Monday, May 3, 2010

To define "family"

On Friday, I spoke with Olivia's birthmom on the phone. It had been several months since I had talked to her, so we were on the phone for quite a while.

Once upon a time, I approached these phone calls with great trepidation. Part of that had to do with my sense of perceived inadequacy. I never, ever wanted her to regret her decision to place Olivia in our home.

Now, though, that trepidation is completely gone. Our conversation flows so easily. And I've learned a bit through our most recent conversation about how she feels about us, and I am completely secure in knowing that she believes that there is no better place for Olivia.

This most recent conversation revealed the following revelations:
1. Birthmom was actually presented with three couples during her pregnancy...we were the last one she met, and she picked us before our meeting was over. I had previously thought that we were the only couple she met and that she was ready to pick anyone who was willing to adopt this baby, but she rejected two other couples before meeting us. This was news to me.

2. Birthmom revealed that she picked us because something told her that we wanted to be parents for the right reasons and that Olivia would have everything she needed with us.

3. Birthmom has matured a great deal in two years, mostly due to learning from her own mistakes. It's like talking to a different person. She worries a lot about her kids because she lost them to foster care and is trying to clean up her act and get them back. She said "You know, I make myself sick worrying about my kids. I never, ever have to do that with Olivia because I know she's going to be OK. I trust you guys and know she has a good life, and I can't imagine what her life would be like if I would have kept her. I'm just so thankful that I don't ever have to worry about her and that she's happy."

We are hoping to plan a face-to-face meeting soon...maybe this Mother's Day weekend. I think it would be rather appropriate.

I've been thinking a lot about the importance to me of keeping in touch with Olivia's birthfamily. This weekend, a new facebook friend graduated from college...she is the firstborn child of one of my relatives, and this weekend, they reconnected at her graduation for the first time since she was born. She was placed for adoption at birth and grew up always knowing that she was adopted but never knowing her birthparents until they recently reconnected. That's just the way things were done back in the day. Now she's reconnecting with her birthparents, has friended a bunch of our family members on facebook, and might even meet all of us at a family gathering someday. It's causing me to look at the idea of adoption in a whole new way...this girl is not a part of our family any more, but she also IS a part of it. Her primary family, rightfully, is the one in which she grew up. But I think there is something deep inside that makes us all want to understand more about where we come from and how that affects who we are. And now that she has's almost as if she "belongs" to two families. But in a different way. It's hard to define, but I wonder how it feels from her perspective. And it makes me think about how Olivia might someday feel about her birth family and to what extent she will want to be connected to them.

This is what is on my mind today.

1 comment:

Carol Sue said...

Maybe these two families can become one very large family