revisiting

Yesterday I took Jaye to the place she was born.

I’ve been trying to get out more often, and it was a good day for a drive. When we moved a year ago, it happened to be closer to Jaye’s birth family. While Kaye lives hours away, we now live just about a half an hour from Jaye’s Grandma Bea and her teen uncle. We try to see them every month or so, but they come to our place. We haven’t been to their house since Jaye learned to crawl.

This past weekend we drove through their town to visit a friend who lives nearby. As we passed her grandmother’s house, we told Jaye we would come back another time. So I made a plan for an impromptu visit the next day. It was a holiday and they were home.

Jaye has heard her birth story many times. She has seen the few photos we have, repeatedly. But it’s still an abstraction. Yesterday the memories came flooding back to me as we showed her every room in the house. Then we reached the place where she entered the world — i.e., Kaye’s bedroom. I stood there quietly recalling Kaye’s labor and the moments thereafter, as I told Jaye once more about holding her for the very first time. Then Jaye did what any toddler would have done: she began jumping on the bed. I took a quick video with my phone, and shot some photos of her gazing out the window — the same window from the first photos taken moments after her birth, when the midwives weighed her and we held her close.

Jaye also got to play with the kitties who were there when she was born and she thought that was pretty cool.

Though Jaye is probably too young to have more than mere sense memory of her birth, revisiting that space was powerful for me. I hope to convey the significance one day when she can understand more.

There are a lot of other things we’ve been revisiting in our open adoption. But that will have to wait for another day.

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~ by luna on February 21, 2012.

9 Responses to “revisiting”

  1. I love that story about “The Day You Were Born”: what a beautiful way to explain her birth. Just lovely 🙂

    My MIL read that story to my son when he was in the NICU. She said she hoped it would ground him closer to the earth. I can’t even open that book without crying about that.

  2. Dawn Friedman had an article in Adoptive Families within the last year about how healing it can be for a child to revisit her birth place.

    I imagine this time it had new meaning, new depth, for you.

    Eager to hear of the other revisiting, Luna.

    • she’s probably a bit young to appreciate the magnitude of it, but maybe some day the pictures will mean something. her grandma may move from that house within a few years, but we’ll at least have the photos, which could spurn her memory of having been there.

      the other revisiting is still unfolding, nothing too dramatic, just expectations and evolution… xo

  3. That’s kind of cool that we she was born in her grandma’s place, eh? When I was a kid, I used to love hearing about what happened to my mum when she went into hospital to have me. I wish I had been there for my son’s birth.

    • I’m so grateful that we were able to be there, not just for us, but to incorporate that into J’s story as we tell it. you tell what you can though, about the moment you met him, meeting his birth mum, etc. xo

  4. Wow what a great post. You are so amazing. I feel that you really embrace openness. I’m not a comfortable as you. Theo still does not actually know he was adopted! What is wrong with me. Here we are having his birthparents over and he doesn’t reallllllly know who they are…

    • harriet, at this age they don’t really understand what it means. I’ve told J, she knows she came from K’s “belly,” but she doesn’t understand what it means to have been adopted. I’m always looking for opportunities to explain, but really it’s a matter of age. what I’m hoping is that by the time she can really understand, she will already know they are family…

  5. […] few months ago I took Jaye to the place she was born. Then we came home and looked at pictures and I could see she was piecing the story together, to the […]

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