Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Story continues, Part B

M's biological father, "Andrew", has been out of my life for many years. Sometimes I have been curious and tried to contact him or at least find out where he is and how he is doing. I have not succeeded. Twenty-three or so years ago, before I got pregnant, I really did like the guy. I found him fascinating. I wanted to get to know him - find out about his background, why he acted and reacted the way he did. He enjoyed the chase, but did not give me much real information about who he was. So now, when I talk to M, I wonder about Andrew. M and I are very similar in many ways, and very different in others. Part of me wants to know if she got traits from Andrew, or me, or her environment with her adoptive family. It's probably a mix of all of the above - and I will never know and should stop trying to figure it out. haha

M and Baby H were here for two weeks in the early summer of 2007. When M left here, she went back to her family, her situation, and life went on. This part is her story, not mine, so I won't go into much detail. She moved, met people, got a job, and more. My boys finished out summer, returned to school and life kept going for us, too. (We had some crazy winter weather and I told M about all of it, etc.) For the rest of 2007 and into 2008, M and I talked on the phone and emailed. It was normal for us to be in contact often, then not at all for awhile. But that's okay. A true friendship was developing, and both of us lead separate, unique lives. Sometimes I knew a lot about her life, sometimes not too much. And she was the same way with me. We just kind of relaxed and enjoyed what we had and did not stress out. Okay, so we had days when we worried about each other, but that's what friends do. We had become important to each other in a way that was not parent/child, but more than friends. It's hard to describe. But it was cool. Still is.

M divorced her hubby and split custody of the baby. That was hard, in part because of location (different states.) But she is satisfied with arrangements and how the baby is being parented, and that's good. Baby H is now two - active and talkative and growing up fast. "Baby" H is now becoming "child" H.

Over this past year, as M and I talk, at times we discuss how we got to where we are now. We are still in awe of our friendship, but we don't analyze it. Forgive all the "A" words here, but we are amazed by it all, and yet accept it. What was weird and fascinating has now become somehow normal. We laugh and complain and are just real with each other. In my wildest dreams, I could never have hoped for such peace and joy from finding my daughter. At times, it does put a lump in my throat that she not only forgives and understands me, but she likes me, too. I'm more used to that now. Usually. ;-)

We don't see eye-to-eye. We are of different ages, needs, desires, and stages in our lives. But even if we do not agree or fully comprehend, we accept. And just being allowed into her life is priceless to me.

M came up here again this past summer. She did not have baby/toddler H this time. (He was with her right before she was here.) It was just M and us for a week. That turned out to be good - much as I adore H, without him we were able to get out more and "do stuff". M and the boys and I went sight-seeing around town. Hub took us all out to dinner. We relaxed and played and pretty much had a stress-free week. This was less about getting to know each other and more about just being with each other. Her visit, this time, was not surreal. And even though I am not immaculate, I am more into cleaning house than M is. But I did not need to clean and prepare and have a home that would pass a white-glove test before she arrived. This visit was............easy. And great. The guys adore her as much as I do, and I'm SO grateful for that.

M is now in the early stages of a new relationship with a young man - again, her story - but I'm really happy for her. I wish the best in whatever direction this takes the two of them.

This, now, what M and I have, is by far the most unique and wonderful relationship I’ve ever experienced with anyone. ANYone. I love her. And she knows it. AND she loves me back. My heart still skips a beat and I can't hide a smile whenever she tells me she loves me. And I tell her that I love her - and I mean it with every fabric of my being. The past is in the past and the future is wide open.

I really don't care how often we will see each other, and I don't worry about when the next phone call or email will happen. Because it does happen. All good. All wonderful. All priceless. My heart is very happy, very fulfilled.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

M - The Story continues (Part A)

In all the years after M's birth and adoption, through all the joys and heartaches and ups and downs, I never really knew if I'd ever see her again after I gave her away.

I had played around with scenarios in my mind - of meeting and talking and getting to know each other. Daydreams of maybe, somehow, starting to build a relationship with her. But I never thought about **after** that meeting, if it ever was to occur. I had never known anyone in "reunion" - it was completely new territory for both M and I. Unexplored, but worth exploring. A total leap of faith for everyone concerned. And absolutely glorious.

