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Adoption, Family, Parenting

Two guiding lights to steer me home

What a day tomorrow will be. I haven’t slept a wink in days, my mind is going a mile a minute and I’m feeling more than a little “green” at the prospect of tomorrow’s lunch.

I’m meeting my first mother, Pat, and will surely not be able to swallow a bite.

There’s one person who could tell you how I’m feeling just by looking at me — my Mom.

Here she is with Dad and me on my wedding day:

C. Christopher Semmes photoDad, me and Mom, Sept. 4, 1993.

C. Christopher Semmes photo
Dad, me and Mom, Sept. 4, 1993.

They won’t be along for the ride to Long Island tomorrow, but they are with me all the same.

After all, they coped with all those diapers and childhood illnesses; ran herd on school assignments; ferried me to swim lessons, dance classes, and recitals; sat for countless hours in all weather watching band competitions; and led the charge through at least five apartment and house moves.

They have been my cheerleaders more time than I can count; and stood by me, whether through good times or youthful indiscretions.

They are likely also the reason I don’t take myself too seriously (most of the time).

How lucky I count myself to be not just the sum of the DNA I hope to get to know, but of their careful guidance and love.

Even now that I’m 47, they remain my touchstone:ย Seeing me through numerous transitions, including Catherine’s terrible 2s, 3s (16s…); providing numerous reality checks on a vast wealth of subjects; and giving me the fortitude to reinvent myself professionally — to get on that scary train to New York and then to find the strength to be true to myself, get off that train and seek a different path when it became clear I needed a better fit.

Indeed, it is because of a lifetime of their love and support that I’ve continued on this journey, sticking with my search through numerous disappointments when it would have been far easier to set it aside, to let all hope slide through my fingers and try to make peace with never knowing.

Finding Pat has been as emotionally charged for them as it has been for me; I know it is not easy for them. And yet I also know that whatever happens next will not change how I feel about them. I only hope Catherine can count herself half as lucky as me one day.

Tomorrow, I will set off today in a carefully chosen outfit. I will fuss too much with my hair and makeup.

Still, it won’t be the new cobalt-blue sweater; the special infinity bracelet I’ll wear on my wrist; or my very favorite necklace, whose twin strand resides with my soul sister in Rhode Island, that will guide me through the day.

It’s Mom and Dad, who I carry in my heart — today and every day.

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

Discussion

16 thoughts on “Two guiding lights to steer me home

  1. what a lovely tribute.

    Posted by awriterweavesatale | February 21, 2013, 3:40 pm
  2. Lovely post. I hope all went well!

    Posted by Life and all things love | February 19, 2013, 5:26 pm
  3. Your Mom and Dad are very special people. They know and are secure in their love and importance for you in their life. Pat is nature, Mom and Dad are nurture; Pat is biology; Mom and Dad are biography. One set of parents gave you life; the other gave you a life – and obviously did a very good job at that. Their blood may not pump through your heart but their love and spirit certainly do. Please give them all a heartfelt hug from me.

    Posted by Priscilla Sharp | February 18, 2013, 11:00 am
  4. What a blessing to read your post. Tears in this adoptive mothers eyes as I read this post. Congratulations.

    Posted by Donna | February 18, 2013, 8:06 am
  5. Perfect! You have a beautiful way with words as always.

    Posted by Jacquie | February 17, 2013, 10:25 pm
  6. Terri,
    What a lovely tribute to your parents — I felt the same about mine. My thoughts will be with you tomorrow, and I hope this journey will bring both you and your first mother peace, understanding and closure.

    Posted by Susan Perry | February 17, 2013, 8:22 pm
  7. Good luck, Terri! I can’t imagine the courage it is taking for you to go. Even more, I can’t imagine the courage it is taking for both of the women who call themselves your “mom” and for your dad, too! I hope that the experience increases your circle of love and brings you peace.
    Let us know how it goes!

    Posted by momshieb | February 17, 2013, 7:14 pm
  8. If I were your mom, I’d have tears of love and joy streaming down my face. As it is, they just brim my eyelids.

    Posted by F M Miller | February 17, 2013, 6:40 pm

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