Makes The Difference

There’s something to be said about having history with something, or someone.

Ever since I have been back in Edmonton, I’ve been flooded, almost overwhelmed with the feelings, memories, and just the general reminiscing that comes about from returning to a place you thought was long forgotten. No, when I had left Edmonton on that late summer day, almost ten years ago, I don’t think I intended to return. My intention was to run, to take cover, and forget that this was a place I had ever existed.

That’s not how life works, and of course, I find myself back in the very place that carries more history than I even want to comprehend or remember at this moment. Suddenly, I feel like ten years is not a lot of time, and that all of those moments, even the last ones where I held The Kiddo in my womb, were just yesterday. Like I was just that young, bright and unknowing girl of yesterday.

But I’m not. The history of this place is making it hard for me to feel at home, and I’m sure that in time, we’ll make it work. I’ll find a place, a compartment for those memories, for that history. Maybe I’ll come to terms with the last couple of months that I spent in this town, and we can put that to rest for good. Or maybe, I’ll always feel a little bit restless knowing that the last time this town and I saw each other, was when I had just relinquished my first born son, and felt like I needed to escape.

Then there’s A. Of course, I should have expected that at the end of this tumultuous month he would pop up again. His name on my Facebook messages surprised me and comforted me. Before long, we were talking as if no time had passed, as though the last words we said were not harsh ones of anger and that we were back to being the best friends we once were, ten years ago.

We were talking about birthing plans for his girlfriend’s impending birth. I mentioned the births that I had one for, The Kiddo included. I knew he wanted to talk about him. I knew he wanted to ask. So I gave him a chance. I had planned to keep it close to me, but there’s this thing, when you have this history, where things just come out. I knew he would understand.

He had remembered that I was struggling with The Kiddo’s parents the last time we had spoken. I told him how the adoption had closed. He was mystified, and asked more. I told of the scathing letter, how I had wanted more openness, how I had been denied. We spoke of the diagnosis, the silliness of it, and how much of what I described summed one or both of us up in a nutshell. I told him about everything that I normally don’t talk about in one because it’s just too much. Yet, I poured it out to him, because I knew, with a baby on the way, that he might actually get the frustration, the hurt, and the loss.

I know that so many others are mad about the way I have been treated, but to hear him, the father of my child, tell me that it’s a crime that The Kiddo’s adoptive parents have acted as they have was refreshing. To hear that he shares in my concerns about the way they are molding him, even to the extent that they may be limiting him because he’s just different than them. A shared the same distaste when I told him that he was being medicated, and we shared more of our own genetics, our childhoods and how so much of what he was doing was easily explained by one or both of our DNA’s. We expressed our deep frustration that no one would listen to me, or even to him.

And he admitted for the first time, that he knew that one day, there was a chance that this boy would show up on his doorstep, angry, and demanding of reasons. I shared with him, my own frustration, that this was likely, and that the anger may not be directly be a result of his lack of involvement, but because his parents have never spoken a word to The Kiddo, about A. Like no mention of A, could eventually, forever erase his existence.

There is this righteous vindication, when two histories merge, and finally, wind up on the same path. Perhaps that’s why him and I had struggled in the past. I was being given something he was not, and now, with this adoption closed, I understand him a little better, and he is understanding how much I have really fought for him, even in the moments where I was saying, “He’s just not there yet,” to The Kiddo’s parents.  He understands just how much I gave up, so that one day we both can honestly tell The Kiddo our sides of the story, without pressure, without fear that we may mess up a relationship with his adoptive parents. It’s me and A, waiting for that day, when The Kiddo finally seeks us out. We both seem to think between my rebellious streak, and A’s Irish temper, that he’ll find us way to one or both of us,anxious, angry and wanting us to answer for our absences.

History meets reality, it seems. I feel like I’m having one of those surreal, in the movie sort of pauses where I realize that everything has lead me right back to where I came. I know nine years ago, when I made the decision to reach out to A, it wasn’t for me. I did it for The Kiddo, because while I wanted him to have a way back to me, I knew he needed a way back to A. I knew that one day, my answers, or my presence wouldn’t be enough for him, and he’d want to see himself mirrored in the man who would either accept or reject him. As I nervously wrote that email, I only thought of doom and gloom, and never thought that he, A, would be in a place where he would be ready to embrace The Kiddo as his son.

It seems I underestimated the power of time, and this man, that at one point, I loved hopelessly.

What this new piece of reality has shown me is that people change, and that, eighteen year old boys, just like 18 year old girls, don’t stay that age forever. We all grow up; Priorities shift, and hearts you once thought were blocked off for good, become open and willing.

History is giving me the glimmer of hope that I needed, just when I needed it.

It’s not hopeless, even though it looks like it might be for now, and maybe it is sort of hopeless for the time being. It just doesn’t have to stay like that forever, and it likely won’t.

Time really does make all the difference.

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