We had hoped to leave this morning for Seattle, but our clearance came through too late, so we will be heading home tomorrow morning early. I have enjoyed this trip to Atlanta much more than the last one - Andrew is here, we know what we're doing with a wee baby, and our hotel has a pool. I was so grateful last trip to have Nana (my mom) there to help me adjust to motherhood, but it was an adjustment. This time I'm already a mom with many of my own opinions about how to do the whole baby thing - and the confidence to implement them. This relaxed attitude has pervaded this trip for me. All that being said, and despite the fact that I'll miss the sunshine, pool, and daily cleaning and linen service, we are more than ready to bring our girls home. We bid sad goodbye to Grandma(Andrew's mom) this morning, left to only imagine how much easier the trip home would have been with her help.
There won't be a visit with Z this time. I'm totally fine with this - it is not my decision or my place to have an opinion on when she "should" see the girls or us. I feel grateful that she reads the letters we send, and there are no words for the immense emotions I feel when I consider her decision to entrust us with baby S. We pray for healing and peace for her and remain ever open to contact as and when she is ready. I conveyed (through Debbie) that we understand and want to follow her lead here, but will continue to send letters and pictures regularly and remain open to any reciprocal communication. When the girls are a little older we will begin to travel to Georgia regularly for family vacations and there will be more opportunities for visits with their first mom.
Both of these decisions/events -waiting for permission to leave GA and Z's choice not to have a visit - have me thinking about how much adoption is teaching me about letting go of the things that are not mine to decide or control. This is hard, especially when it comes to my children and what I believe is best for them, but a good discipline to engage in, not to mention just the way life works. There are so many people involved in our family building who are not J or S's parents, and another person who I've never met who is also their parent. I can't control what these people do or make them decide what I want or in the way that I want. Controlling them is not my job. My job is to let them do the work that is theirs while doing the best I can at the work that is mine, in this situation the work of mothering two amazing people to adulthood. It some ways it sucks (other people don't have to wait for someone else to tell them they can travel with their kids!) and it other ways it's pretty clarifying.
The cool thing about knowing that I can't control stuff that's not mine, even if I want to, is that I don't have to waste energy worrying about that stuff. Last trip to Georgia I fretted, worried, chafed and cried over not being able to come home with J when I expected to. This time I've just been making up lists of my favorite things about being here - not least of which has been the chance to take a week of just us-ness (plus Grandma) before we fly home to the many welcoming arms waiting for us there.