Life is strange.
Belladonna will be spending the night with her birth mother's family. Mrs ERJ and Belladonna had lunch with her about a week ago. They spent three hours talking. We found out afterward that Belladonna's siblings were walking around the mall that was next to the Red Robin, hoping to be invited to join the party. They were disappointed.
Belladonna's adoption was "open" in the sense that Belladonna's birth mother chose us to raise her daughter. There are various degrees of "open". In this case, Belladonna's birth mother did not have our last name or home town although she was encouraged to contact us and ask for pictures through the adoption agency.
In Michigan, the child can open the records at the age of 18 and learn all of the details, if they so desire. Belladonna turned 17 this month and she has her head screwed on straight. We decided that opening the door was worth the risk. This is going to turn out OK.
It has the feel of one of our kids going for a spend-the-night at an aunt's house. Belladonna will get to meet her siblings. I dropped her off at a gym near Grand Rapids so she could watch her new, little brother play basketball. I got to meet Belladonna's birth mother. She looks much like Belladonna....even though I think Bella is prettier.
I suspect that Belladonna will give her new, younger brother a few pointers on the game of basketball whether he wants them or not.