There have been hard times in the past.
There will be hard times again.
And invariably, when it's hard, someone says, "Well, why bother? You don't have to."
My answer is almost always a long, drawn out rant about adoptee rights, birth family rights and, generally, doing the right thing. I don't have to do that anymore. After ten long years, I have the only reason I need, and it takes twenty seconds to tell someone about it.
Last Saturday, at Bugs' first football game of the season, we got the reason why it's worth it.
Open adoption is worth it, because HE is worth it. We are worth it. She is worth it.
Our family is worth it.
C and I sat together on a sleeping bag, talking (well, I was explaining football to her), laughing, taking pictures and watching Monster run about (my hip is still a bit stiff, so it wasn't up to me to chase her around this week).
C's mother and Brat were playing and talking.
C's father and D were chatting about sports, Italy and just about anything else that came up.
And we sat together, as a family, and watched our son play his first real game.
And he lost. Well, they're 12, and they kinda suck (he doesn't read this, so he'll never know I said it), so we fully expected them to lose.
And we more than half expected him to be sour that they lost (he thinks they're really good). We expected him to be pissy and- more than likely- rude about it to Brat.
He wasn't. He came off the field- after the handshakes- all smiles, laughter and warmth. He was so excited that we were all there for him. He came running up, gave us hugs, and said, "Hi mom. Hi mom." To each of us. And smiled so wide I could literally see his molars.
He played with his sisters, took the baby out on the field (she's been wanting to get out there for so long now).
Then, we packed up our stuff, and gave him hugs and kisses, and they left to go have some more time with just C and her family until next week.
All the times I've defended our decision to remain inclusive; to keep our adoption open; to remain a solid family for him to fall back on, all those times when someone said, "Well, that's stupid. How's he supposed to know who his real family is if he's always over there too?" Here:
I say, next week, when my momma flies in, we'll have an even bigger group of family there to congratulate him on his shitty game.
We are all his family- that's why we bother.