Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Emma's Special Picnic

Saturday marked Emma's fourth annual picnic with E, her birthmother, and Grandma (P) and Grandpa B (S), her maternal birth-grandparents. It was a wonderful time for us all. As much as E, P and S feel blessed by our continued physical contact, our family is blessed tenfold. I cannot tell you how life affirming those times are for us. I am looking forward to the day when Emma has a better understanding of her adoption. I am so glad that she will always know that her birthfamily loves her beyond all understanding.

Traditionally, the first Saturday of June has consisted of crappy weather since Emma was born. This year was a bit better. Although it was overcast and threatened to rain, the clouds kept the heat down and gradually made way for the sunshine. We were able to enjoy our picnic lunch and play with the kids without getting sticky and uncomfortable.

After we got to the park, the girls didn't want a thing to do with eating. I had a nice visit with them while the kids were playing. As soon as E and S finished eating, they joined Danny and the girls out on the playground. E didn't mention it herself, but P told me how much it meant to their family that we were raising Emma to know about her history and roots in such an open and loving way. After I wrote my blog about explaining adoption to Emma, I emailed the birthfamily to tell them. Since they didn't email back, I was concerned that I might have hurt their feelings by mentioning it. That was the furthest thing from the truth. I had no idea how much power such a simple act as writing that email would have. She told me just how lucky they feel that E selected "the best" parents for Emma. What an honor it is for Danny and I to have the opportunity to link our family with theirs. I can't imagine it any other way.

S and E had fun playing alone with Emma on the playground while Danny and Ally ate lunch. Emma told them all about school, her friends and the things that she liked. E emailed later and told me that she couldn't believe how much Emma had grown up and opened up since Christmas. Later in the afternoon everyone went down by the creek to see some big tadpoles. Apparently E almost slipped into the creek and screamed as she stopped herself. Emma just loves to talk about that.

Just as always, the girls were spoiled by E, P and S. They had a great time opening and playing with their gifts. Emma's favorite gift by far was a pair of flip flops. They have beads on them and Emma fell in love at first sight. She wouldn't even let me take the tag off before she ran out on to the playground. P and I laughed about how she must take after Minnie Pearl just a little bit. S bought each of the girls these plastic toy tubes. If you hold one end and swing them around, it makes a funny, whiste type of sound. E was worried that the girls would end up hitting each other with them. Instead, they look like Star Wars geeks waving fake light sabers at each other. They couldn't use them as weapons if they wanted to.

Emma called P "Grandma" for the first time at the picnic and I enjoyed watching P's face light up. P has health issues that make walking around difficult, but when Emma said, "Grandma, come here!" she couldn't resist.

Emma also hugged S for the first time in a long time. S has a mustache and Emma doesn't really know what to think about it. At our last few get togethers, Emma wouldn't hug or kiss him because of it. This time she gave him a hug.

We got some wonderful pictures of Emma, E, P and S. We also got a wonderful picture of E and Emma on a tire swing. I know that Emma will treasure them so much some day.

Although nice, the 4 hour drive each way made for a long day for all of us. By the time we got home, it was way past Ally's bed time. We were all exhausted, but it felt good. Making memories is worth every bit of it.


Melissa O. Markham said...

This connection is such a blessing for all of you. Glad you had such a wonderful day and made some more wonderful memories!

Third Mom said...

I love the ease with which you include your child's first family - beautiful! Please continue to share your family's experience, it's a message that should be spread far and wide.