We drive to the vineyard and have a lovely picnic with Addie. She has packed an incredible lunch and its absolutely, completely totally what we needed today. Its a beautiful spot, with a lovely breeze.
And did I mention the wine? Suffice to say she offered me sanity in a in a bottle and a basket.
Greg and I had our pictures taken for the lobbying efforts that Addie does to open adoption records in Missouri. Missouri stinks in this regard. Our boys have their complete files, including original birth certificates, but that is because their social worker loved us and was retiring. Rules be damned, if I wanted it, I got it. BUT, Addie has no rights to her original birth certificate. She, along with thousands of other adoptees, cannot access THEIR own records. Its archaic and sad and needs to be changed.
I am so glad BC has moved past this many years ago.
We walk. We sweat. I melt. I have no idea how people survive in this humidity. The kids dont seem affected by it. We go for ice cream. We visit. Addie promises more visiting later when we have more privacy to talk.
We drive back to Jefferson City. The girls nap in the back of the car. Greg and I chat inbetween him playing his DS. "Mom, could I ask brother if you could adopt him too? The girls are cute, and they love us. You could adopt them too, couldn't you"
I start to laugh, but try to stiffle it. What I see now is yesterday's question to Greg, just in reverse. Its no more appropriate. I explain to Greg that yes, if the kids were ever in foster care we would be notified, and I made sure of that. But they are ok where they are at. Yes, its different, but its ok.
We laugh together at the look on Daddy's face if we show up at home with 4 extra kids. I let him fantasize about being raised with almost all his biological siblings (there is another sister we wont meet on this trip). We laugh about putting his brother into hockey. How busy life would be.
I then understand L's question. I dont understand her putting it on GREG, but I understand the fantasy. Its ok to think it, its not ok to act on it.
Greg doesn't want to go back to L's house so I drop him off with the girls at the hotel. I run to L's to pick up Brother and Cuz who are spending the evening with us.
We laugh. We swim. We play. We eat.
I wonder at what the boundaries are for me. Brother tells sister over and over again that she is ugly and noone loves her. "Jen loves me and thinks I am a princess" She says as she buries her head in my shoulder.
We play "drowing" over and over for an hour. She pretends to drown, I rescue her. We hug. We repeat. I have flashbacks to the first swim I took with Greg and Eric 9 years ago. Then it was the "shooting" game. Save me, Mama from the bad guy shooter.
Its bizairre. I hold in my arms the full biological sister to my sons. And she isn't my child. And she clings to me. "You love me Jen, RIGHT? You can stay more days, RIGHT?" I remember the phone from the social worker. "If baby L comes into care, would you consider taking her as well?" 6 years ago. I am happy she never did, so very happy for her. But still, its hard not to fall in love with an angel. I pray that she is safe and happy where she is. Sister to my sons, but not my daughter.
The kids stay until after 10 pm. Its been a fun, full day and I am exhausted. The boys and I head to Sonic (another new restaurant) for a very late night dinner. I try to stay out of their way as I know these are precious times for both of them. They watch tv. Greg turns it off without me mentioning the late hour. Our routine, our boundaries are pretty ingrained. The after dark wrestling match carries on for a half hour. I giggle but dont enforce any boundaries. Who am I to interfere in their first ever brother sleepover?
2:30 am. Greg awakens. He has heartburn and has it bad. He needs some "mommying" time. I rub his back. I get him medicine. I hold his hand and talk to him about sometimes our bodies react to stress in different ways. Its a rare and precious 45 minutes together. He is definitely letting me baby him. And that's just ok with me.
9 years ago, on OUR first night together, Greg also awoke at 2:30 in the morning. He sobbed and sobbed, begging me to take him back to his foster mom. I rocked him, his little 4 year old body shaking with a grief I couldn't even comprehend much less comfort.
I am glad now that I CAN provide him comfort not just empty words from a stranger that loves you fiecely. We have come a long, long way baby boy. A long, long way.
We awaken to a call. They are cancelling our goodbye lunch. Is it ok if we just drop by the house for a quick visit on our way out of town. I sigh. This is going to be hard.