How do we feel after a visit?
Last night C left to return home to her home state she left with eyes brimming over with tears and I saw A was looking sad about her departure as well. So I started a conversation with our girls about our family and their birth families. I asked each of them how they feel after we have seen C and S. Each of them enthusiastically said they are happy when they see them and they feel sad after they have left.
Now at 6-1/2 and 4-1/2 these times together mean more to our girls then when they were babies. We see them developing their own independent relationships and with these relationships come the emotions for them of happy and sad. We talked about it’s okay to be sad when someone we love leaves after a visit. That shows us how much we love and miss them when we are not together…
We realize that this is not something we can wipe away or hug away. These are their feelings, even now when they can’t put it all into words… but we see it come out as anger, disobedience and quietness (which if you knew our girls you would know something is up). My husband and I have shared with our daughter’s birth moms that the girls do feel sadness when a visit is over so that they know too it’s not just them (both women have shared their feelings of sadness after spending time together). As our girls get older and their understanding of being adopted is more fully understood, I think we will see a variety of emotions before, during and after visits. It is something we have learned to be watchful for to be there as support in the best way we can.
I know both my husband and I each enjoy and look forward to our visits with our family. Some of our get togethers need to be planned, as one family lives out-of-state and the other although close to us, busy schedules have made it that we have to plan a date or days we will be together somewhat in advance. Sometimes these visits include all family and a mix of family from Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Grandparents including our sides of the family as well.
We are prepared to be there as the emotional support for our girls for whatever and whenever the need arises. We are here to hear what they are feeling and sit and listen allow them the comfort and space to feel what they are feeling … for now they allow us to be and sit with them and talk about it and our hope as they are older they will continue to do the same, allow us to be their emotional support.
Visits together are fun and we all enjoy them, it’s when the time has come to leave that we all feel sad. What helps is we know we will be getting back together and spending time together another time sooner than later.