Some of you may be wondering why I have not updated in a while. Especially since my daughter and I have started Skyping. The first reason was my new son had his cleft lip surgery and we were concentrating solely on helping him heal and so on. It has been about 4 weeks now since his surgery and he looks great. His surgery really is an artist and we are so pleased with the beautiful job he did. Our son is all healed up now and doing great.
The biggest reason though was because of a surprise. My daughter made it clear to her workers that she had no intention of being adopted ever. In her words "I already have a mother!". Once the workers were finally convinced that she was not going to change her mind she requested a visit with us. It has been over 4yrs. Way too long for us to have been kept from each other when there was no reason to be. Wellllll the visit was yesterday and it was everything we could have wished for and more.
We will start at the beginning. The visit was organized to be a the social services office in a city two hours away. So since my children's rescuer lives in a town that was on the way, and she had not seen our baby since before his surgery, we planned to leave early and stop to visit with her first. She was so excited for us and so happy to see our son. She even made us a wonderful lunch of pork roast(it was so juicy and yummy) and potato salad and noodle salad. It was very good. And when we left she sent us with drinks and sandwiches. lol I may have a womb donor who doesn't treat me like a daughter and hates me and my children but this wonderful lady always treats us like family. You can't help but feel the love and acceptance from the moment you enter her home. We took some photos and she sent hugs, through us, on to my daughter stating that she was excitedly awaiting pictures of our reunion.
By this point, on the drive the rest of the way, I was shaking with excitement. I was worried that we would feel like two strangers meeting since it had been so long and not like a mother and a daughter. We got there about 10 minutes early, put our baby in his stroller along with all the gifts and so on and away we went. We rode the elevator up and just outside the doors to the office was a bathroom. So I went in quickly to freshen up. When I came out I heard my partner saying "I knew it was you". I came around the corner and there she was. Her back was to me and she was knelling in front of her brother talking to him. Her foster mom was there but my eyes were focused on my daughter. I snuck up behind her and just as she went to turn I tapped her on the shoulder. She instantly shouted "MOM" and then she was in my arms in such a strong hug. We didn't let go for a few minutes. My daughter whispered to her foster mom "It had been too long" meaning too long since we last saw each other. We all spoke at the same time then and then laughed. Her foster mom stated she figured they had booked a private room upstairs and she was right.
We got to meet her social worker and she seemed nice. She brought us upstairs into a large room with comfortable chairs. At this point we all asked her to take pictures of us as family with my daughter making it very clear that my partner was to be a part of the family shots too. Which really made him feel a part of my daughters life too. My daughters foster mom went and waited somewhere else which we so appreciated. We all cuddled up close on the couch for the pictures with lots of smiles and laughs.
After the pictures it was a race to see who could give who gifts first. My daughter won wanting to give us the gifts she had made and got for all of us. For her brother she gave him a beautiful teddy bear(almost the same size as he is. lol) with a cute jean jacket. He LOVED it so much that when he slept the entire way home he had it locked in his grip. She also gave him a little stuff that was an Easter bunny and a little bead sign that she had made with his name on it. We are going to use it to make something for his door. For my partner she painted up a ceramic horse. She did a beautiful job on it too. She got me a gorgeous pendant that can be used as a pin or as a necklace. She also made another bead sign that had M and D on it standing for "mother and daughter". I loved it all but there was one gift that stood out above them all. Even now I am tearing up just remembering it. She handed me a photo album. She had started a memory book for me. In it was pictures of herself and her two brothers. Pictures I have never seen before. Added to that, and just as special is she had drawn two beautiful pictures. One of a cat and one of my partner and I that she copied off a photo I had given them 4yrs ago. And last but definitely in no way least, in the memory book was a letter to me and some beautiful poems. In the letter she tells me that she views my step dads(who I see as my dad) as her grandfather and my partner as a father. When I read this to my partner on the way home both he and I cried. There is so much more.
Now it was my daughters turn. She seems like me. Embarrassed to except gifts. They were a long time coming. The most important gift I gave her was something I had bought for her several years ago when I was a single mom, with the intention of giving it to her on her 13th b-day. We are a year late but not too late. It is a beautiful limited addition ceramic heart. There is a poem from a mother to a daughter written from the front to inside it. She loved it though it was fun to watch her try to open it. My partner had taped it closed very well. lol Then she got her Easter basket. She enjoyed that as well munching on the chocolate throughout the visit.
At this point I gave the worker my sons' Easter presents. They were rolling small suitcases that looked like airplanes. Made of a very soft material that was attached to the rolling harness and handle by Velcro so could be easily washed. Inside was the same things my daughter had gotten in her basket. A dog stuffy with bunny ears(each dog was a different breed for each child), a large chocolate egg from their rescuer, a toy and some other chocolate and candy's. But most important was a family photo that my partner and I had done with our baby. On the back was a personalized letter to each child letting them know how much they are loved and missed and that we hope to see them soon. The worker assured me that she would get them to the family my sons had been placed with.
Then my daughter, who is a wonderful writer already, shared some of her short stories that she was working on. She is really good about character development, details, bringing the reader into the story and so on. Very interesting. While this was going on her worker stepped out for a while which was find with us. She wasn't really involved in the visit. Just there to see how the interaction went.
I was enthralled with her stories and when she finished reading them too us was slightly disappointed that they were done. I can't wait to read more. We then chatted as we made some leather bracelets that I had brought to make sure we had something fun to do. Periodically each of us would hold and play with her little brother. She had him smiling a lot. We got some good pictures but my favorite was when she gave her brother his big stuffed bear. She was holding him so it is just a picture of the two of them and they both look wonderful. You can see in the photo just how much she loves her baby brother. Close to the end we discussed visits with the worker. We had stated we could do a visit a week with no problem. We just had to plan it around my partners work schedule. Which was not seen as an issue since every other weekend he has off and one day every week in the middle of the week he has off. They had considered another visit in a month, which no one liked. So the compromise was in 3 weeks we would have another 2 hour visit. Not soon enough for me but much better then a month or no visits. Her worker did seem impressed with how the visit went though. So that is a plus.
Of course the visit was over WAY too soon. An hour was just in no way enough. We had brought some of my banana bread loaves with us to give to my daughter and her foster family but had forgotten them in the truck. So the worker walked us over to the entrance where my daughters foster mom was parked. We chatted while she asked her foster mom to meet us around back where the truck was. So we all, minus the worker, walked to the truck while my daughters foster mom drove over to the truck. Chatting the entire time. We got the bread and then sat on a bench and chatted for a while. My daughter cuddled right up to me with my arms around her since it was chilly out.
No one wanted it to end but we all knew it had to. I wanted to hug her and bring her home and never let her go. But I knew we had to do this through the right steps. No one may like those steps at times but hopefully the end result will be worth it. Seeing her has given me the strength to continue to not give up in trying to make my family whole and to repair the damage that was done by so many lies.
No matter what we told my daughter that her grandmother had not won. Today's visit proved that. She had tried to permanently seperate us all but it had not worked. Our love for each other was too strong. A love that time and distance had not broken. Some day this family will be whole again and my mother will be a distant memory that will not even be worth the time to bring up. And in all of that she is the one who lost something. Not any of us. She lost the love of such a special, beautiful granddaughter. She lost a strong and determined daughter, she lost 3 wonderful grandsons. And not one of us will miss her but we will all have each other.
This visit really showed me that my family is full of love and strength. I can't wait for the day when my daughter and I no longer have to say goodbye till the next time.
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