My daughter has been blogging. By reading her blogs, I am learning more about her and what she’s been thinking and feeling over the past few years. It’s not that we don’t communicate well with each other. It’s not that we are unwilling to wear our hearts on our sleeves. It’s just that there are certain emotions that are so hard to express because to express them may hurt others or expose your demons. She must be finding solace in her writing because she has now asked me to blog. Hard to say no to my daughter…so here goes.
I’m Grandma to three beautiful children. First grandchild, a girl. Blond hair, big blue eyes, a smile that lights the room. Second grandchild, a boy. Red hair, big blue eyes, a smile that lights the room. Third grandchild, also a boy. Brown hair, turning lighter, big blue eyes, a smile that lights the room. One of these precious babies is adopted. Can you tell which one? Neither can I. My heart tells me that every day. But today I will be writing about that redhead. He’s the one. Here’s my story.
After your children have been married for a time, it is natural, I think, to wonder when the grandbabies will arrive. My husband and I wondered but knew better than to ask. Our oldest son was delighted to let us know the “good news” four years ago. And we were off! Later our daughter let us know that adoption was going to be their path. Here, too, we didn’t pry. I talked to God a lot, but wasn’t sure exactly what to say. It was a journey of ups and downs and bitter disappointment before the joyful announcement that a nine-month-old boy was available and his mama was interested in our daughter and her husband.
Nine months old? That was going to take the newborn-in-your-arms dream away. That was going to mean dealing with possible “issues.” And, because this was to be an open adoption, there were going to be extra people in the picture. How will this work? Please excuse now any hurts or demons I expose.
It turns out that when you first see his picture, you’re in love. And when you are invited to come to the house during his second week in his new home and you stay for a week, you don’t care about his first nine months because life begins now and he will be with you forever. He’s been in the family for over a year now, and we can see the imprints that are left on him through all of our love and attention. Parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all in love. And he is in love with us.
But there were others in this story. This was the unknown factor in the equation. How would it be when we met the “other” parents and grandparents? How would it affect our little guy and each of us? Well, together we have celebrated a first birthday and a baptism. And it was good. It is no wonder that the child is so wonderful. He has another loving family behind him. And my heart goes out to them constantly because of the necessity to let him go. Because of the openness, I also know some of the struggles that are affecting them. But I try not to think about that too often. I want selfishly to keep him to myself, even though it’s not possible.
That brings us to the future. How and when and where and what will be told to him about his birth? If anyone can do it in the most loving and thoughtful way, it is my daughter and son-in-law. There is no doubt the right words will come out at the right time. And they will guide their son to the best of their ability. What happens after that? How will he react? How will he cope? That’s what I want to worry about when I’m alone with my thoughts. But I’m not alone, am I? God is with me, with all of us. God has been present through the whole adoption process. God will be there in all of those talks, in all of those reactions and coping. God will provide us with what we need to continue as a strong, supportive family — all of us. Together, bound, supportive, for O’s sake.