There are life events so laced with apparent coincidence, so rich with metaphor that it seems impossible these machinations of time and space are merely the operations of “Chance.” There are times when the dark deep ground of psyche is fecund with potential. If here we stand, completely prepared for soft new growth from an open heart, the quiet voices of spirit are heard not as a whisper, but as the booming voice of the Great Mystery. Not so much-“Go here! Stand there! Do that! Say this!” as, “Here is your opportunity, the door is open!” Choose or don’t choose the path of freedom.
This magnificent story is about a soul journey, magical helpers, and divine intervention. It reeks of love and forgiveness, humbleness and great courage, most important, the conscious choosing of a better life; the one you choose. It is intoxicating, even if you can’t hear it quite yet, can’t quite believe it is possible. All that is required is to drop all your accumulated psychic baggage on the ground…and walk away. Your hurts, their fears, all of our interrelated injury dumped there on the ground like spent coffee grounds. Good for the garden and that’s about it. Imagine the freedom. Imagine the freedom.
A good place to begin this story might be an incredibly beautiful place; visceral magnificence well beyond that which we would ever allow ourselves. A beautiful wise woman, of no age in particular, sits spinning the elements of time and place into the delicate, brilliant threads of possibility. Singing her song, tapping toe to tree root, her hands spin golden threads that drift into spiral curves, moving in and out of ethers and eons, linking body to soul, soul to spirit, spirit to spirit. Open your hearts and see,” she sings. “Open your hearts and see…”
On very rare days our wise being will leave her most bonny perch to follow the slender rails of her own creation. Her mission? To personally direct a heart repair of immense possibility. She travels, as we all do, following the cord blindly, moving gently hand over hand with great patience into the dark murkiness of the physical plane. Navigating by felt sense alone, she searches for the place where the cord has become frayed by fear, torn by rough treatment, or cut by abandonment.
On a very rare day, the missing puzzle pieces of soul loss can be found and exchanged. Pieces of power ripped away by trauma can be returned gratefully. Spirit, soul and body can align again. Seismic ripples echoing fore and aft through past generations and on into the future. All are offered the opportunity to be whole, with just one pivotal action.
This is the story of a very rare day. The story begins with two women, from disparate places, cultures, and life expectations to meet 5 years ago in a tension filled waiting room on the 3rd floor of Children Youth and Families Division, (CYFD) in Albuquerque, NM. Having been there I can tell you this is a place of exquisite pain. If emotions were color these walls would be blood red.
“Tummy Mom” had lost her two toddler boys to CYFD amidst the flotsam of a drug-infested life. She herself had been a Foster child. Her childhood and teenage years spent moving from strange family to group home, and back again. Secure loving family with responsible parents? Not for this woman. She would have more children, but only one will ever call her “Mom.”
The other woman, “Forever Mom,” based her college studies and life expectations around the care and teaching of children, circled by a happy marriage and loving family. A perfect child was not the goal, she longed for a whole child, to be loved and cherished; challenges welcomed, she already had the skill set.
Her longing and these little boys were mirror images; there was no path but forward. No cure for this ache than to love unconditionally. Loving your Foster children is an act of extreme faith. In this arena, battling lions would be more welcome than the overworked social workers, tired attorneys, woes and whims of the court system, and real life choices of “birth parents” that rule your families’ destiny. A foster parent walks the sharp edge of “what if” until adoption day.
The two boys were placed with the Foster Mom and Dad. Two years later their sister followed. She skipped the preliminary neglect, and went straight into love and safety with her brothers. The terrorizing years between their arrival and final adoption for brothers and sister were spent addressing the strange effects of the poisons of cocaine, street life and never-ending trauma on tiny brains and bodies.
Fast forward to Thursday. Our Forever family is realizing their dream to leave New Mexico for the green trees and extended family of Oregon. It is a leap of faith, an act of courage to pull up a decade of roots. The house is rented, possessions sold, boxes packed. In 8 days the moving truck will come and they will leave New Mexico, forever. Psychotherapy for the oldest child has been cancelled this day. He has been working diligently on freeing himself from the behaviors and fears elicited by traumatic memory; this boy is a veteran.
