Today Z and I looked at the birth photos. She laughed, “Oh, me baby, look me cry, need tissue!” I kept pointing to DJ’s belly telling her she was growing inside. But she kept flipping the page insisting, “No, me the baby, here she is.”
When D was born I was holding H’s hand front-center. I saw D emerge, wet and purple, with the cord wrapped twice around her neck. Amid cheers I stammered, “Um, um, is that normal? Is she ok?” Zoop-zoop it was uncoiled in a flash and my hand was bearing down to cut the cord. As long as I live I’ll never forget it. Then came D resting on H’s chest and H sighing, “Oooh, you feel better on the outside.” And when they placed her in my arms she smelled like heaven and felt like home and all at once a great hole in my heart was filled. I was meant to be with D all along.
I relied on my ears with Z. From the doorway I hung onto J’s steady count through each contraction. Hard labor lasted less than an hour, but the hour seemed endless and though all was well I prayed with my bones that mother (DJ) and baby would survive the birth. Cheers announced Z’s arrival, but longest moment of my life elapsed in the few seconds it took for her to cry. When it came I almost fell to my knees in thanks. And I almost fell again when Z was placed in my arms. She was so beautiful I lost my breath. We looked into each other’s eyes and I knew she would be my teacher.
My girls are five and two! I can hardly believe it. I can hardly believe how fabulously blended we are. All the questions and curiosity and speculation falls away when I consider who we are and how we got here. I can’t imagine us any other way. Years ago I fantasized about having the Mia Farrow (minus Woody) family, but I never dreamed it would turn out like this: witnessing the births of my children, earning the trust of their birthmothers, loving their biological families, gaining new relatives, becoming part of an adoption revolution. How far we’ve come.
D is learning to read and write. She’s elated when words pop out at her. The footnote she uses for some of her journal entries is Fikshin. And I have to think: H, you created an artistic genius.
Z is determined to button her clothes. Her fingers are nimble and precise. She studies in silence and masters each task with a smirk. And I think: She’s like you, DJ, all silence and smirks.