My mom has been gone for one month shy of 10 years. She was a unique woman. I could go on and on about her. I wish I had appreciated all that she was when she was alive. But I was young and stupid. One of the greatest things I learned from her was finding the JOY. I grew up in a family that adopted trans racially, in a time well before there were books to read and therapies to try. My mom knew that love was not enough....but it was a great place to start and end. All adoption stories have loss (and trauma) and with loss comes sadness and grief. I have thought long and hard about this, I have attended seminars, webinars, and read countless books. Just recently I had to put everything I have learned into practice. A practice that is mine. Not what the experts say. Not what other adoptive parents would do. I had to be authentic. I want my kids to know JOY.
Bella recently asked me if I could tell her about the day she was born. I told her that I was not there but I could guess what happened on the day she was born. She wanted me to guess. So snuggled up together, I imagined what that day was probably like. I imagine it was as special as the day my other children where born. I told her how big she probably was, and who was probably there, and what she probably looked like. I told her what her first few days were probably like. Some of it I don't have to guess too much on....She was one happy baby! She probably rarely cried. Bella loved her story. She found the JOY among the pain and loss. She has asked me a couple times to tell her her birth story again and again.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring, how she will continue to process the losses. But for now, my sweet girl finds the JOY.