The tickets were purchased and I anxiously awaited for the date they would board the plane to arrive. I was nervous about telling my parents because they were accepting and processing my search, they were accepting and processing my reunion....would they be upset we were meeting so fast? This reunion is about me and my mom and what we are ready for and want to do. But I wanted additional support; we both deserved the support of others. I casually mentioned to my parents that she was coming and invited them to dinner to meet her. They accepted.
And then I got down to business worrying about things; I'm a worrier and so are both of my moms. With everyone in the same room together, would I be able to say things that would not hurt any one's feelings or make any one uncomfortable? Would other people be supportive? The overwhelming majority of people in my day-to-day life were supportive of my reunion quest; some, however, said very hurtful things. I have grown used to the insensitivity and curious questions people ask about adoption. If we went out somewhere, or to church (they wanted to go to church with me), would I be able to shield my family from the well-meaning but still emotionally probing curiosity of others? I had endured the uncomfortable questions, the awkward remarks, and the downright rudeness of people when it came to them imploring me about my adoptedness; I was used to it, they were not.
So the day came.
I purchased flowers, loaded my little guy into the car, and climbed into the passenger's seat. My husband was driving; I won't drive in the city by myself unless I have to. We were going to surprise them at the airport. We arrived at the airport, parked, and realized, despite being on countless flights in the past ourselves, that we had no idea where the gate we were looking for was. So we wandered. I went into the bathroom briefly, when I came out, I saw two ladies with familiar pale skin and chestnut brown hair. I grabbed my husband's elbow.
"That's my mom."
My mom had been looking at my son who was sitting on the bench with my husband, poking her sister in the elbow,
"That's my grandson."
I walked up to them and hugged them and gave her the flowers. Neither of us cried; we gathered our belongings and made our way to the car. I had seen reunions on YouTube and TV where everyone cried and sobbed; I felt badly for not crying. I do not like being emotional but at the same time, depending on the issue, I can be easily verklempt.
You cried during Transformers (the movie) but you don't feel the need to shed a tear now??
I scolded myself in my head.
I cried watching Transformers when Bumblebee lost his leg but climbed onto the back of a vehicle and continued to fight anyway. "It's OK Bumblebee, you've given enough!" I blubbered at the TV while my husband gave me the "you're not seriously crying about this" look. Granted, I was 7 months or so pregnant at the time and hormonal; I had an excuse.
My mom is a tough (but caring, not rigid) person. I told myself I was being strong like her but looking back I think I was too afraid to let myself feel for fear that if the tears started, they wouldn't stop.
We got into my car; she brought a toy for my son and sat in the back seat and played with him. We took her to her hotel to get settled, my aunt met us there shortly after. Then we went to Applebees to eat lunch (yum!). We arrived back at our home; she liked looking at all of the pictures on our walls. I have pictures everywhere.
I remember us showing each other a lot of pictures. I gave her a necklace that I commissioned a jeweler to make; I had a matching one made for me too.
At some point, I dragged out my big plastic bin that I keep all my adoption "stuffs" in and put our adoption file in her hands. It is every mother's right to hold, read, and see that adoption file but few mothers are actually permitted that right. She had asked to see it.
The next day, my parents came over. We had lunch...or dinner. I was walking around in a fog and don't quite remember. I was nervous the whole time that I would say something that would make someone upset or that someone would feel less important or that they didn't fit in. My [Adoptive] mom brought photo albums from my childhood and made a CD of pictures of me for them to both take home with them. It was a nice visit.
The next day, we took them to the local chocolatier (yum!) and to a local pottery shop. She bought me a bowl for my dining room.
I met her at her hotel before they took off to the airport on the next day, the last day of her visit. We had breakfast at the hotel dining room and my son made everyone laugh when he turned around to a table of business men sitting next to us and shouted "hi daddy!" randomly to one of the gentleman who was trying to have a conversation with the cell phone...earpiece...thing.... that was stuck to his head. My son used to do that to me all the time, especially at the grocery store. My husband thinks it is hilarious.
I did cry when they left. One year ago, tomorrow.
Happy Reunion-versary, Mom.