Happy Fourth of July to all of those who celebrate this day as more than just the fourth day in the month of July. There is much to be said about today being a day when people fought for this country to be a better and more fair place considering the recent Supreme Court decisions that I believe seek to do the very same thing, but all of that can be said by someone else in a much more eloquent way than I could ever say it. This post is not at all about that.
This post is to celebrate that on Monday, we heard from Millie's birthparents! I was putting Millie to bed and Carla was in the basement working on Millie's new playroom (which is now done and so so lovely) and when I came back downstairs, there was a voicemail from an unknown number. I listened to it and my heart truly just welled up inside of my chest when I heard Millie's birth father on the message. They were calling because they knew that Millie had just turned six months old (on July 1st) and they wanted to know how she was doing. I ran to find Carla and we immediately called them back.
Through the conversation we learned that they had gotten rid of the phones and phone numbers that we had and that they had recently moved. Our first priority was to make sure that they knew that we HAD in fact been contacting them. They had not received our texts or our last two cards and pictures. It was so important to us that they knew that we did not stop making contact. We don't ever ever ever want them to think that we don't want to hear from them or that we don't want them as a part of our lives and more importantly, as a part of Millie's life.
They also wanted to hear all about Millie. They wanted to know if she and the dog were getting along, they wanted to know how she was eating and sleeping, they wanted to know what she was doing. At one point, Millie's birth father told Carla that while they are sad sometimes (which I was so happy that he was able to share with us), they look at the pictures we have sent of her and see that she looks so happy. This one statement made me certain that we would always always always continue to send pictures. Knowing that the pictures of smiling Millie had the power to bring some small bit of piece to their hearts was so powerful. And I know that as Millie gets older, this is something that will be so good for her to hear.
We asked if they wanted to try and find a date to meet up so that they could visit with Millie and they sounded as if they were open to it. So hopefully, we will be able to see them soon. And if not soon, then I know that we will be able to see them whenever it is that they are ready.
The conversation only lasted a few minutes, but our hearts were happy for hours afterwards. We were so happy to hear from them.
When we began our adoption journey, before we learned very much about open adoption, we had moments where we thought that it might be nice if we didn't have too much contact with our child's birth parents. We didn't understand it. We thought the contact was purely for the good of the birth parents. It scared us and maybe even made us feel a little bit threatened.
But now. Now. What I wouldn't give to be able to bring Millie to see her birth parents. They are her family. They are where she came from. They are her parents in a way that we are not. I so badly want them to be a part of her life in whatever way they can be. I want all of that because it is what is best for her. And I deeply want them for them as well. I admire her birth family in ways that I don't think they will ever really know because there aren't really words to express it. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them and they deserve to see Millie as much as she deserves to see Millie. And every time we are able to share more information with our daughter about her birth family, well that just makes our family stronger. That just makes her a better person.
I have been thinking a lot recently about the journey that we have been on as a family since we began our adoption. I have been reading old blog posts, I have been looking at old pictures, I have had the chance to share with others what we have learned and I sometimes am just in such awe of how far we have come. I would not trade this journey for anything. I wouldn't trade the incredible highs and I wouldn't trade the really deep and dark lows because they have all brought us to this moment and they have brought Carla and I to our current selves and I have never felt more proud of who we are.
So, I don't know what will happen in the future with Millie's birth parents. All I know is that they have an incredible amount of love for Millie and I know that love will keep them connected to her in what ever ways are possible for them in a given moment. And I know that I am so thankful to them for calling us. I imagine that was hard. I imagine they debated about it and I wish I could somehow convince them that no matter how much time goes by, that we will ALWAYS want to hear from them and that we will ALWAYS want them to be a part of Millie's life. I guess that will come with time. That will come with our continued commitment to them and our continued reaching out to them. Hopefully over time they will trust that we are not going anywhere and that we do not want them to go anywhere either.
Besides, who could possibly resist this face...