So I got to go see Amanda (my daughter) yesterday. It was like most of our other visits--we met at the Muskegon mall and hung out, then went to dinner--except that this time, we brought Paige, Tyler and Savannah. Amanda told me that when Andrea first found out they were coming, she was pretty pissed, but you know what? AMANDA wanted to see them--these are her cousins--and that's the point of an open adoption...so she can know her birth family. The girl is 17 in January and she doesn't know her cousins OR her aunts. Anyway, once we got there, Andrea seemed fine with it. Good thing, too, because I purposely didn't tell them till we were on our way. ;)
The coolest part was seeing Amanda and Paige together. They'd only met once, it was like 6 years ago (Paige barely even remembered it) and neither one of them knew "the truth" yet. Now they both do, and it was so cute to watch them. They kept glancing at each other, clearly trying to look for similarities and scope each other out. Paige especially loved hanging out with Amanda, because Amanda is now a cool high school girl and Paige is a soon-to-be junior high girl. And Amanda just LOVED Paige. For a while, it was just Amanda, Paige and I walking around the mall, going into random stores, etc. I inducted Paige into the Religion of Bath and Body Works, and I bought her her first lip gloss there. It was the first time I've hung out with Paige not as a kid, but as--as corny as this sounds--a young woman. We had a blast. Interesting side note: considering that, DNA-wise, Paige and Amanda are virtually the same person (their mothers are sisters and their fathers are brothers), they really bear NO resemblance to each other--but we discovered that they have a birthmark in the same exact spot on their right arms.
For dinner, we went to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Katey's kids, the sheltered children that they are, had never been to one, and they were just blown away by the notion that you could eat pizza AND nachos AND mac and cheese AND pa-sketti--and keep going back for more!! And when we set them lose on the dessert bar? I think Savannah almost passed out from sheer giddiness. And Tyler, who normally eats like a bird, packed away more than he's ever eaten in his life. Normally, I'd say no to 2 bowls of ice cream AND a piece of cake AND a cupcake--but hell, we had to get our money's worth, right? ;) (Katey was thrilled when we finally got home around 10 and the two youngest ones were bouncing off the walls, LOL....but that's what aunts are for, especially aunts who only come home twice a year.)
We took lots of pics, so I'll probably email those out later. If anyone (like Fred, although I'm pretty sure he doesn't even read my blog anymore, AHEM) would like to see them who isn't normally on my email list, just shoot me an email.
Amanda's a really great girl, and I pray that the rest of her birth family gets the chance to know her soon. Amanda said that Andrea is thinking about letting her come to see us on her own in the somewhat near future--and that, of course, is when she would make her debut. I've been waiting over 16 years; another year or so will be a piece of cake.