My head and heart are both spinning. Today was a day filled with many different emotions.
First, I pick up Little Man from school. He asks, (AGAIN) where we are going. I tell him, remember your other mommy? The one who grew you in her tummy? You have a sister with that mommy, and we are going to see her. I can't tell you how many times we have tried to get him to comprehend that he had another mom before he came to us. I would like to ask the universe, "why today of all days, did he get it?". He did. He finally did. "I have another mommy?"
"Yes, you do."
"Where is she?"
Me thinking, oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, what do I say??
"She died sweetheart"
"My mommy is dead? Like H and Peter Pettigrew the rat?" (H is a child that died last year in his class, and he has been sad sometimes for his friend)
My sweet little son begins to sob. And I am driving and can't stop, and my heart is breaking with his.
"Why, why, why did she have to die?"
"Oh sweetheart, sometimes bad things just happen. I am so sorry you are sad. Don't forget, you have two mommies and I am right here"
I finally get to a place where I can stop and hold my son while he cries and grieves for the mommy he can't remember.
He is finally in a better place emotionally and we continue on our journey. We make it there, and they are oh so very nice.
Little Bird is the big sister, such a beautiful girl! She is a mommy already, and has a son, 2 months old, Little Man Jr! We were completely shocked at how much he looks like Little Man when he was a baby. Really shocked.
Little Man did okay. He was difficult for some of the visit, but also kind, and helped serve pizza to everyone. They had a gift for him that he enjoyed playing with. They were very patient and very nice.
Any worries I had about appropriate boundaries were laid to rest. They didn't ask for anything or expect anything except information about Little Man, and they were so very polite and nice. I would be lying if I didn't say we weren't all a bit sad, to face so much loss and sorrow was really tough, but good at the same time, if you know what I mean.
Little Bird had many questions about Little Man's disabilities. His seizures, and other things, and I think was a bit sad about it.
In return, I received a lot of information about Little Man's NICU stay. He had seizures then too, and the nurses were very sure that he would grow up with many problems. (Would have been nice if someone had told us that part!) We got some more info about Little Man's birthmother, but not very much, because she didn't spend much time with her family, with the drugs and all that.
Probably one of the biggest gifts we were given was the location and permission to visit Little Man's youngest sister. The place where she is isn't far from where we were driving, so we went and saw her too. Knowing that someone is in a persistant vegatative state and seeing someone that way are two different things. And in spite of my trying to prepare Little Man for the sight of his little sister in a wheelchair and on a vent, unable to respond to him, it wasn't enough and he was unwilling to approach her for long. There will be more time for that later.
There is way too much going on in my head and heart to write all of it, so I will leave you with some pictures instead. There will be more visits ahead of us, at this point there is no reason to limit them.
Little Bird, A cousin, and Little Man in his new grandma's lap.
Little Bird, Little Man, and Little Man Jr.
The next two pictures are Little Man
Little Man Jr. Check out the family resemblance!
We had made a bunch of reprints of Little Man, like 50 of them! And we gave them to the family. There was a lot of, oh he has... so and so's nose, he looks just like... It was sweet.
Little Man enjoying his new nephew. (Personally, I thought that baby was so cute, I wanted to EAT him! NOM!)
Little Man and his little sister. She is 3.
The most amazing part to me? I couldn't see any family resemblence in her face, it is too deformed by years of laying in a bed. But her hands! She and Little Man have the same beautiful fingers. Long and delicate, with the most beautifully shaped nails.
The nurse said, I never noticed how beautiful her hands are. And I thought, you are not the mama, you do not have every inch of her skin memorized and delighted over. It made me so sad. There is no mother for her, no one to mother her. And my heart broke into a million pieces. It has been quite the day.
Friday, January 30, 2009
My head and heart are both spinning. Today was a day filled with many different emotions.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Your whole world changes. I was wandering around Sam's Club tonight, and my cell rang. "Is this Jo?" "Uh huh", I responded. "Hi, my name is Little Bird, I am your son's sister". Suddenly everything shifted. A name, a voice, a child. Death, loss, reconnection, sorrow, and joy, all wrapped into just a few words.
They were so disappointed to find out we didn't have another brother, they had heard we did. The state had called us when the little brother was born, but we had our hands full with Little Man, and knew we could not provide that level of care for another child. So we said no. And that quick, a child blew away in the winds of state care, and no one knows where he is. The people who do know, don't care. The people who care, don't know.
We are taking Little Man on Friday to meet his birth family. I was very clear in communicating to them that Little Man won't fully understand who they are. It is fine with us if they tell him everything, if they want him to call Little Bird his sister, I know it doesn't matter much to our boy, but it is the world to them. Who knew I would be grateful the level of his understanding being low would be a comfort to me someday? Knowing all he cares about is that they are nice to him, he will accept them as family without hesitation, and I hope for them, it brings comfort and closure.
