Wounded Roots Part 2
A few weeks ago I shared about my wife’s encounter with our first foster child’s mother. That chance meeting changed the way we felt about birthparents and birthmothers in particular. When it was finally our turn to adopt and to meet our daughter’s birthmother, my “fresh perspective” was put to the test. For the purposes of context, I’ll simply mention that we did not meet Gracie’s birthmom until about a year after her adoption.
The adoption agency facilitated the meeting, but in the hours leading up to it I was nervous. I respected her, hurt for her and, above all, I was deeply thankful for her. I was anxious over the idea that she might resent Kristin and I. I was also anxious over minutia, like how I should greet her. Do I shake her hand? Hug her? Maybe I should just smile and sit down.
She arrived at the agency before us and was waiting when we entered the room. She smiled, walked up to me and gave me a warm hug. Kristin received the same. We sat down on some sofas, exchanged some small talk and then she began to share with us how she came to make the most painful and, in my opinion, courageous decision she would ever make. Kristin and I shared with her how we had come to adopt the baby girl she gave birth to. The conversation was dense. Somehow, she seemed so familiar, as if we’d known each other for some time. Not what I expected. Before we said goodbye, she gave us her phone number and email address. I gave her our phone numbers, email addresses and – in true geek fashion – our blog addresses and twitter usernames.
When our oldest daughter was born, she was the perfect mix of both Kristin and I, and my vision for our family looked one way. When we had our first miscarriage… and then our second – and I longed to meet those babies, the picture changed. When our first foster placement arrived and we had visions of adoption it changed again. When our last foster placement left and I wept uncontrollably it changed again. When we met Gracie it changed yet again. When she and Jaimes ate breakfast together for the first time, when we met Gracie’s birthmom, when Davy was born… I could go on.
The bigger and messier my idea of family becomes, the more I am reminded that God’s plans for me are bigger than me. The picture of family I used to hold up now seems so near-sighted and boring. I have no idea what my family will look like in five years and I find that incredibly exciting.