I've been thinking about Gisselle a lot lately. Mother's Day was sweet for me. Lola picked out a silk lei and a very grown up card for me. Sean was trying to show her cards with cute babyish motifs, thinking those were more representative of her. She insisted on a more ornate card and the lei which she calls an "ooohlah."
Lola's pre school friend had a birthday party Sunday morning at the Y in the gymnastics room. It's pretty much the same set up. The parents arrive with wound up kids in tow, then stand around not really talking, watching or photographing their kids running around working up a sweat. Lola and I jumped around on the trampoline until her ponytail burst forth, hair getting tangled in the wad of gum she was chewing on. We both climbed into the foam pit with the other kids and swung on the rope until our hands were raw. I think I end up having more fun than most of the junior invitees!
We met with some friends for a lovely Mother's Day brunch and everyone around our table wore the ooohlah. Lola made several dizzying trips to the dessert table and prided herself on heaping strawberries onto her fine china. I held my breath every time she wobbled back to our table. After a brunch burn off walk, I was surprised by flowers and plantings on the front porch. It was a very sweet Mother's Day.
I was thinking how Gisselle was spending the day. Was she thinking about it, she must have been. I feel certain her mother was thinking about it. Gisselle is the birth mother of our adopted son Gibson. I can only imagine she felt how I felt after my first miscarriage. I was five months along, we had named our baby. Then everything disappeared, floated away like a balloon. That first mother's day after the loss I though I would go mad. I wanted to drown in my tears and wallow in the heartbreak. That was something I could hold, cradle to my breast.
I'm gathering photos that have spanned almost a full year of Gibson's life with us. He will be a year old June 15th. A year already? These photos are going to be mailed to Gisselle. Every two months I e-mail her and ask her if she'd like updates of Gibby and pictures. She had never said no. I bought a beautiful baby book and had planned to personalize it for her with the pictures. Is she celebrating his life like we are? Does she want some sort of glossy, cutesy reminder of what she couldn't keep? From what we know of her, she wouldn't display the album on her coffee table. I imagine she keeps his photos in a box, under her bed. That's what I did after my loss. The sympathy cards, the post mortem photos of the baby the hospital took and gave me, along with her baby knit cap, all crammed in a generic manila envelope.
I have to remind myself this isn't a sad story. I will be selfish and say it is not. Not for us. Maybe not everyday for Giselle either. She has given us the most amazing gift of HER CHILD. Sean and I still marvel at this. Why us? What was it about us? She chose us from seven other families and then narrowed that lottery down to us and another family. She met us, spent time with us and never bothered to interview the others.
Never in our wildest fantasies did we ever dream we would have this amazing family, a multi racial family. We knew we wanted a boy, never imagined getting pregnant would be so difficult, never knew we would have such a devastating loss, never thought there would arise pregnancy complications and five months doctor ordered bed rest for me, never dreamed we would be amazed, knock off our feet by these kids.
I resist the path layed out for me. No matter how hard I try, things just happen and take me by surprise. I'm starting to believe this is all predestined. We were meant to meet, Sean and I. There are many cosmic levels to how that was forced upon us. That's another story for some other time. We were meant to have all the joys and sorrows in our life and those yet to come. We were destined to be the parents of Gibson Alexander. Lola was destined to have this snaggle toothed, little frizzy fro of a baby brother. I'm going to gather the pictures together for Gisselle, and for respect and love and admiration for her, I'm going to let her choose if she wants to show him off someday in a photo album.