Fiona called me last night all excited. She wanted to talk to Rob because she had some "big plans" for Mothers Day and wanted to be sure she was going to be home for it. Rob was out skateboarding so he'll call her tonight but I could assure her that she would be home. And that, more than whatever she is planning, made me smile.
The fact that she could be home--heck the fact that she WANTED to be home, is so huge that there are not really words to describe it.
Sure, she has called me Mom since she was nine. But for a looooooong time, that was just a word she put in front of my name; I think because she thought she was expected to. I wasn't her mom in her heart. That spot belonged to a woman who due to her own problems and demons had let Fiona down, and had left "the system" to handle it.
Mothers Day has always been a day we didn't do much with Fiona. Because in the weeks leading up to it she was understandably filled with a cauldron of painful emotions. Over the years she shared--anger at her first mom. Grief for her first mom. Longing for her first mom. Despair. Hating me for being white and gay. Hating me for existing. Wishing she could be my biological child so she didn't have to feel any of these things. Wishing that her anger and fear didn't block her from healing.
There have been countless hours of therapy. Countless times of hugs and cuddles and just reminding her that I loved her for who she is and that she didn't have to stop loving her first mom, nor should she. There has been reaching out to her first mom to try and facilitate contact. There has been knitting as many aspects as possible of her first family and our family together into one big raucous, loving family. . . and there has been healing. At last. At least a little bit.
Fiona is 22 now, so I am not minimizing how very much as a parent of a traumatized child you need to be there for the long haul. If you have a Dr. Spock book that says what will happen at what age? Throw it out. Things happen so much more differently with kids coming to us from abuse and other forms of trauma and loss. There are deep deep wounds that supplant all the milestones, that jumble up the development.
Usually Mothers Day has traditionally only been for Kirsty and there is an "Oomas day" for me (usually on the first day of summer, my favorite season.) This year we will likely be changing that up because that whole concept would be too hard for Fiona to grasp. And her wanting to celebrate this with me is honestly, the greatest gift of all.