It's been another incredibly long week around here. Last weekend flew by all too quickly. It was just so lovely having Ms FoodNetwork here with us and it was over in what seemed like an instant.
There was one day that was just for hanging out. We all went out to our favorite local greasy spoon dinner. It just happens to be owned by a member of Ms FoodNetwork's favorite band. It's very artsy, especially for our town. We also went to the local Target and introduced Ms FoodNetwork to the wonderful world of cart escalators (have you all seen them? I am a HUGE fan of interesting escalators. We have both cart escalators AND curved escalators close at hand). The mister cooked us a lovely dinner. We talked and just hung out. It was beyond lovely.
The next day was a longer one, more business and tasks to check off the list. Ms FoodNetwork had her second meeting, the sickeningly named "relinquishment meeting".
Let's just pause here for a minute. Why such hateful terminology? Words have tremendous power. She wasn't relinquishing her daughter with all the negative connotations associated with that word. She was consenting to an adoption plan that she created, she was actively choosing us to parent her daughter because she felt that was best for her daughter. There was nothing negative about her plan or her actions - it came from a place of pure and unselfish love.
Ok. Back to that day. Let's just say the second meeting was held. Papers were signed. Forms were gone over. It was the business part of all this and while it was handled as well as it could have been, and it was in a serene environment in a lovely house surrounded by trees and nature (not some hospital or office building), it was still taxing for all.
After that part we had a lovely lunch. Food is good and good food is even better and it's so connecting to break bread together.
Then a dear friend and amazingly talented photographer joined us. She took the mister and my "signature shot" for our website and materials. Ms FoodNetwork and her mom loved that picture and it played no small role in their desire to get to know us. We were honored that The Photographer wanted to take some pics of all of us. How incredibly generous of her. How lucky we are to have those shots. I've only seen 3 of them so far but they are beyond beautiful. I'll post a couple of them in my next post and you'll see what I mean.
Then Ms FoodNetwork spent some time alone with our consultant. She was given loads of books and additional support and resources. I hope that it will be helpful to her.
After that long draining and emotional day we went back to our house. The mister took over baby duties and Ms FoodNetwork and I had a girls' night out. We got all gussied up, took the train two stops north, had a couple of cocktails and saw a rock opera (written by one of her favorite band and the coolest of said band was THERE...in the audience with us).
I know I keep using words like "awesome" and "amazing" but I just can't come up with anything else. It felt so good to be able to just hang out together and enjoy each other's company. It felt so good to treat her to a very special show, one that meant a lot to her, and just have fun together. She hasn't had a lot of opportunities for pure fun over the last few months and it was just very healing for both of us.
I think it also helped us survive the next day. That day was rough. Rough rough rough rough rough. We all knew it would be but it was even worse.
We had an errand in the morning, some last minute business to take care of and had to head straight to the airport. No one wanted Ms FoodNetwork to miss another flight. No one wanted her to leave either, if truth be told.
Saying "See You Soon" (not goodbye, I don't think we could ever say that in person) and watching her wait through security lines and then walk away all by herself was utterly heartbreaking. The three adults were in tears. The mister and I both hate that she was flying alone that day. We can't even imagine what that was like for her although we thought of little else until we got the call that she had reached her destination and her friend was waiting on the other side.
There is still tremendous grief in open adoption, that is for sure. One of my adult adoptee friends told me how it still breaks her heart when she thinks of her birthmother leaving her baby in the car with her doctor and walking home alone. That is just barbaric. Thank goodness we've come a long way from that. But it's never easy.
So today's post title comes from yet another musical* and I don't really think it needs any other explanation.** I'm so glad Ms FoodNetwork is and will be in our lives. I'm so glad our daughter has so many people that love her. I'm grateful she had that extra time with her first family because I think it's important to all of them and to her. That is part of her story. When she grapples with her own issues related to her adoption she will know how hard we all worked together to do right by each other and more importantly by her, putting her needs above all of ours and that can only be a good thing.
*Shoutout to MichelleL for correctly identifying the musical a few posts back: Avenue Q. Love those puppets!
**Ok maybe just a tiny explanation if you haven't seen Wicked. And congrats to Elphaba/Maureen and her handsome hubby on the birth of their son ONE DAY after our wee one. They are a lot like the mister and me: dated for 7 years before getting married and it took them nearly 7 years to have a baby. Of course we're far better looking and sing wayyyyyyyyy better than them. ;)