Jen has been very open, in every way, during this process. From her reason to choose adoption to her beliefs of open adoption, Jen has been willing to open her heart to me (to many others through her adoption blog). While she has had two healthy beautiful children of her own, Jen knew two things--1)her family wasn't complete and 2) she was called to adopt. Years ago, she worked as a social worker at a local nonprofit adoption agency. When it came to begin the adoption process, that's exactly where she choose to go.
From the first adoptive parent meeting to tonight when her birthmom has begun having contractions (oh wow--Jen's going to have a Baby Girl VERY VERY SOON!!!), she has included the girls. Her Posse. She shared the book about her family she created to give to potential birthmothers for them to help in their decision of selecting adoptive parents. She sent us an excited email when J, her sweet birthmom, chose Chuck and Jen to parent her Baby Girl, due October 17th. That felt so long away months ago!
A few weeks ago, Jen invited me to lunch to meet birthmom J. The week prior, Amy and Megan had met J. Along with Megan, we drove to Ft. Worth to have a girls lunch. It was perfect. I watched my beautiful friend light up around J. The two of them have become friends, connected with an incredible bond. I sat at that lunch and watched and listened with awe. I asked question after question, and neither begrudged me an answer. J explained her reason for placing her child up for adoption. She made it very clear that she is PLACING her baby with a family she knew would provide and care for her child, but she most certainly wasn't GIVING UP her child. I loved that lunch with Jen, J, and Megan. More than once, I teared up and fought back tears as I listened to my friend explain her kindness and love for both J and Baby Girl. I sat and stared at Jen, in true admiration at her heart. The drive back, I continued the questioning. How will this work when the baby is born? How do you guard yourself against the fear of it? What part of Baby Girl's life will J play?
About two weeks ago, Deb, Megan and I got the honor of helping assemble the nursery. Megan, with her infinite design skills, created the most unique and gorgeously delicate baby nursery EVER. It's tranquil, sweet, and a little bit funky all in one. I don't think I contributed much besides helping move furniture and hold up the applique design on the wall as Megan and Deb labored over it. Honestly, I don't care if I was useless. I was there. A part of something so big, an experience I've never experienced before, and I was having a small role in supporting Jen.
Last night, the entire Posse (I know, it's a bit of a silly name--Andrew says he expects us to climb up on horses and go out in a lynch mob--but it's us) was together again. It was the first time since our big lakehouse trip to be one large group. We hate having one member out of the city, but we sure do make the most of our time all together. Last night was no different, but it was certainly special. We loaded in Jen's car, all six of us talking, giggling, and sometimes teasing each other, driving to Ft. Worth. We arrived at the dorms to take a very pregnant J out for a big steak dinner. We had four hours together as the seven of us. That should be eight, including our soon to be Baby Girl.
I'm honored to be a part of this. Honored to be Jen's friend and that she welcomed me into this journey and welcomed my open curiosity about her open adoption. Most of all, I'm honored that I will be welcomed to share in the joy of Baby Girl blessing all of lives in just short time.
To Jen--Baby Girl is lucky to have you. J is lucky to have you. And WE most certainly are lucky to have you.