Happy birthday to me!
Oh cratered heart
holy like Mother Teresa
and Swiss cheese
Eaten by disappointment
from the moment of conception
birthed into the recycling bin
to be repurposed into something more useful
It becomes a hardened pit
squeezed tight with shuttered angst
surrounded by a sea of tears
whose salt will season the pain
And when the tides subside
and pull away from the gritty sands
it leaves behind a moist wet world
fed by a juicy beating heart
Do you search
in the still of the night
when memories moth-drawn
cling to fire lit sparks
Do you lay
in faces that pass
from mirrored creations
What has become
of the give away gift
turned over to fate
gone from grieving decisions
Is she there
feeling my midnight ache
dark slice alone
when you could have been mine
Many years ago I did something that most think was to help someone else, but it was really to help me. It was actually not a selfless move to save a part of the world, but to save a part of me.
The journey began when I decided I wanted to adopt a baby. I am adopted as some of you may recall. It was not an easy journey, as I had criteria that made constraints that other people adopting might not have through their paths. It was my goal to stay within the US and to maintain birth order (my husband at the time and I had a 3-year-old), so when approaching an adoption agency, they showed us the ‘blue book’ of the “waiting children”–it appeared as though this might be impossible. Either we would have to take on siblings of 4 or teenagers. Neither of these situations seemed fair to my daughter.
But then the social worker mentioned foster care: the backdoor to adoption. At that time, 51% of foster children got adopted by their foster parents. It seemed like a reasonable plan to me, especially since I was a stay at home Mom anyway.
I won’t go through it all, because this is not what this post is about. Suffice to say, we became foster parents, eventually to a 2-year-old girl: mentally challenged, but high functioning, emotionally rocked by her first 2 years and HIV positive.
That toddler is now my 25-year-old daughter and she just had my first grandchild today–a little boy.
It has been a rocky road all along. My 3-year-old (now almost 28) has had a rough relationship with her, which has worsened as an adult. The birth daughter that came after her, has a distant, but OK relationship. And this daughter’s life has been one challenge after another. While her health is way better than anyone would have predicted (they figured she wouldn’t live past 9 years old), she has met with prejudice, job losses, school bullies and lots of tears.
She has been with her partner for many years, a young man who is also mentally challenged, more so than she. When she announced her pregnancy, we were all pretty upset. They are poor, with no jobs, living in abject poverty. While we help, there is only so much you can help those who often do not believe they need it.There was great concern for the welfare of a baby coming into these circumstances.
But she was determined, and her determination has always been one of her greatest (and sometimes most frustrating) attributes.
So today he was born. The doctors have taken every precaution, and so has she, that this baby be born HIV free. My daughter has tried very hard to take care of herself and many around her have been helping to get her hooked up with the proper services so there will be the best possible outcome down the road.
It is so easy to be negative, but success can’t happen unless we believe it is possible. Sometimes I think that she never thought much about her HIV and just figured she would live a normal life, so she has. And I understand her desire for baby, someone who belongs to her through genes, looks like her and comes from her. I get it when no-one else in my family may understand this–because we both have that connection, that mutual disconnect from our birth heritage.
So on this day, I will celebrate her decision and her new baby, my grand-baby. Because her adoption wasn’t about fixing her, it was to rescue a part of me.
Can I crawl into your womb
Swimming silently upstream
Quietly this time
Maybe as someone else
Or float around
In the darkness
Getting my bearing
Womb cave cover
That sweet swollen capsule
Rocketing to moons
Until I land
With a thud
On the place called Earth
Now dirt and mud
Dry brittle dust
It’s all sucked away
And there on the ground
All red and brown
I just lay down
Are any of you like me? Do you day-dream about the day the miracle will come into your life? Sometimes I feel I am so foolish as I sit in front of my meditation table and think about miracles…day after day, wondering, hoping.
I guess we/I do this when there is something missing in our lives. It can be something we know is missing like for me, my birth family… My eyes close and the miracle dream starts to congeal where the email or unknown phone number appears on my phone and it’s that long-lost relative who has finally found me.
Or maybe it’s one of those miracles you’re not really sure about, but if it came to you then you’d know it was meant to be, because isn’t that what miracles are all about after all? That life-companion you’ve been waiting for, the one that the movies show you turn up in the most unlikely places (but really don’t)–the person that finally is your best friend and is for real.
