Today was one of our favorite days of the year: our Thanksmasgiving with our biological families.
Alex’s parents and sister and niece and nephew came:
And Kirk and Barrett’s mom and baby sister came:
So did their aunt and uncle and cousin:
We even got to meet Barrett’s father’s mother for the first time:
And we talked to Barrett’s father for the first time in prison – he has not seen Barrett since Barrett was ten months old:
So grateful to his mother for doing the hard work to make that happen. It’s a tricky thing, triggers and memories and biological family issues and feelings about it, but it is Barrett’s story, and it is his to work out. Anber also talks to her mother on the phone in prison, and has been pretty direct with her. Kirk, even, at some point, when he is ready, will need his own very serious conversation with Barrett’s father. It’s a tough call, but we would rather they begin working these issues now while we can support them, rather than facing it full on as adults on their own.
Speaking of hard issues, I begged and pleaded, but we were unable to get anyone at all from Mary’s family to come. But, Mary showed them how to string up popcorn:
And Mary was also the boss of ornament making:
The children had their first recital, playing for their families:
Then Nathan led them all in Christmas carols while Mary helped me serve up the meal the children cooked: turkey, volcano potatoes, sweet potatoes, plus an Aunt’s fruit salad and a mom’s green bean casserole, and apple pie.
While they were all in line for their food, they passed the children’s school work lining the hallways:
These were gifts for the families at the end.
Anber and Kyrie’s mother’s twin sister and mother made it just in time at the end:
But the most fun part, so say the children, was the gift exchange! It warms my heart, not because the children got a few gifts, but because all the families have “adopted” all six children as much as we have, so everyone had a few gifts to open – even Mary, who had no family show up at all. They had such fun!