For Puppy's first birthday, I made him a little book titled "Who Loves [Puppy]?" It's full of pictures of him with the people who make up our family--grandparents, godfather, aunts and uncles, and his first families. I wanted a way to make their faces familiar to him, even though we don't see many of them very often.
We were reading it last night before bed, flipping through the pages and having him identify different people. When we got to his first mom's page he got so excited. "K___! K___! K___!" he sang, pointing at her picture.
Something clicked for him during K's visit last month. He's still too young to truly understand family relationships--that Nana is Mommy's mommy and that sort of thing. But he gets that K is special because she is family. He welcomed her into his select inner circle over that weekend (perks include extra hugs, reading books in your lap, sharing favorite toys, and hearing your name repeated over and over).
I was glad to see it and to see her respond to him and know that it had happened on his timing. It made me think that maybe we're on the right track.