When first making the adoption plan for Festus with Ms Scarlet and Prof. Plum the question of how often to visit came up. Pretty quickly we settled on getting together once a month and an incidental contact that may happen in between was a bonus. Athena and I figured that we would want to see Ms Scarlet and Prof. Plum that often just to get a chance to have some kind of relationship with them before the actual placement. We never scheduled a regular time in the month for us to get together. We're all busy people and Prof. Plum has to travel a fair amount for his job. Similarly, in the regular school year, I have to work weekends sporadically so establishing the third Friday of every month just wasn't practical. It's worked out quite well. I don't think we've missed a month yet and the visits have continued to become more and more casual. Then came our visit at the beginning of June.
The wine, in truth, wasn't entirely to my taste. It was a little more acidic than I'm used to, which is strange for a lover of Chilean wines to say. That's the only negative thing I can say. It was a wonderful evening. Athena and I had the chance to see Festus crawl for the first time! He had been crawling for a while, we simply hadn't seen him do it before. He was very happy to show off this new accomplishment for us. Festus was quite the little showman that afternoon playing his musical instruments and grunting excitedly. For the first time in a couple months he seemed happy to spend some time interacting directly with Athena. The previous two visits he wasn't too happy about sitting with anyone who wasn't mom or dad. His coy glances made while chewing safely on Ms Scarlet's shoulder were very cute, but not as satisfying as the toothy (all four of them) grins we got this time.
But the best part was talking with Prof Plum and Ms Scarlet. There was, naturally, a fair amount of chatting about Festus and his latest fascinations. Some of the best conversation that evening, however, was about life in general. It felt less like an agreed upon child visitation and more like two couples getting together for dinner. I can report happily that we, all four of us, enjoy each others' company. Are we to the point where we call each other to make spurt of the moment plans to catch dinner? No. Do I think it's possible to get there? Yes.
It feels like the "hard work" of spending time with each other is really paying off. The awkwardness of the first getting-to-know-you conversations is melting away leaving friendship in its stead. Little by little, brick by brick, minute by minute, we're building a friendship of peers. We're building a family.