How about the miracle of waking up every day and being able to say: I can’t wait to go to work–I love what I do and I’m doing something worthwhile and important. Knowing that it’s not ‘just a job’ to collect a paycheck. Maybe someone you talk to, some ‘connection’ will notice your talents and simply say: hey, I have the perfect position for you…and you can just slip right into it without the trials and pains it usually takes.
These are all personal miracles I know–selfish and needy. There are world miracles too that would take all the magic in the Universe to fix. I ask for these too….believe me. And I don’t forget the gratitude for the good things I already do have…
But once in a while, I just wish for a tiny bit more magic. That little spark that will ignite the unknown. Maybe some miracle I don’t even know I need. When life becomes mundane and routine, we must look for this glitter–see the potential behind the curtain.
And be unafraid to hope for our own miracles.
She goes to battle
Heart dripping with caring too much
For those She loves
Her womb shielding life in an ocean filled pear
That life floating gently
And sucking lifetimes through tiny pathways
Eventually struggling to break free
She faces the octopus world
Which grabs at her with suction cups sticking
All over exhausted limbs
A bruised body
Often scorned and threatened
A warrior whose only weapons are often
The very things that are used against her
So many centuries the war rages on
She deals with the pain
And loses some flesh
But each time when the belly is round
Through blood and waters comes a daughter
A new story is told
The Grandmothers and mothers through stories
Pass on the tales of the war
How they are still here and how courage can grow
Each generation faces the battle anew
They will walk onto the fighting fields and into the blinding light
Knowing they carry the wisdom and power of those women
Who have gone before
Somehow lately I feel like I keep wishing for a lot. Maybe you do all too? Big wishes, little wishes. Personal ones, worldwide ones. If only I was a fairy or had a magical genie to grant my wishes–even just a few. Or maybe once in a while a wish here and there. So maybe if I write some of them down and put them out in the blog-o-sphere, some will float into space and be caught and granted by some gracious entity. Here are some:
1. I wish they would hurry up and find a cure for cancer, so my very dear friend, and all the millions that suffer from this withering disease can live out their lives. It’s such a strange one, grasping onto anyone it can regardless of lifestyle, creed, economic status, gender, age, or anything remotely tangible!
2. I wish there would be a stop to the madness of the seemingly random killing of innocent people every time we turn around. In malls, in schools, in parking lots, at marathons, at churches… Can we figure out a way to have a better healthcare system to help people who need guidance through their difficulties? Must we keep propagating these atrocities on the media for young people to copy cat? Nobody should have to live in fear of gathering.
3. I wish I could make my children happy without having to worry I am perpetuating what appears to be the current model of kids nowadays. This generation of taking everything for granted, of worshiping material things, of feeling constantly entitled. If only they understood simplicity and that joy comes from more than iPads and smartphones. If only they understood it’s about love, family and being in the now.
4. I wish I had more time to do the things I like to do, whatever that might be: hang out with a friend, be outside, or just be quiet. It seems my life is constantly about making enough money to pay the bills. And it is passing by so quickly now! It actually is frightening how the days roll around. If I could slow them down and just enjoy each moment more.
5. I wish I had more to give to others: more money, more time, more love, more patience. Most days I don’t feel I do enough (haven’t done enough) good for this world. My hope is that some day I will have that chance.
6. I wish I could find my birth family. This is a wish I have had my whole life.
7. I wish I could figure out how to love someone else or if I should. This is something that continues to baffle me. It’s an unending question that has haunted me my whole life. And I’m not sure I will ever get this one granted.
8. I wish someday to have a job that I absolutely adore going to every day. One where I am giving back to the world/society in a bigger way. One that fits into my life and lifestyle more than now.
9. I wish for the world to figure out peace. Somehow for people killing people all over the world, and starving people, and making people move out of their own countries…it would all stop. That we could figure out living in harmony on this planet.
10. I wish we would stop destroying our planet: the earth, the animals, the sky, the ocean. That we humans before it’s really, honestly too late, start making real laws, real efforts to understand that it’s a world we leave behind for generations to come.
These are just some wishes. Simplistic I know. And maybe unrealistic. But they plague me. Every day when I hear the news and am bombarded with the stories of the world or our own country! If I had my magic wand, I would do my best to try to change things. I do my best now with some of these things I suppose. But it often feels hopeless. So maybe if we all wish together, like a giant prayer group or massive human consciousness–we can create change. We at least have to try.
A girl is born
Yet you hold the future
In your tiny hands