My life is filled with music almost always. If not actually playing there is constant music in my head. I sing, a lot. To myself when doing chores, making up songs about what I am doing or just to be silly, and I sing to Kat often. I know I am not alone, in that there are certain songs that can take me back to certain times in my life. Often these are moments that seem somewhat insignificant I suppose. One that springs to mind is a Venus Hum song, The Bells that I heard on my way to work one day while my grandfather was in the last stages of fighting cancer years ago. Insignificant drive to work, and my grandfather did not pass immediately following this drive, but some how that morning on the way to work I was really thinking of him and reflecting on his life, this song came on and struck me and that moment is forever etched in my mind and tied to that song.
The other day I had another moment like this. I was playing with Kat with music playing in the background as is almost always the case and singing to her whatever happened to be playing. She is trying to stand a lot these days and grasps my fingers with her little hands, balancing herself, clasping and then every so often letting go to try it out on her own, squealing with delight and then grasping again if she starts to lose her footing. She is getting pretty darn steady I have to say! So, we were doing our little dance, Kat finding her own and me there as her back up, and a cover of TIme After Time by Cindy Lauper came on. Of course I am singing along and there it was, one of those moments. We have done this little game a million times and that certainly won’t be the last, but singing those words to her, staring in her eyes, knowing she trusts me to not let her fall felt powerful. May seem cliché, but I sang those words and meant them earnestly and saying a silent prayer that she will always know that if she falls I will catch her, I will be waiting, time after time…. ❤
So, I am going to be participating in the Open Adoption Roundtable the question this time being, “Do you remember when you first heard about open adoption?”
As I recall, the first time I remember hearing or reading actually about open adoption was during one of many general adoption searches I was doing when we had decided that adoption was the way we were going to try to grow our family. I did tons of research and a great deal of it on the internet. I stumbled across a blog Amstel Life and read all about this first mom’s story and her life in open adoption. I remember discussing it with my husband and liking the idea of being open but being a bit shocked and uncomfortable with the idea of how open they were. Makes me laugh now being in a super open adoption very similar to the way that one was described to me! Lol It was my first peak in to that world and prompted more reading and research, discussions with my niece who is adopted internationally and getting her opinion (she is 17) and eventually deciding that this was the path we were meant to take. If I really stretch my mind the first idea of open relationships out of the norm came probably a year or so before that when I was at a nurse/healthcare professional conference about embryo adoption. At that there were two families who spoke who were connected via an embryo “adoption”. I put that in quotes because in legal terms it is not an adoption at all but yet a “transfer of property”. My point is, that these two families spoke on what a blessing they felt this open relationship was and that siblings knew each other etcetera. My husband had come along for the ride on this conference and I remember going back up to the room that evening in tears recounting the story of these families, how beautiful it was and I wondered if we could ever be a part of something like that. Not sure why my response was different with one versus the other, except maybe the conference they were people all in front of me discussing it, and they all seemed genuinely okay, and happy and to have love for each other, so maybe seeing the love emanate made it more acceptable. Not sure….but it definitely moved me.
Cut to now, we are so lucky to be a part of something so crazy and beautiful. I can’t imagine it any other way.
So again, plans have changed. A lot has happened since my last post. My grandmother passed away last Tuesday morning. She was 93 years old and lived a seriously amazing life. With that and some other scheduling difficulties it became apparent our road trip up to Ima was not going to work out. So, we did what we do best, we made adjustments!!! Ima is on our way as I type this down here for a few day visit 🙂 Phew! I tell you, we were determined to make a visit happen despite all the odds that kept trying to stand in the way! It is just so important and I am SO glad we have made it work out. I am also really glad that Scott will get to be a part of the visit. I know he was feeling a bit left out but knew it was important and at the time we were going up there and that was what would work best he was willing to set his needs aside to make sure that a visit happened for everyone else. So, as often has happened in our story, though things are not going as originally planned, I think they are going to work out perfectly any way! SO gearing myself up for what is sure to be a fun, over due, and most likely at times emotional visit. I am praying that while there will be a bitter sweetness to the visit for Ima, that it will be more sweet than bitter. I think part of what helps is that while Kat is what brought us all together, she was the catalyst for an amazing friendship that Ima and I have. I have told Ima that if at any time things are weird, hard or anything not great to let me know and if we can do anything let us know that. We say all the time, there is no hand book for this and we are all figuring it out as we go. That said, I think we are doing kind of awesome!
