I may or may not have just hugged my oldest a smidge too tightly and a moment longer than usual as I fought back tears. What the heck?!?
And I'm a wee bit wrecked.
I can see you're a teensy bit lost.
Last November, I chalked it up to her and my Adoption Awareness Month blogging series. I'm nothing if not consistent. Apparently. November, 2013 rolled around and I am, yet again, blindsided by nostalgia. I've not written in a while and my brain is bursting at the seams with words needing a place to call "home". I'm at risk of emotionally vomiting all over you. I'll choke it down, but you might want to grab a bucket, just in case.
A year has flown by. An. Entire. Year.
Our oldest is a determined soul. This month the CEO set her sights upon turning ten. And she did it. The nerve. To the mother of a 20-something, 40, 50, 70-something, "ten" is merely a cute lil' drop in the bucket. But to this mama...oh for the love. Must she? We celebrated her entry into double digits by giving her a weapon. Aren't we such saps?
Our youngest is much like the CEO. Eerily similar. As in, a thick slab of déjà vu wrapped in "been there, done that" paper. Ergo, it stands to reason that she would also possess a lot of nerve. Enough nerve to turn one year old in another week. Goodbye baby, hello toddler! Allow me a tiny pity party, m'kay? Could you please pass the cheese to go with my whine.*
The other night all of this collided in my tired brain (Stick with me. I promise this is going somewhere). Jubilee was a basket-case, and couldn't fall asleep (hello shades of Mikayla). As I sat there rocking her, I watched her cycle through the I-want-to-sleep, relax, no-I-don't, stiffen, sit-up-and-scream routine. Charming. However, every time she relaxed, she melted into my arms and we connected. Because she's mine. I considered each of my children, and despite the one in my lap screaming (and the memories of a certain sister doing the same), my heart was held fast by a different daughter; One whose story is the broken story of millions of others.
Months old, and unable to fall asleep. There are no mother's arms; Just the chilled bars of a crib. Cries may eventually be met with arms, but they are all wrong. Overnight, so much became wrong, and it only got more wrong from there. Wrong arms, wrong sounds, wrong words, wrong faces. Then, more wrongs until nothing was right anymore. Wrong scents, wrong tastes, more wrong faces, wrong world. And even though these faces smile with tears coursing down pale cheeks, and hug me tenderly, they're...wrong.
Turning ten, turning one. Both of those daughters have never known the wrong arms.** Some days they resist them, but they have always been right. For Sophia, my arms are good. They are reliable, trustworthy, safe, satisfactory. But they may never be right. Much like the scream-relax-scream-relax bedtime routine, there are stretches of time where stiffening the heart feels so much safer. And then there are the precious moments of connectedness, where a little chocolate girl rests in my arms. Trusting me with her heart, secure in the knowledge that she is, indeed, mine. I will store up those moments to replay on the days of depletion, where wrongness fights for center stage.
Dear friends, I love my family. I love how adoption is woven in the tapestry of our lives. However, it is crucial that we acknowledge a very real part of adoption; That every, every, every adoption story is wrought with sorrow and wrongness. The prologue is often painful and fearful. Chapter One begins with grief and deep wounds. For many families, the chapters of mourning drag on and the plot weighs heavily on their shoulders. For others, sunny prose is just around the corner.
For 147 million children, the story has yet to be written; There is only a dreadful prologue, and no one pressing pen to paper. No one embracing them to witness a mighty story unfurl. Don't skip to the ending of someone else's book. Pick up a blank volume and write over the wrong.
What will your story be?
*Did somebody mention wine? I'll take a glass of Riesling, thanks.
**Just for the record, neither has the seven year old.