Methinks the Adoption: Visits label is about to see a lot of use.
I've had a business trip down to Los Angeles later this month scheduled for ages. A couple of weeks ago we decided to turn it into a quick road trip with Todd and the kids, setting off a flurry of planning and packing. The three of them will get to spend a few days with Todd's parents in L.A. while I am off at a work retreat. And then Puppy will lead us all on a pilgrimage to Legoland.
Since both kids have birth family in California, it's also turned into Open Adoption Tour 2010. An Opadoptapalooza, if you prefer.
We're going to see Ray, Puppy's first dad, who last visited a year ago. I can't wait. It's always such a joy to see him in person, and to see Puppy and him together. It looks like we'll taking on the zoo together. If it didn't mean missing out on our chance to catch up as adults, I'd just plant myself in the shade with an iced tea and let Ray--with all his youthful energy*--take Puppy around in the melting heat to see the animals.
We'll also get together with Kelly, his first mom, who we last saw at Christmas 2008. I'm bummed that Puppy won't get time with his younger sister (who doesn't live with Kelly right now), but happy that Puppy won't have gone two years without seeing Kelly. She seems to have had a harder time being an active part of Puppy's life since her daughter was born. He's definitely been aware of the shift. But we've kept up with the occasional phone call, pictures, emails and such on our end, even when they mostly went unanswered. That whole relationship is somewhat of a mystery to me right now, honestly.
And we reached out to one of Firefly's grandmothers, Kevin's mom, who lives at the midway point on our trip. She's still unconvinced of a number of things, including the idea that we're not on opposing teams in this open adoption. She's never met Firefly, much less us. I can't say my thought process went much further than, "We're driving through That City, we should try to meet her." But there is definitely a part of me that hopes being together face-to-face will take the tension down a few notches. I often say to people that open adoption seems strange when you're on the outside looking in, but makes a lot of sense when you're in the middle of it. I think she is still in the position of feeling like she's looking in from the outside in many ways. Hopefully this will be a step toward changing that.
And! We get to spend some time with the fabulous, insightful Luna on our drive down! I think I'm going to come away 30% more grounded and compassionate just by being in her presence.
* He's actually not even a decade younger than Todd and I. But I've been feeling old lately!