About Me

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I placed my daughter in an open adoption in 2002. I started this blog in 2004 as a place to journal and eventually I became part of a community. The community has moved on, but I have decided to come back.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving

I'm late this time. Usually, I post right away. I suppose it's because there isn't much to say. The visit was good, but nothing stood out.

It took forever to get there. The extended family was there and I brought my fiance. My daughter greeted me swiftly, but spent most of the day playing with her cousins. She was running a fever so she ended up sleeping through dinner and most of the time after.

The food was delicious as usual. I was happy to see that there was a picture of just the amom and I on the refrigerator. I sat with my sleeping daughter after dinner.

We had dessert and played a crocodile game after. Then we all left.

No bedtime story this time because I was driving home.

Although there is nothing exciting to share, it is nice for it to feel so normal and family-like.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tradition

Tomorrow I'm bringing tradition with me. It comes stuffed in crescent rolls- spicy and warm. It is something little I can do.

I do not plan your traditions. I have no say in the dishes served, the relatives present, or the order of events. It feels strange to have a daughter that celebrates holidays with someone else's traditions.

I love the day with you and your family. It is the closest holiday to those I had as a child- the days I get nostalgic for as I grow older. I am thankful for the similarities.

Still, there is a loss.

And so I bring tradition to you in the only way I can- by food. The same food I wouldn't eat as a child, I bring to you now in the hopes of making the day feel complete.



I felt such joy tonight as I tried the family recipe for the first time- tasting and adding spices, tasting again. I imagined making it with you someday, watching you refuse it tomorrow, putting the recipe in a book for you.

But mostly I just enjoyed the scent and flavor. I enjoyed the feeling that I was keeping tradition alive. I enjoyed the feeling that I had the power to bring a little bit of my childhood to yours.

I say again, it's the little things.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Excited

I'm so excited about my Thanksgiving visit. Enough that normally closed-up me mentioned how excited I was at the end of an email to my daughter's mom. She said my daughter is so excited too because her family is coming over.

Especially after her birthday, where I truly started to feel like family among the extended relatives, I'm looking forward to this holiday visit.

I love Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Frustration

My mom: What are you doing for Thanksgiving?
Me: I'm going to see *daughter's name*.
Mom: (very excited) Oh! Wow! That's different.
Me: I've gone every year.
Mom: Oh, you have?
Me: Yup.

Some other conversation follows.

Mom: So are you going by yourself for Thanksgiving?
Me: No, *fiance's name* is coming with me.
Mom: Oh. Doesn't his family have Thanksgiving?
Me: Yes, they do.
Mom: Oh.

And yes, I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Full Circle

My stepsister had a baby girl last month. She gave birth at the same hospital where I gave birth, chosen in part because I loved it there.

My stepmother came home to see her newest grandchild. They visited the hospital together though mom and baby had already left. My stepmom said she looked for someone familiar, scanned the pictures of the children on the walls, tried to find a reminder.

The corridor proved reminder enough. It feels like it's come full circle, she said.

Later, she apologized. She thought it may have been insensitive. I was not offended.

I know my choice sent ripples through the family. I didn't just lose a daughter. My family lost a grandchild, a niece, a cousin. It doesn't matter that my family rarely sees each other. The loss is still there.

Each has dealt in their own way.

I remember going with my mother to visit my sister after my daughter was born. My sister had a nine-month old. My mother plopped the baby in my arms hoping to comfort me. I played along.

My mother has since been given two more grandchildren. She has dealt with her loss through them. She hasn't been able to see my daughter since those days in the hospital. Her two new grandchildren she sees every few months. It is a diversion for her. Plus, by living far away, I imagine she can make my daughter's placement less real. The adoptive parents send pictures and cards. I send my mother albums. She can be like any other grandmother who lives too far from her grandchildren.

For my stepmother, this new baby was the first since my daughter. By her comments, I imagine it has hurt her more than she lets on. It is the first time they have lived away from their grandchildren. They visited my daughter once after the hospital- a Christmas visit that first year, four months after her birth. My father was lost that day and barely took the opportunity to hold her. By the time he did, my daughter was fussy yet the pictures of the two of them together are some of the best from that day.

After that, life took its toll. It is true that there never seems to be a good time to visit that relative you haven't seen in awhile. Maybe now they fear it has been too long. They moved away last year.

I can't imagine what it has been like to be them- my two sets of parents- and I don't try. I hold no ill will toward my stepmother for finding comfort in this new birth. Nobody else needs to carry the grief.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Small World

I went to a housewarming party tonight for an old friend.

Midway through, a couple showed up and my friend introduced us because the woman is a social worker and another friend is getting her MSW. I asked what town she worked in and was relieved to hear that she worked in the town I work in. I didn't want her to know my family.

I found out that her husband also worked in social services. There is a woman I've been trying to find and she used to work at the same place. We didn't have much else to say, so we parted. I gathered up my courage through the night so that I would ask the man if he knew the woman I was looking for.

I finally approached the two of them when they were alone. He knew the name, but not the woman, but he took my info so he could try to find her for me.

I have no idea where I was going when I mentioned it because I know I wasn't planning to mention my daughter, but I asked if they knew my social worker, the woman I saw when I was pregnant.

I was blessed with the most wonderful social worker. I absolutely love her and I have the highest respect for her. I wrote to her this summer to let her know that I attended the Lifegiver's Festival, and I wish I still saw her today.

The woman at the party looks up at me and says, "That's my mother."

I was shocked and thrilled all at once. She went on to ask if I'd worked for her and I said no that I placed my daughter for adoption.

It was the weirdest thing.

We chatted for a bit and I revealed way more than I ever would normally.

Then I left the party and got in my car and cried. The emotions were overwhelming. Good. but also forcing me to remember.

I'm so glad I went and I thank whatever intervention caused me to mention my social worker's name.