Summer is the time for picnics and family reunions and last week Jenn, Nolin and I attended two. Both of which highlighted the fact that we are truly blessed to be adoptive parents.
On Tuesday, we met with Nolin’s birth mother for the second time since bringing him home from the hospital. In an open adoption, this can be scary for people, but for us it seems to work. It is always nice to see her and see that she is doing well. I also know it helps to reinforce the fact that her decision to create an adoption plan for Nolin was the right one, when she sees how well he is doing.
This time we had a surprise. We finally had a chance to meet Nolin’s birth father. For both Jenn and I, it was very exciting to have the opportunity to meet him and spend some time with him. I don’t know if he was anything like I expected him to be, but I can say that I was happy to meet him. He is an incredibly nice man, and it was nice to be a part of his reunion with Nolin. He is a few years older than me, but looks significantly younger (a fact that Jenn didn’t mind pointing out later…awesome).
He walked into the room a bit nervous to meet us, but that went away pretty quickly and I can say it was a very nice experience. It meant a lot to us to have a chance to be able to meet him and thank him, but I also think it meant a lot to Nolin’s birth mother that he was able to see that Nolin is in good hands.
On Sunday, we had the adoption reunion picnic that Jenn & I have been eagerly awaiting to go to for several weeks. I will say it was nice and disappointing all at the same time. There were probably about 20 adopted children at the picnic. The children ranged in age from over 4 years old (Catholic Charities first placement since they started the adoption program back up) to Nolin at 10 weeks.
When we went through our adoption classes there were 13 couples and we were excited to see everyone again. We were also excited to see who had been fortunate enough to start families.
Only three couples from our class attended, and we were the only couple who had placed. I am not sure if some of the other couples may have matched and just were not able to make it, but it did remind Jenn and I just how lucky we have been.
We had a chance to meet a lot of the other families who have adopted before us and their children. It was fantastic to hear all of their stories and to see just how different each experience has been. We found out that not too many of them had the same opportunities to meet their birth parents as we have had. Some felt more comfortable that way. Others wish they could at least have the opportunity to thank their birth parents for the amazing gift they had been given.
We left the picnic feeling blessed that our story was written the way it has been because it is perfect for us. We were also excited because we were asked to speak to the upcoming group of adoptive parents in September (something I think Jenn and I have been secretly hoping for since Nolin came into our lives).
Finally we experienced one other reunion that may not be quite as important or long-lasting, but Jenn and I have been reunited with sleep. Nolin has decided to start sleeping pretty much through the night. Not sure if this will continue, but we’ll enjoy this reunion while we can…