Life changes are hard for anyone and when I think of our girls, I think changes are harder for them at their ages. I received a text this week, J’s birthmom is moving to Arizona later this month. Currently we both live in California about one hours’ drive from each other.
Parts of our family are already separated by geography. Both my husband and I are transplants from the East Coast. We have visits with our extended family whether we are the ones travelling East or they come here to stay with us on the West Coast. Our eldest daughter was born in Minnesota and her birthmother, birthfather and each of their extended families live there still.
We as a family are familiar with far away family. This is normal in our family. This is how our girls are being raised so it is not new. It is something we can do, travel to a new location.
But it is new, this change will affect J and all of us. The difference in our girls open adoptions until now has only been geography and the amount of time we get to spend face to face with our loved ones who live out of state.
As our girls have gotten older we have had discussions about the difference in time spent with each of their birth families. We have explained that geography/distance plays a significant role in our ability to travel and see family. To help lessen the miles we have added Skype as a way to communicate with our family between in-person visits. There are still times, however, when S is visiting that there is a level of jealousy that J gets to spend time with her more often. So now I think how will this change affect both girls? Already having her birthmother live out of state is not new to A, so will she be able to make J feel better about this change by sharing her own experiences? My hope is that as we support our girls through this news and changes that we will be able to hear A’s voice to her sister on how her experience has been.
S and I have talked, we have asked her if she is prepared to share this news with both girls and she says she is. We will be there to support her and them during this conversation, but we feel it is from her that J & A need to hear about this change.