On Saturday we attended the wedding of Paul's birth mother, Stefanie.
She sure looks like a woman in love, doesn't she?
Stefanie was a teen when she first became pregnant with her son, Michael. She married Michael's father but the marriage wasn't happy. Several years later when she had just been divorced she unexpectedly became pregnant with Paul. She had just gotten a good job and was going to school and getting pregnant wasn't in the game plan. It wasn't a good time for her or her family, who was quite worried about her future.
But in the ensuing years she graduated from college with majors in computer science and electrical engineering, got a good job in her field, bought a house for her and Michael, and was a devoted mother to Michael. After Michael left home for college she began dating again and this year found the man of her dreams.
I thought of all of this as we celebrated her wedding and her obvious happiness. Too often when we or our child are going through a tough time we think that now is forever; that how we feel today will last and last; that how our child is today defines how they will be in the future.
But this just isn't so, as Stefanie's story shows. Seeing her so happy and successful was a strong reminder that the future is always open for improvement; that now is just now, not forever.
Even though we now live within an hour drive of Stefanie and her large extended family and the adoption has always been an open one, we rarely visit. Everyone is happy with our relationship but everyone is busy. Since there are no secrets to be unraveled we can all just feel secure in the knowledge that we'll know if birth mother or son are seriously ill or need help and meanwhile get on with the business of living our lives. What a peace that knowledge brings and I wish it were true for every birth mother and adopted child!
But when the occasion arises, Paul does enjoy seeing his birth mother and her wonderful family.
His cousin Alex is a special favorite since they are just a year apart. They were tickled to find at the wedding that they were dressed as opposites. Can you count the ways they are opposite each other?
Paul was wearing a short sleeve white shirt and Alex was wearing a long sleeve black shirt; Paul's hair was spiked up and Alex's was slicked back. Paul naturally stood with his hands folded in front while Alex's were in behind him. Paul had a black vest while Alex had a white vest. And Paul mostly smiles with his mouth closed while Alex's is open.
How amazing; how cool! They thought it was very funny.
And Paul always loves to see his half-brother, Michael.
It was a beautiful wedding with many lovely details such as the bride's sweet rose bouquet...
...and the amazing handwork Mary Ann, Stefanie's mother, included in the wedding dress she sewed for her daughter.
That's little Greg, who was so darned cute I just had to capture his picture even though he wouldn't stand still long enough to catch him in focus.
As my friend, Janice, would say: "What a cutie beaujuti!"