Kat looking at her photo album with her Ima and big brother 🙂
So, after many changes…we had our visit!! It was emotional as expected. Hopefully for Ima it was more sweet than bitter, but I do know there was some bitter in there. For me as well. I hated seeing her hurt and knowing that in some way I am a part of it. Glad to know that in some way I am part of her peace but still. Having the visit piggy backed on my grandmother’s passing and me still emotional from that didn’t help. All in all I would say it was a good visit. We had a real big heart to heart the second night where we both had a good cry. We have discovered we have two relationships in a way Ima and I. One that we are just friends, and the other where I am the adoptive mother of her biological daughter. When she is not here, the two don’t necessarily have to intersect but while here, in our home, they do. She was SO worried she was going to do something to upset me, Ima that is. Asked before she got here, was there anything I didn’t want her to do. “Like what?’ I asked. I can’t imagine what you would do I wouldn’t want?? “Like hold her, or help you with taking care of her, or making peek in on her sleeping”. I told her she was being silly and I of course did not care if she did any of those things! I didn’t, I don’t. Still, while here she would say, “am I holding her too much?”. So worried. When she became emotional she was worried that we would be so bothered by it we would not want to do visits again because it was difficult. I again assured this would SO not be the case. I understood that this was difficult and anything we could do to help let us know. It breaks my heart to see her so scared of losing us. So scared that we will shut her out. I know we have told her a million times we will never do that. I am not upset for her feeling the way she does it just breaks my heart. No one in her life has actually held up to their word I don’t think. She doesn’t know how to trust this. All we can do is keep doing what we are doing and HOPEFULLY some day she can feel comfort in knowing we are family that will never go away, even though she might wish we would 🙂 Think it was difficult as Kat is no longer the tiny baby she knew. She looks different, she IS different. She totally has a little personality and a mind of her own already! I can’t imagine what it feels like for her, Ima. I was so glad they had time together, that we all had time together. They had a few little naps together and I was able to get some really sweet pictures. It was long overdue and hopefully will not go so long before the next. Over time hope there is more and more sweet and less and less bitter….but the bitter just means you care, so it’s ok.
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 ❤ )