My open adoption is incredibly open. I never knew exactly how it would all play out, but it quickly evolved into a very open relationship with a great deal of active involvement. Currently I am blessed to see my son every other month. I will be leaving for my visit this month, so I thought it was a good time to reflect on some of those feelings and emotions that arise when getting ready for a visit, during, and following.
In the days and weeks leading up to a visit I am incredibly excited. There is nowhere I would rather be, so knowing I have that opportunity coming is so great! I am always anxious counting down the days and begin planning and packing days before! I'm so blessed that my family also has the chance to visit, so I keep myself busy preparing with my girls for a long trip.
There are also some nerves that arise when thinking about visiting. It often depends on things surrounding the visit, such as my own emotions in life, or the adoptive parents recent behavior. I often fear that things will be different this visit, or he won't be excited to see me. Thankfully, I have not yet experienced this in our five years of visits. Our relationship has continued to grow and be one that brings so much joy to us both. I pray this will always be the case. I often worry about my girls and how my son will react to them. I don't want their feelings to be hurt if he doesn't seem interested or is too busy playing to focus on them. Again, this has not been the case, but as a mother to all these beautiful children, the worry is still there. Despite these worries my heart is so overjoyed knowing I will be together with my baby again. It is the only opportunity I have to feel my heart at its fullest. When we are visiting Aidan I have all of my children in one place around me and my heart is full!
My husband, my parents, or my other family members have all told me they can see a difference. Not that I am sad all the time in my daily life or anything to that extreme, but the fullness of my heart just radiates from me. I know it because I can feel it and others have seen it. I can also see a difference in my girls. They are always happy children and don't struggle in daily life, but when they are with their "bubba" I see a new spark within them. They all run and play together as if they have never spent a day apart. They laugh and hug and love each other as any mother would wish for her children.
These moments are life giving. They bring so much joy to my family, and do wonders for my heart. My spirit is always lifted and I feel like I can do anything. It is a feeling like no other! I have often wondered if this feeling is unique to the birthmom experience or if mothers who parent each child feel this way all the time? If so, I hope they treasure it! I believe in many ways that this is just another gift given to us birth mothers, for we have known such a great loss, we have the gift of feeling joy and love more fully.
After a visit there are many tears shed as I have to leave, yet again. It hurts to again be left with that empty place in my heart, but it is worth it. I would never give up the opportunity to spend even a minute with
My son, even if I knew I would cry thousands of tears as I leave. We are all sad to leave, my girls, my husband, my parents, but we are all so happy for the time we have shared. Each moment we build priceless memories, and they help carry us through until our next visit. These times give me the opportunity to see the amazing life that I brought into the world, and to treasure the place I have been given in his life. My heart is happy as I anticipate this weekend and the joys my son brings to the world each day!