Normal, chatting about how big kids are getting and Christmas plans and rainy weather.
Normal, passing the baby around and squishing those chubby, chubby cheeks and reminding toddler hands to give “gentle touches.”
Normal, brothers jumping from tile to tile down the hallway and exchanging high-fives.
Normal, crying at the sight of Santa and reaching for Mama and scowling for the picture.
And if that normal comes to a meeting of birth family and foster parents and adoptive parents (and a social worker in a pear tree), when normal comes then, it’s called: SUCCESS.
Our first meeting around a conference table in a strange government office was tense and awkward, with gusts to civil. So I expected the same with this first Brothers Meeting.
I know that it wasn’t easy for any of us. Nana’s hands, and voice, shook as she explained who I was to her oldest grandson, again. “Your brother’s new mommy. He has two now.” Poppa shows up briefly, but quickly retreats. I think this is harder than he imagined.
Birth Mom was sweet and calm, just like I remembered. Seeing her side by side with our son, I can see the resemblance more than ever. It endears her to me. She is important. I guess I’m more secure than I thought.
I knew the baby would win me over (who can resist a chubby 1-year-old?), but it is the 4-year-old who steals my heart. He has that same energy and sweetness that makes our boy so charming.
It seems like many of my blog posts are filled with angst-y, ramble-y complaints and worries. The next day I rethink my emotional exhibitionism. Does the whole world need to know what a neurotic whiner I am?
It’s not that life is unceasingly hard; quite the opposite: our life is a happy, full one. But normal rarely drives me to write.
Yesterday was normal. When I hoped and prayed for civil, I got pleasant. What a nice surprise!
So here’s us, surprisingly content with our new normal: openness with birth family.