she could really only receive from the brave woman who chose us to be the parents to the daughter she gave birth to.
"Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart."-Marcus Aurelius
I planned on posting something else today, but I opened my email this morning and a friend emailed me this. Yes, it's 14:48 minutes, almost 15 minutes, but so worth your time.
"When you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest, and let somebody else fight for you."
This is not an easy task when you like to handle things on your own. It was a process for me and some days, not really a choice. I'm so very grateful to those who helped and still help pick up the pieces when I've been "too tired to fight". Whether we are faced with the Big C or not, we all have days when it's hard to fight, but when we help one another, it lessens the burden. Be there to fight on when someone else can't.
"You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live."
My bathing suits have been put away deep in my drawer for a long time. Since my mastectomy in January, 2012, I certainly wasn't a fan of swimsuits, and most I couldn't wear. Although I was grateful to have a prothesis and I could blend in fairly well in street clothes, that was not the case with a bathing suit. I was always always self conscious...it was hard to look symmetrical and the prothesis shifted and moved to places it shouldn't. I had to safety pin the one bathing suit I could wear and try to rig it so I felt better. I think it was last summer when I finally decided that I was going to go for the reconstructive surgery. The glaring reminder of the effects of the Big C was not something I was willing to deal with every summer.
The surgery road was scary, long, and not always fun, but most of it is behind me now, and I'm very grateful. In anticipation of our upcoming vacation, I tried on bathing suits last night. I'm happy to report that there were no tears shed. Although not all my bathing suits were a good fit for the "new" me, some were. For the first time in two years, I am able to wear a bathing suit comfortably.
Although the scars from the Big C will never go away and I will always be forever changed from its intrusion, I'm grateful to be able have some restored confidence, especially during this beautiful summer season.
I'm still working on getting my groove back in regards to blogging.
In the meantime, these are some recent pictures I've taken with my phone.
We belong to a CSA. For those of you unfamiliar with this acronym, here's the definition,
"Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer in their community. It is basically a farm share. A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public."
As shareholders, we are expected to work 8 hours on the farm. I worked a couple hours on Wednesday morning picking green beans and beets and using a scuffle hoe. Not familiar with a scuffle hoe? I wasn't either. That's part of the fun of being a shareholder, delicious, fresh fruits and veggies and new experiences and knowledge. Good Stuff!
E had the opportunity to play soccer at Gillette Stadium before a recent Revolution Game.
Little Miss had a special visit from her birthmother this past Sunday. It was pretty fantastic and I am so very happy for the both of them. Open adoption is a beautiful thing!
I visited my memere this morning. When I spend time with her, I'm always reminded of the beauty in the everyday, mundane moments.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.