Here’s my response to the new writing prompt on the Open Adoption Roundtable Blog.
The topic is “Time.”
There are so many interpretations for this vague prompt, but I suppose that’s meant to inspire a greater diversity of responses. My first thought was about the passing of time. I placed my son in an open adoption 25 years ago this October, so time is certainly on my side when it comes to this perspective.
But this weekend I attended a wedding, which led me down a different train of thought. Hold on for this one – the wedding was for my son’s birthfather’s sister (his biological aunt). My son, his parents and his brother all flew out east to attend the big celebration. My husband and I were invited as well. We drove five hours with our girls for the big day. My parents met us there too and stayed at the hotel with us so they could watch our girls and also visit with my son and his family.
While we were all enjoying a leisurely breakfast prior to the wedding, I was struck at the expertise with which my son’s parents allocate their time. In fact, they’ve always been this way. They’re always mindful of reaching out to everyone and making every moment count. They know that time during these visits is limited and so they make every effort to spend one on one time with every single one of us. Not an easy feat! But they do it with the greatest of ease. And for that, I’m very grateful.
I remember back in 1989 – one year following the adoption of my son. His parents made a trip out east (to where I lived at the time) without their children (my son and his older brother). They had a commitment in New England, but wanted to make time to meet up with all of us. I remember that trip so vividly, even though it was for just one day. We packed so much in! We had a lovely breakfast at the home of my son’s birthfather. Indeed, this was the very first time that everyone was meeting one another in person – with the exception of my mother, who had been with me on placement day in California, one year earlier. There was a bit of nervousness from the birthfather’s side of the family. He chose to not be part of the day for reasons that took me years to understand. However, his parents and two sisters embraced my son and his family wholeheartedly. As did my father and my sister.
After breakfast, we rode the subway in to Boston. We walked through the Public Gardens. We went to the Cheers bar. We walked the Freedom Trail. And all the while, my son’s parents never stood next to each other. Instead, they took turns walking with each one of us. Talking, walking and blending our families together. Spending time talking with each of us.
They were mindful of their time then and they are still to this day. Whenever we all get together – which is once or twice a year – it’s not forced or rushed. Rather, it’s enjoyable. And it makes our time together that much more precious.