Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lydia's Story Part VI: Open Adoption in Real Life

November is National Adoption Month, and so I thought I'd share a few posts specifically related to adoption! I also just realized this week that I never shared how our meeting with Mama Heather (Lydia's birthmom) went when we visited her last fall! So this is the perfect time to share a little bit more....

It was last November (how ironic :) when we decided to pay Mama Heather a visit, as well as connect with Laurie, the bridge-care mom who had taken care of Lydia for two months before she was placed in our home. We made it a weekend trip, and if you remember this post, you'll remember that I was freakin' out just a little bit before we left! As always, the Lord brought me peace and enabled us to have a lovely meeting. We ended up picking her up at her house, so we got to see where she lived, and she had a few gifts for Lydia which was so sweet. They included a teddy bear that belonged to Mama Heather's mom (who had passed away a year before), a little heart-shaped fleece pillow she had made for Lydia, and a handmade dream-catcher. We then enjoyed a nice lunch at Chili's, where we looked through some pictures from the last several months, and just talked about all the milestones Lydia had passed and was reaching towards.

I'll admit, it was a little rough. Especially when we were looking through the photos. Heather struggled to hold back some tears as she flipped through the pictures, and I kept asking her if she was alright. Heart-wrenching, to be sure, though nothing compared to the day she said goodbye in the hospital... Thankfully, Liddy was in a good mood, and spent most of our lunch giggling and playing with Mama Heather at the table.

Unfortunately, the weather was quite chilly, so we weren't able to go to a park like we had hoped. Instead, we went to a nearby mall to hang out, but after a while Heather didn't feel so well, so we left there and a little later took her home.

I am so grateful we took the time to visit her - even though it wasn't necessarily easy. It was easy to see that her love for Lydia is deep, and that she's convinced she has done the best thing by choosing open adoption. It was also so helpful for us to hear some more of Heather's health and childhood so we can look for similarities in Lydia as she grows older.

And I kicked myself SO many times because though I brought our camera along, I never once took a picture of the two of them together! STUPID! Hopefully we'll get another chance in the near future....

So that's our visit last year in a nutshell. Since then we have continued to stay in touch through phone calls every month/month-and-a-half and I have tried to send her pictures every quarter, though I got behind during our crazy summer!! I feel like we've found a sort of rhythm in how our conversations go and what kinds of questions we ask about each other's lives, as well as Lydia's milestones. That definitely helps. We had hoped to visit Mama Heather again this fall, but the timing just isn't working out right, so we'll have to put that off until later, maybe spring time. We'll see.

You can continue to pray for Heather, though. The last time I called her, she wasn't in the mood to talk, and handed the phone to someone else. In our adoption training classes, we learned that often times there is a normal pulling back that takes place as your child grows older. It's almost as if the knowledge of all the missed milestones becomes too much for the birth parent, and as their baby morphs into a toddler who begins to understand things more and react more, it can be too painful to stay close. I don't know if that's what's happening now or if Heather just needs her space, but please join with me in praying for her.

Honestly, I have mixed emotions about it.  

I completely and totally understand why she might feel the need to pull away. 

I can't imagine going through that. And selfishly, to be honest, I'm a little bit relieved that we might have some more distance!

But there's another part of me. The part that feels I must be an advocate for my daughter. Though she may be too young to understand now, if our relationship with Mama Heather ends, it will only cause her questions and pain in the future.

And yet...the Lord knows best.

It's a balancing act, this whole adoption thing - and I'm not going to complain! But I will humbly ask for your prayers once again. That we would do the right thing and that Heather would find peace and ultimately be introduced to Jesus as her Savior.

(Obviously, this topic is a little sensitive, and I am trying to honor Heather's need for privacy by not sharing too many details. Thank you for understanding.)