evolution of the story
A 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 extent she could. Then in May, the month of her birth, on our drive to a farm to meet some goats, we passed through the same town and the house where Jaye was born. We couldn’t stop this time, so instead while in the car I began telling Jaye her birth story, which ends with us on the same road headed home together. She asked me to repeat it over and over, and each time I added a new detail to the story. Jaye loved hearing how Kaye and I drank mango lassis the night before, how we ate ice cream while we waiting for our Indian takeaway. Jaye wanted to hear how, when Kaye was laboring, we drove the back roads in the middle of the night, by moon and starlight, while her Grandma prepared for our arrival. Jaye smiled wide as I described the moment she entered the world, how she was surrounded by love, how we were all so happy to meet her. She chuckled when I told how she was weighed in the hammock scale and cried her first tears when the midwives tried to measure her.
Since then, Jaye has wanted me to tell the story again and again. Once, when I got to the point where we said our teary goodbyes with long hugs and said we loved everyone before heading home, she asked “why” it was time to go home then. It’s a good question, actually. We had offered to stay longer, or to give Kaye more time alone with Jaye before placing her in our arms once more. Kaye had been advised, not just by us, that she should take as much time as she wanted. But after a very intense 36 hours more or less together — i.e., the first hours of Jaye’s life — it was agreed that we should get home to begin our new lives together, and to allow Kaye some time to herself. We would see each other again soon. So I told Jaye that Mama and Dada wanted to show Jaye her new home and her new room, and that we had to let Kaye rest so she could come visit us soon (and she did). We don’t have many photos of those first hours we shared together, but the few we do help illustrate the story well. The details of Jaye’s story seem to satisfy her, for now.
Some day, though, I know she’ll be asking “why” again. Why did Kaye ask us to be her Mama and Dada? Why did we take her home? Why couldn’t Jaye stay at her Grandma’s house where she was born? So many “whys” she may one day wish to know. I’m grateful I won’t have to answer all of those questions alone, that I can turn to Kaye to tell her story too. I can only hope that Kaye is available when that time comes, I mean truly accessible. Still, I know that as Jaye’s Mama and Dada, those questions will be first asked of us. And it makes everything about (adoptive) parenting up until that point seem easy.