My heart is so very much at peace.
Yes, Millie goes back to daycare tomorrow after a summer of being home while I was on summer vacation. Yes, I have just a few days to get myself ready for a whole new year of teaching fifth grade. Yes, there is more to do than I believe I have the energy to get done. And with all of that occurring, my hears is still so very much at peace tonight.
Today we met with Millie's birth family. The whole family. Her birth parents and her five birth siblings. As I had mentioned before, I was incredibly anxious about the meeting. My anxiety totally got the better of me in the days leading up to today's meeting. I am talking pain in the chest, racing thoughts, completely irrational worries kind of anxiety. It was awful. I was worried about feeling their sadness, I was worried that they were feeling regretful of their decision, I was worried that we would somehow say or do the wrong thing and accidentally offend them. There were so many things that I was worried about that I can't even really remember what they all were. All I can say is that I was a ball of nerves and I honestly made myself sick worrying about today.
And then today came. And it was wonderful. We met up with her birth family at a restaurant near their home. Carla and Millie and I got there first and got all of us a table. Luckily we had the world's nicest waitress and for some reason that made me feel better. As we waited for them to arrive, my anxiety was so very much present. And then they walked in the room and sat down and from that moment on, things went so very well. They were excited to see Millie. There was not any awkwardness between us. We had so much to talk about. They were so so sweet with Millie. It was wonderful.
Perhaps my favorite part of the meeting was all of the talk of the way Millie was similar to her siblings. She has a screech, a really high pitched, loud screech that is identical to her youngest sister's. She pulls at her ear when she is tired in the same way her youngest sister does. The thighs that you are all familiar with my now are the same thighs that one of her brothers had when he was a baby. Being able to hear those things and know that Millie will get to know those things made my heart so happy.
It was also just so wonderful watching Millie's birthparents hold her. The truth is, that at the beginning of all of this, at the very start of the adoption process, I worried that when we adopted our child and when we with his or her birth family, I worried that I would feel possessive or threatened or something in the way of a jealous kind of emotion. Well, I can now say that nothing like that entered my heart today. My heart was warmed by seeing and feeling the love that came from both of them towards her. It was an incredible feeling and I felt lucky that one day Millie would feel that love and recognize it as the love that comes from the people who gave birth to her.
I am not saying that there aren't things still to be figured out and navigated. There are some big things. Things I won't go into at this point because I respect Millie's birth family too much. I just don't want anyone to think that I am saying this is all easy. Because it is not. This shit is hard. Really hard. One of the hardest things that I have had to navigate thus far in my life. And I am someone who always worries about doing things the right way or the best way and I have no clue what is the right way to do most of this. It is hard and it is also so so very much worth it.
What made it worth it today was receiving a text message from Millie's birth parents this evening. I had texted them to thank them for meeting us today. And their response was the following: "Thank you guys for today. We are so proud of you guys. You are doing such a great job with Millie and we know we did the correct thing."
That text message was everything. Absolutely everything. We may not know exactly how to deal with every adoption obstacle that pops up, but what I do know is that the four of us are joined by this incredible love for this incredible child and there is nothing in this world that I wouldn't deal with or put up with or work to figure out if it meant that I was doing the right thing for this being that I love more than life itself.
And so tonight, with all of the things that I have to worry about in the next few days and weeks, I am happy to sit here with a completely peaceful heart. As I said at the start of this post...Tonight, my heart is so very much at peace.