Two weekends ago, Milo’s birth mother came to stay with usin Colorado for the first time. We were so excited to show her our home and tospend time together.
Payton arrived on Friday afternoon and all three of us wentto pick her up at the airport. She hopped in the back and Milo stared at herintently the entire drive home. At homethey played for a bit in his playroom and then she got to give him a bath forthe first time.
I watched them from the door and felt pure joy. Bath-time issomething that I already take for granted because it happens daily. But beingable to see her experience bath-time and to know how special it was for hermade me even more grateful. Milo played and sang and smiled at her the entiretime.
After Milo went to bed, we spent the evening catching up andgetting to know each other better over frozen pizza. It still amazes me howmuch we have in common with her and how easy it is to talk with her. We wereable to talk about things that had been on both of our hearts, worries andwonders. It was an evening I will treasure forever.
On Saturday we drove down to Denver and visited the Zoo. Wewalked around and looked at all the animals.
We saw a sea lion show and Milo loved just watching thewater. He did not even care about the sea lion.
Payton got to show him the lions, giraffes, elephants andgorillas. He is starting to recognize other animals and I cannot wait for himto understand more about them.
We fed Milo lunch and almost got attacked by crazyterritorial geese who were fighting each other for scraps and trash. I wasterrified.
We saw the orangutans who were flying around their playroomlike trapeze artists. The gorilla family was so cute, and the baby gorilla keptreaching up to his dad to be held.
After Milo ate, we drove to downtown Denver not realizing itwas St. Patrick’s weekend. It was crazy busy and everything and everyone wasgreen. We showed Payton Union Station and 16th street mall. We wentshopping and made Will and Milo endure H&M and Victoria’s Secret.
That evening we grilled chicken and had yummy salads andmore conversation. Payton shared her plans and what she wants to study atschool. Will and I shared our hopes and uncertainties for a big family one day.
The next day we had brunch in Lafayette and explored Pearl St. on Boulder. She gave Milo his first taste of chocolate ice cream which he obviously loved.
On her last day, I had a doctor’s appointment so she offeredto watch Milo. After almost 8 months of growing our sweet little boy andbringing him into the world, Payton had not had anytime alone with Milo. Shefed him, changed him, and played with him while I was gone and I know that timethey shared together was really special.
Open adoption looks different for everyone. Some birth families watch from a far and receive updates through mail or social media. Other birth families have monthly visits and shared vacations with their chosen families. This past year we have been shaping a mold that is changing to fit the needs and wants of everyone.
Our open adoption and our relationship with Milo’s birth family will constantly evolve and change as he grows. I am so incredibly grateful for the relationship we have with his birth family, and that he will grow up not just knowing them, but calling them family.
A lot of people have told me they are in awe of myrelationship with Payton. Some have even said they would not be able to sharetheir child in the way that we do. But Milo belongs to both of us…I am hismother and she is his birth mother. His family circle is wider than most, butit is overflowing with love.
As a parent, you always put the needs of your children first. I know without a doubt in my mind that Milo needs his birth family just as much as he needs us. And I am confident that as he grows, his understanding of where he comes from will be easier to process because he has his birth family. There will definitely be a lot of bumps in the road and we will take each in stride, but we will do it hand in hand with his birth family.