I can’t believe how many positive messages I have received regarding the blog, our story, my openness, etc. So, first I wanted to say thank you for the love and support. And wasn’t it wonderful to hear from my awesome husband in the last post! Woohoo for all the awesome dads out there because I know Jackson’s got one of the best dads around! But now, back to where I left off some time ago. Our journey to this point, as a quick re-cap went something like this: we spent three days in the hospital with Heather, went to the termination of parental rights hearing with her, saw her again when Jackson was dedicated to the church, and then… There was a little lull before seeing them again. We did have a very short visit around Thanksgiving with her kiddos and her dad (as they have family that lived in the same town as us).
But then we received the most precious Christmas gift for Jackson. The below blanket showcases pictures of Jackson’s birth family. Not just Heather, her mom, her dad, her children, but of her extended family, including a picture of Grandpa Lawrence, whom Jackson got his middle name from. What a thoughtful and amazing gift for Jackson. Before we moved this last spring, this blanket had hung in Jackson’s bedroom for him to look at and for us to talk about who was in all of these pictures. (It would still be hanging in his room but we don’t plan on staying in our condo long term, so nothing hangs on the wall!) Oh, and we talk about open adoption just as anyone talks to their children about learning manners. We never want it to be a secret or something that is to be ashamed of, it is just part of our lives and we talk about it!
I know I have mentioned it before that this last year has been probably the hardest of my adult life. But it has made it even more clear to me how important family is. Growing up, I would say that I didn’t have the “typical” life of a child but as I continue to grow up (yes, I am still growing up!) I realize more and more how important family is. There is that saying out there, blood is thicker than water. Well in high school (oh yes, I was drama filled in those years!), I would have told you that isn’t true, my friends will also have my back. Then I had a child of my own. And then I realized just how true that statement is. I will fight to the ends of this earth for Jackson and what is best for him.
Family as defined by the ‘ole dictionary.com, “is a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.” You know what my favorite part of that definition is, whether dwelling together or not. That is why Heather, her mom, her dad, her children, her grandparents, her sister, etc., they are our family too! And why it is so important for us to showcase that to Jackson, because no matter what, this kid has an army of people who love him and we won’t ever let him forget that!
My heart feels like it’s being pulled in two different directions. I see this little boy for whom I have an incredible amount of love. I see how his smile lights up my world. I can be having the worst day and when I get home and he asks for a hug and kiss, all my fears and worries drift away. I literally feel my stress leave my body because all I need is his arms around my neck, squeezing. After his hug full of love ends, he excitedly wants to play and share his favorite parts of the day. At dinner time, he shares what he’s thankful for and then asks, “Mom, what are you thankful for?” When mom says three things she’s thankful for, he says, “Dad, what are you thankful for?” He makes me happy in ways I never knew were possible. I never fully understood the connection a dad could have with his son, but now I get it and I absolutely love it! Read More
In case you didn’t see Heather’s comments to yesterday’s post. I have posted them up there. As you can see, we have a mutual love and respect for each other that I hope never fades!!
I’ve been struggling with the words to write on this post. Not because it is hard to write about but because it is hard to put into words what it is like to be with Heather and her family. And not hard in the way most people would assume. I can imagine most of you are thinking, and I have even been told “I don’t think I could that,” “I don’t think I could see them all the time,” or “I don’t think I could have an open adoption like that.” Well first of all, all those questions and statements include the word “I” and having a child whether biological or adoptive should NEVER include the word “I.” It isn’t about you, it is about your child. But those questions and thoughts never cross my mind. It’s hard for me to find the words because my heart is so extremely full and I can’t seem to find the words to put those feelings onto paper. So, here we go, I will give it my best shot (as I was typing this I busted out in song “Hit me with your best shot, fire away”). Read More
And if you haven’t seen my mom’s comment either on the “Moving Forward” blog, I will post it here for you all to see. Why? Because I think we all need to be reminded that no matter how old you are, no matter your circumstances, no matter your situation, no matter your mood, no matter what, you need your mom!! Well, at least I do!! Read More
Just to make sure that you all get to see Heather’s side of the conversation, her comment to the last blog post is below. This is EXACTLY why I love open adoption and the endless amount of support she gives me. It takes a village and I am proud to have her in our village. Read More
While I am at it, I am going to voice my opinion about one other thing, sort of related to this blog and this journey. I don’t know where our society went wrong, but it is not ok to ask anyone, at any point, when they are going to have a baby. I remember being asked that question and still being asked that question and it is one of the most offensive, personal questions out there. Read More
Sorry for lack of posts last week, we had one sick little boy at our house and that just breaks this momma’s little heart. But, we are back in full swing and ready to share another adventure with you all. After we left Heather and her grandma after the termination of parental rights hearing and our lunch with them, we didn’t have any plans to see Heather in place. We knew it would happen, but we had no idea when that specific time would be. Read More
I know, I know, I am getting there but I just wanted to touch on one more thing before I continue on our journey of exploring our open adoption. I don’t know if I was more hurt (and mad, no, not just mad, I was pissed) by losing Julianna or losing the idea of becoming a family of four. But whatever one it was, it changed me, it changed us. Read More
I want this blog to be about the ups, downs, struggles, joys, etc. of parenting our son, Jackson. And I am sure you are all anxious to hear about how long it was before we saw Heather again. However, it has been brought to my attention that exactly this time last year, we were presented with the option of adopting another baby. Read More