Monday, June 25, 2012

Mothers and Daughters . . .



Warning: I've been processing some big life stuff lately, and I'm going to slip some news in at the end of this post. I'm going to aim for a deceptively light, perhaps brisk, hopefully not flip, tone, drop the news and keep moving. Not ready to do much more than that. Don't worry for me, it's not a marriage issue. It's big news, not bad news. . . you'll see.

I'm often away on Mother's Day and my birthday, and that was the case this year again. But my girls decided not to let the days slip by uncelebrated, so they arranged a lovely belated treat for me at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. A sumptuous contemporary space, the huge room was kept cozy by the intimately nestled groupings of chairs as well as by warm and welcoming service. Warm enough that we could probably have got our group picture taken if one of us had thought to bring a proper camera. Instead, we flashed our phones at each other, so we have everyone represented, just not altogether. Sister #1 above, and below on the left, with Sister #2 and me. . .
We each chose from a box containing 15 or 20 bottles of different wonderful and exotic teas, passing them around to open the stoppers and sniff the delicious scents.
Above, Sister #3 (currently growing my next grandbaby) and Sister #2 (who almost didn't join us, having accidentally banged the finger she broke last weekend -- poor little hand is horridly green and yellow)
Before the tea, we ordered a glass of Brut (a sparkling non-alco cocktail for the incubator). I felt as calmly happy as this one (below) looks . . . very close to smugly content, I was, very close . . .
Thank you, girls. . .

And if that's not enough Daughter time for a belated Mother's Day/birthday weekend, I also had a reunion with this beautiful, gracious, smart, so-thoughtful young woman. The reunion followed over 35 years (I won't say more precisely because, you know, ages over 30 are for their oners to divulge . . . ) of separation. It followed a private message sent on Facebook introducing, speculating, and inviting.
The invitation was accepted with alacrity (and with tears) and Firstborn Daughter and I met Sunday afternoon. We talked for hours and I hope we've begun building a relationship, but who knows what shape that will take. I know she reads this blog, though, and I couldn't post about tea with my three girls without publicly acknowledging her as a daughter. Of course, she already has her own wonderful mother (and she shared photos from her idyllic childhood in which she was obviously very well loved by a besotted mother and father). But I'm honoured to have brought her into this world and moved beyond any words I can manage here to have the privilege of meeting her now.
I don't seem to have managed light, nor perhaps even brisk. Some might wonder why I would introduce this news here at all. And so do I. Beyond my immediate family, I have only shared this with carefully chosen ears over the years. But it's a fact I don't want to have to tippy-toe around and I want my Daughter to know that she doesn't have to protect me. So there you have it.

I think my tone belies the emotions I'm processing, the work I'm doing on so many levels. I'm not ready to talk about that here nor do I think I will necessarily ever want to. Should you comment, I'm not sure I'll engage as much as I generally do, although I suspect I'll be grateful for your comments which I anticipate will be supportive and thoughtful as I've come to expect from you. Thanks, in advance

60 comments:

  1. I am an adoptee who has never met her birth mother. You are a wonderful mother to All of your children.

    -Carol, queenofmaye@yahoo.com

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    1. Carol, it's such an individual decision -- and, of course, there are at least two individuals involved. Thanks so much for taking time to comment here.

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  2. My first thought, at reading the title of this post is that I've been working on a Fathers and Daughters post. Then I read down the page and saw your news. As the mother of two children adopted at birth, this touched me deeply. There were many moments during our daughter's recent wedding when I thought of her birth mother and wondered about her, blessed her and prayed that her life has been as happy as ours.
    What a beautiful first born!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing this -- it's a delicate connection, that between birth and adoptive mothers, isn't it . . . and thank you . . . she is beautiful, isn't she?!

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  3. All of your daughters are radiant! Thank you for sharing your big news here.

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  4. BIG news indeed! I can't help noticing how alike you are physically, and no doubt future meetings will reveal whether or not you have similar dispositions. I look forward to hearing about that if you choose to share, which of course you may not.

