Hey everybody . . . .I’m back from my trip and back to work and blog land and life. Thanks to the awesome ladies for filling in for me while I was gone! There are definitely some new recipes and friend outings for me in my future! Sorry I haven’t updated you all about my short vacation, but still been trying to process everything that happened. So I’ll apologize ahead of time for this long post, but I am hoping that writing it all out will help me feel less lost in my emotions.
For those of you who don’t know, the hubs and I spent the last few days visiting friends and family in upstate New York where I grew up. Dan and I decided to go back to get the opportunity to spend some time with my birth mom and her family and also my birth father. I had the opportunity to meet both of them a few years ago, which I talked a little about here. This trip was a little different than the ones before now because I had never spent time with either of their extended families. This time I was able to see my birthmother and her husband and kids, and got to meet her mom, sister, and brother in law, and niece for the first time. I was also able to spend a little time with my birth father and his daughter.
When I decided to search for my birth parents, I prepared myself for the worst outcome. In my head I prepared myself for if they didn’t want a relationship or if I wasn’t able to find them, but I had never imagined that they would actually want me to be part of their lives. For this reason, it has been a little difficult to maneuver our changing relationships. Now they want me to be part of their family, but how does that work and how does that feel? I have parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and siblings of my own, so how do all of these new people fit in my life. Am I supposed to be sad when I say goodbye to them? Am I supposed to call my birth mother’s mom grandma? How do I feel when I walk through the houses of people I just met and see pictures of myself in frames? If someone could write a guidebook or a how to maneuver meeting your birth families for dummies I would really appreciate it right now!
The trip really was a whirlwind. We got to do a lot, visit with tons of people, and see many places from my childhood. Here are some pictures from a few of my favorite moments:
Dan eating at one of our NY food favorites!!
Visiting the spot that my grandparents, parents, and I spent tons of time at when I was little
Breakfast with my sisters (my birth mom's daughters)
Visiting with my birth dad and his daughter
Last picture at the airport with my birth mom, her husband, and her two daughters
Being goofy with Dan & my birth mom's niece
Bowling with my birth mom, her family, her mom, and her niece, her daughter's boyfriend, and of course my amazing husband and support system!
It wasn’t until we got back home that all of my emotions hit me from the past few days. Meeting new people, spending time with people who are technically family but who I just met, having everyone want to take pictures with me, to walk through their homes and see pictures of myself in frames even though we just met, and to feel like I have a completely different life all hit me like a ton of bricks. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to meet my birth parents and their families and for their willingness and openness to accept me into their lives, I just wasn’t prepared for what that might feel like. As I sit here at my computer trying to process it all, I feel kind of numb and just lost in all of the feelings and experiences I have had in the past few days.
If there is one thing I have learned in the past few years, going through this entire experience, it’s that I am so much stronger than I ever thought I was. I also learned that I have one of the most amazing husbands in the world who has been the most amazing support system I could EVER ask for! Meeting my birth parents and finding out more about my background is something I have dreamed and wondered about since I was a little girl. Proving to myself that I was strong enough to do this and continue to get through these emotional and challenging situations has only made me a stronger person. I am proud of the fact that I did something I never thought I could do, and happy that I feel so much more complete and myself than I ever have before. Now if I could figure out all the rest of these emotions that would be fabulous!