As the end of the month nears, I am digging deeper into my series of thankfulness. I’ve already covered how thankful I am for my Husband, who has been a huge help in my life and my adoption grief and loss and now it’s time to look at the other key players. I am thankful for J, Munchkin’s (adoptive) Dad. I only add the word adoptive in there for clarification in case we have any newer readers. He is and always will be, simply put, her Dad.
J and I bonded first. This is because J is the more outgoing spouse. Both on the phone and in person, I felt at ease with him first. Some of this may also lie in the fact that other women make me clam up and uncomfortable. A history of not-so-nice girls in high school and college left me feeling this way. J never gave me a reason to feel judged or uncomfortable even though I was in one of those situations that normally warrants some kind of judgement.
I loved J’s sense of humor. He never had a problem finding something to talk about or finding a way to talk about something of difficulty. During our meeting in person, he was all smiles and welcoming tones.
J was the one who first asked if I would be comfortable with visits post-placement. He encouraged me to think about it through the duration of the pregnancy and after the Munchkin was born even though the initial thought made me think he was slightly off his rocker. I had never heard of such a thing and my agency surely didn’t inform me that such an event was possible.
The hardest memory I have of J was on the day that we all were leaving the hospital. To this day, it remains one of the hardest days in my life. I had been wheeled down to the lobby of the hospital with everyone in tow. Munchkin was on my lap. My Dad picked the Munchkin up and had me kiss her goodbye. I stood up out of the wheelchair, blinded by tears, and Jeff came to hug me. I am sad to say that I rejected his hug and just continued out the front doors of the hospital into the icy cold December air. I regret that still; it wasn’t kind and it wasn’t his fault.
In the initial post-placement days and weeks, I conversed mostly with J on the phone. He briefly called to check on me both before and after the TPR was signed. We talked on Christmas Day. Somewhere along the way, D and I picked up our relationship and turned it into what it is today.
But that doesn’t mean that I love J any less.
Never during a visit has he made me feel like less of a person in the Munchkin’s life. I am thankful for that. I am thankful for the love I see just pouring out of his being for the Munchkin; it is what I wanted for her in a father. I am thankful that the Munchkin will be raised with such a strong male role model. I am thankful that J was open to visits and encouraged me to look deeper into myself and see if that was what I wanted for the Munchkin. I am thankful that J balances D and D balances J; all parents need that kind of balance from their spouse and partner in parenting. I am thankful for the love they both have for one another. I am thankful for J’s jokes, however corny they may be. I am thankful for his hugs, his compassion when I am hurting, for he has seen it first hand.
I am so very thankful that the Munchkin has a Dad like J.