We did visits with birthfamilies this weekend. This is part of our open adoption plan that we feel strongly about (we meaning the hubby and me). On the flip side of the coin, this is a part of our adoption plan that a majority of our family disagrees with -- some more vocally than others. I can also imagine that many of you don't understand why we have chosen to do this for our children.
I wish I could bring the world with me to see what a visit is like. I can explain it as being nothing short of a crap-ton of love topped with pure joy and sprinkled with a few tears. When you feel like that or see someone else feel like that, it is impossible to not go back for more. Seeing these families (we do birthfamily visits in a grand fashion -- all are invited, which includes grandparents, cousins, great grandparents, etc.) reunited for brief periods of time is like Christmas. Who wouldn't want an extra "Christmas" in the calendar year? Everyone is so happy to see family members that they are able to forget about everything else -- every argument, personality flaw, wrong-doing -- and just focus on being together and soaking up every moment of one another.
I often hear from family and friends that they don't understand why we do this. Some say: YOU are their parents and YOU shouldn't confuse the girls by doing these visits. I also hear others ask: Don't you think you've done enough visits now? Isn't it time to move on? You don't owe them anything...
All I can say to these thoughts is this:
No, my girls aren't confused. They know who Mommy and Daddy are. Just because we visit extended family doesn't mean they will forget that and birthfamilies are respectful enough to keep those boundaries. That is why this relationship works. There is a lot of respect both ways. These visits are also for our girls. They deserve to know where they came from. They need to have the right to ask questions of their birthparents some day and not just hear me speculating about the plans that were made for them. I can't skip out on this experience because I am afraid. When I look at the potential fears in this situation, they seem so silly. What do I think might happen? My kids might not remember that I am mom -- some days I wish! LOL! Seriously though, my kids are very aware of who Momma and Daddy are. Am I afraid that my kids will want to go live with their birthparents? I am sure they will use that against me someday, especially in high school when I have to stick to the rules. "Fear comes from uncertainty." So I need to make an effort to become familiar with the path we have chosen as a family.
As for not owing "them" anything... THEY GAVE ME THEIR CHILDREN TO RAISE!!! Those babies are my world! I should be doing MUCH more to thank the people that gave me my world. I haven't quite figured out an appropriate gesture for that yet. A thank you card seems too small and I can't afford all of the riches in the world so we will go in the middle, for the time being, and settle for visits.