This guest post is by Angie Milks, an adoptive mother.
Today is a special day in our house so it’s fitting that I’m writing this blog post today.
It is my daughter’s fifth “Milksaversary”, the anniversary of the court date finalizing her open adoption, and officially making her a Milks forever!
We love celebrating this moment with our kids. This morning at breakfast, we were looking at pictures and talking about what it means, and my daughter got up out of her chair and gave me a huge hug.
It was so sweet, I got tears in my eyes. We have extremely open adoptions with both kids so we share a lot of details with them.
I know others celebrate a “Gotcha Day” or Homecoming Day, but for us this seems more fitting.
First, our homecoming days are just a few days after their birthdays, which already require extensive celebration!
Second, and more importantly, I regard the Homecoming Day as a day that signified a loss for our birth families, even though we were experiencing such joy.
I want to acknowledge that day as one of great sacrifice.
Homecoming Days are a time to talk to our kids about the brave choices and plans that their Tummy Mommies made for them and what emotions were felt in those moments.
Forever ingrained in my brain are the images of my son’s birth grandmothers, while being so loving and supportive toward us, crying in the hospital while their kids signed the papers.
The dichotomy of that day, the conflict of pain and joy, is what makes open adoption so unique and heartwrenching!
These are the moments that make our open adoption stories so incredibly special and I want to remember all of those details.
Milksaversary days are a perfect time to reflect on how the Milks family was created.
We want our kids to appreciate the uniqueness of their stories and how they came to be our daughter and son.
At the heart of our choice to have open adoptions is the desire for our kids to be proud of who they are and where they came from.
We want to be able to answer as many questions for them as possible. To have no secrecy or implied shame related to being an adoptee. And to let them know that love is love and families are made a million different ways.
Tonight, we will give our daughter a small gift, and I’ll make her a special meal (she requested soup!) and we’ll talk about how lucky our family is to be made this way.
We’ll tell her the story about how freezing cold it was in Cleveland on her court day but how happy and warm we felt inside, and about how we celebrated with our families after it was all over.
At five years old, she’s really starting to understand what it all means so it’s more important than ever that we engage in these conversations.
Next month, we will celebrate our son’s second Milksaversary and we’ll tell them again how we prayed for them, how happy they make us, and how proud we are to call them our daughter and son forever.
Angie and her husband, Jim, live in Cleveland, Ohio and love laughing and playing with their kids, spending time with friends and family, and bragging about their open adoptions.
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