Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wading Through the Words

Here in Singapore I have a book club called The Hungry Hundred Book Club.  The focus is to read books that are considered to be the 100 best/most important/most influential books of all time.  This means that for the last two and a half years, each month I have read some of the world’s finest literature.  A sampling of the previous months: Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternask, Thus Spake Zarathustra by Fredrich Neitzche, Atonement by Ian McEwan, Ulysses by James Joyce, Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, Don Quixote by Cervantes, The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and the list goes on.  I have read simple sentences that have been jaw dropping, penned by masters of their respective language who have the ability to express in words the wonderful complexity of emotions that normally leave me in a blabbering puddle of incoherent sounds when I try to express them.  Thus, I have not written any kind of a blog post for a long time.  Not because I haven’t tried, not because I haven’t thought about it, not because I haven’t wanted to, but because there are so many things I have thought and questioned that I just don’t have all the words for.  For example, how do I put into words all of the feelings and emotions I have when I see Reed, as I did this past June?  When he cuddled into my lap when I was sitting on the swinging chair on their front porch?  When he said, “I want Rachel to play with me!” or when he said to Maura, “Mommy, I don’t want you to talk to Rachel anymore, I want you to talk to me.”
Shortly after we got home from the airport, Reed saw me sitting in the swinging chair and asked, "Can I sit with you?"  Of course!!!!!
Reed is beginning to understand things in his going-on-three years old way.  As Maura was updating me on things, she said that during a conversation that they were having about where Reed came from, she mentioned to him, as she has several times before, that he came from my belly.  “But I want to come from your belly,” was his response.  And there have been other times that Reed has made reference to his or Julian’s (his 9 month old little brother) adoption. What does he think of me?  How is he suppose to react towards me?  Is he suppose to love me?  If Reed had the vocabulary to express them, I think these might be some of the questions he might have.  But as he is now, I venture to guess that I am one big question mark to him.  And I can’t blame him; I guess in a way he and Julian are one big question mark to me also.  If I could imbibe the great literary masters in the art of metaphor, perhaps I could explain better what I mean.  But for now all I can portray is an image of me with my finger fluttering up and down between my lips making a blrblrblrblr sound and the only question I can think of to really ask is, “how do I love him?  Them?” which, when taken solitarily, is actually not what I’m trying to ask at all. Nevertheless, for the sake of all of our sanity, I must try to remove my finger from fluttering between my lips and begin forming actual words that lead to conversation.  And plenty of conversations did we have while I was there in June!  Doug and Maura are so great at patiently sitting through what I’m trying to say, even when I don’t know what I want to say and am still figuring out for myself what is in my own heart.  I know how to love Reed and Julian both because I already do love them.  But how do I love them both equally AND love Reed more than anything in the world?  Should I even try to make Reed feel that he is special to me at the risk of the two brothers feeling a sense of inequality?  We talked about how Reed is relating to me, how he is attempting to understand things himself, and we speculated on what the future might bring to mine and Reed’s relationship as well as mine and Julian’s.  But really, all we can do is watch and love them, let each of us deal with things in our own individual way, and love actively and unconditionally. 
Julian is such a chubby, cuddly, wide-eyed joy to be around!
Bill and I were able to overlap our visits by a couple of days.  It's always great to see him!  One day Maura, Bill, Reed, Julian and I went with Reed's cousin and aunt to the lake.  Reed loved Bill being his own personal motorboat.

And talk.  I received a prompt from the Open Adoption Round Table that asked what makes open adoption work.  I really believe that the reason it works is because Doug, Maura, Bill and I have been open from the beginning, that we are able to talk about things.  No, we don’t talk very often- ask anyone who knows me and they can attest that I’m horrible at keeping in touch with anyone.  But when something is important, we can talk about it, dig into it, not be afraid of what we might find there.  I think that this past visit in June proved to us that we can dive into an issue with open hearts, knowing that we’re in this together for the rest of our lives, and deal with any kind of friction that may arise.  I’m confident in my relationship with Doug and Maura, as well as with Reed and Julian because of our ability to be open and honest, dealing with things as they surface instead of brushing them under the carpet.

As I re-read this that I’ve written, oh how I long to channel Boris Pasternask to more eloquently and accurately describe what I’m really feeling!  How I wish to use my fluttering finger covered with the drool of incoherency to pen the words that would let someone into my head!  But it’s late and I’m tired and this is my 7th attempt as writing this blog, so this will have to do.  Blrblrlbrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblrblr….      

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