After the whirlwind of Monday and Tuesday, life went from stressful (is he ours?!) to peaceful joy. Griffin is such a good baby – he eats easily and lots, surpassed his birthweight by the three-day check up, is super alert when he’s awake, and is super chill all the time. We’re amazed.
Even more amazing is our older children. From the day we picked Griffin up and signed the papers, the kids have outdone one another. Remy wasn’t sure he wanted any part of a little brother, until Dave picked up the car seat. Then he refused to let daddy move without his help. They slowly carried Griffin to the car together. Remy hovered on the periphery for a bit at home. Then he walked over, pulled out Griffin’s binky, planted a big wet kiss on him, and put the binky back in. Now he kisses him all the time. We were snuggling and watching Fantasia as a family, and I kept kissing Remy and Griffin on the head (bliss!). Remy then kept kissing Griffin on the head. It’s ridiculous, the cuteness of him as a big brother.
As for Tess, she’s been all over it from first sight. She brings bottles, burp cloths, helps with the stroller, pats his head or tummy when he fusses, and just loves him so hard. Now we have to strap her doll into the car seat correctly and another into the swing, covered with a blanket, before she’ll sleep at naptime. She fed Griffin the minute he got home and was just in awe. If he cries, she levitates to be he one to give him his binky again. Adorable. Dave and I had prepared for jealousy and hijinks. Not necessary. We’re so proud of our kids.
So is Joy. In fact, she met Griffin and decided she was staying until May 2016. Woo hoo! We could not be more thrilled. This little boy inspires love everywhere.
Between “Adoption Tuesday” and “Meet Bianca Friday”, grandma and grandpa came to visit! The kids were thrilled. We love watching them eat up our kids. After Rose, Joy and I snuck out for pedicures at naptime, she did Tess and Remy’s toes back at home. They looked so solemn and delighted! The grandparents are as obsessed as we are with this baby boy.
We had dinner with Aunt Cheri and the troops too. Seeing all the cousins screaming around the yard with balls and chalk was hilarious. Remy was stealing food off of John’s plate, while Tess was copying every move Sara made. It ended appropriately with meltdowns across the board at sunset.
Today we’ll see Tanti Sarah Kay and the cousins again tomorrow. Being surrounded by family we don’t get to see often while celebrating our growing family feels wonderful.
Most importantly? Last night, we had dinner with Bianca. I was so nervous. Knowing she picked us and the papers were signed helped, but I didn’t want her to regret picking us. I felt pressure to be her dream family in real life, but didn’t know what that would be. Realistically, we needed to be ourselves. I suspect we were ourselves in a very intense way.
Bianca is calm, a good listener, and doesn’t talk a lot about herself. She has a quiet smile that lights up her whole face to her eyes. She’s beautiful, which explains Griffin’s handsome self. She’s well spoken, and the details we heard about her were impressive. She’s as wonderful as her family.
When my mom heard about Griffin’s birth family, she exclaimed how warm and loving they seemed. Well, they are. I don’t know how we keep getting matched with these incredible birth families, but the trend continues!
Our greatest dream came true: Bianca decided to have an open adoption with us. How open remains to be seen, but that’s okay. We exchanged phone numbers at the end of the night and are talking about getting together next week, so we can try a special family recipe. (Some of you know Dave talked me into going out with him by dangling a family recipe; it works every time!)
People talk about open adoption like its a specific type of relationship. Each version of it is unique, like each marriage. When we first became parents, our goal was to make our relationships as similar as possible. That’s not going to work, and wouldn’t make sense anyway. Each family functions differently and interacts differently. What does work is taking everyone as they come and enjoying those relationships as they are. Cheesy, I know, but true.
So for now, we got to meet Griffin’s mom – something we didn’t think was on the table. We have stories about her to share with him as he gets older. And if it stays open, we’ll have even more. That’s something to figure out as we all go through this, based on how everyone feels at different points in time.
Kat and I were talking about balancing consistency for the kids involved over time against the treasure of knowing their first families. Consistency in this kind of a relationship is hard to come by. How can you plan for how you feel years after choosing adoption? Or how a child will feel at various stages of maturity? We are choosing to enjoy the relationships as they come at each stage. This year, that meant picnicking in a beautiful park with Micky and Kat, and our first dinner with Bianca and her mom. Our next visit will be to Florida to see Remy’s family. They are amazing too, and we can’t wait to catch up in person.
And now? I’m writing a blog while holding our youngest son. David brought me coffee and doughnuts. Cloud nine just isn’t high enough to encapsulate this feeling.