Once a year, we send photos and notes to our kids’ first parents. They see photos and stories on this blog all the time, but we feel they deserve something concrete, put together just for them, celebrating this bond we’ll all have forever.
I remember being almost afraid of open adoption before getting to know Tess’ birth family, then again when we left them – because we could see how loved Tess was and how traumatic the separation felt to them. We’ve since learned how much joy they feel seeing how much we love her. And I know it’s the same for Remy’s birthmom.
So this obligation has become a huge joy in our second year. Planning what to include, and more importantly how to share all of this joy with people far away, inspires us to creative heights. As we planned a lowkey birthday for the kids, we also planned what to include for the birth families, who share our amazement at these wonderful noisemakers at the heart of our family. We’re just as excited to pick all of that out as we are picking out gifts and birthday surprises. That idea of accepting challenges that scare you was never more apt: the returns are incredible.
Speaking of; Kat, Spencer and Michi also have an annual tradition they just shared with us! They send up wish lanterns at the hour of Tess’ birth with their hopes for the coming year. How cool is that?!
On a less cool note, Estelle our au pair couldn’t hack it in the US and decided to go home. That’s made an extra wild week for us! Sadly, Tess seemed to understand and was quite teary waving goodbye. Fortunately, we left Estelle to have dinner with Sassy and Papi, which lifted her spirits immediately. We knew saying goodbye to au pairs would be hard, but this abrupt departure and Tess’ reaction we’re rough.
No harm, no foul at this point – but on top of half a dozen family birthdays (including Daphne! My French niece who was born on Friday, dad’s bday), we’ve been interviewing replacement au pairs and setting up interim care. (Au pairs only arrive on set dates, so if yours leaves unexpectedly, you’re stuck.) Lucky for us, Aunt Sarah Kay is coming to the rescue! She’s spending her birthday driving up from New Orleans so she can be here in time for next week. Amazing. The kids adore her and so do we, so the 5-6 weeks until the next au pair arrives will be full of family bonding. Talk about a silver lining!