At first my heart skipped and then I though it best to relax and see if the two things were actually connected. Maybe she had just been thinking of Mom and home and scribbled at the bottom of the page. Maybe they weren't really given the directive.
When we were doing her home work together yesterday evening I went through the exercise that the paper recommended. "Hold zero pennies in one hand and a few pennies in another hand and have your child tell you which hand has zero pennies." Pretty simple stuff.
We went through it and she did fine. I asked her, "What does zero mean?" She said, "It means you don't have one." Good answer. Then I asked her about the paper. I did not appear upset at all, I wasn't. I just wanted to know what she was thinking about. I asked what she meant when she wrote M O M there. She hesitated and then said, "That I don't have one." "You don't have a Mom?" "I mean I do, you. But I meant my mother in Guatemala."
"Do you think about the people in Guatemala sometimes?" She nodded her head yes and then she said, "Not really, but I dream about them." "You know it's okay to think about the people there and to miss them." She just nodded and was very uncomfortable.
I asked if she remembered when Mommy and Daddy came to bring her home. She said no. I brought out her picture book. Daniela was in the pictures too. She said, "I remember her but I don't remember her name." Such a sad story.
We talked about her face in the pictures. I asked her what it looked like she was feeling in her heart. That's one of the terms we use about feelings is our heart. I also tell her that she grew in my heart just the way that Mr. C and Lil Bro did. It is interesting at this age some of the pieces of the story are becoming more clear to her but it still gets all jumbled together. She is not yet able to clearly distinguish from her memories in Guatemala and her memories with us. They seem to be blurry bits and pieces that come together to make a confusing and sometimes scary picture for her.
This was the moment that Miss M and I met. For me, tears in my eyes and the wonder of this little girl who was to be my daughter. For her, yet more fear. Who is this person, what does she want, why did they tell me not to cry before she came?, why are they taking pictures?, where is my mother?
In appearance she was so tiny. She looked like a baby and my mind processed that she was my baby. The reality was she was a little girl who had already done a good bit of living and surviving in her two years of life. She was a person with a past headed into a future that wasn't her choice.
I have always had this intuition that I just kept quiet within me that for Miss M the girl who gave birth to her and kept her for 2 years will always be her "mother". I am the woman who is her caregiver and nurturer and I hope her friend but "mother" is the girl in Guatemala who gave birth to her in a home and two years later had to make a really hard decision.
When I started this journey in adoption that thought would have been a devastating blow, an unbearable rejection. But I don't feel that way now. I respect her past and I am glad to be a part of her present and future.
Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it. - unknown author