Greg, Claira & I are planning a trip to visit family over Memorial Day weekend. It will be the first time Greg & I have flown together (we have always driven wherever we’ve gone), and it will be Claira’s first trip on an airplane! We are flying to Louisiana to visit my dear friend, Cyndi, her husband Darrel, and her son, Mikhael. Cyndi & I have known each other for 18 years, mostly through letters & emails, but also an occasional visit. Mikhael is our main connection. Cyndi is his adoptive mom; I am his birth mom.
Cyndi & I first met during a phone call, through a mutual friend. When our friend called to ask if I would be interested in talking to them, I said I would and the next night, they called. I can remember hearing this soft, Southern drawl on the other end of the phone and was immediately “taken” with her. I had developed a minor list of questions, because I had visited an adoption agency and had already looked at several prospective family files. We ended up talking for much longer than I anticipated, and when I hung up the phone, I walked into the living room and announced to my family that I had found the parents who would adopt my baby. I just knew it was them.
On the day Mikhael was born, I was able to have a few hours just with him alone. When Cyndi & her husband walked into the room, though, it did not feel like an invasion. She walked in with a big smile and open arms and sat on my bed and hugged us both. She always told me that no matter what they would love me – if I decided to change my mind while they were there, it was okay and I should do what I needed to. Because Mikhael was jaundiced, he was in the hospital for nearly a week. Even after I was discharged, Cyndi would make sure that I could be at the hospital with them and with Mikhael and we spent as much time together as we could.
We originally agreed to try to stay in touch for one year after his first 3 months. Those first 3 months of non-contact were good for me to really come to terms with my decision and to give Mikhael & his family the chance to connect as a family. When the three months had passed I was shocked to receive a large package in the mail that contained among many things, a small photo album full of pictures of Mikhael with his new family. It was wonderful! From that time forward, Cyndi has been so wonderful to share pictures and news of Mikhael. I got to watch him grow up, from a distance, and see how happy he was. I saw pictures of Mikhael that reminded me of a family member, or even seeing myself in the mirror. She shared stories of his antics and their vacations – she included me in his life in ways I never imagined possible.
When Greg & I married in 2003, I had told him about Mikhael. He was so understanding and said our door would always be open to Mikhael. We had several talks about the possibility of meeting Mikhael, especially once we began to have children, and he even said he would not be surprised of Mikhael showed up on our doorstep one day, and that he would welcome him into our home. I was always surprised by that. Not because Greg isn’t that kind of man, but because I had been certain so long ago that a man like him – someone who would be so open and accepting – would be difficult to find.
Cyndi wrote us a letter last December and wrote that Mikhael had said “it is time to meet my mom” and would we be able to plan a get together Summer 2006? WOW! So at long last, the plans have been made, the tickets have been bought, and we will be on our way in just a few days. I am very excited and very nervous, no matter how many people say I don’t have to be nervous. Mikhael has grown into a very handsome young man and I am very privileged and honored that he wants to meet me and my family. It is important to me that Greg & Claira be able to meet him and get to know him along with me. Cyndi tells me Mikhael has my smile, gives great hugs and is a really great kid. I’m anxious to see this for myself… In person…
I’ll update the blog with photos & notes on our visit as I can, with Mikhael’s blessing. We’ll have a short time to be together, but I know we’ll soak up every second we can.