First, he saw his birthmom, T, a few weeks ago. He was his normal, happy and charismatic self. She had a blast running around after him and showing him off to everyone she knew there. She told other prisoners and guards, "This one is mine. I had him while I was in "x" unit." I had a minor pang when she used those words. Because he is mine. But, yes, he is hers too. He will always be ours. That is the hard part about adoption. The part I'm pretty sure a lot of adoptive parents have a hard time acknowledging. But it can also be beautiful, as I will describe later. She thanked us many times that day for taking the time and expense to go visit her and again in the letter she wrote after the visit. I just wanted to say to her..."How are you thanking me? You gave me your sweet baby boy! You deemed me good enough to be his mom. You trusted him in my arms! I will spend my whole life thanking you!" Of course, I don't say all of that, but I do tell her that she has no need to thank us, that it is very important to us that they are in each other's lives and that Jackson knows her. I hope she knows how grateful I am that she chose me. She had so many choices. And she made a good choice for my sweet boy. She put his needs first. For that I will always love her.
And then, last weekend, Jackson's birthdad, A, and his parents came to see Jackson...and Addison. It was the first time his parents had met Jackson. His mom cried when she first saw him, and again when they said goodbye. She told us he looked just like A when he was little - no surprise because he looks just like him now! They even emailed us a picture of A at Jackson's age and holy cow! That infectious smile definitely comes from A! They talked to us about how hard it was to make the decision to not take Jackson themselves. And how happy they are that he is with us. They called us a "perfect family." Oh, don't I wish. But I think they need to believe that. They brought such thoughtful and amazing gifts for both of my babies. They spoiled them really. They showed Addison just as much love and attention as they did Jackson, and that was good for my momma heart. Because of Jackson's adoption, we ALL gained another family. I have a feeling they will be a wonderful support to us and our children for many years to come. They are incredible people. Jason and I talked later and it was interesting to us that A's parents are SO much like Jason's parents. We know that A and T chose us because we were so much like them. But the similarities are striking!
There was a poignant moment when A was visiting that I don't ever want to forget. I'm not even sure anyone else noticed it. Jackson got on his turtle (and riding toy) and the base was half on the rug, half on the hard floor. It was wobbly. Both Jason and A rushed forward to adjust it and stabilize it...to keep my sweet boy safe. At that moment, I thought about how lucky Jackson is. He has FOUR people who love him as a parent would love their child. We are his parents, but his birthparents also love him intensely. And then he has all of their extended family. What a lucky boy he is. And he deserves it all. He is a fantastically brilliant, funny and engaging little boy. The sky is his limit in this life. And he has all of us behind him, ready to celebrate his successes and pick up the pieces when he gets hurt. Adoption is simply incredible.