I had planned to write a lovely tribute to fathers everywhere...birthfathers who had the courage to be involved and supportive in placing their child, adoptive fathers whose love knows no boundary, grandfathers who set the example of unconditional love and acceptance.... You get the idea.
But it's not happening this week. Maybe next week. Count this as the tribute of the moment:
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
And here's why:
"I want my real mom!"
Ouch. For both of us.
Whew. It was out there. Finally. All these years, Meg has never wanted to or been ready to discuss any part of adoption. She has had no interest in her birth mom that she was able to express on her own. And the very few times I've asked her, she shut it right down.
The counselors/child therapists we have spoken with have all said when Meg's ready, she will give us the cues. She'll ask questions when she's ready, she will let us know in her own way when she wants to talk or is ready for information. But we were advised not to push or create a chasm that didn't need to be there.
And with that, she laid in my lap and wept while I whispered in her ear a few of the many memories I have of her birthmom...
- She was so funny. She had a very dry wit and sarcasm dripped from nearly every word that came from her mouth.
- She could tease Dad like no other.
- She had a squishy nose - just like Meg.
- She liked corn bread - just like Meg.
- She was very athletic - just like Meg.
- And I told Meg her name. It's a longer name that can make one smile. "T" is what we'll call her here.
So...with all that in mind, Meg and I spent several hours Sunday afternoon in my bedroom - just the two of us - looking at photos and talking. I watched her face as she studied the face of T for the first time in her young life. She immediately noticed the obvious physical similarities. And she smiled. She loved the photo of her T and I holding hands as Meg was born. She thought it was hilarious that I was captured forever on film in The Ugly Cry. (you know the one---red face, contorted, tears and snot everywhere...need I say more?) But I couldn't stop crying that day. I had never witnessed the birth of a baby. And I was so moved - watching T go through that process, and then hand that baby - my sweet daughter - straight to me. I had never felt anything like it before.
There has been a peace and calm about Meg since then. She is very proud of her book. She likes looking at it. She fell asleep last night with a photo against her cheek - the photo of T holding her. But there have been a few bumps, too. When I asked her to make her bed this morning, she said "I want my real mom".
But it's ok. I understand. I am learning to recognize the feelings behind the words rather than words themselves.
Meg's tears have dried up for now. But they will come again. I don't know when. And until then, I'll just keep answering the questions she has the best way I know how. Even today--two more random questions. As we were getting ready to go on a walk, she asked "Where does my birth mom live? Is she close?" I said no. The last I knew, she lived in Georgia. Then later today, she asked "Is T alive or dead?" I just try to be honest and not overreact. I said "Truthfully, I don't know. But as far as I know, she is alive." When these questions come so randomly - at such random times - it reaffirms in my mind that neither of us has stopped thinking about this since Sunday morning. But it's ok. She is processing 9 years of living that she hasn't been ready to process - til now.