Posts Tagged ‘revelation’

Of course as soon as I posted that last entry, the school called to say Jonah needed a management/two-person take-down that day.  But I wasn’t expecting a miracle, just enjoying a moment.  Or a few thousand moments.  In general, his behaviors have shrunk significantly in both frequency and severity.

Though I have been very sick (more migraines w/accompanying nausea etc.) since early Friday morning and didn’t go with my mom to see Boo yesterday, I am beginning finally to feel better.  I’ll see Jonah on Thanksgiving Day when Andy drives him up for a visit, and I can look forward to that.

I also am looking forward to and simultaneously afraid of revelation number two.  It will be a wandering story, because these kinds of revelations always are…and I’ll start here…

I have this wonderful friend, and though we’ve only spent six days or so in one another’s company, we have remained simpatico even though those six days are now three years ago.  She and her partner are embarking on the journey of foster parenthood, and many of the babies they will foster have been born crack addicted or will have other conditions and disabilities to overcome.

Having regarded Boo a “difficult” baby, I’m unsure how to imagine caring for an infant who won’t/can’t stop screaming, who won’t/can’t sleep, and who, somehow at the same time, needs to be nurtured and loved and held even more than a “normal” child.    I know in my heart that my friend can do this, and can also let go when it is time to do so, however heartbreaking it may be.

Is it heartbreaking for the baby, too?

I was in foster care from birth to six months old, after which I was adopted into my family.  I wish I knew the circumstances of the first six months of my life, other than that I was placed into foster care because “there was something wrong with my feet,” which my parents were later instructed to fix, early 70s-style, by attaching my feet to a straight bar as I slept.

I wonder how much those six months shaped me, and I wonder why, as my parents tell me, I did not seem to mind being suddenly moved to another environment with different people, different sights & smells — a different life.  It kind of worries me (half-kidding) that I was all fine and smiley in my new home.  I would not like it one bit if someone took Boo away from me at six months old — and I would not expect him to like it one bit either.  I mean, damn.  You can’t tell me babies are that malleable.  Or are they?

Or was I simply quite happy to wake up warm and so obviously loved and welcomed by a large family of parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, the whole shebang?  None of my family has ever made me feel adopted.  Not ever.

Still, I was always curious about my biological relatives – and I wanted more medical history for both me and the only other blood relative I know (Jonah-boo) – so I did a spit kit DNA test to see if I could find some blood relatives on www.23andme.com.

It’s been a year now since my results came back.  I did find out which genetic markers I had and whether I was predisposed to all kinds of different illnesses and diseases.  I actually have a low risk rate (compared to the average population) of most everything except Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

I also found out what part(s) of the world my ancestors are from, and how much of me is from where, and who I am distantly related to based on DNA strands or whatever tool they’ve got to determine these things.

A genetic expert I am not.

I never found anyone closer than a “possible 3rd or 4th cousin” on the site, and tracing relations that far removed, especially with me being adopted, would be near-impossible.  Last month, though, I received a notification that a definite second cousin match, R, had been found.  She wrote to me through the 23 and me site, and I answered.

Long story short, it appears I have stumbled upon my biological relatives.

After sharing all the non-identifying information I had with R (which actually provides quite a lot of details, like four half-siblings born before me and each of their birth years and sexes, plus the fact that one had died before I was born),  she wrote back again.

It appears R’s father is my first cousin, and that one of his five aunts is my birth mother.  R’s whole family is still in the area where I was adopted (very close to where I live now), and though she now lives in the NYC/NJ area, she is coming up to see her family for Thanksgiving and will speak in person to them about all this.

One of the big potential problems is that, based on all that non-identifying information I’ve got, I’m the product of an affair (hence the four half and not full siblings), after which my birth mother reunited with her husband, and my birth father likely just took off running.

So I e-mailed R that I will understand if they don’t want to meet or see me, and that I’m not trying to impose myself on their family.