Little Bird said, "is his hair wavy like mine?" My heart was pierced to the core with the longing encompassed in those words.
Yes, Little Bird, his hair is wavy like yours.
First a confession. I am on Facebook. Now you know that, any other Facebookers out there, I need your help! Or even if you aren't on Facebook, but this is still an issue you would to help with, please do!
One of my sister's students has the last name Kills the Enemy. Facebook will not allow her to join and in spite of repeated attempts to contact Facebook and have this issue addressed, she continues to be banned.
If you are on Facebook, would you please contact them with your concern on this issue?
This is an official link to for contact: Facebook contact click or copy and paste this: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact_generic.php
There is a drop down box to choose an issue, and we are all planning on using the issue, "sign up" so that all the emails go to the same department.
I do understand that Facebook needs to have a policy limiting what people can say is their last name. Otherwise, you could use swear words, or racially offensive terms. But there must be a way for this issue to be addressed fairly and with sensitivity to our multicultural world!
Also, we have started a Facebook group. Facebook: Don't Discriminate Against Native SurNames!
Link: Don't Discriminate
Any help, assistance or thoughts on this will be welcomed! I knew you guys would pull through for me, and this is the best way I have to get a group together. Let's put our heads and hearts together and solve this problem! Thank you, thank you and MWAH!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Yay! We had a storm that scrubbed the sky from that nasty pollution. It also rained and rained, and then snowed and snowed. As I drove out today to try to capture the mountains on (digital) film, I was awestruck by the beauty around me. Every weed and tree branch was carefully outlined in radiant white. The mountains were partially cloaked in clouds, but all around me, Mother Nature let me know, it was Winter and it was beautiful!
These last two are me playing with my Lensbaby lens.
And, as is a long standing tradition, Mountain Monday is also a day I showcase my favorite pictures from the week.
Check out the triple messy buns!
Squid is cute. Thumbsucking is cute and thumbsucking with the index finger nose hook? Off the charts darling!!!
The boy and his Squidling:
Little Man looking angelic asleep.
When you don't have much hair, your first pony tail is a BIG deal!
Today Princess and I were watching some Youtube stuff and the Pea got involved. We got in big trouble for filming her, but it was totally worth it! You don't have watch all of it, the best part is the first one, but dang, the kid is cute!
I had a great Monday, how was yours???
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Okay, the comments from Keri and Francesca are inspiring me to this post.
When I was a wee girl as shown in these two pictures,
(I am to the far left in both pictures, gotta love our 60's fashions)
We lived in a wee town in Northern California. It is called Winters. It was and is a small farming community, while not far as in miles from the larger cities of Sacramento and San Francisco, is a world away. They grow mostly fruit there and as the orchard picture illustrates, the spring is filled with fruit blossoms.
Because I grew up not only in a simpler place, but a simpler time, my memories of living in Winters are pastel hued and edged with golden summer light. Our house was backed by miles and miles of open land, so we children would just take off for hours a time, exploring gullies and fields, digging holes and making forts. Riding our bikes up and down the hills. I loved my years in Winters, all my sisters have the same memories that I do. Safety, freedom, childhood simplicity, is there anything better?
As a child of the sixties, the flower child era was a part of my life. Winters is in close proximity to Davis, which was and still is a hippie enclave. My 4th grade teacher lived in Davis and commuted to Winters to work. She drove a VW bug, had hair to her butt and taught us to sing Simon and Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence". We sang the song happily, not understanding the words of sorrow and disenfranchisement. The song still makes me happy!
Along with Davis, Winters is also close to the town of Dixon, home of the Dixon Mayfair. My younger sister, Little and Loud won a trophy in that same Mayfair for singing "I'm Little But I'm Loud". Good times, peeps, good times!
And a huge shout out to ANYONE who knows where Winters and Dixon are!! Mwah!
Monday, January 19, 2009
It is UGLY outside today. We are in the middle of an inversion. All of this part of Utah is trapped under a layer of pollution. Aided by our being flanked by the usually gorgeous mountains. Now the mountains are shrouded in yellow-gray ugliness. Not only is the air nasty looking, it is dangerous! We are under this advisory until Weds.
People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion
And all that is my reason for not putting up a current mountain picture from today. Instead I thought I would regal you with some other pictures from less toxic times.
I took my two oldest granddaughters, Pea, age 3 and June Bug, age 18 months for their first trip to Build A Bear!
I guess we wore them out!
These sunset pictures are from Dec 5th in what is quickly becoming MY sunset spot here. Lovely.
It isn't easy catching the boy in a good mood, but always worth it!
