On the eve of Nana’s adoption and the formalization of our family, I’m reflecting on our future as a family. I want so many good things for Nana but like any parent, I worry that I’ll be able to provide them for her. Here are just a few thoughts that I had on the night before.
I believe that God is the master planner. If you’ve been following the blog, you know that this has been a journey from infertility to adoption. And while we felt the wait was long between getting our license and Nana being placed with us, in reality, it wasn’t. When we saw Nana’s profile, we kind of shrugged. Who knew? We had been in a couple of other RAS and weren’t selected. It felt like the luck of the draw. No point of getting excited.
But from the moment we met, we knew this was a good fit. She wasn’t born to be our child, but since she was in need of parents, it seemed we were a perfect fit. She is such a wonderful little girl, happy in spirit, loving and giving. She giggles, dances, counts, sings and makes her mommy and daddy laugh every day. She is curious and creative. She hugs spontaneously and with abandon. She is everything that we ever wanted in a child and more and I know that God was working that out for us.
I hope that one day in the near future we can communicate with Nana’s biological family in some way. I think about her family quite a bit, much more than I would have anticipated. I have no doubt that her mother grieves for her in her own way. I know her siblings wonder what happened to her. It makes me feel uncomfortable that her family is completely out of touch with her and has no idea what is happening in her life.
My hope for Nana is that she grows up knowing her family and having some sort of relationship with them. I want her to be able to ask questions about her medical history, to know some of their family customs, to feel comfortable with her mother and siblings. My hope is that she never feels like she has to choose, but that she has a whole host of people that love her.
I’m blessed to see Wood as a father in action. Ten years ago, when Wood and I were dating, we took a road trip to Chicago. We were happy and in love. Our road trips were always good times filled with music, stories and laughs. I happened to glance backwards into backseat and I saw a vision of two little kids, a girl and a boy, sitting in the backseat, playing with each other and giggling. It was so real. I remember feeling content with that version of my life because I knew in my heart even then, 10 years ago, that Wood would be an excellent father.
I’ve had the privilege of seeing Wood grow from his initial hesitance with the entire process, to reluctant participant, to present, active, and full-time dad. I appreciate that he has an understanding of who he wants to be as a husband and father and works towards that every day. He is a true partner in all of the household and parenting duties, loving and nurturing with Nana, stern when he needs to be, but wholly forgiving afterwards. I’m so proud of him.
I pray that Nana and I have a good mother-daughter relationship. I realize that healthy relationships are often the result of seeing other positive relationships and in the absence of good role-models, history can repeat itself. Since my mother and I had such a contentious relationships, and she was distant from her mother, we have quite a bit of history to overcome.
Even now I see a distance forging between us. Wood is the fun parent and Mommy is the stern one. I accept that girl children are often drawn to their fathers but sometimes, her natural preference for him feels like a rejection of me. I hope that I am able to overcome my own insecurities and create space where we can forge our own closeness.
I worry about how Nana may see her adoption when she gets older. You can never know how an adopted person will view their reality, how it will affect their daily lives, their relationships with others or their ideas of family. It is my goal that Nana will always know that she is adopted – it will just be something that she knows, just like she knows she is right-handed. We will treat it as normal,
At the same time, I want to be a supportive parent, aware that she may have feelings that aren’t particularly grateful. If and when she wants to forge closer relationships with her biological family, I pray that I provide an open heart and a listening ear. I want her to feel able to explore her history while knowing that she always has a safe space with us.
All in all, I feel thankful to be here, ready to affirm to the judge and everyone that Wood and I are willing and able to be Nana’s parents – forever.