Sunday, August 1, 2010

So Long, and Thanks for All the Unkers

(Curlews and avocets on the Pacific shore)

My eldest daughter leaves today. I've seen her only a handful of times during her life, once briefly as a newborn, then later in her early twenties since we've reunited. She has been here for a two-week visit during her summer vacation, and now she's off for a trek through Southern California and possibly a meeting with her birth father.

(Annika in hiking mode)

I had hoped, when I started this blog last year, to meet other birth mothers and talk with them about the profound experience of relinquishing a child. In the past 25 years I've been able to share my birth-mother story with several adopted people, but not with anyone who knows what it's like to give up a child. This past year, I did meet a birth mother who reunited with her grown son, and that conversation via email was glorious.

When Annika and I get together, it's an ongoing process of discovery. We compare our toes, our thoughts, our personalities, our histories. We find points of contact and points of divergence. She gets to know her extended birth family and her roots. I get to know her. We stay up late most nights with our mutual fascination. I'm proud of her, and she's glad I'm one of her moms. It's a strange and beautiful relationship.

(View of Morro Rock in Morro Bay, California)

(The coast in Montana de Oro State Park)

She helped me with the Totalfeckineejit's Poetry Bus assignment this week. I've been collecting word verifications for a while now, intending to use them as my prompt next week when it's my turn to drive the Bus. But I've been preempted. NanU the Science Girl Traveler has challenged the Bus riders this week to write a poem in the odd language of word verification. So I gave Annika my list and she chose the words for me to use. It was a blast to invent subjects, verbs, and predicates out of words like slitter, coblego, and yeliale. You will find other creations here.

The Swan Song

Remonia sang
and lifted high her jugaries
to the god of Puronomb.
She beseeched him to relent
to withdraw the brilb
tormenting broken unkers
in her town. Down
slittered birds, weaving
wheapsins in the air.
Where yeliales flew
now harmelas drew
their final breath.
Remonia sonemt sadly,
marking how coatina
was the sky,
and her last coblego
echoed as the god
drew nigh.

(The coastal range, central California)


Helen said...

Sitting here, loving your story. A daughter who you are connecting with and she you ~ it is empowering.

She (and you) have created something great for our Poetry Bus ride!

Martin H. said...

A heartwarming story and a great poetic answer to NanU's challenge.

Gwei Mui said...

Very atmospheric
slittered birds, weaving
wheapsins in the air.
Where yeliales flew
now harmelas drew
their final breath."

I'm going to have to read this again at least once, if not twice :)

Syd said...

That is so great that you are reconnecting with her. How awesome.

Carrie Burtt said...

You are always inspiring me to the point of beautiful laughter or beautiful tears...this time it is tears...but tears of joy...:-)

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

So wonderful!

Brian Miller said...

ha. the poem is glad that you have that relationship with your daughter and that her adoptive parents are cool with it...and glad you can share that connection with others...have a wonderful week chris...

Birdie said...

Chris, what a beautiful story ... there must have been lots of pain in there and I only hope that it is all about joy now for both of you. Annika is beautiful and I'm happy that you find joys in discovering each other. Tender hugs!

Paul C said...

I really enjoy the playful poem you have written together. Fun word inventions.

TechnoBabe said...

Happiness abounds in your heart and it is reaching out to all your readers. Your daughter may have sunglasses on but she is yours. It sounds like you two have been enjoying your time together. At last.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

I enjoy your story and in a way, though I do not at all share your experience of giving the child for adoption, the mysteries in my family, not knowing my father's family make me really connect with your story. Have you read the book, "The Mistress' Daughter" by AMHolmes? I reviewed it on my blog a month or so age, it is about a not so happy reunification with birth parents. Funny that I am passing time today on the net and I got to thinking I should really collect some of those odd word verifications & there you are writing about the same! Thank you for sharing your story and best in your search for other birth mothers who relinquished. If you can find them anywhere it will be in CA! :)

C.M. Jackson said...

how wonderful for you both--may the stories and the learning continue

Silver Strands said...

I just found you through Marla's blog and found this post fascinating. I hsve an adopted son who is now 17. Someday we'd like to find his birth mother ... I'd be interested in talking to you more - or at leadt checking back in on your blog. Have a great night!

Erratic Thoughts said...

Lovely images in there.Nice to know you are connecting with your daughter!

N that was a clever take on the prompt..loved your poem!

NanU said...

Sorry for snicking your prompt! Seems I got there just in time, for several people have said the same thing.
Love the photos of California. Reminds me of home, though I'm more of a southern CA girl.
Most of all, it sounds wonderful to connect with your daughter!
Haphoi to you all.

Rachel Fox said...

Now I wish I had jugaries too!

Titus said...

Congratulations on your strange and beautiful relationship.

And what a classical, melancholic tale. Two parts were really stand-out for me;
slittered birds, weaving
wheapsins in the air."
"Remonia sonemt sadly,"
Beautiful verse, made fantastic and strange by the verifications words, yet a meaning is perfectly clear.

Alan Burnett said...

A post that made me smile with pleasure (my own son having just come home for a stay). I love the way you describe the process of rediscovery between yourself and your daughter. It is a post that makes me feel better about life. Thanks.

izzy said...

How monumental to have a relinquished daughter with you for 2 weeks!
I say that because My foster daughter, who "Came-Within-
Micro- Millimeters" of being adopted ( with her younger sister) by us...
I am lucky to see her for an overnight----*SIGH*----
However she is a truly elusive
blessing ! I ammmmmm Grateful.

the walking man said...

Cool daughter! Creative use of the biggest pain in the ass on blogger.

Marion said...

A very heartwarming story, Chris! I loved your often those veri words have relevance to the post I am commenting on.

I'm not sure I could take my eyes off a daughter who once again appeared in my life, just as you described. I am so happy for both of you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this important time, both past and present, in your life. Clearly, your daughter is bright, beautiful, poetic and adventurous. Hmmmm, I wonder where she gets some of that? :) - G

Susie Hemingway said...

A wonderful post that cheers my heart.

jinksy said...

Broken unkers sound SO nasty! LOL :)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Biblically epic,mountainous, glorious.
And those words more sense than sense does.I likes those apples!

Scott said...

Imust read this a time or two more but wow.. what a wonderful piece! I love this post, such a beautiful circumstance, to be able to reconnect. I cannot imagine, but thankfully you've given me a glimpse.

Tari said...

How fortunate for both of you to have found each other.

I have an adopted brother who I suspect has looked for his birth parents off and on over the years without success.

I'm glad you two are able to reconnect and enjoy each other's company.

Woman in a Window said...

I'm smiling, Chris, for the poem, yes, and your story.