Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Thoughts...#2 _ Words Help Heal the Soul

Several years after my daughter was born, I had the opportunity to spend some time with her and her siblings. I never made requests to see her growing up, the short times I spent with her were always instigated and set up by her parents. I mention this because not everyone has the same circumstances when it comes to open adoption. My terms were: I sent letters and pictures at Christmas and  on her Birthday I sent a card with flowers. Her parents, in turn, would send updates around the same times along with pictures. Only on several occasions, when they found themselves in my hometown, did they arrange physical contact. It was a good compromise for everyone. My daughter knew who I was, she was fine with spending time with me ... in fact she really liked seeing me ... and her parents were just wonderful in their support of me. They always made sure that she knew that I loved her and wanted to know about her.

This day was a warm spring day, beautiful sunshine, great temperature ...  just a perfect spring day. I was meeting her and her family at the home of a relative and the plan was that we would watch her and her brothers while the parents went to the baseball game. My mother came along, I think she was more excited about it than I was!, and we were amazed at how personable my daughter was with us. She was off and running, talking a mile a minute, asking me all kinds of questions. She had just turned 5 and she was the spitting image of me. She would ask me something and then just look at me, really look at me. She would study my face, look at my nose, watch how my mouth moved when I spoke. She was grinning from ear to ear the entire time we were together. We played games with her and her brothers. We did some gymnastics on the wrestling mats that were out on the floor, she tumbled all over that thing like a little bunny, what a wonderful thing to watch! I was on cloud nine, not overly excited but smiling myself just as big as she was. We had some pizza, talked about school and friends and life in her town, she was an incredible communicator and so natural. Not one of us in that house that day had any anxiety, no awkward moments, no shame or odd looks. We were just hanging out, enjoying each was fantastic.

We were taken back into the room with the mats so we could watch more gymnastics, mainly my daughter and her endless energy, and I was sitting on the couch next to her older brother. There was a lot of excitement going on. She was hilarious, totally entertaining everyone in the room. We were laughing and clapping, encouraging her flipping madness. It started to settle down a bit and my mother was on the floor with her talking about things. I was so enjoying watching my mom spend time with her. Some don't think about the parents of the birth parents and what their journey is like. I know it was very difficult for my mother to watch me all those months, years, helpless and yet feeling her own grief. My mother lit up when she talked about me and my daughter, and to watch mom play with her granddaughter was one of the best memories that I have, ever. I felt so happy that she was able to have the opportunity to spend time with her first grandchild. I looked to my left and began to talk to her older brother. School, sports, interests in music were some of the topics we discussed. He was a very pleasant kid, polite and funny. He asked me about what my job was like, what I studied when I was in school and if I had played any sports when I was a kid. We got to know each other just a little bit, and again, it was not uncomfortable or weird. Soon my daughter was up and tumbling again. Like before, she was very entertaining. After a particular tumbling pass, she bowed like she was a star and we started rolling in laughter. It was just the way she did it, believe me, it was funny! I leaned back on the couch and looked at her brother. He was smiling and watching her.
He then looked at me and said ... "Thank you."
I said "For what?"
He was still smiling and he looked at her getting ready to jump and roll again. He then looked back at me and simply said ... "Thank you for my sister."
I wanted to burst into tears. What a wonderful thing to say to me. He was only about 10 years old and I was astounded at his compassion at such a young age. I know he wanted to say so much more, but he didn't. He was looking at me, telling me with his eyes and facial expression that he was sincere. I couldn't talk for a minute, I was fighting back tears of joy. I know they were welling in the bottom of my eyes and I was trying not to let them drop. He smiled, then nodded as if to say 'it's okay'. I took a deep breath and said ... "Thank you for loving her."

My heart was light for months after that. I was so thankful that he had the courage to say that to me. It meant the world to me. I don't know if he remembers saying it. He may not even remember that day. I do. I will always remember that day. It was a huge healing for my spirit, and more proof that I had made the right choice placing her with her family.

I thank you for being such a great brother to her, then and now.


Kristina said...

Wow. :) I too, just fought the tears that welled. what a gift kelsey, what a freaking gift! :) xxxxoooo

Anonymous said...

That is an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. I adopted my son 4 years ago. We are working on our second. This was so nicely written and really special. Thank you for sharing.

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Her family is amazing! They have been so supportive, not just then, but now as well! Her parents loved my book and are so proud of the relationship that she and I have now.

I had to share this story because I think it is important for adoptive families to know that you can have a working relationship with your birth mother and it does not have to be a scarey or uncomfortable. It was an incredible day, and still is a heart warming memory for me. Thank you for tearing up with me... ;), I am glad that it touched you.

All my best to you,

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Thank you for your kind words anon and thank you for reading! God Bless you for taking care of someone's heart!

My best to you,