I didn't really know how to prepare my kids. Truth be told the thought of preparing myself hadn't even occurred to me. What I did know was that we had decided that the best thing for our three oldest kids would be for them to see their birth mom, even if on paper everything was a closed adoption.
We met with our kid's biological grandmother a few months ago to talk and shortly after that the kids had the opportunity to see their grandmother. The visit went great and helped break the ice, so to speak.
Now that over a year and a half had gone by since the kids had last seen their birth mom, we knew that we wanted to work on that reunion next.
How do you do that though? What is involved? What is the best way to reunite? Great questions...I was asking myself those exact ones but with little time to really process through it.
We contacted their mom through email and set up a time for Sam and I to meet with her last week. I was working hard finalizing our backyard project, figuring out what was for dinner in 20 minutes, and telling my mom the evening schedule so that Sam and I could slip away for an hour or so for our meeting.
I had been grouchy all day and had no clue why...what was bothering me?
We were about to leave the house and our oldest daughter asked, "where are you going?" I nonchalantly said that we were going to see their birth mom. She immediately smiled and jumped for joy, our middle son was right next to her. They both excitedly said that they wanted to see her too, smiling from ear to ear!
Honestly, I had no clue how they would react. The year after everything had happened they hadn't wanted to talk about it. We would try...we always wanted it to be a natural conversation and we want our kids to know that it is ok to talk about the different emotions that they might be feeling. However, given the ages of our kids, life is simple and carefree and perfectly ok that a lot of emotions aren't worrying them. We want our kids to enjoy every moment of being a kid.
As soon as we got to the car Sam asked why I had told the kids that we were going to see their birth mom. I got defensive and said, "I don't know. Because I want to be open with them and for this all to be a natural process." Of course our plan was that our next meeting would involve the kids and their mom if this initial meeting went well. Sam said, "but what if things don't go well?" "Well, then I just blew it. I don't know."
That is when it all hit me.
The car ride was full of tears from me and words of encouragement from Sam. "Sarah, you are their mom now, and you will always be their mom." In that moment reflecting on what happened at home, I really did just want this whole process to be no big deal. Yet I was totally caught off guard by their excitement to see their birth mom. I realized that selfishly...if I dug down deep into my heart, I didn't want them to be that excited about seeing their birth mom. I wanted them to be so satisfied with being in our family that it wouldn't be that big of a deal to them.
They do care.
I'm glad that they care.