I'm such a mixed mess of emotions after every visit. Usually it's a blend of happiness, sadness, anxiety, and gratitude.
I'm always happy to see my children's birth family. I love watching them interact with the kids. And I love noticing things like similar facial expressions that they share or similar mannerisms that they have in common. And few things make me happier than showing off my children and all their wonderful qualities (especially when I have an audience who adores them as much as I do).
But then there is a little bit of sadness. Sadness because there is still loss. There is still grief associated with this relationship. They had to experience loss in order to us to experience our family. And because I want to fix any problems that the birth parents have, and I can't. I want to help create jobs for them - perfect jobs that would make them happy and fulfilled. I want to waive a magic wand and make everything perfect in their lives. Because they deserve to be unbelievably, ridiculously happy. They made our family complete and I want to make their world perfect in exchange. Unfortunately, I have no magical powers.
And then there is anxiety. No matter how long we've been in these open adoptions, I still worry about how they think we are doing as parents. Do they think we're doing ok? Do they have regrets? While I probably worry about this less and less, it's still there in the back of my mind. I think I'll always be worried about this one - no matter how much reassurance I get. I think that's just part of the adoption relationship. And then there's anxiety as I worry about the birth families. How did they feel during the visit? What is this like for them?
And lastly, there is gratitude. After every visit I feel unbelievable grateful to the birth families for giving us our daughters. My husband and I talk after every visit about how thankful we are that they gave us our girls and how horribly different our lives would be without them (albeit more rested!).
I'm a whole mess of emotions after every visit. But I wouldn't change it for the world. I love seeing them and I love having them as a part of my children's lives. And I always look forward to the next visit.