Just a few weekends ago, we took extended family pictures. Like, four generations of beautiful Heesch family photos. Here are some of my absolute favorites. And if you know nothing about me, know that this family saved me (in more ways than one) and I love them with every ounce of my being.
These are Jackson’s 6 cousins and JJ’s 4 cousins (and his brother and his grannies). There is something inside of me that stirs with happiness when I see the 7 of these little kids get together. I don’t know if it is because I love to spend just as much time with their parents, but whatever it is, I consider it the purest joy this side of Heaven. And if these pictures don’t just melt your heart, there just might be something wrong with you!!!
And then just this last weekend Heather asked if we wanted to go to church with them and then take family pictures with them afterwards. I could not have been happier that she asked us to worship with her and her family. What an incredible opportunity. (If you didn’t catch Heather’s last post about her journey in Christ, go check it out). So of course we said “Yes.”
Entering church with Heather was something magical to say the least. And honestly for a few moments I just sat there in complete shock. Not bad shock. Just shock that this is what our relationship has turned into. It is exactly where we both needed to be, and God just knew it. And that is the shocking part. The part where I knew something in my life was missing but couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. And then God gave me not only Jackson but Heather too.
After church service we went to take family pictures. The park was beautiful. The color of the trees were even more beautiful. Want to know what wasn’t so beautiful? The fact that 20 minutes into our time there, it started to rain! Now, if it were me, I would be upset, mad, disappointed, whatever you may want to call it that our family picture day got “ruined.” But not this family. They have some magical calmness and go-with-the-flow attitude I could use a lesson in! But we made lemonade out of lemons! We turned a rainy picture day into a great day spent with some of the most incredible people I know. After the kids were soaked (because how do you get kids not to play in the rain?) we had lunch together. Our kids ate together, we talked together and best of all, we made memories together.
Let me be real honest for a few moments. I had no idea what open adoption would, could or should look like. But if I am being real honest, I thought by this time in Jackson’s life, Heather would have “walked away.” It would have been too hard for her to see Jackson and just altogether too much for her to be around us. But I was wrong. I always knew there was something “different,” something special about Heather, but I have heard way too many stories of birth moms walking away and I was scared it would happen to us too. But in my heart of hearts I am incredibly thankful I was wrong.
On a similar topic, there are times we/I have no clue what to say or how to answers questions when it comes to our relationship. This is new to all of us. But when Heather’s oldest child was asked what Jackson was to him, his response was “my birth-brother” (they had a talk about it on the car ride to church). Thank you Heather for teaching your children what to say, because I have no clue what I am doing!
Similarly, Heather recently referred to me as her “soul sister.” Soul Sister: Someone who fully understands you. Like a soulmate, but not someone you want to marry and make babies with. The sister of your soul. Thank you Urbandictionary.com for completely understanding exactly what Heather and I have!!