A deluge and a surprise

Saturday Tess and I drove through the worst storm I’ve had the misfortune to be on the road for to get to Kat, who was in Chicago for work on short notice and for a short time. It was a spur of the moment plan, and who could’ve predicted the torrent? It was worth it.

I was so nervous the last time we went for a visit, worried she’d be disappointed in how we parent or that the kids wouldn’t be on their best behavior. This trip felt different. First off, I didn’t have time to get nervous! Second of all, I realized last time that even if Tess is having a rough day, Kat doesn’t care. She loves her unconditionally, as we do.

We grabbed dinner, and something so simple was perfect. I wanted to freeze time. Tess was shy after leading with “You’re my first mom!” She warmed up by the end, snuggled up with Kat and some books and photos.

I couldn’t get past feelings of sharing such intense love with her other mom. I suspect every adoptive parent wonders at some point if they’ll be jealous of their kid’s birth parents, or if their kids will love them as much as their first family. That makes my feelings around Kat even more meaningful. We love Tess jointly. I feel like we’re united in our giggles when she’s silly, and our attempts to steer her towards good behavior. We marvel at her strength and wit.

As we went to get in our car, Tess said, “Wait!” We stood there until Kat drove by so we could wave. Then with a big smile, we buckled in for the rainy drive home. “Are we going to our house now?” Yep, sweetheart, we are.

Tess is enthralled with Kat’s gifts, and has been declaring to everyone that they came from her first mom. I suspect her understanding of adoption is deepening right now, which makes our short visit even more important. Talking about adoption is easy and hard; easy to share through books and stories, hard to assess how the kids are responding or what they’re thinking. For now, that visit made Tess (and me!) joyful – so we’re on the right track.