Tag Archives: memory

Adoption, this day, 11 years ago

I’ve been in a tough place again around work and the amount of time it keeps me tied up and away from my daughter, her friends, her school, our time together.  I miss my partner a great deal– we are ships passing in the night lately, and I miss that precious time of sitting at the dining room table, hot weather or cold weather, writing. Writing.  My partner had hand surgery to repair that broken finger two weeks ago and we are at four weeks of her being unable to drive, shower on her own, do dishes, send an email.  We’re both tired.  There is some kind of grief right at the surface.

But even so, this is a special day.  Joy.  Love.  Satisfaction. Hope.  The sense that some things are very, very right in the world and in my world.  I’ve started, but not finished, a post about my daughter turning 11 and about her birthday itself, which happened on May 20. I will finish.

But this is my day in a certain way.  It’s hers too, but it’s mine for real. I have written more about our beginnings before. It’s the day we flew to her hometown in Texas, arrived in 106 degree heat 11 years ago and met her, and took her home to our temporary-hotel-room-home, and became the mothers of a 12-day old baby girl.  That was what I wanted.  Right then and there and still now, she is who I wanted.  I remember it as “welcome home, baby girl”  and also it was like a big welcome home for me– she made my home and my place in the world bigger, more solid.

So to my beloved, hilarious, beautiful, brilliant, funny, loving and lively N., I say this.  Your two moms lives were pretty great and full of love and interesting people and things to do way before you came along.  We had a good life together.  But our lives and our home and our days and nights have only been exponentially better because you were born and came to us– because we know you and love you and get to be with you so much.  I love you and I love your other mom and I do love the close-in people (near and far) who are the village that has surrounded us with you right at the center of things.  Just where you and every young person deserve to be.

Then. May 24, 2001–at four days old, this was the day we learned about N. and the first picture we saw.

Then. But a little later. She became undeniably, unmistakably our daughter when we saw this picture, taken four days before we met. She needed a family and we needed a daughter. May 28, 2001.

And now.  Today.  At school and across the table from me.  The two of us working together.

I was glad to get out of work early enough to get to hang with her at school, then take her home. Shy. Just a little. June 1, 2012.

Working, writing great messages in invisible ink.

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Happy Birthday, Dad

It snowed here yesterday.  Second big snow of this winter, in our city which doesn’t, unlike where I grew up, get much snow at all.  Here we can go all year without any snow at all.  I miss the snow.  A lot. 

So I love a day like yesterday when it snowed all day.  And like today when you wake up and it is bright, white all around and the snow makes our rooms brighter.  Through the closed window I can hear that familiar sound of someone’s shovel crunching through the snow and ice, the drag and scrape along the cement, and the silence while the shovelful is dumped, and then the next crunch and scrape.  That first look in the morning, of the neighborhood, covered in snow, and that sound of shoveling– those must be two of my earliest childhood memories.  For me that look and that sound are profoundly good and deeply reassuring. 

Today is the birthday of my father.  He was born in Chicago and if he hadn’t died, almost 7 years ago, he would be 84 today.  I miss him terribly sometimes.  I always imagine him being born in the middle of a Chicago winter and I imagine the next day being a day like today, white, bright, covered in good snow, but a little bit of a project for his dad to travel through to go back to the hospital where he was born.   I imagine what the weather must have been, and what the world looked like when he was first taken outdoors, when they left the hospital and brought him home. 

He and I were born in the same hospital on the south side– now known as Obama’s neighborhood.  I think that it is possible that the last winter of his life was the only winter of his adult life, when he gave up shoveling snow.  He loved that kind of physical labor.  So, it is only fitting and right that today, on his birthday, it is clean and white and fresh and cold outside and that soon I will get a sweater and coat and boots and go downstairs and start shoveling.  Happy Birthday, Dad.