"The Story of M" was written in the spring of 2007. It ended with M and I talking on the phone, getting to know each other. There was the anticipation of us meeting in person. The reality of us having a genuine relationship was finally setting in. M was 21 and her baby was just over a year old as this was unfolding. I will now try to pick up where The Story left off..............

M and I had decided that the time had come for us to meet face to face. Our phone conversations were easy - like talking to an old friend - but actually meeting and hugging and being together was a huge step. My guys - Hub and the boys - were ready, probably more than I was. The boys were 12 1/2 and 15 1/2 at the time. They wanted to meet M, too, even though youngest (Monkey) told me that HE had the easy part - and that I had more invested in this. He was right. I love his insight.

So M made plane reservations and we set a time to meet. It was early summer - just after the boys finished the school year. M and baby were to stay with the guys and I for a week. I had asked my best friend, J, to come with me to the airport. I needed her level head in understanding and talking through the situation, her calmness in the chaos of my mind, and her shoulder to be beside me and literally hold me up. And I let her use my camera - I wanted that first moment to be recorded since I probably would not remember every detail of finally seeing M.

J and I had coffee at the airport and chatted while waiting for the plane to arrive. And then the time came. And I stood/paced in the waiting area, and watched a lot of people go by, and then J said, "There they are!!" J is cool - she took pictures and talked to the baby (in a stroller) while M and I hugged and stared at each other and hugged some more. The moment was understandably surreal and yet oddly comfortable. Not at all what I had imagined for so many years, but much more wonderful. Because of all the emails and phone calls, the awkwardness was not there.

We dropped J off on the way to my house. When we got home, Monkey bounded out to greet his sister. (Forget the "half" part - he instantly saw her as his sister.) Buddy came out and he and M stared at each other, head to foot, absorbing the new person. I'll never forget that moment. Very cool. Hub welcomed M and baby easily - I appreciated his kindness toward her and the baby.

The following week is a blur. It has been awhile since my boys were small - and it's an adjustment having a toddler in the house. Baby H was VERY cute, and very active, and messy in a way that only babies can be. Bananas and milk and crackers and more were on the floor. And............diapers smell bad. Living with a walking, noisy one year old was an adventure - and the boys told me that it would be awhile before they would be ready to be a daddy. haha

But that baby - I adored him from the first time I saw him. He's BEAUTIFUL. And the reality is that if I had aborted M, he would not exist. So that was another reason to be thankful that she is alive. I'm a Grandma although it took awhile to get used to hearing that. I could not hold baby H or talk to him enough. Amazing. I think he liked me, too.

Some of my friends here know all about M and the history behind her arrival. I had asked them to meet us if they could. We decided that an easy way to do that would be to go to a nearby park on a set day and time, and let friends stop by at their convenience. I doubt that M remembers their names or even faces, but it was pure joy to let them meet her and hold the baby and relax. It was a great day.

Due to circumstances back with M's family a thousand miles away, the decision was made that she and baby would stay with us for another week. It was a blessing - she and I still had our moments when we could not believe that we were seeing each other, but we were given more hours and days together. We got to talk about difficult stuff, and laugh and cry and hang out. And she got to see the guys and I let our guard down and be "normal". And that was good, because the reality is that families argue and make up and get serious and silly and boring and exciting. I'm glad she was able to see us as a family - warts and all. And I'm thankful that she accepted us.

On the day that she left, it was HARD taking her to the airport. She was going home to her life - entirely different than mine in many ways. Her circumstances were about to change - mostly in where she would be living. I wanted to hold her and let time stand still at the airport when she and baby departed. But it wasn't really "good-bye". More like "see you later". We just knew that this was not to be the end. After 21 years, it truly was the beginning.

~~~~~I'm seeing that this new part of The Story will take some time to write, and is long enough to be put into more than one entry. I guess I will label it Part A (for now) and add to it later.~~~~~