The Wind Speaks Back

I can’t really account for why she’s come back, but surprisingly enough, she has. After a year and a half, and what seems like a million “nudges,” N. finally responded at the end of last week. I half-heartedly sent a PM of “hi there” on her FB page, knowing she wouldn’t respond, and then there she was. As if she’d never been gone. No explanations for the absence, or the reappearance (I wouldn’t ask for any), she’s just back. With that one “hi there,” we now have emailed several times, spoken over the phone with both the Woob and I, and are looking at our calendars for a visit each way.

All this makes me really, really happy. Really glad for my boy, and even for myself, as I had gotten to feeling like we were friends before. Maybe we are, but how would I know if we weren’t?

At the same time all of this makes me really, really nervous for us all, too. I’m afraid of fun and visits and familiarity being taken back again. Eighteen months from this side of it seems simply too long; the questions get too big, the silences are so loud. Ah, the risk of heartbreak…its a tough one.

I have heard other adoptive parents say they avoided openness, afraid that it would end and they’d be left holding their child’s heart in their hands. I’ve heard from first parents who’ve indicated the openness would be too hard, too painful to keep opening the wound and having to try to reheal after every contact. I don’t know that there’s any painless way to do adoption for anyone. I know I figure least in the whole equation by far. By its nature its just hard (understatement, I know) dealing with questions and separation and loss. But I do believe that this is worth the risk in the long run. Even if we don’t ever meet again, I think it has been worth it for Woob to know where he comes from, that they are “out there,” and that they love/d him. Right now it seems like we’re on the right track again to good things and I’m going to do whatever I can to keep that going for as long as I can. N. gets the task of taking responsibility for her own feelings and what she can and can’t do; what is or isn’t good for her, and while she’s letting us in, I’m going in. If she needs to back out again, she can (I just hope she warns us a bit first).

I believe its the right thing for us to pursue these relationships because Woob himself tells me in different ways all the time that his first family is on his mind. Here’s an example…hubby had a Montgomery Gentry cd in the car, and Woob kept wanting the song “something to be proud of” to be played each day on the way to school. I was getting pretty tired of that song! If you’re not familiar with it, here are the lyrics:

There’s a story that my daddy tells religiously

Like clockwork every time he sees an opening

In a conversation about the way things used to be

Well I’d just roll my eyes and make a bee-line for the door

But I’d always wind up starry-eyed, cross-legged on the floor

Hanging on to every word

Man, the things I heard

It was harder times and longer days

Five miles to school, uphill both ways

We were cane switch raised, and dirt floor poor

‘Course that was back before the war

Yeah, your uncle and I made quite a pair

Flying F-15’s through hostile air

He went down but they missed me by a hair

He’d always stop right there and say…

That’s something to be proud of

That’s a life you can hang your hat on

That’s a chin held high as the tears fall down

A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out

Like a small town flag a-flyin’

Or a newborn baby cryin’

In the arms of the woman that you love

That’s something to be proud of

Son graduatin’ college, that was mama’s dream

But I was on my way to anywhere else when I turned 18

Cuz when you gotta fast car you think you’ve got everything

I learned quick those GTO’s don’t run on faith

I ended up broken down in some town north of L.A.

Working maximum hours for minimum wage

Well, I fell in love, next thing I know

The babies came, the car got sold

I sure do miss that old hot rod

But you sure save gas in them foreign jobs

Dad, I wonder if I ever let you down

If you’re ashamed how I turned out

Well, he lowered his voice, then he raised his brow

Said, lemme tell ya right now

That’s something to be proud of

That’s a life you can hang your hat on

You don’t need to make a million

Just be thankful to be workin’

If you’re doing what you’re able

And putting food there on the table

And providing for the family that you love

That’s something to be proud of

And if all you ever really do is the best you can

Well, you did it man

That’s something to be proud of

That’s a life you can hang your hat on

That’s a chin held high as the tears fall down

A gut sucked in, a chest stuck out

Like a small town flag a-flyin’

Or a newborn baby cryin’

In the arms of the woman that you love

That’s something to be proud of

That’s something to be proud of

Yeah, that’s something to be proud of

That’s something to be proud of

Now that’s something to be proud of

So I asked when one day, when I couldn’t listen another time, “what is it that you like so much about this song?”  He answered,  “When he talks about the newborn baby crying, it makes me remember my mom.”  And there it is.  His ears are always listening, his eyes are always looking for her in different ways that there’s no way I can always tune into.  Its important to him.  So its important to me.

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1 Comment

Filed under adoption, open adoption

One response to “The Wind Speaks Back

  1. Donna

    Beautifully written. I am the adoptive mother of two beautiful daughters now ages 29 and 23 both of whom are in open adoptions. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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