Last Saturday we were headed to Salt Lake so I decided to ask Ruth if she could meet us for lunch. (She just moved closer to us!) She was available so we made plans to get together at Ikea to shop and have lunch. We arrived first and we were all standing in the lobby looking out the glass windows waiting for her… Ava saw Ruth first and started running to her “Ruth, Ruth!!!” She then proceeded to give her a huge hug! It was a beautiful site. The boys were a little less dramatic, but I think they were happy to see her as well. (Bryan had to work so he wasn’t with us).
I was hoping that Cole would have the chance to talk to Ruth as we walked around the huge store. Ruth pushed Aubrey in the cart and Aubrey was talking her ear off for the first 20 minutes or so, but when she saw me again she wanted me to hold her (I felt bad taking her away from Ruth). We all just wandered around looking at different items, giving each child a chance to talk to Ruth privately if they wished. Ruth and I talked and she told me she didn’t want to have any of the children feel bad or singled out, so she was trying to talk to each of the individually. She did a great job.
Cole was unusually clingy to me most of the time we were together (which really surprised me). After buying a few kitchen items we headed back upstairs to have lunch. Cole sat across the table from Ruth and Ava and Aubrey sat near her as well. Cole finally opened up and started talking to her (nothing too serious, but at least having a conversation). He told me later that it is easier to talk via letters.
After lunch Mykel, Preston, Ava and Aubrey sat on the display couches and watched a movie while Ruth, Cole and I walked around the top floor looking at furniture for another hour or so (which was nice).
Cole and Preston bought Ruth a cinnamon roll to take home with her and Ava and Cole walked Ruth to her car to say goodbye. The kids were all in good spirits as we headed home.
I am so grateful that my children know who Ruth is and that she is willing to meet with them, talk to them, hug them and spend time with them. I think “knowing” her helps my children. On several occasions Ruth has told me that “knowing where her children are and that they are happy” helps her deal with her pain and loss as well. I do have to say that I know all open adoptions aren’t like this. Ruth has been very wonderful about allowing me space to be my children’s mother. Our relationship has evolved over time and changed due to each of our circumstances. I hope that our relationship will continue to grow so that each child can get to know Ruth personally and know what an amazing person she is and the huge sacrifice she made so that we could be a family.