Archive | May 2014

The Pictures

I go back and forth with looking at pictures of my niece. Sometimes I need to have them all around me, and sometimes I have to not look at them because I know the feelings of despair and emptiness that I feel just holding the pictures in the frames. I look at them with such a sadness. Sometimes I cry my eyes out, sometimes I just stare at them feeling numb, in disbelief. Even after all this time, I still feel like this can’t possibly be happening. Have almost ten years gone by? They have and I know where the time went.

It went to coping with a whole new reality, trying to survive this day after day after day. Asking yourself the same questions. Feeling that anxiousness that makes my heart beat faster. Closing my eyes and wishing it away. Praying to God throughout the day. She’s the last thing I pray for when I go to sleep at night. I’m positively certain that this is how it will be, until one random day, it isn’t.

The wait and weight will be over. My niece will have read this book. She will have received the hope chest that holds her time capsule. She will have read through the scrapbooks I made for her. She will have seen the pictures. Read through boxes of paperwork. She will have seen the pictures we hold so dear. We have them in them near the dining table, we have them on the fridge, we have them in our wallets, in our rooms. She’ll see that we kept her with us the only way we knew how after she was ripped away from us without us even knowing.

We did everything we could, we fought every step of the way. She had a family who would have loved her and taken care of her, after all, she is one of our own. She will always belong to us no matter what kind of legal papers they flash our way or the smug looks they give when we come face to face. I’m still waiting for someone to jump out and say it was all a nightmare. That none of this ever happened and we opened our eyes and things were as they were before our world imploded.

The pictures make it real. They capture the moment of time that we had, so brief, in such awkward places. At a freezing park with a monitor watching our every move, because WE can’t be trusted, in attorney’s offices. In the Los Angeles court where we saw family after family come out having been ordered to be torn apart. In the pictures, you can tell we’ve been crying, trying to put on smiles so it will be hard to tell we’re dying inside.

The pictures are a whole other monster. It’s a whole separate thing to deal with. It’s a different hurt that comes from deep inside. It causes physical pain, you can feel the anguish sitting on your chest like a bowling ball. We all fight through all the emotions because it’s all worth it to see her little face. To feel for that moment that she is ours to have and to hold, to make dreams really seem like a possibility even for a moment. I hold the pictures close to my heart, close my eyes and say ‘she’s still mine …. she’s still ours.’

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I Will, I Won’t

I will allow myself to express my feelings.

I will let the words come from my heart.

I will allow myself to cry when it hurts.

I will forgive myself when I feel so weak and hopeless.

I will believe with my whole heart that one day this will all be over.

I won’t put on a smile when my spirit feels crushed.

I will stay strong when I want to break down.

I won’t feel ashamed because I am heartbroken.

I won’t apologize for loving my niece more than life itself.

I won’t ever give up the fight or trying to make it right.

I will trust in God that He will make our family once again whole.

I won’t be so hard on myself when I feel overwhelmed.

I won’t rest until every detail is told.

I will wait for my niece, no matter how long it takes.

I will allow myself to live while I wait, owing that to those around me.

I will pray night and day, silently and out loud, that our dream will come true.

I won’t take my hurt and frustration out on those that love me and are supporting me through this.

I will make a conscious effort to survive this.

I will always be her auntie, no matter who tries to take that away.

Resting and Recharging

It’s been so unbearably painful dealing with this catastrophe that I’ve had to take a break by forcing myself to clear my mind of everything.

For my sanity’s sake, I’ve had to stop myself from thinking about the million details that haunt me. Court dates, paperwork, unanswered questions, past visits, red flags, the set up, everything to do with the adoption, I’ve had to choke down and bury it as deep as it will go.

All these years that have gone by, it’s been non-stop and it never goes away. I can’t get away from it no matter what. Everywhere I am and everything I do, it’s always there. There is no escape. The whirlwind of emotions is constant. I keep my niece as close to me as I can, even if it’s only in my thoughts. Thinking about her, loving her, and writing to her are things that no one can take from me and I’m adamant about all of them. The love and passion I have for her keeps me going when I feel like I just can’t go one more moment or one step further.

I’ve had to keep my blood pressure down, I’m still recovering from an accident and surgery with corrective surgery coming up, the vivid nightmares still continue to wake me up in cold sweats, I have to close my eyes and breathe out the anxiety that consumes me. I have no choice but to take care of myself right now and to be honest, I’ve had to learn how to do that because I have put myself off for so long. I have come last and been the last thing that mattered and now that I’m being taken care of instead of being the caretaker, I really don’t know how to handle it. I feel out of my element when someone does something for me. I feel guilty about resting or even sitting down. I pray away whatever creeps in my mind, at least for the time being. As soon as I’m better, I’m sure I’ll be just as diligent as I’ve always been, but for the short-time-being, I have to take it easy. I have to give myself back to those who love me and depend on me, those who lost me because of the madness. I’m resting and feeling more rejuvenated than I’ve felt in quite a while. It’s a struggle, but my faith keeps me afloat.

For my niece, I can and will go the distance.