We just returned from a road trip that took us from North Carolina to the heartland of America, Nebraska. I was born in Omaha and both of my parents have family there.
I have a precious 90 year old grandmother who is battling cancer (and winning!) and plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins in Nebraska that I would love to know better. We had a wonderful time swimming, eating, playing cards and just sitting and chatting. We put about 2400 miles on our mini van and visited at least 20 rest areas on this little jaunt. I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about traveling with Ezekiel. He is two and he does not love the car seat. He actually did surprisingly well and didn't actually "melt down" until about 9pm last night (we arrived home around 10:30 so imagine what the 9:00-10:30pm segment of the trip consisted of . . . wwwaaahhhhh!!).
Between the snacks, DVD, frequent restroom stops, books and toys we carted along, everyone survived the drive and dare I say, some may have actually ENJOYED it? I know I did. It provided lots of time to just sit, pray, think and talk to my husband - all things I generally neglect on a "normal" busy day around the house.
One of the most delightful parts of the trip was meeting a cousin who, until just a few years ago, I didn't know existed. She was given up for adoption by my uncle and his then girlfriend just about two years before I was born. She found her birthparents (my uncle and his ex-wife) through the placing agency and they reconnected. I had so many questions that I wanted to ask an adult adoptee. I tried to prioritize them so as not to overwhelm or monopolize her but the biggest question I wanted answered is "do you think it was for the best that you were placed for adoption?". She graciously answered that it was absolutely for the best. She knows her birthparents were young and unprepared and she was adopted by a loving family who longed for her. I know every person is different and some may resent being adopted while others may feel "incomplete" until they meet their birth family.
I don't know what impressions my boys will have about their "life before me" but I can only pray that as they grow and mature, they have the wise perspective of my cousin and the understanding that adoption represents the ultimate act of love, first by a birthparent and then by adoptive parents.