I haven’t written in two weeks! That’s an insane amount of time for me on this blog, but when you have a visa to renew (I’m a permanent resident now, b*tches!), a trip to plan (Squeaker, the Chileno and I are now on Minnesotan soil), and a nearly three-day family reunion, things like free time and computers get pushed aside.
When I started planning this trip a few months ago, I kept this last weekend in mind (I’ll get to that later). I knew I wanted to return for the reunion and that I also wanted to see my aunt who is driving up from Texas in a few weeks.
It just so worked out that my husband was able to travel with us and THANK GOD. We got Chile’s crabbiest immigration official who went as far as to imply that Squeaker wasn’t even our Squeaker and at best we were lazy, irresponsible, no good parents who didn’t have a national ID number for their baby (we were still waiting for it) and horrible, awful, child traffickers at worst. But, we made it, and because we had already appeased the travel gods, US immigration was a cake walk. The customs official even joked that next time I should be less honest about how much alcohol we are bringing. But, in case they are reading this, we will always declare our one lonely bottle of pisco, okay?
Like I said, we went to a family reunion that has been in the works since Squeaker was just two days old. It’s a long story, but for the sake of your attention spans, I’ll be brief. When my mom was about two years old, one of her paternal aunts (my great aunt) had a baby out of wedlock. In those days, those types of things were looked down upon (and some could argue that they still are) and even though my grandparents promised to help, she gave her child up in adoption.
They had tried unsuccessfully to find the child since, going as far as hiring a private investigator, but got nowhere.
Then last year, when Squeaker was barely two weeks old and I was still pulling my hair out in exhaustion wondering why anyone, ever wanted to be a mother and why the human race just didn’t cease to exist, my grandfather got a letter from his long-lost nephew. The family quickly started bombarding him with messages of welcome. I sent my share of emails since I was nearly bed-ridden with a newborn with day/night confusion. He told us something unexpected. He had a brother…a biological brother from the same mother (my great aunt) also given up in adoption.
The last several months has been met with both joy and pain for my grandparents. I know they feel a great deal of peace that they finally know what happened to their nephews and the family is complete, but there have many just as many questions. Why, for one, is a good place to start. How, is another. But, unfortunately, my great aunt died young and there are few answers. However, I know they are comforted that both men had good childhoods and wanted for nothing.
This last weekend, we spent several days together as a family meeting and reuniting. I saw family that I hadn’t seen since I was in kindergarten. Squeaker was surprised that everyone knew who she was and everyone spoke in English.
As I’ve discussed in other posts, I do not deem to judge other women. I may finally understand how beautiful motherhood is, but babies still aren’t for the faint of heart. Though I could never give Squeaker away, I can’t fault another woman for giving her baby to someone who can better care for them.
I really do believe that things happen for a reason–not that things are predestined exactly, just that we have to learn certain lessons at certain times. Everyone’s journey is different and some involve motherhood and some don’t. Some involve adoption and some don’t. Some involve reunions years in the making and some don’t. And there is no right or wrong answer. There just is.