And the years before I even told my mother of her existence--all six of them--I'd try to hide my glassy eyes because of course she would wonder why I was fighting tears. It's just Silent Night....
It got a whole lot easier after I found my daughter, when she was fifteen.
And now she is gone again. She would be forty-four this year. She died in 2007, just before the holidays. As regular readers know, Jane took her own life. It was troubled right from the start, with abandonment issues, epilepsy, sexual abuse, PMDD, and all the attendant neuroses, and so when she died--even that first night after, as I absorbed the news--I knew that in her own way, she had made a rational decision. Though she was married to a good man, though she had Kimberly, a lovely, bright daughter, she now was finally raising, Jane's personal turmoil was not abating. Her internal demons were not going away. Life was not getting better. I do accept that.
But acceptance does not make Christmas shopping easier. I think of her when I am in a crowded store, looking over the pots and pans and tablecloths and sweaters and what-nots. I see things I know she would like, and pass by. They are meant for someone else now. At home, I treasure the gifts I have from her. I am glad I did not wait to find her, I found her at exactly the right moment. I think of the blessings I do have.
|Kim and Lorraine|
|Lorraine and Jennifer|
I know that many of you involved in adoption one way or another have been on a long and winding road that seems to have no end. Many of you are still searching for your children--and no matter how old they are, they are our children--or you are the adopted and are searching for your first/birth mother or biological/birth father. Or you have found but have not had a good resolution. Children reject the mother whom they feel rejected them; first mothers live in the closet and can not open their hearts and their lives to the children they relinquished decades ago. So many sorrows and hurts in the way. So much angst, so much fear of opening up the door that has long been closed.
But find in yourself the courage to go through that door. We all have as much courage as we need to do the hard things life puts in front of us. It is all there, waiting to be tapped.
Whether you are an adoptee or a first mother, open up your heart to the love that someone wants to give you. She or he will not be a "perfect" person, but he or she is the right person for you. And to those who have been rejected, I can only say that rejection is part of your Tao, your path, and you need to be brave and call upon that courage to move around, over, and beyond the rejection, and find empathy in your heart for the person you seek who cannot summon their own courage within.
There is no "right" time to do a search, or "right" time to make the call that completes a reunion, or mends a broken one and heals it. There is only time, and each day we have less of it. Each of us only have so much time, and none of us know how much that is, and it is hurrying by like a horseman in the night.--lorraine