Monday, October 28, 2013

Pieces of History

Love at first sight,  Jem and Hondo.
I think babies sometimes make adoptees think about their beginnings.  Not just human babies either.  Especially if you love dogs like Jemberu does.

Devyn and her husband, Ben, live across the street from us (I know! It's so awesome.) and they recently got a puppy.  His name is Hondo and as much as they love Hondo, Jemberu loves him more.  Hondo hangs out at our house while Devyn and Ben are at work, so Jemberu, who loves dogs more than humans ("I love you, Mom, not as much as I love Addis, but very close."), is over the moon to have both our dog, Addis, and Hondo here to great him when he gets home from school.

Maddy, Jem and I were walking Hondo and Addis the other day.  Jem started talking about how adorable Hondo is.  It made him wonder what Addis must have looked like when he was a puppy (he was all grown up when we got him).  As we were talking about how adorable he must have been, the talk turned to human babies. Maddy and I told Jem that even though we didn't know him then, we are sure that he was probably the most adorable baby in all of Ethiopia and probably the world.  Jem, who has heard this kind of talk from us before, lit up in a way I had never seen.  He loved it and I could feel he wanted more.  

I said to him, "I can tell you something that I know about you when you were a tiny boy in Ethiopia."

Jem, who often feigns indifference, looked right at me, wide eyed and interested.

I told him a story told to me by Jemberu's only living birth relative, the one who cared for him until he no longer could.  The one who loved him and then had to say goodbye to him. 

"When you were a baby, you could not wait to play with the older kids.  You worked really hard to walk, so that you could join them.  And as soon as you learned to walk, you also learned to run, just so you could be a part of the playing.  Even though you fell a lot, you got right back up, never crying,  always joining back in the fun."

Jem really laughed hard as he listened to this story.  We continued to walk along, but I could see that my boy was glowing.  I had told him this story several times before.  Maybe he had forgotten or perhaps it just didn't matter as much to him on those days.

He said, "Got any other stories?"

I don't have many, but luckily, I know the story of how his Ethiopian parents met.  It's a lovely story, full of romance and sweetness.  I told it.  Jem soaked it up.

One thing I have learned, is that I can't make these kinds of conversations happen with the boys.  But sometimes that special kind of magic happens and the opportunity is there and it happens.  And it is good.  And it is healing.  And I have adorable Hondo to thank for creating that moment. (I will try to remember that the next time he pees in my house).

We soon came across a group of older boys playing football and true to the tiny Jemberu he once was. he left us to join them.


ps.  Although this is unrelated, game 5 of the tied up World Series is tonight and I feel that it might be unlucky not to end this post with, GO SOX!

6 comments:

  1. This definitely makes me smile, Alison...I hope one day my girl will know some stories about her parents, the first ones.

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    1. I hope so too, Julie! You will be the most fantastic support when that day comes.

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  2. As an adoptee myself, I soaked up every last detail of what was known about my biological parents as I grew up. But I had to be ready for it. My older brother (who is also adopted) is just now ready for more information - and he's nearly 40!

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    1. My brother and I were the same way, it wasn't until he was in his late 40's that he wanted to find out more. And like you, I wanted to know any bit of information I could get!

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  3. This is so sweet and touching. I love reading all of your precious moments!

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