We waited at the gate to meet up with Lukas' birth mom Sharlynn. She was visiting her sister in San Diego for Thanksgiving. Lukas was antsy and bugged because he was anxious to meet up, and wondered why she wasn't there yet (i.e. he had to wait). She arrived pretty soon with a gift box of magnet scenes, rainbow gold fish and fruit snacks for Lukas, about which he was, of course, thrilled. We went into the park and did all the normal things we do: follow Lukas around to things he wants to see/ride. It is weird though, since we see each other so seldom, and have such limited contact. One would think we'd talk about what Lukas has been up to for the past year and a half. Instead we had many moments of small talk, and by the time it was over we really question the real benefit of birth moms visiting the families and their birth children. We've concluded that at this point, it feels like it's to see if he recognizes her, and gives her positive attention back. She'd scoop him up sometimes to hug him, or hold his hand and kind of run with him, which seems like no big deal. But at one point he reported later that she even kissed him- on the mouth- and later said he didn't like that. How did I miss that? I'm baffled as to how a person can enter into a person's life and expect intimate relationship status merely by birthing the child. As we left, he high-fived her and got in the car. As I heard him being told that if he ever wants presents he should call Aunt Shar, I knew we were done. We still send letters every year, and email her back when she writes. But I now know more than ever, that if a relationship between them is to be forged it will be on his own accord, in his own time, and in his own way. Aaaand, we've learned more about how to help adoptive parents advocate for themselves, since LDS Family Services, while doing a phenomenal job of advocating for birth mothers and adoption itself, there is no real advocating going on for people on our side. So we live and learn. We're so grateful for our little family, and the chance to hold, hug, kiss, care for, and love a sweet little person in our home. We're so grateful for her foresight to give Lukas a much better opportunity for a life of love, faith, and stability.
On a lighter note, the funniest thing from this day was us riding the splash boat thing, because none of us wanted to get wet, especially Lukas. Then Jared thought it would be awesome to ride this thing. So we are in line, against my gut feeling. Lukas sees the waves coming over the sides and the boat spins, and he puts the hat over his eyes!! And if we weren't wet from waves and whatnot, there was a huge waterfall at the end under which the boat has to flow. Great. Luckily for Lukas, Jared shielded him as much as possible with his own body and was pretty soaked by the end. I thought it kind of served him right, but still felt bad that he had wet jeans, and still a whole day ahead of us. So we stood in the awesome human dryers that some capitalist so cleverly placed outside of this ride, and we dried off pretty well! (And luckily we brought extra clothes for Lukas and changed him at the car!) Super funny, the rides we've put this kid through this week. Sheesh. He was super happy though, and looooooved the dolphin show this time, of which he was terrified last time (because the parrot-costumed dancer would get us as she flew high over the crowd). It's neat to see him maturing in little ways, becoming braver and even more adventurous with time!