We had our big birthday bash this weekend, the one for Gelly turning 6 and Bitsy turning 2. The one with all the family, adoptive and birth. In the past there have been lots of family at these events but this time it was a smaller group. Mama S (birth mom) Auntie S and a couple of cousins were all that were able to make it from the birth side of the family. I love the extended family but it was nice to have fewer people there this time because we were also saying goodbye.
We will be moving to Seattle soon, and while we only get together a few times a year with Mama S and will make sure to continue to visit at least once a year, it still feels sad. Our close proximity to one another gave a sense of security that we will all be losing.
The party was nice, we were able to talk and laugh together, enjoy seeing how much our kids have grown over the last couple of months. The boys were anxious the couple of days before the visit but were really happy to see Mama S when she got there. Mama S always impresses me at our visits, she brings the kids gifts but not as bribes, as genuine tokens of affection. She takes her time and lets the kids come to her on their own terms, never pushes. She keeps it positive and happy for them, even though I know her heart is breaking. It always makes me wonder how different things might have been for her if someone had been there at the right time to help her.
I know that it doesn't really compare but I had to say goodbye to one of my kids today and it made me think about Mama S. Hot Mama and Mooster, our 9 year old, were leaving for Seattle today. They are going a month before the rest of the family so that Hot Mama can start work and get the house situated while the rest of us tie up all the loose ends here in Utah. Mooster has been dad's buddy from the moment he was born, we are together all the time. So having him leave, even for a month, was hard for both of us. I am a cryer, I have tried to control it but then my face just does this ridiculous contorted grimace thing that is even worse than crying, so there were tears.
It made my heart ache for Mama S. She does not have her kids because she does not love them, she loved them enough to know she could not provide what they needed to thrive.
How does she bear it? Saying goodbye to your precious babies.
It made me think, could I do it? Could I admit that they would be better off with someone else, or would I have selfishly kept them? Would I disappear from their lives after so I would not have to deal with the pain every time I see them? Would I be mad at the family that gets to hold them and love them everyday? I don't know.
So here I am learning things about life from Mama S, someone that when we started this, I never thought that I could learn something from. Learning about making sacrifices for the ones you love even when it hurts. About being brave, not giving up and moving on even when everyone is judging you to be a failure. About being a good parent.
At the end of the day when I was putting Gelly to bed I asked him what his favorite part of the day was, was it his new toys, the cupcakes, going swimming....what was his favorite.
He said "Seeing my mommy S."
I said "yeah, that was nice"
He gave me a big hug and held on a little longer than usual and said, "yeah, I still love her."
I know you love her buddy, the funny thing is so do I.