Sunday, March 27, 2011

Let's take a walk...

A walk down memory lane.  Let's walk back six years. Six years from today.

Picture this...........
A quiet hotel room amidst a bustling city along the Ganjiang River. A woman quietly folds and refolds tiny clothes, not quite sure how to put things back, how to arrange these unfamiliar articles. A man paces the room, looking often at the view of the if seeking for something he'll not find.  Not out there at least.

The phone rings, breaking the silence. The couple turns and stares at it, unable to quite fathom what it truly means.

The voice on the line tells them to hurry to the elevator, that the moment has come.

They have arrived.

The couple wait - excited, scared, thrilled and terrified all at once. How will these next moments change their lives forever? The woman starts to cry, unexpected tears full of emotions too hard to put to words. The man comforts her, says it will be alright.

As the elevator doors open a line of women exit, carrying small bundled objects. Eight sweet babies, some with red faces full of tears, some staring silently as if wondering what would come next, all about to embark on the next part of the journey of their lives.

Names are called, matches are made. The couple wait, ever so anxious, scared, so excited and....

They hear their name called, they are asked some basic info and then. And then.

I became a Mom.

Six years ago today, I became a Mom.

Those intense feelings that had been in my heart for ages were finally becoming a reality. The dream of actually seeing her in person, of holding her, of being Mom were now fully real. The love I'd felt for a photo of a small chubby baby now had a smell, a feel and a weight.

She had a voice as well, and boy oh boy did she use it. What a bittersweet moment becoming a parent to an older infant can be. All those months preparing for this very moment, but never being fully prepared.

Now let's picture the days to follow.

Bus rides were peaceful as well as late night. In between was hard, for my sweet QingLu - it was a new beginning she'd never asked for. Her world was with another "Mama" and parting from her was so painful. But as days went by she grew to like us, more and more. Until we became all she knew, all she needed.   I started to really feel like a Mom too, the more she allowed me in, allowed me to care for her and love her, the stronger those bonds became.  I remember the day she first smiled at me, the warmth of that beautiful grin produced just for me.

We still do talk of her "other mother", the one who fostered her. We speak of the obvious care and love she gave to that baby girl, and of the gratitude I'll always feel for giving her such a positive start in life.

And of course we talk about the most important "others". The ones she will never again know, only knew for a brief moment. Today probably means nothing to them, yet I seem to think of them so much on this day, more so than any other day really.  I feel a pain for them, for never knowing what a joy, what a gift and what an amazing being they brought into this world. What I would give to just let them know....share with them my gratitude. 

But honestly I can't dwell, because on this day I celebrate the awesome blessing I received six years ago.   I celebrate this child, my child, so full of sparkle and depth and joy. 
My sometimes quiet and reserved child, the one who wants to know the rules so she is sure not to break them.  My sweet girl who is always full of laughter - that deep warm laugh that radiates through and through.  My dumpling who is good at singing and dancing, but even better at making up new lyrics.  Her creativity is wonderful and she makes up songs to calm her brother, to let me know what she wants for dessert and sometimes just to amuse herself.   My artist, she has such an ability to create drawings that pop with life and that are so very detailed it amazes me on a regular basis!  My little girl who is growing into such a young lady who is gaining such self confidence and poise.
My Simone QingLu, my daughter.
I love you all the way to Pluto and around the universe.  And back..... Happy Family Day my love.
The day she first smiled at me...on the bus ride from the park to the hotel.


Laura said...

You have such a gift for writing and, as a fellow China mom, your post touches me so! Happy family day to you all. And thank you - I've never heard it put so poignantly - the fact that to "the others", this day likely means nothing. My guess is there are other days far more significant to Sara's China parents. But for me, family day is the day I think of them often.
Thank you for your post and for sharing.

Teresa said...

Oh those firstborns! Always wanting to know the rules. Wait until she starts to enforce those rules on her brother. Peter is quick to be my enforcer.
What a beautiful picture you created with your writing. You definitely have a gift. Congratulations on 6 years as a mom!

momwithfaithandhope said...

I enjoyed walking down memory lane with you. You capture that moment of becoming a Mom so beautifully! First babes are the ones who will always get to hold THAT key. . .the key of becoming a Mom. Happy Family Day!

Lisa said...

Beautiful my friend.....absolutely stunning this reflections of those years ago...the nervous anticipation...anxieties to the blessed joy of holding that long awaited baby girl.

This really grabbed me ~ took me right along for that journey backwards AND to this day of celebrating the miracle girl in your lives!

Hugs and love.....this should be published!!!! :)

michelle said...

What a beautiful memory to be cherished forever! Simone was such a beauty then and has grown into a beautiful young lady. Happy family day!! It has such special meaning for all of us who have been on this journey! Thank you for sharing!

Julie and Dean said...

Becoming a mom, the greatest gift in the world! The greatest day! I remember those similar feelings, I remember pacing a hole in the floor waiting, waiting, waiting. Thank you for reminding me of those memories :)
Hope to see you all soon.

Terry said...

Hi Jen! Just catching up and saw this amazing "walk". You have touched every emotion from that very special day!! And your story is very well written, full of love! Happy Family Day! Simone is a beautiful girl then and now.

Thanks for helping me revisit such a special day for our family too when we walked in similar steps! :)