Speaking of the boy. His maternal aunt has our phone number, but hasn't called yet. I am not stressing about it anymore. It will be what it is. Little Man's oldest sister is the one who really wants to see him and I am very okay with that. Besides having today and tomorrow off from school, the boy is doing well. We tweaked his meds again, and there is definitely a drop in the foulness around here. On the foul-o-meter, with a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the worst, he has been in the 7 and 8's lately. Since the med tweaking last week, I would put him at 5's and 6's now. Not great, but definitely better. His blood work looks great, his infection in his back is healing nicely and well, good news all around I guess!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
His abscess is looking great! As in healing, not as in the sarcastic *great*. And he hasn't reacted to the sulfa drugs, so today, we are drawing huge sighs of relief. He is allergic to the penicillin family so we were concerned about the sulfa, since the other allergy increases the risk of reacting to sulfa drugs. But today, dawning bright and new, things are looking pretty good. Except we have ANOTHER dr appt at Sick Kids R Us, near the giant stinky lake filled with sea monkeys. This time with neurology.
On my mind today, much, much, more than the dr appt is the boy's birth family. By a weird set of circumstances, they have found us.
Adoption is very convoluted and never without many tangled and difficult feelings for every side of the triad. Not for the boy in this case, because he does not understand he is adopted. We have never made it a secret that he was adopted, thinking when he was small, that we wanted him comfortable with his origins. Little did we know that his low IQ would keep him from understanding very much at all. He insists that he grew in my tummy and when I tell him he didn't, he, being quite oppositional, always argues he did.
In a state adoption, because the child is removed, generally for some very good reasons, you are left with some uncomfortable and undeniable facts. Like drugs, domestic violence, neglect and abuse.
Little Man's birth mother is dead. She was a sad victim of all that is wrong in our society and her life and death were tragic. Her life choices of drugs left our son with a legacy of abuse that will last his whole life.
Our boy has an older sister who very much wants to see him. She is with her extended birth family. His little brother(s) are pretty much lost to us, fostered and adopted out into a system with too many secrets, and I don't think we will find them. His little sister, we have the potential of finding, but she is still very young, and in the custody of her birth father.
I am not concerned at all about Little Man's reactions in this. He will be fine. We have a HUGE family and he is very used to meeting cousins, aunts and uncles he had no idea existed. I am worried about them.
How will they deal with all his disabilities? Will they be angry or upset? Will they understand? What about all their feelings for the loss of his mother? Are they going to be upset that he doesn't understand who they are? I am just so not interested in any drama. But I can not deny them their connection to our son, and their desperate wanting to see him. We will deal with it the best we can.
I don't want to meet them at the house, I want to set up the first meeting some place fairly neutral. And then we will see how it goes. I just can't stop thinking about it.
Whoever said adoption is the easy way had NO idea what they were talking about.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Little Man has an abscess on his back. He got a scrape, oh probably a week ago and I didn't think a thing about it. But 3 days ago, it started to get red around the edges, so I started putting antibiotic cream on it. This morning, it looked like it was getting ugly, abscess or boil like. I called and thank goodness his doc had an appt open this afternoon. (I LOVE picking up my son early from school, and canceling his afterschool program, it rocks my days!) The doctor lanced* it today and put him on antibiotics. Part of my fear is his history of scary, fast, ugly skin infections. While this isn't one of those fast moving infections he has had in the past, it makes hubs and I nervous. We are also nervous because he is on a sulfa antibiotic and while he hasn't ever reacted to sulfa drugs before, the possibility lies before us, like quicksand, you don't really want to try and walk on it. And guess what? He has another doctor's appt on Thursday! I can hardly wait.
*lanced, sounds like a simple thing, right? Wrong! There was screaming, holding down, threats on both our parts. Little Man threatened to bite me, I threatened to not take him to McDonalds, it was UGLY, but we both survived.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I just want you to know that I will stop at nothing to get you the best mountain pictures my little brain can come up with. That includes stomping around in the snow, looking for the perfect picture. While I doubt any of these are perfect, they are beautiful and amazing. Enjoy! (the small version of these pictures just doesn't do them justice, if you see any you like, you need to click on it and you will be treated to the larger version)
I was told by the park rangers that these are Blue Heron tracks. I just thought they were cool. I also got to see a juvenile Bald Eagle hanging out in a dead tree. He was way too far away for me to get a picture though, sorry!
The sunset was beautiful but short. I love it when Utah dresses up to show off for my bloggy friends!
There was a glorious full moon the other night!
Once more I must thank you for letting me see Utah through fresh eyes. Honestly, you get used to how beautiful and majestic things are here, because you see it everyday. But when I see it through your eyes, it is all fresh, new and intensely beautiful. Hope you like them as much as I did.