The middle child has had a blood test today seeking answers to maladies from his tenuous in utero experience. He wears the badge of courage, wrapped twice around his narrow arm is a flashy fluorescent band-aid. The daughter; confident butterfly, Deva of interpersonal relationships, stands unknowing to the drama about to unfold. Mom has decided to use up the credit at the local Mother’s Consignment store, and on this day entered with all three children on a mission to find a fun T-shirt for the trip. Corralling this after-school pack requires a continuous role call, she calls to them across the small shop.
In a dressing room in the back of the store another woman hears the names of children seen only in her mind’s eye. In a panic, she hides there. She has had another child, a little girl. She is, and has been throughout this pregnancy, clean from drugs and alcohol. She is in a relationship with a man who comes with family resources and stability. She is safe, she is happy. She steps out of the dressing room intentionally and comes eye to eye with our Forever Mom standing behind her three children. Through the telepathy of social media, Forever Mom knows about the new baby girl and new scenario. She recognizes the woman despite her plump “Mom body” and change of wardrobe. Forever Mom mouths, “Don’t say anything!”
The woman nods, standing there, unable to remove her gaze from her lost children’s faces, she mouths back, “Thank you, I am so grateful…”
Our wise woman from the ethers has found the frayed edges where the thread of connection was torn apart. Using her own spit and a few hairs she mends this place. “It is done. There is only this window and none other. There is only this moment and none other, Open your hearts and see,” she sings. “Open your hearts and see…”
With her heart pounding in her ears, the forever Mom gathered her children and purchases and headed for the door. Once settled safely back in the minivan she stopped. A voice in her heart said,
“Wait, wait, think about this! There is only this day and no other….!”
She looked at her oldest son. She has heard his pain as he talked to his therapist about his “tummy mom.” She had seen and felt the agony of an abandoned child. He was angry AT her, scared OF her. But was she that “tall mean woman” he remembered? She turned to him and said, “Do you want to meet ….? She is in there, in the store.”
After a quick moment he decided. “I just want to see her,” he said. His brother decided he wanted to see too, and of course sister was up for meeting anyone, as long as Mom was there. He held on tight to Mom’s hand as they walked back into the store. The birth Mother spoke to each child, never coming close, but taking in how beautiful they are, seeing the love they wore. She was grateful, she said again.
The two women spoke to each other with tears in her eyes. What they said is private, what they did changed enemies into allies forever. What those children saw wasn’t anger, blame, anguish or fear. They saw two women who are Mothers hug each other. Two adversaries for life’s most precious gift decided in an instant to make a different life for themselves, for their children. Imagine their implicit infant memories shuffled, filed, deleted, replaced with “in the moment” information; updated “Mother” avatars for children whose infancy was a very frightening place.
They discovered that they were moving into new lives on the same day, one to a new life in Oregon, the other to an apartment with baby and partner in a safe part of town. Anger, fear, resentment were left like so much sticky trash on the floor of the store. No longer needed, no longer wanted. This isn’t an “as if it never happened fairy tale.” All involved are far more powerful than their innocent first drafts. They were healed enough, safe enough, resilient enough, to chose love, and they did!! That’s the miracle.
Leave it to the wise woman to weave the possibilities across time and space. Leave it to her to create a chance meeting in a “now or never” time frame. It has always been “ours” to make it happen. Can you have the courage to do something profoundly different? Give up your “victim status,” and stand in the storm until the storm leaves and the world is a different place!
Blessings on both women, they chose love of the children. You have modeled it well; they will never forget the peace.
“Open your hearts and see…”
I share this beautiful story of great love
For those that grieve lost children, for those that love these children, for those that welcome the lost child to their forever home joyfully.
I send gratitude for those who spend long days in service to all members of this adoption tribe. You who face heartbreak so raw that you tear off pieces of your own soul to patch and mend these shattered hearts,
I want to tell you, sometimes it works, it is worth it, and we thank you.