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.~~~~~


Judy said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.