But for the past 2 years especially, Easter has had a very special meaning to my family. You see, when my husband and I got together, we tried desperately to have a baby. We tried for a few years, and in that time, had 3 miscarriages. I was diagnosed with PCOS, a hormonal disorder than can adversely affect a woman's fertility. I did not want my oldest to be an only child, and it seemed that I was somehow broken. All the while, it seemed that everyone around me was getting pregnant and having babies. After becoming seriously depressed,I finally gave-up, leaving it in God's hands. If we were meant to be blessed with babies, it would be done in His time, not mine.
Well, in April of 2009, (right near Easter) we conceived our beautiful, feisty little diva, Sophie. While we were pregnant, my husband made the nerve-wrecking decision to locate his biological parents. He was adopted shortly after birth by a wonderful, kind, and loving family and has had a terrific life, but we needed to get some medical background for our OBGYN, since they were classifying me as being high-risk at the time. His adoptive mom was wonderful, and copied down as much info as she could, even though back in 1977, open-adoptions were not prevalent. She basically "sneaked" names and addresses and anything else she could remember into a file, and placed this file into a safe deposit box, just in case Dan had questions about his identity later on in life.
So after doing some extensive searching, we found his Mother. I wrote the letters, since Dan was too nervous to know what to say and enlisted my help, and I sent them off. Soon after, we received the first of many phone calls from his birth-mother. (We just call her Mom now!) We found out Dan has 3 amazing sisters and 2 beautiful nieces, as well. (Soon to be another niece or nephew in the mix, as one of his sisters is expecting!) We absolutely LOVE them all to death, and cannot wait to finally meet them face to face. With me being pregnant and unable to travel for almost 2 years, as well as financial issues on both sides, we have yet to meet his Mom's side of the family. Hopefully soon, though! I want Grandma to meet her grandbabies, and to see a mother hug the now adult child she made the difficult and very painful decision to place for adoption many years ago.
Dan's Mom was able to give us more info on his father. Shockingly enough, his Dad has lived less than 2 hours away from us for many, many years! We contacted him, as well, and that entire side of the family has been so kind and accepting of us! Dan even has a teenage brother who towers over him at the age of 13. His Dad's side of the family is a blast, and are some of the kindest, most genuine people you could ever hope to meet. They even embrace my oldest from a previous marriage as one of their own. We just seem to fit right in with them. It's comfortable, and they are a very close family with a killer sense of humor. We really enjoy our time with them. It's funny, too, because Dan looks SO much like his dad! They even have the same attitude and demeanor! It's amazing how much seems to be hereditary,lol.
Anyway, back to Easter. We go up to Dan's aunt's house for Easter. She is his biological father's sister, and she hosts the festivities every year. It's a tradition they have invited us to share in. We also do Christmas and Thanksgiving with them as well. Last year, on Easter, his Dad's side of the family got to meet our miracle baby, Sophie, many of them for the first time. She was the first grandchild for Dan's father, and the first GREAT-grandchild for his grandparents. It was wonderful seeing his grandmother dote on my little Princess! This year will be special, too, since we have another new addition to introduce to all the aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins: My new baby, Xander!
To me, Easter is not only a time to celebrate our faiths, and to celebrate chocolate...It is a time to celebrate family. To be with those you love, whether they were there your whole life, or you've been blessed enough to find them years later. We have the rest of our lives to get to know Dan's biological family, and it just so happens, at least for his Dad's side, Easter will be the day that they get to welcome our babies into their hearts for the first time.
What does Easter mean to you and YOUR family? I'd love to hear your stories!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.