The Kids' Dryer at Stanley Park!
A family celebration, including birth mom, birth dad and birth grandma!
Our evening at our hotel!Our first day went really well. I only had one child come down with the flu (so far) We're now traveling with buckets but besides that.....it was a great day celebrating family. Never in a million years did I think my husband and I would have the openness that we have with three of our children's birth family. It really puts a new twist on adoption for us. For the past three years we've been having openness with one of our sets of siblings. It's a healthy and safe relationship so far and the birth family has said, "They never lost their children, they gained a great big happy family and they feel a part of ours" They are another set of grandparents. They are loving parents like we are. I really have compassion, and the understanding and we've developed our love together in so many ways, it's truly incredible. I will share something with you. Years ago I felt that every time we celebrated our children, the birth mother and father would take over, I felt the boundaries were crossed......I just felt like a caregiver. I don't anymore. We all love our children. We are all family connected through adoption. Yes it's hard for me as their adoptive mother, but it's hard for the birth mother too. She only sees them when we get together, so a day loving her children I don't find boundary crossing anymore. I've learned how to embrace it. Accept it. Love the fact the our children are loved. And at the end of the day (like today) my children are saying, "Good night mommy, I love you" and in a way, as I sit and write I wish their birth mom can hear that too. If the birth family is healthy mentally, physically and it's healthy for the child within this delicate situation called adoption, openness should happen - and who would of known I would be writing this today because if it was ten years earlier, we were afraid. Ten years ago when we started adopting not only were we afraid of having openness, we were afraid of adopting special needs children, we were afraid of how some children would change our family dynamics. Only if I knew what I know now back then.........but experience is key, and I wouldn't change anything today if I could. Our first day, Day 1 - a family celebration was perfect and so far, my traveling eleven are perfect too!