It starts as a low vibration in the back of my mind, like a sound that you can feel before you hear.
By New Year's there is a low dread settling into the pit of my stomach, but it's easily ignorable.
Each day it spreads.
And then today, January 5th, it comes into the light-tomorrow is E.'s birthday.
Yes, it's that time of year again.
On her first birthday, to tell you the truth, I didn't think too much. I was still cloaked in The Wonderful Thing I Did.
On her second birthday, that paradigm was showing some serious cracks. I was starting to wonder if what I did was so wonderful. I stopped singing the praises of adoption to people looking to adopt and people in crisis pregnancies. I began to seek support for myself, and finding nothing in real life, I turned to an online community. I began to shut myself off from the world.
I barely remember her third birthday. I was very very drunk. And high.
Her fourth birthday. I had been nearly suicidal for about a month, ever since the last meeting we had with her. It was a good meeting and I was fine, really fine, happy even, until it was time to leave, and something just broke inside of me. I had always been sad about what happened, but this was so deep, beyond conscious thought. My body, my very physicality, was crying, screaming, shaking, grieving. As soon as the car begin to move and E. was safely out of sight, I opened my mouth to say that the meeting had gone well, and nothing came out. Tears ran copiously and was shaking all over. I could not say a word. I could not make a sound. I could only curl up and hold on as my body expressed its raging pain and grief. It was the first time I really thought as the loss and going beyond an emotional loss; it was a physical loss too, like the loss of a limb, that the body never forgets.
I called her on her birthday, and her father answered the phone. I said who I was and he said "Who?".
I was delirious with love for my three month old Naomi on her 5th birthday. January 6th came and went with no tears that year, just a little apprehension and anxiety about coming out of the closet to my new mommy friends. Which I never really did, by the way.
Last year, her 6th birthday, I meant to knit her a hat. It turned into a disaster and it became a broken promise- I told her when I talked to her on her birthday that I'd was knitting her something, and I never sent it. Ugh. I feel so bad about that.
This year I knit her a scarf, and I finished it last night. It's long and skinny, black with thin violet stripes. Unfortunatly, it's a little itchy. I never did find that kntting kit I wanted to get her. I must have imagined it. She'll probably like it more next year, anyway.
These entries about E. always turn so morose. I am so focused on the past that I can't see the little girl growing before my eyes. She is seven this year. Seven! The age of reason, according to the Catholics. An age of endless questions. I, for one, am looking forward to answering any quesions she asks me. I just wonder if she'll ever get the chance. And I wonder if I'll get in trouble for saying things that might upset C. I have no way of knowing how honest her parents have been with her. I can't tailor my responses to their worldview if I have no idea what it is, so I will say whatever I think is the truth, and deal with whatever consequenses arise. Who else can I be but myself?
It will be years before I can tell her the *whole* story. It will be a long time before I confide in her my muck-filled journey afterward. In the meantime, I will be careful to restrict my answers to the question, no tangents, no backstory, just succinct simplicity.