I've been noticing a trend in questions/comments from people lately, and what better place to address them than right here?:) So here goes...
Question/Statement #1: What a beautiful little girl!
Response #1: Thank you--HIS name is Gabriel!
This pretty much happens on a daily basis when we are out in public around people who don't know us. Yes, I realize I like to curly-cue the hair on the top of his head. Yes, I realize his hair is somewhat long and absolutely BEAUTIFUL. And yes, I realize he has the most gorgeous, piercing eyes. But seriously??! The boy has on a button-down-the-front collared shirt with blue jeans. Even more so, there is no bow in said beautiful hair--THIS should be the dead giveaway! DH and my mother are convinced this statement is made because of the length of Gabriel's hair, which leads me to the next statement made most often:
Question/Statement #2: That boy needs a haircut!
Response #2: No way am I cutting away his baby-ness!
Call it a weird personal quirk or whatever you want, but I just have this thing about cutting my babies' hair. There's something about a baby's hair that is so pure and sweet and just full of baby-goodness:) As weird as it sounds to many, I just feel that cutting a baby's hair is like cutting away their baby-ness. So, I have this "thing" where I just won't cut a baby's hair until they are at LEAST one year old (Lucy was almost three!)
Question/Statement #3 (regarding keeping close contact with Gabriel's birthmom):
Are you sure that's a good thing?
What if she tries to take him back?
Are you worried?
Response #3: In short:
a. yes, of course it's a good thing!
b. *big eyes* (or rolling my eyes) as I think to myself, "seriously??!"
c. Yes--I worry about my son in the same way that I worry about my daughter. I want to protect them from harm, keep them under my safe watchful eyes, and I want to be there for them.
You may remember a former post entitled "The Punky Brewster Mentality" where I talked about the stigmas we have attached to adoption that are so opposite of what adoption really is, especially regarding OPEN adoption. I'll be honest, the thought of open adoption scared me SO much...BEFORE I was educated on what it really is. I can't even find words to express how thankful we are that Gabriel's birthmom allows us and wants us to have a very open relationship with her. On a personal level, I just really enjoy talking with her, and on my mommy-level, I am just so thankful GP will grow up knowing where he came from, who he looks like, and why he was placed with our family. I've thought many times about how Gabriel will no doubt one day ask me why his birthmother chose to place him for adoption, but I never expected that question to come so soon...and from my 5 year old. I think I forget that Lucy is only 5, and there's just no way her mind can wrap itself around this situation fully. Last week, we had the privilege of seeing Rachel for the first time since we were all at the hospital. (more on that in an upcoming post!:) and as we were leaving, Lucy looked at me very inquisitively and innocently had this conversation with me:
Lucy: I thought Gabriel was going to go with his mom?
Me: *heart sinking a bit* No honey, I'm his mom--Rachel chose me to be Gabriel's mommy and she chose Daddy to be his Daddy, and she chose you to be his sissy.
Lucy: But why? Why didn't she keep him?
My heart stopped for a moment. I think I had taken for granted that she had been so involved in the whole process, yet she is still so young, so she just couldn't fully understand the dynamics of it all. I took a deep breath, smiled at her, and I replied, "Because she felt it was the best thing for her, and for Gabriel, and for us. She felt it was the best thing for everybody." I tell both Lucy and Gabriel all of the time, "We are SO thankful that Rachel CHOSE Daddy and I to be Gabriel's mommy and daddy." I know that at both of their ages, they can't comprehend the weight behind that statement. I know that right now, they don't understand how truly selfless and sacrificial Rachel's love is for Gabriel. But, that doesn't stop me from telling them even now at a young age. I want them to both grow up knowing the truth, and I know one day it will make sense to them. I also want those around us to understand the beauty of this situation--it is not one bathed in fear or uncertainty, but it is a life full of trust, sacrifice, love...so very many emotions...and it is SUCH a beautiful picture of what our heavenly Daddy has done for us. He CHOSE us to be His children because He loves us so very much. Isn't it amazing that the creator of the entire universe wants us to know Him and have a relationship with Him? He wants to pour His love out upon on our lives, so much so that He was willing to give His only son to die so that we might live. Adoption is such a beautiful picture of this--a mother being so selfless and sacrificial with the life of her child, a family choosing to take this child as their own, and it's all through an overwhelming theme of LOVE...