It was raining, cold and certainly didn’t feel like summer on our way to our three day camping trip with Heather and her family. But my heart is warm and on fire now! We just spent the last three days camping with Heather and her family. And this year, my parents were able to come too. Last year my dad had just had his heart attack right before we went camping, so this year we were excited to have them as part of this annual tradition!!
If you are the type that likes to camp, you know it is bound to rain during your camping trip and sure enough, it rained pretty hard on Friday. The ground was still pretty wet when we got there and some parts stayed wet the entire weekend. Bummer. But it made for mud puddles and extra adventures.
We don’t know what open adoption is supposed to look like. We don’t have a playbook. In fact, I don’t even think we have a book about it, but we make the best of it and enjoy the moments together when we can. I was actually just telling a woman about our open adoption and she said, “You have to be one of the sweetest people I have ever met.” Well thank you! But we don’t do this whole open adoption thing for me– even though I love Heather as my friend– we do it for Jackson.
The kids played hard! We swam, we walked, we talked, we made smores, we created lasting memories and enjoyed every minute of our trip. Jackson rode his first real pony. Jackson, Grandma and I rode on a very small carousel together– never a dull moment with my mom around! Having my parents there was just the icing on the cake. We have taken a trip with my parents every year for the longest time. And with DuWayne having his heart attack last year, we didn’t get to go on a trip. And JJ got to play cards with them both nights– he was so thrilled! Even though my mom won both times!
Heather mentioned that she still had our adoption portfolio in the trunk of her car. She kept it there so the kids wouldn’t wreck it and she would take it with her and show everyone our portfolio. She wanted to know if we wanted to see it again. Of course we did. I don’t even remember what it looked like. We re-did it three times in the hopes that someone would pick us to raise their child. When I saw it again, it brought back so many memories. Memories of the pictures in the book but also the feeling of “waiting” for a birthmom to choose us. I don’t know what I thought our relationship would look like with our child’s birth family but I can tell you with certainty that I didn’t think it would be as beautiful as it is with Heather!
Of course it wouldn’t be a trip without some mishap! And I wouldn’t even call it mishap, I would call it kids being kids. Jackson is going to be 4 in August, so he really does not understand this whole adoption thing and Heather has talked to her kids about it but she hasn’t really had a conversation with her niece about it. Jackson really took a liking to Cora this weekend. She is so sweet with him! They were in the tent and Cora was telling Jackson about how Auntie Heather was his “first mom, so you can call her mom.”
Oh sweet Jesus, I was not ready for that. My heart sank and I had no clue how to respond. It is also a good thing Heather was standing right there because I froze, I didn’t know what to say. And poor Jackson, he just stood there like, what are you talking about! Heather proceeded to tell Cora that she would talk to her later about that. She didn’t mean anything by it and I understood what she was trying to say but this is where open adoption gets hard. Or just kids being kids gets hard! We love Heather, her kids, her family, and everything about our relationship but I will defend and protect the fact that Jackson has one momma– ME!!!!
We later caught a glimpse of Jackson walking, holding Heather’s hand and we wondered when Jackson would understand the significance of our time spent with Heather. I have a feeling it won’t be too far in the future. When we got home I was tucking Jackson in and we were talking about our trip and I asked him if he remembers whose belly he grew in? And he said “Heather’s.” But also asked why? I told him because I can’t have babies in my belly and of course he said why again. I told him that is just how God made me. And he said “But that’s not fair.” Oh sweet boy, you are so right it is not fair. But if that weren’t that case we wouldn’t have you and for that I will forever be grateful!