The Visit

2 weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to have a visit with my Birth Son and his amazing mother and sister.  He just turned 9 this month.  9 years ago I became a mother.  Not ever in a way that I planned.  A way that changed the course of my life forever.  

When I got the text message requesting more time, more visits, more ME I took a step back and had to process through so much.  (You can read about that HERE.)

I am always shocked that I get invited for a visit. I understood deeply and completely what it meant when I signed those papers...they owe me nothing, They are not obligated to do anything for me and I am not entitled to anything. I am honored, blessed and eternally grateful when I am asked to be included. I know my place and I have accepted that.
— Ashley Mitchell

I am so grateful that he is with a family that is so open with him.  That they share great love and respect for me and in the way that they talk to him about me.  It is so delicate and such a vulnerable position to be in.  They are filtering all of his questions and his concerns and his curiosity and they are doing it beautifully!!  

As I watched my kids play with him, run around with him, chase after him my heart was exploding!  I never thought a time would come for me in my life where I could feel such joy and peace in decisions that I have made.  

For years, even before I found myself pregnant my life was falling apart.  I couldn't even begin to explain how quickly this happened.  One day I looked in the mirror and I didn't even recognize myself.  I was doing things that I was so ashamed of, I was in so much pain but I couldn't face any of it.  I just numbed my pain, I ran away from all of my hurting and I was slowly but surely on a self-destructive path.  

After placement it got worse and worse until I finally broke down.  That is the thing about trying to run....it all eventually catches up with you, then you are forced to deal!  

While the kids played I stood and talked to his mother.  For hours we talked.  I shared stories that she had never heard before.  Stories that I thought she already knew.  Stories of how he came into this world, my experience at the abortion clinic, how I came to pick their family and more.  We shared so much about both of our paths and how we were able to keep pushing forward.  

We talked about the new stage of parenting that we are in, a new stage of Open Adoption that we have found ourselves in.  And I have realized how important our communication was to keep everyone on the same page and at a comfortable level.  

Adoption doesn't get any easier.  It is constantly changing and adjusting.  We are always growing and learning.  We make mistakes and we move forward with new perspective.  If we fight against growth we are forced in the wrong direction.  

We are crazy to think that the relationship that we had when that baby boy was born is going to be the same 9 years later. Like ANY other relationship in my life, this one has worked through different seasons, some good and some bad. But we are always coming back to each other. It is worth fighting for...their entire family is worth fighting for.
— Ashley Mitchell

I know my place.  I know who is calling the shots.  I am grateful for that, for them.  They have stepped up in more ways than I ever hoped for.  They have gone above and beyond my expectations for him.  AND at the end of the day, no matter my relationship with them...it is ALL about him.  

I asked her if it was always easy for her to include me.  I asked her if she always knew that she wanted me involved in their life, in his life.  

She looked at me with a magical smile and simply said "Yes."

What a powerful thing for my life.  Even if I don't use it, even if I don't take advantage of the offer as often as I could, even if months and months and months go by....I know that I am always there, I am always wanted and I am always loved.  

I am so blessed.  My journey has NOT been easy.  It has been ugly and shameful.  It has been built upon regret and suffering.  I have made many mistakes.  Some I have been able to forgive myself for and some I am still working through...

But at this visit, through it all, we stood there as a family.

9 years ago I became a mother but not in a way that I ever planned or expected. When divine intervention saved this amazing boy from abortion and an adoption plan was made there was NO way for me to know or understand the magnitude of my decision.

It changed the course of my life forever. Bringing this child into this world, holding him, crying over him, praying for him....sacred conversations at night in the hospital when I was still his mother, begging for forgiveness, overwhelmed with love and joy for his family that had been waiting and praying for his arrival long before I made my decision.....this moment changed everything. I am the woman I am because of this beautiful, perfect and chaotic moment! The moment I became a mother and then 3 days later I became a Birth Mother. 

I never wanted this...but it is a part of me...he is forever a part of me...and I am so honored, humbled and blessed to be the woman that gave him life...and I am so humbled by the woman that is helping him live his life. 9 years. 

That is adoption.