in her little girl voice she asked

“Where do I belong?”

It was not too long after my birthday and the fun surprise visit from our little’s birth mom.  She seemed suddenly unable to know who or where she belonged in our family.

20130925-223619

My heart knows where she belongs with ALL of us as we are all family.  I spoke with her trying to get her to explain how she was feeling.  Trying to answer her questions and emotions.  Letting her ask and speak before reassuring her that we are all family.  That we all love each other and explaining how our family came to be.  How S chose us to be her parents. How we love S and we love her. How she can love S like we do and does not need to choose who to love.

But I’ve come to realize that it’s not just me she needs to talk about this. My husband and I have reached out to our community in search of a child therapist to give our daughter a safe place to speak all her feelings and emotions.  We never want her to feel divided or unsure where she belongs and so it is with that belief that we will find her someone to talk to.

I hurt for my little girl.  I cannot imagine what she feels in this situation we can only find ways to be there for her and allow her the space and place to work this out.

the last few days

a lot has happened in our family over the last few days/week.  Our beloved Cody Bear passed.  He was nearly 14 years old.  Our girls are sad as we are too. They did find a shiny penny over the weekend and are sure it’s from our Cody up there running around over the rainbow bridge with our Molly.

My oldest daughter’s 3rd grade teacher shared that she too is an adoptee. This turned into a wonderful discussion learning about her life, her reunion with birth family and how an adult adoptee feels.  I love that she shared this knowing our two girls were adopted as well.  My daughter was there in the room during this conversation at the end of the school day.  It was one that I followed up with her in our car as she, her sister and I headed home.  How did they feel knowing a beloved teacher was like them, adopted at birth?  Hearing her life and love for the family that raised her and the relationships she now has later in her life with her birth family.  Without over prodding my girls, I wanted to see what they understood, heard and thought about learning this information about an adult they know. I think we will need a few more days or weeks to process.

Adoption seems to be the “it” subject of our week.  Yesterday we learned a classmate of my older daughter’s was adopted as well.  She from China.  I again followed up the conversation with my daughters in the car on the way home from school.  Wasn’t it interesting to learn a classmate came to her family in a similar way?  This girl’s mom recently became a friend of mine on facebook and had read my posted links of this blog learning about our family’s story.  I don’t want to overdue the conversation with my girls, but how great is it to learn more about the people in our lives through school that have similar family stories!

Adoption is a part of our lives and it is our family story.  It’s something that comes up in conversation within our family often, sometimes just our two girls talking with each other about their families and our family.  Sometimes it’s their planning out their future lives.  They’ve shared with me they too want to adopt a baby into their lives when they are older.  I think is wonderful and shows me how normal our family lives are that they want to have a family in a similar way.

Time and again I realize you never know when or who you will meet that will have a similar story and share it with you.  I appreciate the honesty of people sharing their stories with us. It give us more to talk about and appreciate the life we have and for our girls to have others in their lives with families just like ours.

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!

IMG_2161

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!

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!