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    1. Thanks, Lesley -- it's pretty striking, the family resemblance (to one of my sisters especially). I do hope to be able to share more about the journey, but time will tell.

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  5. She is very beautiful Mater. I'm glad you two met each other after all of these years. Another lovely daughter. So nice of your girls to make time to celebrate with you.

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    1. Thanks, Susan -- I feel very blessed.

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  6. I am sure that you have mixed emotions but the fact that you have met up and are in touch is truly a blessing.
    You are surrounded by many lovely women mater!
    Take care,
    Hostess
    XO

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    1. So mixed, as any mother could imagine. Thanks Lesley.

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  7. Oh, that IS big news. I think you're both very brave and hope so much that you'll be able to build on what sounds like a very promising beginning. Best wishes to you and all your lovely daughters.
    Rosemary

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    1. I'd say the bravery is more on my daughter's part, but I'll admit that some of the process feels a bit scary. But promising, as you say. Thanks very much Rosemary.

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  8. Oh WOW. It's big news, and (I hope) wonderful news. All of your girls are so lovely and look so much like you.

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    1. Big, wonderful news indeed -- and thank you, I think they're lovely too.

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  9. Dear Mater, I enjoy your blog for so many reasons and this post is lovely as are you and all of your beautiful daughters. Thank you for the gracious and thoughtful voice you provide in the cyber world.
    Sincerely, Marysue

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Marysue. It is especially appreciated given how vulnerable this post makes me feel.

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  10. Moved to tears. Didn't expect that. You have a lovely family. What a beautiful day.

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  11. Bravo. This took immense courage, then and now. All of your daughters are beautiful. Sending you a virtual hug.

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    1. Thank you -- virtual (and all) hugs very welcome!

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  12. Many would not have the courage to respond to the email, yet alone follow it through with a meet-up. Fortune favours the brave and I hope that your immensely courageous, heart-centred attitude to life reaps many blessings upon you all.
    Hester

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    1. Thanks, Hester. It felt like an absolute imperative, the only response to such a beautiful invitation, rather than an act of courage, but it's definitely a step into the unknown.

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  13. I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I know your amazing daughter, I didn't know about this part of her life. The one I do know about and I know it for sure that she is the most loving, amazing mother of 4 and one of the nicest people I know. I wish you both the best in your future together.
    Roxanne

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    1. Thanks, Roxanne, it's lovely to hear from one of her friends. I can already sense what you're attesting to and hope I'll get to know for myself in the years to come.

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  14. Big and exciting news. Wishing you and all your lovely daughters much happiness.

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  15. I have tears in my eyes. I can see the resemblance...and I can only imagine the mix of feelings attached, though I know from similar circumstances in my own extended family.

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    1. A mix indeed -- and there's definitely resemblance, isn't there. . .

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  16. I've never commented before, but what a lovely post. All of your daughters are beautiful, and I wish all of your family the best in exploring these unchartered waters.

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    1. Thanks very much for your comment, Brenda. It means a lot, as does your wish for my family.

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  17. Holy! I wasn't expecting that! You are a very fortunate woman - with such gorgeous daughters - all of whom look just like you :-) I cannot even imagine the intensity of such an experience. In a bizarre turn, in the last week, I have learned about experiences of 4 women who have grappled with giving children up for adoption (these women were very young when their first children were born). All of the children have wonderful adoptive parents and have reconnected with their birth mothers. It's an amazing affirmation. I'm so happy that such a wonderful mother as you can experience this kind of closure - and potential beginning. I wish you all great joy in this discovery. xoxo

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    1. What an odd coincidence! It's definitely intense and the waters will continue to ripple around here, I know. Thanks for your good wishes. hugs back . . .

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  18. Wow. What a brave and moving post. Thank you. I have cousins who were adopted by my family; and cousins who were given up by my family. I also have two older brothers who were given up by my mother when they were 2 and 3 respectively. I now have relationships with them entirely separate to my mother. I wish she had the grace that you do. You really deserve the beautiful girls (and boy!) you've been blessed with.

