The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.
How do you feel after a visit?
Wow, so this is an incredibly simple question, but kind of loaded at the same time.
As a first (birth) mom I have felt both different and the same after a visit with Parker.
It might help to explain the pattern of most of the visits I have had.
Since Parker was 18 months old visits have usually happened mid-October and any time in February or near February. The reasons are simple, February 17 is Parker birthday, and Canadian Thanksgiving, as well as Laurie's (adoptive mom) birthday is in October. Parkers' adoptive family live a five and a half hour drive from where I live. As well, Lauries family live mostly in my city. Well, they did, I think they are now moving closer to her, which is bad for me because her family is the reason they can come to my city to visit myself and Jacob (who lives with his wife and children in my city as well).
For the past four years they(Parkers adoptive family) have been here to get together with Laurie's family, and while they are here, they throw in a visit with Jacob and I of course.
I feel a little bit differently about the October visits than I do the February ones. For the October visits I don't have to worry about traveling or even booking off work(but I usually book the day of anyways).
For them, all I have to worry about is if they will show up, I mean, they always have, but there's always that fear in me that they might not.
This is supposed to about how I feel AFTER the visit, I am going on to much about the before, so the truth is that after a visit with them in my city, I feel kind of disjointed, like I just woke up from a wonderful dream.
Usually I am wondering to myself if it all really happened and just spending hours starring and starring at the pictures I took. Often I make a call to my friend Kyla, and talk her ears off about it, or I post on a BMB forum about it. Honestly I feel really giddy after a visit in my own city because all the energy I would have used for a five hour trip is somehow filling me with an urge to move, do something, anything.
Now, the out of town visits are a bit more of an ordeal for me because I have to travel with Jacob and his wife and children, which is OK, we get along, it's just taxing because well, it's a five and half hour drive and the children are all under the age of three(yes, three kids under three, yep they planned it that way).
Being around Jacob still makes me feel weird but I do my best to be normal and agreeable.
The trip back home after visiting out of town kind of terrifying because Jacob is a crazy driver at best, and then, of course, he and Tara are tried because when we visit out of town, we don't stay, we are just there for lunch, basically.
Yep, so we drive (and FYI, I cannot drive, I have many reasons) from about 6am, get there at about noon or 1pm, then we head out again at about 5 or 6pm to get home at about 11pm. It's a long day for those babies in the vehicle! All the traveling with crying babies really takes it out of all of us and usually, I am still jazzed about seeing Parker and stuff, but really really really ready to go home.
It not usually till the day after that I have that same 'was it real??' feeling come over me and do the same starring at pictures for hours and talking with Kyla and posting on forums and stalking Facebook to see if Laurie will say anything about me visiting (she never does, but you know, I keep hoping..)
It has only been through writing that I have finally come to the conclusion to that question
'How do I feel' because, usually, I feel like it was all a dream, a beautiful dream, and it's only pictures(and the bruises on my body cause Parker plays rough, he's a boy!) that prove it was really really real. Like a miracle come true.