While we were driving there I saw Anthony and Larissa's father. He is homeless and carves canes for money. I had been meaning to stop and buy canes from him for the kids. We turned around and stopped to talk to him. He said that he had some canes and to meet in an hour at another location.
We went to Lowe's and then went home and picked up the kids. They knew that their father walked around town and carved canes. They weren't totally surprised when we said we were going to meet their father and get some canes.
When their father saw that we had brought the kids he was very excited. He hasn't seen them in about 5 years although I have taken him pictures.
He handed them their canes, hugged them and cried.
He also talked to them quite a lot. He was very appropriate. He told the kids that he was their father but that we are their parents. That they need to listen to us and do what we tell them to do. He said that he couldn't take care of them, that he is still trying to get his life in order.
In the end he told them that he loved them and that whatever they do in life make sure that they do it the best that they can. It was a good meeting.
Larissa has been asking to see her mom so I asked him if he knew where she was staying. he gave me directions and told us to go see her.
I don't normally drop in on people. However, the location he gave us was different from the last location we were given. She is homeless as well, moving from home to home. We decided that we would go and look for her since it was so important to Larissa. The area of town that we were in was not an area that we would go to at night. He gave us "walking" directions and not a house number so we guessed.
We saw two men sitting on a porch and stopped to ask them if they knew where ST was living. They went to the door and lightly knocked on the door telling her that someone was here to see her. We got out of the car and when they saw the kids they then knocked vigorously telling her that she needed to come out.
When she came out and saw the kids she was so excited. She hugged us and hugged the kids. For three years we sat and visited while waiting for visits. We always encouraged her and in the end she relinquished the kids to us. She knew that we were adopting them. She was very appropriate and said all the right things to the kids. It is hard to describe the look she had when she first saw the kids. So many emotions for her.
One of the men got up and came and talked to Anthony. He is an uncle and wondered if Anthony remembered him (He did not.) I should have gotten his picture but in the moment I didn't think about it.
When we talk to the kids about their other parents we don't use the term biological parents. We simply say your other mom or dad. We acknowledge that they did have a role in their lives. We are the parents, we are the mom and dad that are raising you. However, it is OK to love their other parents. They are not hurting my feelings by having feelings for someone else. If anything, having someone out there who loves you is always a plus. For the kids, showing love towards someone else does not take away from the love that they have for me. Isn't it funny how love just expands and expands. Love has no limits.