February 24, 2011

Shared Sight

Beth (Mari's first mom) came over on Saturday to visit and bring Mari a birthday gift. She had decided that she'd rather have some quiet time with Mari for her birthday than join in the bigger family celebration the weekend prior. We were glad she knew that about herself and that she trusted us enough to tell us. And, honestly, it was nice to have the time with just her instead of in the middle of a larger group.

We stayed home, made some pizza together, and just hung out. Eddie was feeling under the weather so he headed upstairs to nap fairly early on. It was the three adults and Mari, Mari loving her status as only kid in the room. (Oh, the woes of the second child.) She took Beth on a tour of her new "big kid" room. She jumped on her tiny trampoline, a birthday present. She was just her own adorable, chatty self, at home in a familiar place among familiar faces.

Saturday afternoon was one of those too-rare occasions when I could sit back and enjoy Marian. The day had already been set aside to spend with Beth, so there were no competing demands on my time. Poor Eddie was asleep, eliminating the need to referee the kids' interactions. Beth was there to visit Mari, so she didn't mind that everyone was Mari-focused.

I can't speak for all parents, but I know Todd and I see our children with biased eyes. When we spout the clich├ęs about Eddie and Mari being the two most interesting, captivating children we've ever met, we actually mean it. We delight in learning more about therm. And I'm perfectly aware that others don't think they're as amazing as Todd and I do. Even their grandparents don't have quite the same fascination. It's a parent thing.

The whole afternoon, Beth couldn't take her eyes off of Mari, couldn't stop laughing at her antics. At one point, as Mari sat feeding her baby doll, Beth said with a happy sigh, "I could just sit here and watch her all day long." I remembered then that here was the third person who shares Todd's and my bias, who sees her through the eyes of a parent. And it felt wonderful to be sharing that together, to be sitting in a room full of adults who wanted nothing more in that moment than to watch Mari.

This is the unique possibility of open adoption, at least one manifestation of it: that we had the joy of being with someone who enjoys this little girl just as much. Someone who sees her through the same adoring eyes.

* I know I need to finish this story. I'm awful. Awful.


Anonymous said...

I completely know that feeling, of being at a visit and having the three of us stop talking just to stare at him. For us, we would talk at length about his different kinds of crawling or his different facial expressions - topics that would quickly bore anyone else.
I honestly have very few outlets to talk about how fascinating my son is, so those opportunities with his aparents I think are so special. Together we love to get lost in his awesomeness. You captured that feeling so well.

Anonymous said...

I can add an amen to all of it as well.
We do the 'little birthday party' with his first mom too. To her it is very intense to see him, and we don't need the extended family to be there to have enough going on. Quite frankly because it is difficult for her to share the time she has with him - it is so precious to her and she wants to hold him and play with him every minute of it. What ever works.

Anonymous said...

That's a sentiment I've expressed to Paul and Linda on various visits; how we could all literally watch the tiny human struggle with the new and exciting and overwhelming demands of existence for HOURS and I mean HOURS. I spent a solid hour watching him try to get his thumb in his mouth and cheering him on. In the hospital, when he was just a sleepy lump of flesh who couldn't open his eyes, I sat up all night and held him and just stared at him. I could watch him do ANYTHING. He's better than TV.

But you know, I am at the place right now (the very depressed, unfair, need-to-place-blame place that you need to realize is not a reflection on you and probably not something Beth feels but I just need to say it) where I HATE that I share that with Paul and Linda now. I really do. I guess I'm just having one of those times when my open adoption, however honestly perfect it is, just sucks and tastes sour. I'm jealous that they get to stare at him all day and I get to stare at him for a few hours once a month. He should be loved by everyone, that's not a bad thing and it makes me feel like shit to say it but I wish they didn't love him as much as I do because somehow it makes me feel like my love is diminished.

Oh god this all sounds so ridiculous I'm going to shut up now. I'm glad you guys all had a great day together.

Lindsey from The R House said...

I LOVE this post for so many reasons.

I love this line: We were glad she knew that about herself and that she trusted us enough to tell us.

And I love thinking about no one in this world loving my kids as much as their birth parents and adoptive parents do.

Great post! Linking it on the FB fan page.

ICLW #163
infertility * adoption * hope

C said...

Very beautiful post. I don't think I will have an open adoption as we will be adopting from foster care, but open adoption can be such a wonderful thing for the KID.


KatjaMichelle said...

M made a similar observation during our last visit. It was awesome.

And yes, you DO need to finish that story!

Garden Variety Mama said...

Sounds like a beautiful afternoon.

Joy for the Seasons said...

Thanks for the peek!

A Life Being Lived said...

I love this! You have captured the feeling perfectly. I share the same adoration and love towards my daughter that her parents do, and it's a bond and relationship that will never change (our love and shared interest in her) and something that binds us together. This is beautiful.

harriet glynn said...

That is one of the things I LOVE about visiting with my son's bps. We can rave and rave about our son and not bore them! They typically just play and play with him and we site back and marvel.

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