Facing my own demons

adoption, adoption loss, life,

All I have of my daughter… Memories…..

As I said in previous post, this year, birth months have been particularly hard on me. With R’s birthday rapidly approaching, I find my memories of her penetrating my every waking and sleeping moment. The bitter sweet memories of the child I had and lost seem to be somehow tangible. As if I could reach out and hold her in my arms again. Sometimes, like last night, I do reach out in my sleep for her, only to find the motions of my physical body wakes me from my sleep and R is no longer there, reaching for Mommy.

So this morning, I would like to write some of those memories of the brief time that I had this wonderful child in my life. She is no longer a child, I know, 23.. Wow, it’s hard to comprehend that my daughter is going to be 23 years old this very month. While I am forever locked in her childhood, because she was so violently ripped out of my embrace and I was never allowed to see her grow into womanhood.

Even though I did get to see her once as a teen, my dreams are always of that five year old girl who I so long to hold again and make it all better. I wonder how this will play out when (I no longer allow myself to say if, it is when) I do finally get to meet her as an adult. Will the five year old girl grow up in my dreams? How will this happen, when I never got to see the process of that growth? Maybe my dreams will just suddenly change from five to adult.

But as for now, my memories are all I have. My memories of that beautiful baby growing so quickly into such a beautiful child, inside and out. I was always amazed, with both of my girls, how quickly their personalities seem to start forming. When they were just babies, they started showing their own unique personality that grew with their physical and mental growth.

Even as a tiny baby, when R was first learning to focus on objects other than mommy, showed signs of amazement of the world around her. That “amazement” never went away, it only grew into a wonderment for all the beauty she saw in almost everything and everyone. Seeing the world a new, through her eyes, helped me see beauty that I had forgotten.  With nature, R saw beauty to be equal in a fresh new rose bloom as she did with a weed that had popped up through the cracks in the sidewalk. All of God’s earth was beautiful in her eyes. “Look mommy, pretty!” was a statement I heard from her many times a day.

It was no different for her with the people and animals she saw ether. I had a hard time teaching that child about the danger of stray animals and strange people, because all she saw was the beauty of life. On any of our outings, when a stranger would stop to talk to her, as people often do to young children, R would stare at them intently, drinking in every nuance of their physical appearance and their mannerisms. No matter what they appeared like to others, to R they were “pretty” just because they were alive.

When someone said, “My aren’t you just the prettiest little girl.”

She would reply, ” No,You pretty.” and some would engage her in a mock debate over who was the prettiest. She’d always win, as most adults are busy with life and can’t out argue a toddler. LOL

 R also had some of my personality traits, that she took and happily bent to suit her own personal beliefs. She had my sensitivity. She would just as easily cry for the poor spider that was stepped on as she did the stray dog that got ran over by a car. She got her feelings hurt easily as well, like me. That was unfortunate because of the way she saw the world. If someone dared to disagree with her about the weed being “pretty” she would be heart broken that they couldn’t see it’s beauty.

She was only four years old the first time she ever saw a homeless person. We were grocery shopping and he was laying on a broken down box in front of the store, sleeping. She asked me why he was sleeping there, why didn’t he go home to sleep?

I told her, in the best way I could explain to a four year old, that he didn’t have a home. She cried. I cried. We cried all the way through the grocery store. I let her pick out a few things to give to him to eat in the store and along with the pre made sandwiches, which was something she loved so naturally she picked them, she chose some candy bars and a teddy bear. She said the teddy bear would help him feel safer.

She often, even as a baby, would try to mock me in motherhood. Even before her little sister was born, R seemed to be the “older” sister. She would love on her dolls and toys and feed her toy cars when “they were hungry” and teach them things that I had taught her. Like the alphabet song. Even though she had trouble with the proununciation, I would catch her teaching her stuffed animals and correcting them if “they missed a part” with so much patience. That patience was not reserved for her imaginary friends. When her sister came into her life, she showed the same patience with her. She never lost her temper with her baby sister, never. It was amazing to me how they never seemed to disagree at all. Maybe because they were so young, or maybe because it wasn’t in R’s nature to disagree. She couldn’t stand to see other’s hurt.

