When we met “the Littles,” they were having weekly supervised visits with their birth mother. However, when she voluntarily relinquished, those visits were mediated to quarterly visits with me or my family present. That was back in November. Our first visit was moved from December to January, and it upset our oldest, then 3, so badly that the therapist recommended he not attend visits. Bio-mom missed the next visit, so we did not see her again until this weekend.

For the January visit, we met at McDonald’s, and I basically sat out of sight while she took the kids to the play area. I felt like this set up the visit to be an “us or her” thing in my son’s mind. So I suggested that we have this visit at the bowling alley in more of an “all together” way. I took my older two daughters (14 and 12) along with our 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Our oldest “little,” now 4, stayed home and had a “boys’ day” with Daddy.

This new plan worked out great! First off, it turned out that she really needed our help. It’s hard to help two little ones bowl, even though they completely loved it. Secondly, she arrived at the visit with her newest child (7 mos), her sister (the baby’s foster mom), and sister’s child, age 8. This gave the whole outing a party atmosphere. My 12-year-old bowled while the 14-year-old and I sat back in the “viewing area.” We helped when we were needed but were mostly just the cheerers. It worked great for our 2-year-old as he is very attached to me and does not really remember his birth mom. It gave him the security he needed to have fun with her.

The best part of the whole visit, though, was getting to see the baby and to get some photos both of him and the kids’ mom. My past experience with adoption suggests that bio-mom may at some point fade out of our life, and if that happens, we will really need these pictures. It is likely the baby will be placed in the custody of his biological father– perhaps this week even– so it was so good for the kids to get to meet him in person, even though they won’t remember.

Our next visit is September, and we are planning a pool party at a public pool. Sounds like fun!