November 05, 2010

"I’ve been waiting for you for your whole life"

We did the whole baby sign language thing with both kids, which meant we watched a lot of Signing Time.  They were still airing on PBS when Eddie was tiny and it was the only thing we let him watch. (Yes, we were those first-time parents. Mari missed out on the pure Signing Time experience, seeing as how she had an older brother obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. Somehow she still survived with her intellect intact.)

This made the Signing Time co-creator and star, Rachel Coleman, our family's first kiddie celebrity.

This was the first song baby Mari ever tried to sing.

I've followed some of her life with her two daughters on her (really well-written) blog. Only it turns out she's the mother of three daughters.  She wrote for the first time today about her recent reunion with the now-eighteen-year old daughter she placed for adoption when she (Rachel) a teenager and what it was like to wait through those years hoping she would contact her.
I’ve celebrated her birthday every year.

“Mommy,” four-year-old Leah signed to me enthusiastically, “I’m your first baby. Lucy is your second baby. I’m the oldest!” “Nope. Remember?” I pointed to the smiling baby pictured in the gold, sun-shaped frame on the mantel. “She’s my first baby. You are my second baby and Lucy is my third baby.”

“Oh! I forgot!” Which sounded like “Oh I-per-dot.”

Leah and Lucy grew up seeing the baby on the mantel smiling down on them.

“Mom, I hate this!” Twelve-year-old Leah threw herself down on my bed in tears. “I hate that I have a big sister, but I don’t have a big sister! I really need one right now! I don’t understand how you were ‘too young’ to keep her, but only four years later you were suddenly old enough to have and keep me!”

When I was seventeen I really did believe that nobody would know or really understand how much I hurt and how much I suffered. I guess I was too young to imagine that my future children would inherit the pain and that they would share my loss.

The entire piece is worth a read--that bit above is just the smallest slice of the emotion packed into it. Her whole family's joy at this reunion is so apparent; it burbles throughout the post. I admit to tearing up a bit, as I often do when reading people's reunion stories: happy along with them that they are finally together again and sad that they ever spent all those years apart.

Disclosure: The "Signing Time" link in the first paragraph is an affiliate link.


Jody said...

I blubbered like a baby reading that post last night. I am so thrilled for her to have her daughter back in her life.

BumbersBumblings said...

Wow, my son is a baby signing time junkie too! Very interesting to know this about her. Thanks for sharing.

cynthia said...

Wow, no sh*t. We watched all those, too (my mother is deaf), and so I was amazed to read about her family. Thanks for the link.

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