Today I feel like I know my son better. It's as if a piece of his puzzle has been given to me.
We didn't expect it to happen EVER. But especially this soon.
You see, we met our son's birthmother for the first time, and we absolutely LOVE her.
He's no longer quite the mystery that he was before. His history no longer begins at the day he was dropped into my arms. And HIS story just became that much more meaningful, as he will now grow up seeing the love between his birthparents and his adoptive parents. Cheering him on. Wanting the best for him. In open adoption, we ALL rally behind and unite around one person: the baby!
And to think, our paths would have never crossed otherwise.
But that's not altogether true.
Because He knew what He was doing when he brought a little 2 year old girl from Haiti to the States with her parents many years ago. And He knew at just the right time how our lives and our stories would intersect.
Yesterday, we were able to see that grand Story unfold just a tiny bit more.
So how do you prepare to meet the mother of your newborn son? Seriously, are there any words or gifts adequate enough to convey the depth of gratitude we carry? Nevertheless, I found a bracelet made with Jameson's birthstone that had a silver charm of two tiny baby feet. We also bought a photo album and filled it with many of the photos that you, blog readers, have enjoyed seeing since he was placed with us.
And then I asked Caroline, who has been on a major crafting kick recently, if she would like to make a card for Jameson's birthmother.
After a few minutes and a few "Mom, how do you spell such-and-such?"'s, I looked down to see what she had written...
Could there be anything more sweet? My little girl! I almost burst into tears. (I'm sure the birthmom did, too, after she got home and read it.)
So it was time for the meeting, and things rarely go as planned, do they? Our case worker had arrnaged for us to meet in a quiet room at a pregnancy center in another town, thinking we would have a beautiful, private moment together before heading to a restaurant for lunch. Probably like something you would envision in the movies. (at least that's what I was sortof expecting it to be like... complete with violins playing in the background and everything!)
But, it's never what you'd expect. For whatever reason, when we pulled in, the pregnancy center wasn't even open!?, so the first moment we actually saw her was slightly anti-climactic. She pulled up in the car near ours with the social worker. Oh my gosh! There she is! Marc and I said to each other from our car. We then watched as Jameson's 4' 11" birthmommy got out of the car, cute and stylish as she could be, with the smile of an angel, and we met her with big hugs in the parking lot of all places!
When she saw Jameson, she couldn't believe how big he was. (which is funny, because he's still only barely 8 lbs now! But I'm sure that's a big jump from seeing your little 6 lb baby...)
It was amazing to watch her hold her son again. Amazing.
I am always thrilled to watch our birthmommies welcome their children into their arms again. My spot in this triangle as an adoptive mama is a blessing and privilege. Never a right. I want my kids to know and love their birth families. No secrets. No wondering.
I'm sure Jameson remembered her voice, and his eyes gazed up into hers so intently.
The next few hours of our visit were spent over lunch. Getting to know one another. Laughing interspersed with hugging. She was so happy and kept thanking us!!?!? (um, I think we owe WAY more thanks here...) She said our meeting was confirming for her and that we were the perfect fit for Jameson. (We felt more like she was actually the perfect fit for us.)
We shared stories of how we each felt at every step of this adoption journey from both of our perspectives. We told her about Team Jameson, and how many of you were at our house helping to throw things together in 9 short days! She couldn't believe it. We asked her for her advice with Jameson's hair, and she said she was still trying to figure out how to do her own 3 year old boy's hair! (we had a wonderful laugh about this together) I told her about how Jameson's nursery is inspired by Haiti so that a piece of her would always be with him. She fought back tears. I showed her the pictures and she couldn't believe how beautiful it was. I could tell that meant more to her than she could probably express in that moment.
I had no idea she delivered my son alone that night. It wasn't how she had intended. While in labor, a male nurse who knew about her plan to adopt stayed by her side, telling her what an amazing thing she was doing. As if God sent her one of His angels. The thought of her there at the hospital, bearing the physical pain ALONE on my behalf is seriously enough to make me weep if I dwell on it.
I don't deserve this child!
She told us about the minute she saw our profile, and how she and the birthfather knew we were the ones. They saw pictures of Caroline, and how obviously happy she was in our family, even as an adopted child. And when they saw that Caroline had no hair, the birthmother told us that they knew then that we could love any child. (Even a brown one.)
That could not have been more meaningful to me.
Those of you who have followed our blog for years and went through the agony of Caroline's hairloss with us know what an unbelievably painful and scary journey it was to diagnose and accept alopecia into our life. It was the VERY unwelcome family member at the table. Watching my daughter, at age 2, ever so slowly metamorphasize from a picture of beauty and strength into the picture of a cancer patient has still, to this date, been the most devastating thing I've ever experienced. Oh, I know it's just hair. But for so long, we weren't even so sure it was just hair. I was so afraid my daughter was very sick, and that I was doing something very wrong because I couldn't stop it from happening.
Obviously, we've come a long way, baby.
It's been in accepting and embracing Caroline's alopecia that I've died to alot of ideals and hopes. I've adjusted my eyes to understand and appreciate true, lasting beauty. Through alot of tears and alot of good counseling and the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in my heart, I've come to see alopecia not as a curse anymore, but as a gift. It still has its challenges, but I know for certain my Caroline is GORGEOUS, inside and outside, and we don't need hair to make us beautiful.
It was through alopecia that Marc and I came to see that our little family isn't meant to look like everyone else anyways.
So back in April when I put together our adoption profile, perhaps my biggest fear was that potential birthmommies would look at our family, see our bald daughter, and be scared away. That may not make much sense to you guys, but it was something about which I was quite worried. At our meeting yesterday, I confessed that I had carried this fear to Jameson's birthmom, to which she quickly responded, "Oh, but that's exactly WHY I picked you guys."
Of course it was.
Because in God's stories, it's always upside down, isn't it? It's never what you'd expect.
It's the bad guys, not the good ones, that Jesus goes after with pursuing love.
(like, the kind of guys that were killing the good guys! And God says, That's who I want to be an apostle!)
It's the weak and the poor that are exalted, not the strong and the rich.
It's the King of the Universe born in a lowly cattle stall.
Jesus' economy rarely squares up with our own.
So, of COURSE, the very thing that I feared keeping me from an adoption was the very thing that He used to give me an adoption.
And not only is God using Caroline's alopecia in this relationship with Jameson's birthparents, but her adoption story as well.
What was originally going to be a closed adoption is just not going to stay closed! Yay! (Hopefully it won't be too long before she'll be reading this blog!)
I think that seeing and hearing about Caroline's adoption and her open access to her birthmommy Megan has helped show Jameson's birthparents that this is not something in which to be completely ashamed. Our goodbyes yesterday were "see you laters." Our prayer is that Jameson's birthfather will also be ready emotionally to meet us at some point. You can pray to that end.
But for now, we are so, SO happy for a wonderful beginning point with the birthmother.
And words cannot describe how much we are so, SO thankful to her and for her.