“God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or think or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” – Ephesians 3:20
As I sat down to write about my experience attending Deanna’s high school graduation last month, the words “immeasurably more” kept flowing into my mind. Specifically, Ephesians 3:20. When I placed Deanna with her adoptive family 18 years ago, I put my trust in God to work it out. As difficult as this journey has been at times, I’ve seen God working and moving though all of it. He took the sorrow and pain and regret I felt as a birthmom and turned it into joy and hope and gladness. Being invited to attend Deanna’s graduation and the entire experience was so much more than I could have ever hoped for or imagined.
My husband and three kids took a direct flight from Raleigh to Tampa over Memorial Day weekend so we could be part of Deanna’s graduation. First, we had the graduation party at their new house, which is gorgeous and even has a pool in the backyard. When we first arrived, my son Teague (8) said he was nervous to walk inside their house because he said he had never been to a mansion before (lol). One of my favorite moments during the trip was when Deanna introduced me to her friends as her birthmom. “This is my birthmom” she said to all of her super cute (very tall) volleyball friends. Everyone was so kind and gracious at the graduation party, and it wasn’t weird or awkward at all. It was just like family getting together after not seeing each other for a while. Over the years, I have become friends with Don and De’s families and it was great to see them and be able to celebrate Deanna together.
The next night was the actual graduation, which I attended solo along with Don, De, and a few close family members. I haven’t been to a high school graduation since… my own! It brought back a lot of memories (I was 7-months pregnant with Deanna at my own graduation). It was such an honor to see Deanna walk across the stage and accept her diploma. I got a little teary-eyed and overwhelmed thinking about how God has blessed us in this open adoption journey. Deanna’s adoptive parents, Don and De, deserve so much credit for raising such an amazing young lady and allowing me to maintain a relationship with them throughout the years.
Surprisingly, my biggest fear for the trip had nothing to do with emotions or adoption. It was keeping my feral 2-year-old alive and well through planes, trains and automobiles – and all of the fun things that go along with traveling. The kid leash was the best thing my husband has ever purchased from Amazon, and it was absolutely necessary and worked like a charm. We had a few kids meltdowns which was expected, and one minor incident when I let go of the kid leash and Lawson took the opportunity to run away and I had to chase him like a dog throughout the airport. Other than that, the trip was a success and I’m so incredibly proud to be a birthmother to a high school graduate!