An "open" letter to your precious yet fairly anonymous Russian Birthmother....my precious newly-minted 16 yr old son.

First...Let's start with some pictures of our celebration of "CHASE"! 


 TRYING to get a "WE LOVE CHASE ON HIS BIRTHDAY" picture but Trey (far left) is NOT cooperating.


I get a bit frustrated :)




GASP!  16 yrs old? HOW IN THE WORLD????? cry.




Chase is a "BRONY" is is a totally odd teen boy phenom. So weird.




Hiding inside the "Brony" cap was.....his enrollement into "Driver's Ed". gasp. Stay off the sidewalks my friends ;) In Indiana, he can, legally, get his license at 16.5 yrs with Driver's Ed. But....that's if Mom & Dad think the general public will be safe :)




The gift he'd asked for...I love the "OH!" on his face!






The above was our little family celebration on his actual birthday...Oct. 31 :)

A few days later...We had a "Super Major Scavenger Hunt" Birthday party for Chase and his friends...

BWWHAHAHAHAHAHAH......We made sure ALL of his friends saw this banner when they walked in :)




The scavenger hunt put together by "Mr. Master Scavenger"  (aka: Jim). It was a CRAZY hunt...and fun.


(pre-hunt) A lot of beautiful teenage kids in this room..beautiful and handsome inside and out.


Some of Chase's great friends...Tayler and Erik....










(Post-Hunt)  Mr. Master Scavenger is tallying the points....


THE WINNING TEAM!


THE LOSING TEAM...though they seem not to care?!


I'm sorta over the top proud of the coup that I pulled on Chase...He didn't know about the masks until I handed them out :)






bbwwhahahahahahahaha


Tayler PAINTED CHASE HIS FAVORITE PAINTING!  "A Starry Night"... how exceptionally thoughtful?!  Tayler and Chase "like" each other. We have met and talked with her parents. We are all on the same page...it's scary yet exciting to see Chase enter this new phase of his life.





Aven got bored at the teenager's party ;)


Time to hurt a pinata!









Suddenly...our front door opens and we are under a "Silly String Attack" that knew no end! A few party attendees that had "left early"  (neighborhood friends) came back and ended the party on a well...sticky note! 


At first, Jim and I were like, "WOW! Silly String in our house? All OVER our house?" but then...ya just got to roll with it. Hearing the laughter made us laugh.
 



Happily, Jim discovered that silly string comes off of most materials with little to no effort except....leather ;) hmmm
 





CHASE HAS BEEN 'DONNED' "SIXTEEN" .... tis official....      






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Some beautiful celebrating for a beautiful kid with a beautiful soul. 

Chase continues to radiate "good" and "positive"  (except in those dang puberty-ridden moments ;). I am continually amazed at his servant's heart and I learn from it daily. I am not NEARLY as good of a servant to others as my 16 yr old is.  He is -genuinely- concerned about how people he barely knows are doing or if I need another cup of tea :)  He is a treasure beyond price and we had NO idea what an impact this child would have upon our souls, our hearts, our actions, and our thoughts. He has taught us so much....Thank you my sweetest Sunshine Boy...I am eternally grateful for the lessons I have learned from you....

This year...I feel like I'd like to put some words down "to" his birthmomma. We do not have a relationship with her as it was a closed, Russian adoption. However, about 4 years ago we hired a private investigator to find her. We wanted her to know that her son was loved and happy. We also wanted to "know" her and have some pictures for Chase to cherish. 

The search was successful and we now know so much more about Chase's birthfamily and Miss Irina, his precious birthmomma, now knows that Chase is thriving. 

So.....

Dear Irina,

16 years ago, you gave birth to a son. 
 
A son that came into this world way to early. I can only imagine that you were scared for yourself and for him.

I know that your heart was tattered and left in pieces as you released your pre-mature son into the hand of the hospital. 
 
 I can only barely imagine the nights of sleep you lost wondering if he was gaining strength, was he warm, was he crying, was he even alive?  How hard it must have been not to check on him.

But, the selfless act of releasing your child into the hands of others changed the future for so many and in so many positive ways. I wish SO MUCH that you could have know that as you were surely riddled with questions and confusion about what had transpired.
 
I am thrilled that you now know that Chase was adopted, is loved beyond measure, and is a beam of sunshine to those he encounters. 
 
But, the 12 years that you did not know? Well...I don't even know what to say. But I can say, again, that I am so relieved that you now know he is okay.

Irina....You are a woman of power, fortitude, and wisdom. But most of all... love.
 
You did not simply walk away from a child.
 
 You did WHAT WAS BEST FOR HIM IN THAT MOMENT. There were extenuating circumstances of course but, obviously, they have become nominal haven't they? :)
 
You had the strength to love enough to do the right thing.
 
I believe other women in your position would have wavered. 
 
I believe I would have wavered. 
 
I would have been selfish.
 
 I am not sure I could have released my child into the hands of the people that could do the most and the best for him even when I knew his life with me would be a constant struggle and even dangerous.
 
Ove the years, I have had the amazing honor of holding my 2 newborns just after delivery.  I had  them after I had held "our" son, Chase.
 
When I looked at my newborns....I thought of you.
 
 I thought of your bravery. 
 
Your sacrifice. 
 
Then I would look at the amazing 3 yr old and then 6 yr old that was in front of me while I held my new babies and I was simply in awe of your actions.
 
That beautiful child that cuddled up into my hospital bed after my two deliveries...sang to his new brother, offered to let a new brother borrow his teeth, offered to change a diaper, tried to force pacifiers into tiny mouths because he knew that should comfort his new "baby".
 
I wish you could have seen your son in action. 
 
This son that, yes...Jim and I have raised and poured our souls and lives into...but one who carries your DNA and has part of you and his birthfather within him. 
 
Together, the four of us have somehow nurtured this precious angel into a young man that is self-less, radiant, and oh so positive in his outlook.
 
Irina, thank you.
 
Irina, thank you.
 
Irina, thank you.
 
You did the impossible for our family. You allowed your son to become ours.
 
I will never be able to express my love and appreciation. 
 
But please know...you are not forgotten in our home. You are honored and talked about often. You are held in the cusp of our families hands with a gentleness because we treasure you so intensely.
 
Irina, thank you.
 
Irina, thank you.
 
All my love,
the Second Mother of your son,
 
Andrea


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