Exchanging e-mails would be great; meeting them would be cool.  But I need to prepare myself for complete rejection.  I cannot expect they’ll be rolling out the welcome mat for one who may only remind them of a painful situation perhaps best left in the decades-past.

Who knows what will happen?  I am used to questions, and mysteries, and instability, so this is not really all that different.    At any rate, I should know what has been decided, hopefully soon.

I really would like a picture of my birth mother, though, if that’s all I can have.  I want a partial mirror of myself to stare into, the way all my relatives (on both my mother’s and my father’s side) have certain commonalities; the features, behaviors, traits, and mannerisms they share are their mirrors.

I’d like a look at mine.

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World English Dictionary

— n
1. The act or process of disclosing something previously secret or obscure, esp. something true;

2. A fact disclosed or revealed, esp. in a dramatic or surprising way;

3. Christianity:

a. God’s disclosure of his own nature and his purpose for mankind, esp. through the words of human intermediaries.
b. something in which such a divine disclosure is contained, such as the Bible.

– 0 – 0 – 0 -<3

It has been a week or two of revelation.  Jonah, sprouting up tall and learning self-calming techniques from his teachers and caregivers, is almost a different child.  Yet Boo keeps it real always, never letting us forget he is and may always be what I half-jokingly refer to as a “punk ass.”

Consider this photo taken yesterday while on car ride:

his arm raised to hit, boo narrows his eyes and sucks his thumb like it's the bad-assest thing a kid could do

his arm raised to hit, boo narrows his eyes and sucks his thumb like it’s the bad-assest thing a kid could do

The difference is he did not hit that time.

I just turned back in my seat and ignored him, knowing my picture-taking, even sans flash, may be pissing him off.  He did not ratchet it up – no pulling my hair or Houdini-ing himself out of the harness.  No dissolving into tears or throwing reachable items from the backseat into the front.

I think he just wanted to enjoy his car ride, unfettered by attention or expectation.  We are beginning to understand one another more, in a strange way I can’t quite explain.  He is getting older, and learning independence skills.

Yesterday he cleaned up after himself like a pro, going overboard like only a child with autism can:  Upon deciding lunchtime is over, Jonah picks up his plate and any surrounding napkins or garbage, opens the garbage can lid, and carefully throws it all away.  (And instead of using the garbage can as a perch/stool…


…like he used to, more often than not now he will sit at the table).

Then he grabs the potato chips and returns them to their rightful place – in the right-hand cabinet on the left-hand side of the second shelf up.

After that he comes back to the table, grabs up mama’s half-drunk teeny sized can of black soda, grandma’s just-opened can of white soda, and places them gently on the counter next to the sink.


After pausing a moment to regard their placement, he rearranges the cans so that each faces exactly front and are perfectly next to one another.

“Oompa Oompa?” he asks next, and I start his now-favorite movie, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, on the DVD player.  Jonah first arranges and straightens the 3 remote controls on top of the TV, then reaches both hands out to similarly straighten the VCR and cable box.


Andy brings him 2 plates, one with cut-up banana on it and the other with cheese and chives cracker.  Jonah happily sits on the floor next to the coffee table as the movie, at whatever point we stopped it before, starts to play.  My eyes fill with tears.  They don’t fall, but everything blurs as, for a few minutes, he is just a boy having a snack, watching a cool movie.

For a while he got up on the couch and I asked him if I could scratch his back, and he said yes in his cute small voice.  I asked if he wanted me to scratch over or under his shirt.  Under shirt? he requested, so gently I scratched his back.  Kisses? I asked him.  More kiss, he replied, which also means “yes, kisses.”  And so I kissed his head and his cheek and his foot, and we laughed together, and I thought about all the words and concepts he is learning, and how incredibly amazing it all feels.

Yes, last week when he was standing on the bed and I leaned in for a kiss, he leaned in too – and smacked me in the face.  But I’ll take it, if it means the pendulum is somehow holding itself in a mostly good space.

Some more pictures:




Jonah and his daddy, who loves him very very much.

All good, this time of revelation.

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