At the end of December 2011, just a few days before Christmas, Jason, Ali and I celebrated the new property we had just purchased.
Earlier that day, we were at the juvenile courthouse accepting Ali’s birth mom’s surrender of her parental rights to us. We took the photo below afterward while we waited for some paperwork. It’s a dark and crappy picture and it’s a bittersweet reality, too. We were thankful she was willing to do it because it made our process to adopt Ali smoother, but it was also very painful for her. She’s a tough woman but she couldn’t hide her tears as the judge asked her if she was absolutely sure this is what she wanted to do. She was positive it was the best thing for Ali. But it was like watching a chunk of her heart get torn out before our eyes. I wanted to give her a big hug afterward, to thank her again, but she ran out quickly when her part was over and I haven’t seen her since then.
She had my phone number and sent a text a few days after Christmas last year but that was the last I’ve heard from her. Apparently she lost her phone at some point. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to maintain some communication with some of Ali’s other biological family members but it pains me that we’ve lost contact with her first mom. I’m thankful for the time we did get to spend with her and for the pictures we have.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since all of that happened. Perhaps because we were living in transition for 10 months between homes, it feels like it was just a short time ago. When I look back at that chubby little baby with slick, straight hair and barely able to sit up on her own, it feels like it was so long ago! She’s changed tremendously since then. I wish I could let her first mom see how much she’s grown and how she’s running all around and talking up a storm. I wish she could see her outgoing personality and her toughness (which I’m sure Ali inherited from her). I wish I could hug her and thank her again for giving us her blessing to raise this beautiful little girl that she birthed.