Our “girls rule boys drool” (according to Ava) vacation ended with our return flight from Cape Town yesterday. It was a great ten days, we had a fantastic time but we all missed Walter terribly. The separation of this trip, while difficult, was good for us all, it was a great time of reflection and you only really know the value of what you have when you’re separated from it. I found this little note with chocolate hearts inside my cupboard when I was unpacking yesterday afternoon!
One of the highlights of this trip for me, was getting to spend a day with my soul sister, Ava’s birth mother. I’ve blogged before about how we have taken a few tentative steps towards having a little more openness in our closed adoption. We’re friends on Face Book which is a great way for Irma to keep up to date on what is happening in Ava’s life and when she heard that I was coming to Cape Town, she sent me a message saying how much she wished we could meet up for a cup of tea. One message led to another and last Monday, I found myself taking a little road trip through the Cape wine lands to the small town where Irma lives.
Our meeting was wonderful. I’ve been asked how we coped with the “strangeness” of it and I can honestly say, there was no strangeness, no awkwardness at all. There were lots of hugs, lots of kisses, some tears and LOTS of talking. It was Irma’s birthday last Monday so in celebration of her birthday I made her a photo album of Ava’s life so far, all the significant moments and favorite photo’s went into that album and I know it is a gift Irma will treasure. She, in return, wrote Ava a letter to be kept in her memory box for when she is older. I couldn’t bring myself to read it in front of Irma, but I did read it when I got home yesterday and it both touched and broke my heart. That expression, one persons loss is another’s gain, while sounding so callous, is so very true in our case. Irma gave up something and in the process, she has to live with the pain and hurt of that decision, while we gained a beautiful child in the process. It’s very difficult to reconcile oneself to such conflict. Especially because I feel such tremendous love towards her.
It was great being able to chat without the supervision of our social worker. Our previous three meetings, the day before Ava’s birth, the day of the birth and the day of placement, were all supervised by our social workers. This time around it was just her and I and we got to share so much more. I wracked my brain to regale her of all the funny stories about Ava and made her smile and she told me the deeper reasons behind why she chose adoption and broke my heart.
For me, it is beautiful that the two most important women in Ava’s life, her first mother and her second mother, her birth mother and her adoptive mother, her biological mother and her heart mother, can work together in the best interest of the child we both love so dearly. We have such similar ideals and notions about Ava and about her choice in all of this, about when is the right time for Ava to meet Irma, about what Ava wants and needs in all of this and it is a situation so filled with such beautiful and incredible love!
And I know most people don’t understand this, but there really is no awkwardness between Irma and I. No strangeness. No ugliness. No insecurities. No jealousy. No envy. Just love and a shared desire to do what is best for the little girl that we both love so dearly.