Monday, July 16, 2012

Italy Through Her Eyes

A few months back, I was called delusional when it came to my relationship with my daughter. This particular reader thinks I am crazy and just imagining the successful lines of communication that I had with Bella while growing up. (For those of you who may be new, my daughter has known me all of her life due to her incredibly compassionate parents. She is now in her twenties.) I have heard this kind of opinion before so it was nothing new. But for some reason, this one stuck with me and I have been thinking a lot about who she is and what she has become.

This summer, she had an opportunity to go to Europe to study her major and learn a new language. Bella wrote to me telling me how excited she was and I, of course, relished in her enthusiasm and attitude going into what was sure to be an adventure like no other she had experienced before. I found myself thinking about me at that age and what it was like to be young, free and the world in front of me. Italy was the country of her destination, and I have to admit I was wishing I could jump on a plane and just hang with her for a day.

Thanks to the internet and this fast paced life we all lead on the computer, at the touch of a button I can take a look to see what she's up to or click through her pictures and see for myself how she is. I love that this is now available to me because for years it was about 2 - 3 times a year that I would get pictures and a letter to update me on her activities, her accomplishments, her life. I don't stalk by any means. I just check in to see where her life is going.

In looking through her pictures, I was reminded of how much Bruce and I see life through the boys. It never ceases to astonish me that something I have known for a long time will seem so different when explained to me by my children. It takes on a whole new meaning, to see what their version of life is and understand it on a new level. I could have never imagined seeing Italy from Bella's point of view when she was born. I was clueless as to what would become of our relationship, what would become of me ... what would become of her. It is all so up in the air with adoption, you know? Through each journey there are different factors, things unseen or unincorporated into the big picture of life in adoption for the child. 

But there I was, looking at her Europe. I loved every frame, every comment, every time she posted an album it was sheer enjoyment from beginning to end. I had nothing to do with her being who she is as a person, that comes her family who raised her. Morals. Religion. Education. Her background is truly hers, and she will include that she is adopted because she is not afraid to strike up that conversation. As I looked through the photos, I felt incredibly proud and also very complete. Proud that she is the strong woman that I had hoped she would be, and complete because I know she is living life to the fullest. Much the way I did when I was her age.

Her time there was an incredible voyage for me as well. Perhaps I am not conveying the peace that I feel right now. I can assure you that I am beyond grateful for the life we both have had, and the fact that she includes me in hers ... and always has.

This was one of the first pictures that she posted, and it brought a smile to my face.

I mean, what a trip when you are young, huh? I have always wanted to see Europe, particularly the iconic landmarks like this one ...

Or this gem, oh man! If there is one place that I have on my bucket list it is Rome. 

Just amazing to see this through Bella.

Back in Italy ....

A kid after my own heart. A picture of gelato overload. Yep, I love it too.

The architecture is what draws me to Europe, and I thought these were beautiful examples.

A gondola ride to boot! 

What is the purpose of this post? Just when I question myself or start to think all the what ifs of my past, this amazing young woman shows me that life is what you make of it. Our journey has been more than inspiring for me and those around me, it has been an example of what life can be when you give of yourself completely. She is happy, and in the end that is all I want. It is all I have ever wanted.


Holly said...

Beautiful post! I hope someday our son has this kind of relationship with his birthmother.

And as an aside...if you ever want to visit Italy, we live just 2 hours south of Rome.

Just sayin'

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

Oh Holly, you should be careful what you wish for. I may just come and visit you when I finally get there! What a lucky woman to be so close. Then again, I am sure people think that about me, living in Southern California and all. HA HA

Thanks for coming to read and for the offer...and I hope your son has that relationship with his birth mother. There is nothing quite like knowing they WANT to know who you are. Be Blessed, and not kidding. I am coming to see you. Sometime around 2016...LOL