In a few hours I will be on a plane heading to a wedding, a long awaited family wedding that I am more than happy to be attending. Imagine an eleven year old blond living in a house with all women...her mother, her aunt, her two cousins and then along comes a fiery redhead baby who took all of our hearts with her charm and freckles. She completed a family circle of all women in a Midwestern town, most of whom were often too alike for comfort in a house that was of modest size.
The blond would be me and the redhead would be my cousin, Kerrie. You have to understand that the blood makes us cousins, but the hearts make us sisters. My whole life, from the moment that she was born I had a little sister tailing me wherever I would go. I fondly remember her sitting on the toilet in the bathroom when I was what would now be called a tween, and she would sit and watch in amazement as I would put on make up, curl my hair and then shalack another ozone layer with the Aquanet that was my staple beauty product. Her little blue eyes would just stare as her mouth would ask 100 questions, one right after the other. I knew that she so badly wanted to go with me, but because of her age she could not. She was my little buddy, my #1 fan, my shadow for many years.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, Kerrie would sit with me and touch my belly just fascinated with the growth process. I would fart right in front of her, something that I would not normally do as I am a lady, but I had to get it out when I was as big as a house. She would laugh and laugh, telling me which one was bigger ... which one sounded like a duck ... it sounds weird, but I loved spending that time with her. She heard the word adoption, and she would ask me questions about it so I would explain my thoughts as simply as I could. I know she knew that the baby would not be coming home with us, but I was not sure just how she felt about it. Well, let's just say that I found out soon enough and I was not one to make my shadow very happy.
Kerrie's 9th birthday was overshadowed by the birth of my daughter, something that I could not have planned but it happened none the less. This left Kerrie torn between being aggravated that her day was now shared with Kelsey and her new baby (because let's face it at 9 you really are in your own world and rightfully so), and happy to see the little girl that she watched grow in her idol's belly. I could see that she wanted to be happy, but also wanted to give me the evil eye because she was there with us in the hospital for quite a while. But then, she held Bella in her little arms and all that seemed to make her mad just floated away. I can still see it in my head, Kerrie sitting in a red chair that was entirely too big for her and the BIG GIRL smile she had on her face as she posed for a picture with Bella. I am not sure that she had ever held a baby before. She was pleasantly surprised at how much the baby looked like me, almost mesmerized in her gazing at the tiny face before her.
It may have intruded on her birthday, but something happened that day. My little cousin Kerrie met my daughter on her first day of life, a day that was already so very special to Kerrie. Since then, these two have had a kinship. After seeing each other at family functions through the years, they now send each other cards and greetings on their birthdays. They chat from time to time on the Internet and cheer each other on in life. They were both in my wedding, a fact that I find quite comforting. And this weekend, I will watch my little cousin Kerrie marry the man she loves with my daughter probably sitting right next to me. This is something one cannot imagine in the hospital those precious few days before relinquishing rights. Who would have thought that one day someone so precious to me in my life, Kerrie, would be having a wonderful relationship with my only daughter whom I placed for adoption? How peaceful this particular adoption has turned out, how very fortunate I have been to know Bella and be in the position to see her ... to spend time with her in her life.
So to say that I have butterflies, am anxious and need to get on that plane is an understatement! To see Kerrie as a bride will bring me to tears. Seeing Bella will bring a smile to my face. And I am in luck, smiling through tears is one of my favorite emotions of all! Amazing how life does work out sometimes.