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    1. I'm so glad you were able to develop those relationships with your brothers. And I think the more we talk about these issues, the more we find out how many people are touched by them. I treasure my nuclear family, but as a concept it can be pretty dogmatic and constraining. . . .

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  19. Oh, F. It may indeed be impossible to be light and brisk, but you have been clear and compassionate to all -- including yourself -- and that's most important. Like others who have responded here, I too am someone who's never met my birth mother, and I can't remember whether or not you and I have ever discussed it. Adoption touches so many of us.

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    1. We've talked about this, Tanis, and I have to say that your experience, your relationship with your adoptive mother, has always been hugely reassuring to me. Thanks for taking time to comment here. But we'll chat more about this elsewhere, won't we?!

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  20. Wow! You are a wonderful person......that is all I can write as these tears are making me blind.
    Luv Karen

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I would love to believe that, but it's more than I deserve. . .

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  21. Hi Mater - I, too, have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful post. I'm so happy for you and your daughter. She is indeed very blessed to belong to two wonderful families.
    I must say you were very crafty - I was puzzled right away at your calling your daughters 'Sister 1' etc. Didn't expect this though! P.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I was trying to be careful with my words, rather than crafty, wanting to honour and include everyone. I'm not sure it worked, but that's what I was aiming for . . .

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    2. Yes, careful is a much better word!! P.

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  22. Wow. The power of the embrace is clearly overwhelming.

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    1. Overwhelming was the operative word this week. . .

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  23. Oh my gosh. My first thought was "Wow." My next thought was, "She is so lucky to have not 4 but 5 children." And then I wanted to sit down with you late at night on a sofa and hear stories. Of course you need to keep them private. But still, the narrative I'd imagined for your life shuffles, like cards, just a bit.

    I wish the two of you, and your whole entire family, the best of luck and happiness in this new order. xoxoxox

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    1. In so many ways, I'd want that late night with a sympathetic, somewhat neutral soul who nonetheless cares for me and wants to hear my stories.
      You hone in on my awareness that everyone's perception(s) of my will shift, but you put that shift in a positive context, thank you!

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  24. All your daughters are so vital and beautiful. I am grateful that such reunions can now take place, thanks to new attitudes and technology, and admire you for taking the steps... which, knowing you, seems just what you would do.

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    1. Thanks, Duchesse -- they really are, I think. And yes, I don't take this reunion for granted, and there is still much more tension around it than one might know from this post, these photos. Comments such as yours, this collective encouragement, helps more than I can say.

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  25. Such a moving post about a profound life experience, Mater, and so brave to share the story. But, as you say, you don't want to tippy-toe around something so important. There are stories like this within my own family - and I have my own story - so your words resonated as I read your post.

    Many years ago, I spent a day with writer, Betty Friedan, and she wrote these words on the flyleaf of one of her books for me: 'Courage on the new road . . .' And that is exactly the wish that I am sending to you and all your wonderful daughters today.

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    1. Thanks, 60/16 -- if we could ever have the night of stories that LPC imagines (above), I'd want you to tell of that day with Betty Friedan. Thank you so very much for sharing her wish -- I'm so grateful that women, my daughters included, have new roads to travel. The old ones were miserably potholed and led, so often, to dead ends.

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  26. Not tremulous but courageous. Your daughters are lovely and all look so much like you. My first thought was how brave you were and still are. And then how amazing to have another daughter and to find her. I am sure there has been much whirling and jumbling of thoughts and emotions and I wish you all the luck in the world.

    Wish I could just sit a bit and proffer a hug.

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  27. I'm convinced your ear and your hug would be just what I need . . . thanks, Mardel.

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  28. Amazing! I hope to talk with you about all of this someday. I am so glad that you have reconnected.

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  29. A beautiful story--thank you (and all your daughters) for sharing it. You may have given others the courage to pursue their own history of separation and reunion.

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    1. Thanks, Patti. These stories and histories are all so personal; mine has included supportive family and friends. I'd wish that for others with related stories as much or more than the courage -- in the end, I feel as if it's the former that mattered most in this story.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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