Sassy has started saying "thank you, Mommy" instead of just "thank you" in the last few weeks. It is adorable and melts my heart every time I hear her sweet little voice say those words. It really is too precious!
Thanking me for anything from a snack of Cheerios, a book to read, a little toy, or even just at a completely random time when I haven't "done" anything in particular for her has become a hobby of sorts for my sweet twenty-one month old. But I know she understands what she is saying, because she will thank other people (grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles) in the same way, and using the appropriate name for the person.
Last week, as I was putting her to bed, I tucked her in and handed her the first comfort item within reach, which happened to be a little pink stuffed bunny that she's had since she was very, very small. It plays a lullaby and has soft fuzzy ears that she always liked to feel. This bunny was a gift from her grandma -- her biological grandma, "Grandma M."
As I handed Sassy the bunny to snuggle with as she drifted off into dreamland, she looked up at me, and with that precious little voice said, "Thank you, Mommy."
I know she was just thanking me because it has become a habit, a ritual in a way. We have always worked with her to say "please" and "thank you" when appropriate, and so far, we've always had a (mostly) polite little girl. She was happy I had handed her the little bunny to cuddle with, and she thanked me. But, I couldn't help but think of how we never would have had that little bunny from her first grandma, had we not allowed our hearts to be opened toward Sassy's biological family.
Open adoption is not the cure-all for the loss and grief that is caused by severing a family through adoption while creating a new one. It's not a quick and easy fix; it's not a Band-Aid. It's not "adoption without tears." There are still tears, and there are still lots of them sometimes.
But, open adoption is worthwhile. There is value in it. It will provide my child with access to her genetic heritage, and what may be more important to her someday, the option of having a relationship with those from whom she came.
It's not always easy. Sometimes, it's challenging. Often times, it's confusing. It can even be downright hard. But, my daughter? She's worth it. She's worth every single ounce of it.
You are so very welcome, sweetheart.