About a week ago, we had visit with a member of the kids’ first family, one that they hadn’t seen in years. The kids experienced some anxiety about it, both before and after our visit. Afterwards, we had a debrief about expectations and how things aren’t always exactly as we remember them. The kids are still too young to really express their feelings, but I believe that overall, the visit was beneficial. There are certain members of their family that I want to maintain contact with, because I think the kids need to know people they are biologically related to. They need to understand that both of their families can co-exist peacefully. I’m not sure what our relationship with this family member will look like going forward, but I do know that we’ll continue to explore the possibilities.
The visit was difficult for me too, but in different ways of course. During our debrief, I imagined the conversation that we’ll have when the kids are adults and they’ve found their first parents. The experience of expectations clashing with fact and memories differing widely from reality will undoubtedly be there. Maybe the experience will be more intense because it will involve their parents. Or maybe it will be easier to talk through, because as adults, they’ll be better able to express their feelings. It’s hard to imagine how it will all play out.
Apparently, several people at our visit commented that BC looks just like his father. Lately, I’ve been tricked into forgetting that my kids actually would look like their parents. This is because I’m fortunate to hear often that my kids really do look like me. I almost forgot that they really would look like their parents, more than they resemble me. It’s hard for me to admit it (and I certainly never would to the kids), but I have mixed emotions about their parents. On one hand, I respect them for being my children’s parents and I sympathize with them for making mistakes – after all, who doesn’t? But, it’s hard to forget that their mistakes hurt our kids, and other people as well.