Friday, January 27, 2012

A Year of Gratitude #27

A Year of Gratitude #27: Gus's Birth Family

I know I blogged about Gus's birth parents a few weeks ago, but tonight I want to express my gratitude for Gus's extended birth family.

As you know, we have an incredibly wonderful open adoption with Gus's side to our family. We value them in our family and are so thankful that God brought us all together. They're wacky, have their quirks, and are just like any typical family that you'd meet. They're, as my brother likes to say, "good people."

The main reason we wanted an open adoption was for the extended family. Yes, we wanted it for the birth parents, of course, but we also really wanted the extended family to know their kin as well. When someone chooses adoption, sometimes, there are family members who get hurt with that decision.

While it might be the best thing for the baby, and the best thing for the birth parents, the extended family members often don't see it that way. Such is the case with Gus. His birth mother's mother P was very supportive and told her that she'd support whatever C and H needed to do. If they wanted to keep the baby and parent, she would support them. If they felt that placing for adoption was the best thing, she'd support that as well.

H wasn't as fortunate. He didn't tell his mom and dad that he and C had had a baby until two days AFTER Gus was placed in our care. Let me write that again... two days AFTER Gus was born (Thursday, May 13th), he told his parents that they were grandparents. When he told them, he said, "C had a baby." His mom basically said, "What do you mean she had a baby? Where is it? What happened to it?"

Can you imagine, for a second, what that must have felt like? To have your child tell you that you're a grandparent... and it happened two days prior to you finding out???? When H told her that they placed Gus for adoption, his mom cried and was very hurt. Looking back, I see things differently, and I think, how could she not have been upset?

H has three sisters: B (15), D (17) and L(21). They are all three friends with Gus on Facebook (all of H's immediate family are FB friends with Gus-- except for his dad because he doesn't have a FB account). I'm friends with D and L as well as H's mom L.

C has two brothers, N and Z. Not sure of their ages, but they're older than her. Gus is FB friends with C, P and her dad T. He is not FB friends with either of his biological uncles... they haven't friended him, and I assume if they wanted to be friends with him, they'd take care of it. I'm not going to push them.

C's mom's sister Sharon is on Facebook... along with Sharon's husband Mike, and their three kids (Olivia, Madeline, and Michael). They're a great family and so supportive of Gus's adoption. Gus and I are FB friends with all of them (and C, P and T). We're also FB friends with C's grandma Marge. My mom is even FB friends with Marge and some of Gus's other extended family.

I'm thankful that not only do his birth parents want to know about him and care about him, but so does his extended family. He has aunts, cousins, grandparents, and great grandparents that care deeply about him. I get text messages from them, I send pictures to them, and they're so special to us.

One of Gus's aunt posted a picture on FB tonight that just warmed my heart. It was a collage of pictures of Gus and on the bottom it said "Gus Daniel Walker" and there were four or five pictures of him. She posted it to her pictures... it was so sweet. It's so nice to know that he was on her mind and she made the collage while thinking about him. <3

I read something today that totally made me smile... it was taking the concept of a family tree and instead of using a tree as a representation of a family, you use an orchard. I saw it and said, "Yes! Our Family Orchard!!" How awesome is that??? We're all different trees with different apples... but together we're one big orchard of love.

I'm so thankful for our orchard and thankful that the people that share the same blood as Gus... have welcomed us into their lives, and allow us to share in their daily lives. They have made us feel like we're an extension of their family and for that, I am so very thankful.


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