Today I spoke with my youngest three children's birthmother. We've played phone tag all week, and I know she is anxious to talk to the kids and set up a visit. Although we adopted the children from foster care, we were able to build a beautiful mentoring relationship with their young mother. Our adoption is open. This has made our lives more beautiful, more stressful and more complicated. We have laughed together, gazed at pictures of the children we share, stood in court holding hands, cried together... and now we will celebrate together.
Our birthmom is pregnant.
I call her frequently to check in, and we exchange weekly letters through a PO Box. I was initially surprised and delighted by how regularly she wrote letters. Some are addressed just to me. She describes her personal thoughts and struggles in the soft, loopy handwriting of a much younger girl. Others are meant for sharing with the children. I'm impressed by her commitment and diligence that has bonded us as unlikely pen pals.
And now she is in a new relationship and expecting a baby boy in the fall. I'm caught off guard when her boyfriend answers her phone this week, but I can hear her excitement when he tells her I'm on the line. She's excited I've called because she would like to invite me to her baby shower. It is still months away, but she tells me to please check my calendar.
I realize I am a little flushed. I'm suddenly holding back tears. We've been through much heartache together. She was wary and untrusting when we first met. I was skeptical and detached. But we both stepped out of our comfort zones for the good of three small children. I am proud of her for making positive changes in her life. I am nervous with her... and for her. There are so many emotions tangled up in our relationship... but now our tenuous threads of hope have blossomed into love. Before I can even voice my thoughts I hear her say it first. "I love you."
This messy, unconventional, patchwork family we've built is growing again.
We're celebrating a new life, and we're celebrating a life reclaimed.