R was not, however, a good child to learn from in the sence that she was the first and I had no clue how to teach her some things. When her little sister was born, it was like I was still a first time mother. Because most of what R had to learn in the early days of childhood, she learned almost on her own, with little help from me.

Not that I didn’t want to help her, she just didn’t need that much help. As in winging her from the bottle. When the time came that I thought she was ready, apparently, she thought so too. I put away all her bottles and she never cried for one, she would just gladly except her sippy cup. I didn’t know that you could wing them slowly by only allowing a bottle at bed time for a while. And R never complained about it at all. Never had trouble going to sleep. It really was just that easy.

Or potty training, Just before I lost my girls, I was struggling with ‘Tish to potty train, because I had learned nothing about it from R.

When R became able to follow me, that is exactly what she did. She followed me. I no longer had to put her in her crib while I went to the bathroom because she followed me. I learned quickly that going to the bathroom alone was a luxury not afforded to mothers. I didn’t care. I loved it. I loved spending every minute with R. Sometimes at night when she was sleeping, I was very lonely without her.

So from the very beginning of her life, I always gave her names of objects and events. These names evolved as she learned more understanding of words. “Whea we go?” she’d always ask when I started somewhere, “Mommy’s got to go potty.” I’d answer. Evenually, I purchased a potty chair, R had just started walking at the time. I put it on display in the bathroom, right across from “mommy’s potty” I did this, knowing that she was too young to potty train, but it was my introduction to her. And I talked about it. I talked about someday she’d wear pretty big girl panties and use the potty instead of using a diaper.

To my amazement, shortly after I began the “talking” phase and without actually showing her the “pretty big girl panties” of which I spoke. One day when she was “helping” me fold laundry. (which really means she was grabbing my folder laundry and wadding it up. ha.) She picked up a pair of my underwear and said, “pretty panties. I wear!” Oh man, I can remember that as if it were yesterday. I can see her in my mind, her face all full of exitement.

I think I explained to her that she would have to use the potty to wear panties… What exactly I said or she said after that is a little fuzzy. But it ended with me pulling out her “pretty big girl panties” that I had already bought and put away and she never wore diapers again, except at bed time. And truly, she had very few accidents. Most of those few accidents were my fault. Because she would cry if I tried to put a diaper on her when we went out and I would always give in to her. Then I sometimes couldn’t find a bathroom in time, when she “nee to go potty”

 I know that all parents tend to exagerate how smart their child is. But honestly, I don’t have to exagerate about R. She was that Amazing. Of course, this my memories of her, and it’s bound to be a little bias. Of course, she did, like all children must, struggle at times to learn new things. Sometimes she stumbled and might even fall, but she always, as they say; “Got right back up” and kept trying at whatever her task of learning was until she had it down pat. She was so eager to learn new things. And when she did learn them, she never forgot. She would hang on to her new knowledge tight, even as she forge ahead to find a new knowledge to gain.

Oh how my heart aches for her now. I didn’t see that in her when we reunited while she was a teen. Did being ripped away from her mother rob her of her desire to learn or her love for beauty…Or perhaps, I wasn’t with her long enough to see those traits. Are they still there? Does she still see beauty in a weed? Does she still feel compation for a stranger? Does she still know how much I love her?! I want to know that more than any thing else. My sweet R. I love you still! I ache for you to be in my life. My heart, my soul cries for the loss that we both had to endure.

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August 6, 2006 - Posted by | past, Uncategorized

3 Comments »

  1. I so hope you will find her one day.

    Comment by reunionwritings | August 6, 2006 | Reply

  2. What a beautiful little girl your daughter was at that young age. I hope that she still has that same spirit today, as a young woman. And I pray that you will one day meet again and get to spend enough time with her to get to know her all over again!

    Comment by Overwhelmed! | August 9, 2006 | Reply

  3. What a nice memory of R. You are right though, she was a beautiful little girl and very caring. I remember once when I came to visit, Dad & R. brought R & L. to the airport with them to pick me up. Well little R. was fasinated that I came to visit in a big elephante (that’s what R. called a airplane. lol) I know that R has grown up to be a beautiful young lady and hopefully one day soon you will be reunited with R. & L.

    Big hugs, Sis,
    Love, Kel

    Comment by Kelly | August 12, 2006 | Reply


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