Thursday, March 09, 2006
Just a Moment
I can trace my first thought of adoption to when I sat with my adoptive parents in a cheap motel waiting for a social worker to deliver my new brother.

The visuals associated with the memory are only three feet high. I see dresser drawers, but not the television that must have been perched on top. I see my adoptive fathers knees, flanked by the legs of the chair he sat upon, protruding from a dark corner of the room. Looking down, my feet hang above a shag brown carpet and my legs rest upon a garish orange and brown bedspread. My mother’s arms come into view as she places a pillow – a pillow almost bigger than me – upon my lap, telling me to wait. Be patient. I will be the first to hold him.

When the door opens, I see sensible black pumps, legs wrapped in shiny, thick nylon and a tan, wool skirt. This is it, this moment that’s been promoted as my moment. The day I am getting a brother.

And then, he’s in my lap, perched precariously atop the pillow. Two things happen as camera flashes light up the dark room: I become a sister and I realize babies don’t fall from the sky into their families, that I wasn’t plucked from a bassinet, in a row of other bassinets, to come home with my family. I became a sister and realized I came from other people, somewhere else.

It was just a split moment, a heavy feeling of responsibility for the squirming baby in my lap combined with a huge sadness that his people – and thus my people – were elsewhere. In the midst of my brother’s transition from one life to another, I realized I came not from some heavenly place with winged cherubs, fluffy clouds and flying storks, but from people. My people.

I was three and a half years old.
Rhonda Ruminated at 1:40 PM | Permalink |

3 Ruminations:

  • At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Kim Ayres

    Just popped by to thank you for taking the time to visit and comment on my site.

    This was a very powerful post, Rhonda. Thank you for sharing it.

  • At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Rhonda

    Kim, thanks both for taking the time to visit/comment and the compliment. I'm honored. I'm enjoying your site.

  • At 1:29 PM, Anonymous momseekingpeace

    This story gave me chills as my son was about 3 when his adopted brother was adopted into the family, I wonder if he had these kinds of feelings.
    Thank you for sharing.