Saturday, March 29, 2014

Girls Weekend

I'm down a child this weekend. BestestHusband left with LittleDebbie on Friday to visit his parents in MN for the weekend. So the big girls and I have a girls weekend planned. It's amazing how quickly our agenda has filled up. We have gymnastics, a birthday party, a play date, a volunteer event, church... Those are just the scheduled events. We also need to walk the dogs, watch our new Frozen video, buy new church shoes before a coupon runs out, paint toenails, make food for the firefighters... The list goes on and on. These things would be impossible with a baby around. But without her, well, it's possible. Hopefully. 

HeyMama is very motivated to make food for the firefighters. The recent tragedy has hit very close to home for some reason. Maybe it was because the fire was down the street from our church. Maybe it was because we saw it happening as we detoured repeatedly around Boston and Cambridge, trying to get to Wednesday Lenten services in the Back Bay. Maybe it is because both firefighters that died live in our side of town. And one of the funerals is down the street from us. And one was a father of 3. Whatever the reasons, we're all taking it pretty hard. 

We were living here the last time 2 firefighters died, and it was in West Roxbury, at a location we pass every day. It was tragic, but didn't feel this tragic. Perhaps this means that we're officially locals now. It feels like we lost two of "us", whatever "us" means. 

So tomorrow we'll try to bake something. And I'll get the girls to draw a picture and write a card. How exactly do you write a note to someone who lost the greatest man in their life - their husband or father? What do you say to the mother who lost her son? Especially when you've never met them, or the person they've lost? All I know is that they were aware that the job of a firefighter is to risk your life at a moment's notice to save the lives of others. And to love a firefighter is to know that any day is a day you could get an earth-shattering phone call - that the fire was too hot, too fast-moving, too uncontrollable for their loved one to escape. But that, thanks to him, the other people in the building did. 

So if you need someone to pray for, pray for firefighters, and their families. There are quite a few who could use those prayers right now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I’ve always known that I was adopted. I was told at an early age, so early that I don’t remember not knowing it. And adoption was spoken of so positively and matter-of-factly that the knowledge was never something that bothered me. I thought of it occasionally throughout the years. I’d been told that my mother was 18 when she had me. I occasionally calculated how old my birth parents would be, and occasionally looked at people the same age, wondering if I would recognize them on the street. In my self-absorbed moments of teen angst, I wondered why someone would “just give me away”. But when rational thought returned, I realized that was just silly. I had a pretty fortunate life, and I knew that I was very-much loved. My senior year, I contemplated what it would be like to be pregnant and dealing with the decision my birth mother had faced. I gained a full appreciation for it in college when classmates spoke of abortions. I was not a statistic. I was not discarded. I truly was loved.

Over the years, I’ve always spoken of my adoption openly. When someone asked if I’d ever try to find my biological parents, my answer was always, “Yes, Someday.”

I was raised by two wonderful parents. They always told me that they would support me if I tried to locate my birth parents Someday. I was a good student. I loved music and learned to play the French Horn. I played handbells at church. I was active in my church youth group. I had great friends there and at school. They knew I was adopted, but didn’t think much of it, especially since I looked and sounded so much like my adoptive parents. We spoke occasionally of what it would be like to find my birth parents Someday. But my life was pretty fine, pretty complete. There was no reason to go looking for something I didn’t miss.

I got scholarships to go off to college. I left Houston for Boston, and eventually stayed here to work. When I decided I was ready to go back to Texas, go to grad school, meet my Prince Charming, and start my “real life”, I met my reason to come back to Boston. I finished school, married BestestHusband, and started my career as a Speech Language Pathologist . We traveled. We bought a house. We got dogs. Then we got pregnant. We have 3 girls and 2 dogs. If this isn’t “real life”, I’m not sure what is!

Finding my birth parents was always something I’d do Someday. I was always too busy doing something else. I was training for a race. Or working and commuting too much. Or doing too much at church. Or not sleeping enough. Or taking care of too many babies. Or something. There was plenty of time for Someday to happen.

And then a few months ago, friends who’ve always known I was adopted started asking the same question: “Have you ever thought of finding your birth mother?” My answer was still the same, “Yes, Someday.” Having LittleDebbie brought up the issue, as well. She looks like a combo of my BestestHusband and me. HeyMama looks very much like BestestHusband's aunt. But MeToo – she didn’t really look like either of us. BestestHusband’s family is extensive. Genes surface and resurface in that gene pool across generations and time zones. MeToo does not resemble anyone in that gene pool. She favors me. But she doesn’t really look like me. She must look like the people that I come from. But who do I come from? Who do I look like? I was discussing the matter with a friend who encouraged me to reconsider the notion of Someday. Her estranged father had died suddenly the week before. She had hoped to reconcile Someday. But that door closed suddenly before she had the chance. And it can’t be re-opened. Someday doesn’t always happen.

So my Someday is now. I’m filling out the paperwork. I’m working with a social worker to start the process. I’m beginning the journey to find my birth parents. Maybe they’re fine with the door being closed. Maybe they’ve always wanted to find me Someday, too. But I’ll never know until I try to find them.