On a completely different note, I know this blog is about open adoption and my journey within, however I can’t go without a bit of a word about my grandmother on her passing. My grandmother as mentioned was 93 years old. She grew up in the great depression. Both parents died at a young age and she raised her three siblings making sure they all went to school and finished. She herself finishing finding a trade and by age 18 she was a business owner. Returning to college in her 50’s to get her degree. She was politically active in too many ways to mention, but worth mentioning is the grass-roots organization she started the Western North Carolina Alliance. An environmental group she began to protect the natural resources of Western North Carolina. When I turned 18, she and I were writing letters to each other debating different political issues, she made sure I went to register to vote and that I did not take for granted the women who had fought so that I had that right. Meant what she said and said what she meant, without hesitation to let you know where she stood. She did not shy away from debate or telling her view-point. She was married to my grandfather until his passing for 65 years (if my math is right). She crocheted as easily as she breathed and I am blessed to have many afghans made by her loving hands. Kat has one she made for her 🙂 She was able to meet Kat back in August and was so so happy to do so. My grandmother had beautiful jet black hair and many of grand children and great grand children had blond hair, she was SO happy when one of us brunettes, (myself included) came along 🙂 As predicted she commented on her hair when she met her. I am so thankful they got to meet and though Kat did not get a chance to know her, she will know her through my stories. A role model protector of her siblings, loving wife, mother to three children, grandmother and great-grandmother to sheesh a lot I am not sure, activist, story-teller, poet, artist, motivator, I am not even coming close to portraying what an amazing woman she was. She will be missed and if I can become even half the woman she was, I will be doing alright. (Though she would encourage me to do MORE than just alright, do the best you can, always ❤ )
SO….I have been pouting about not having our trip with Ima and trying to come up with a way to make it work. The conclusion I have come to is that there will have to be a compromise. Not a new concept. Ima can not come here, new job etc. It is a LONG drive from our home to Ima’s home so, either needs to be enough time spend to make the drive worth it or fly. We can not afford flights for us, rental car, hotel etc. Scott does not have any time left off due to being out earlier in the year for Miss Kat’s arrival in to the world and our family 🙂 What that left was that poor Scott gets left behind, I pack up myself and baby Kat and drag my sis along for back up and support, and head north! SO we have a plan! I am dreading the drive it is a LONG one, 10-11 hours or so, and I hate driving long distance, but it is totally worth it 🙂 In a little over a week will be able to see Ima face to face and her first visit with us since placement. I am excited! Sad that Scott has to miss it and I know he is super bummed too. I just keep reminding him, and myself, we have a lifetime of visits to come, sucks to miss this one, but there are more to come 🙂
So, it has been a really crazy weekend filled with a lot of activity and a lot of emotions. Thursday I worked a 12 hr shift, came home and started in to our usual evening routine, only Scott isn’t feeling too well. By 11 pm we are headed to the ER as he is vomiting and can’t stop. So, I sat and held Kat until we were sent home at 430 am. LONG night. Friday he stayed home and we both tried to recuperate. Kat had her routine slightly disrupted because she does sleep through the night, but she was all in all pretty happy sleeping on me 🙂 Myself and Scott on the other hand….well he was still trying to get over his stomach virus and I was just trying to recover from no sleep. In the midst of Thursday evening, I was texting with Ima to find out that a MUCH anticipated trip was not going to happen after all. She was to come down and go to the beach with us at the end of this month. She has started a new job however (which I am SUPER happy for her) and feels that really this is just not a good time for her to travel. She has a lot of things she wants and needs to accomplish here soon and it completely makes sense for her not to travel and miss work and I completely support her decision and understand. Admittedly, selfishly though I am so so sad she won’t be coming. We were both in tears talking about it. We are already making plans for an alternate trip in its place but we had both day dreamed of our time together and what all we could do and so on, and just kind of burst my bubble. I will get over it, but it made me sad for all of us. As I said though, we will have another visit happen soon! Unfortunately Scott has no more time off this year so we can’t go to her until after the first of the year. So….those were the down points.
On the up side, Saturday we went to Scott’s cousins, daughter’s birthday party. (did you follow that?) Any way, it was the first time that his uncles and his grandfather would get to meet Kat! Every one was SO excited to meet her. That could not make me happier. I actually felt bad for the little girl whose birthday it was as so much attention was on Kat. They had gifts for her and took a million pictures, just so happy to meet her and celebrate her! Honestly makes me happier than you know. Saturday was also Kat’s big brother’s birthday. That night, we got to Skype with Ima, Kat’s brother and Kat’s uncle!! What a fantastic way to end the day! I love them SO much and I love us being a family. Hate the distance but love that we all try to make it work. I don’t know how much Kat can tell via Skype, but I know her brother was super happy to see her and all of us. I was SO SO happy to see all of them. They did it on the phone out at a birthday dinner so it could be like we were there 🙂 ❤
I am constantly amazed at how awesome open adoption can be. For all the people who question and don’t get it, I understand I guess, but I honestly can’t imagine this any other way. It truly feels so natural to me. I know some people think we are crazy, but long before I was involved with open adoption, people thought that of me for other reasons any way! lol
So, a few downs, but Scott is on the mend, and although the trip we had intended isn’t going to happen when we wanted, another trip will happen! Frankly I am glad that we were both so sad about not seeing each other, if that makes sense. It was a weekend that while there were a few bumps, was filled with my family from many angles, and the love that exists in it, and it made me very very happy 🙂
❤ ❤ ❤