Yesterday was the annual Adoptions from the Heart picnic. We decided to make it our first visit with Miranda's birth mother, too. We agreed to 2 visits a year and this seemed like an easy one. This was before we knew it was going to be 95 degrees out yesterday, but I digress!
I was nervous as hell to see M again. (Let's call her M for the sake of her privacy). We had not seen her since the hospital (aside from our video chat last month) and I was not sure how I would feel. We never really spent any time together...there was our first meeting and then there was the hospital stay. So I did not know what to expect.
We arrived at the park and checked in. As we started to walk to a shady spot to stake out as our meeting area, we happened to see M walk by. She was with her family and we all greeted each other warmly. Hugs came naturally and immediately their eyes were drawn to the stroller. I saw instant joy.
As a group, we all walked over to a nice tree covered area and put down some blankets. Gary took Miranda out of the stroller and handed her over to M. She was all too happy to take her and hold her. She cradled her and said hello and kissed her head and tickled her toes. She asked how she sleeps and how she eat and asked how we are adjusting. She took pictures and enjoyed every second. I sat down next to her and observed it all but did not interfere. This was her visit. I have forever.
I took Miranda to feed her and promptly gave her right back. I tried to stay close but to not hover. Gary and I both wanted to respect their visit but also needed to make sure our daughter's needs were met. They were.
We walked over to the picnic photographer and asked if we could have more than the 1 picture allowed per family. We took one of both families with Miranda right in the middle. Then we got one of Gary, Miranda and me. I can't wait to see how they turned out.
After about 2 hours, we decided to go. It was simply too hot to stay. M said goodbye and shed a few tears. I cannot imagine how hard that was for her. We will do another video call in late Summer and then our second and last visit this Fall.
It was hard for me and yet it felt right to let M have that time with her. After all, it's because M hand picked us that we have the privilege of being Miranda's parents after all.
I think we will all go next year. Miranda may be running around by then. Playing with the other kids. Learning how adoption builds families. Learning how love comes in all shapes and sizes and colors.
I did not take any pictures of the day as the memories are more for M than for us. And we will have the professional picture for Miranda when she gets older. But I did take this one when we got home and bathed her - she was one happy little lady!