A surprise on my doorstep

Yesterday was my birthday and you knew that right? It’s not like I’ve been keeping it a secret LOL! The day was spent in my favorite way with my family doing family stuff and sneaking in some house stuff.  Curtains hung as we continue to settle into our home after more than a year.

As we were finishing up dinner, we heard a rustle on our front porch and saw a person through headlights.  What or who could that be?  My husband went to the front door and found a bag filled with flowers, a card and a gift.  When reading the card I saw it was from S (J’s birth mom). I quickly picked up my phone and called her to come back.  What a thoughtful gesture, but not ring the bell after driving up from Fremont to our home?  That will never do!  She answered her phone right away and within minutes was back at our house with her son. Our girls were jumping up and down when I shared who the mystery gift giver was and that she would be coming back to share birthday cake with us!

stef jess and me 11-23-14

And this was how we ended our Sunday, spent with the addition of more family!

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The three kiddos playing and laughing and the three adults watching and laughing along!

This is what our family is about, being family.  S driving up to our home to drop off a gift was more than nice and coming back and spending the evening of my birthday with us was the icing on the cake for my day!

I am on many online forums for adoption and I get sad when I read that parents are too scared to allow their children a relationship with their birth family.  They seem to find so many reasons for not keeping a relationship (if there is a safety issue that is something else).

I know we are the lucky ones that as we embraced each of our girls’ birth families, they embraced us.  As the years have gone by we have become a stronger family unit with our girls developing their own autonomous relationships with their family.

I love this is the way our Sunday ended!

This is my 24th post of National Blog Posting Month, click #NaBloPoMo to read the many other bloggers participating, Enjoy!

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What makes a Real Family?

the definition of real From the Free Dictionary:
re·al 1 (rē′əl, rēl)
adj.

a. Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence: real objects; a real illness.
b. True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal: real people, not ghosts; a film based on real life.

what-is-real4 (1)

The question what makes a REAL family? seems to infer that we are not actually REAL in our children’s lives.  Our daughter’s each have two REAL families that are part of their lives and love them.

Why do people ask REAL? I’ve been approached and asked in conversation when it is known our family was built through adoption if our girls know their REAL mom? My first thought is that I am as REAL as it gets and then I reply yes in fact they do know and have a relationship with their birth moms and their families. Another question that comes up often is asking if they are REAL sisters? Yes they are, not by blood but through our family they are sisters.

This is when you can decide to educate or walk away. I usually take the effort to educate. I’m not offended when asked this question, it is not asked with malice but more of ignorance on how a family lives in an open adoption. Not everyone is experienced in this. They don’t necessarily know the terminology or quite frankly how it all works. As common as I think our family is in our world, not everyone knows a family like ours.

We are a REAL family ALL of us, we are as REAL as it gets and I am thankful that we are all intertwined as family together with our girls. From our girls’ great grandparents through their siblings from their birth family through to each of our families and each other. The love that surrounds our girls is REAL too and that’s how we like it!

Ask our girls, we, my husband and I, are REAL REAL too!

This my 10th post for National Blog Posting Month, please click #NaBloPoMo to read posts from the many other bloggers participating, Enjoy!

Words are just words or are they?

definition of word
noun \ˈwərd\

: a sound or combination of sounds that has a meaning and is spoken or written

: a brief remark or conversation : something that a person says

: an order or command

Overheard as our girls were preparing cards for J’s brother to go along with his gift he is MY BIRTH-BROTHER, not YOURS!  J’s brother was born about 15 months after her and S along with her husband are parenting him.  Our girls have known him from inside S’s tummy and when he was born.  We see him as often as we see S.

My husband and I sat and listened to our girls speak about who has sisters and who has brothers that don’t live with us but are still our family.  We wondered when voices rose should we step in to calm the fighting down?  Or should we just let them figure it out on their own?

They had it right in knowing that A has 3 sisters through her birth father and J has one brother from S and one from her birthfather.  It was interesting to hear them assert who belonged with whom to each other claiming their own brothers or sisters.

It is just words that they were using with the prefix of “birth” to claim their siblings.  What was so great about this discussion they had was how natural it was for them to talk about these siblings that live in other parts of our family like it was nothing out of the ordinary.

The words we have used to explain our family story are something they have taken in and processed themselves.  They know their siblings they know what part of the family they are part of, and to us that is what is important.  It is our girls who add the prefix “birth” when talking about their families when claiming their territory.

So while they fought over the wording and logistics it was comforting to us they understand who their family is, all of them.