I spent most of the morning searching for something that’s lost. It’s a terrible feeling, growing in intensity with each emptied drawer and overturned box. The entire contents of my life lived in boxes is now living on my garage floor, splayed out in unadorned splendor. A chaotic history lesson of tax documents and college essays and heirloom photographs. But in the midst of all the things that are there, the thing I want most isn’t. And it’s making me want to throw up.
Throughout my life I have been a journaler; one of those people who pour themselves into pages of lined books because it seems the best, safest place to put them. And because it is the only way one can stay sane. I made no exception during the adoption of my kids. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Sometimes just logistical details, sometimes heart wrenching emotions. But, it is the bedrock of the ‘I Mother Broken’ project.
And it’s lost.
Currently, I’m a hot mess, trying to reassure myself that it will be found. And most likely it will be. But, the state of my emotions right now is evidence of the impact of becoming a mother to my son. It is raw ache and anticipation and elation and uncertainty and insecurity and failure. It’s a story of mercy and love and trust and mistrust and race and culture all bound in a white cover with a drawing of two little Dutch kids. (Which is a story in and of itself that will be told once the said journal is acquired. I’m too teary to work on that right now).
And it’s lost. And accompanying the loss of the actual item is the feeling of time passing by; of kids growing up; of me growing forgetful and new memories taking place of the old.
I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget what it was like to meet my kid for the first time. I don’t want to forget what it was like to hold his hand. I don’t want to forget the sound of his voice when he spoke his native language. I don’t want to forget.
But, I will. And that is one of the most important aspects of my journals during this time. To be the conduit for my memory when it fails. To vent heated emotions that, with a return glance later in life, prove that time heals and that the past informs our future. To learn from the musings of my young self and be reminded that life is beautiful even when I’m face down in the weeds.
And in an interesting turn of events, while taking a quick break and lamenting once again over the lost journal, I found an earlier one. A journal from our very first trip to Uganda.
The trip where we met our future son for the first time. It’s not heartfelt or descriptive or poetic, but considering what I know now…it’s pure gold.