August 14, 2010

Opadoptapalooza

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.

Stay tuned...

* He's actually not even a decade younger than Todd and I. But I've been feeling old lately!

12 comments:

Waiting Lisa said...

Sounds like a great trip! I have always wanted to go to legoland and the zoo out there.

And you're right about it being Opadoptapalooza. I hope it all goes well!

Debbie B said...

That all sounds like so much fun.
I know that our daughter's biological grandfather had a hard time trusting that we wouldn't just run away and hurt his daughter. It took awhile but he trusts us now and has started being a grandfather to her. It's such a blessing to be able to watch.

Lia - not Juno said...

Sounds like a super good time! Have fun with all the opadoptapalooza stuff. Sounds like Firefly's birth grandmother might be a bit of a tricky situation, but try and remember that even if you're feeling old, she is SO MUCH OLDER. Telling my grandma I'm pregnant was interesting because she disapproved SO MUCH. Not of adoption, or open adoption, or anything like that - but because premarital sex was involved. And yeah, okay... but c'mon. So maybe there's some 1940s stuff going on in her head that makes it even harder to deal with this situation. I mean, can you IMAGINE trying to have open adoption way back when? What a scandal! How inappropriate! How... unthinkable!

Anyway, I hope she changes her mind immediately when she sees Firefly, and opens her heart to all of you. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but hopefully you can get it going somewhere on a positive spectrum.

luna said...

wow, I didn't even realize how many visits you were making this trip. so excited to see you SOON!

lexismomtoo said...

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 absolutely LOVE this statement - it's so true! We have built an incredible relationship with my children's (previously hesitant)greatgrandmother, and last Xmas I gave her a picture that said "Somehow, together we make a family." It is her most prized possession!

Lavender Luz said...

Legoland AND Luna?

Sounds divine. Eager to hear how things go.

DrSpouse said...

About 10 years ago an older colleague told the assembled department that they were off to visit their daughter's birth mother (also, as it happens, in CA). Even though I had already had accidental experience as a foster mother, this still struck me as incredibly weird. I had no idea where I'd be going on my journey to (less temporary) parenthood, but I will try and remember that feeling - that it doesn't seem logical to most people.

mama2roo said...

Wow all of that sounds so fantastic, and tiring and emotional and fantastic. I can't wait to hear all about it. Praying something really really good happens with the grandmother.

Anonymous said...

and for what its worth, I can't figure out N.'s mom to save my life, which makes me so sad. She's having major heart surgery later this year and I wonder if she'll be around in the long term honestly.

and Reid would likely pee himself if we got within a mile of Lego land. He's been crazy about Legos for awhile now.

Meg Weber Jeske said...

Wow, lots of adventures rolled in to one. Hope it all goes well. Safe travels!

susiebook said...

I've been trying to comment on your recent posts with no success--I'll try a new method and cross my fingers.

Good luck on your California adventure! Too bad that it comes just as we're finally getting the gol durn car tuned up and will be able to drive out to where you are; once it is really actually done, I'll drop you an email and beg for a second chance. Safe travels!

Kristin said...

Best wishes for a gratifying and FUN trip! We should be putting on some great beach weather for you.

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