LUGGAGE Lady

Contemplations about Life, Love, & the Pursuit of Meaningful Existence…

Archive for the category “Adoption”

When Parents Opt Out

Precious times two

“They say that abandonment is a wound that never heals. I say only that an abandoned child never forgets.” ~ Mario Balotelli

💔

Working the last few flights of a three-day trip, I’m organizing the back galley when two little girls, I’m guessing to be around seven and four, come back to say hello.

“Are you our flight attendant?” the older one asks.

“I am.” I smile, a stack of napkins slipping from my fingers.

They rush over. “It’s okay, sweethearts. Don’t touch the dirty floor.”

Too late. They’ve already scooped them up, proudly dropping them in the trash.

“You look really pretty,” the younger girl says.

“So do you,” I say. “I love your shirt. Pink is my favorite color.”

She giggles. “Mine too, but this is actually my pajama top.”

“Well, it’s perfect — and it matches your shoes.”

She beams.

“Where are you going?” (I’m thinking Disneyland based upon our destination.)

“California,” the older girl says.

“Southern?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Are you getting off at the first or second stop?”

“The next one.”

“Then you’re going to southern.”

“Okay. ” She shrugs. “That’s beautiful.” She gently taps my bracelet.

“Just like both of you.”

They blush in unison, and I follow them to their seats, eager to compliment the folks responsible for raising such charming children.

“Are these your daughters?” I ask the woman they quietly slide past.

She purses her lips. “Oh, no.  I’m just escorting them to a new home. They’re foster kids, and I’m their case worker.”

My lungs lock. “Well, they’re adorable,” I choke out the words.

Her eyes dart in their direction. “Yes, I suppose so.”

I flee to my galley, tears of disbelief pooling. They should be going to Disneyland — NOT a “new” home!!!! What happened to their parents? Why are these precious dolls floating around the system? And what if things don’t work out this time? Should I call my husband and tell him I’m bringing home two angels to shower with love — and anything else they’ve spent their tender years going without?? I write down my name and number to give the social worker.

But my head interjects, giving my heart a run for its money: This is none of my concern. Who am I to interfere? I probably wouldn’t even qualify as a legal guardian — I’ve never parented anybody!

And so…

I do nothing but serve them drinks and peanuts, all the while marveling at their sweet demeanor and impeccable manners.

An hour later they wave goodbye, sparkly-eyed and grinning. They seem so happy so — well-adjusted.

They’ll be fine.

I tell myself

over and over

just fine…

gulp

blink

blink

💔

🌺For many, Mother’s and Father’s Days trigger more feelings of loss than joy. I dedicate this to ALL those who’ve had to grovel (like my husband) for the parental love I’ve taken for granted.🌺

***Luggage Lady is off to the Balkans. I’ll return with more stories soon…😘

(Photo: From our 40-mile hike to Machu Picchu, Peru 2013 💕 Incidentally, this darling boy had two doting parents hovering nearby…I just loved the picture.)

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Somehow… I’m Enough

Wedding fif

Celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary recently, someone asked, “Did you guys ever think you’d make it this far?”

As a flight attendant/pilot couple, we’re well aware our odds of marital success are lower than the dismal average. So we take pride rather than offense when such questions arise. But my lungs deflated when my husband replied, “Personally, I can’t believe she didn’t bail the second I started flapping my jaws about my past.”

I forced a smile. But for someone from a cohesive family, including parents who will celebrate their 52nd anniversary next month, enduring a childhood rooted in abandonment and abuse is anguish I will forever struggle to comprehend.

* * *

Mothers are supposed to hurl themselves in front of speeding trains if it means saving their children — right??? But what if you’re a mistake, whisked from your birth mother to an adoptive mother who subsequently opts for “children of her own,” leaving you in the hands of a broken man when you’re just seven? And what if this sole parent turns to the bottle to satiate his anger and to you with raging fists when liquor fails?

My husband needn’t ponder — this was his childhood. And the hardship didn’t end there.

As is frequently the case, the booze triumphed and rendered him an orphan at twenty-three. He pursued his flying dream relentlessly, but the major airlines required a medical history he lacked. In searching for this, he discovered a clerical error: His birth name had been left visible in the adoption records — a unique one, courtesy of his Czechoslovakian mother.

He was twenty-six when he found her. Living with a man in his early thirties, she was terrified that the sudden appearance of her secret son might result in yet another failed romance. After meeting him, she interacted sporadically before vanishing again. As a parting gift, however, she shared his father’s identity —  and the uncanny addendum: He was also an airline pilot!

Optimism skyrocketing, he couldn’t wait to meet his genetic blueprint. Unfortunately, their relationship was doomed from the git-go. Dad was married to a younger woman who couldn’t stomach my husband’s existence — forget subjecting her pre-teen children to such a scandal.

* * *

I’m ashamed to admit, the first time he told me his (less cheeky) version of the story, I quickly located my nearest exit. Don’t get me wrong, I was smitten from the start. He was (and is) my bona fide flyboy in shining armor — and yet?? Even now, in those unguarded moments when I spy a darkness in his eyes I can’t seem to brighten, inadequacy looms:

What if I make a mess of the love he’s gone a lifetime without

Letting him down like countless others?

What if I inadvertently poke holes in an already battered soul

Because my heart is too small?

What if I’m not worthy of the gem that he is?

💞

Then he pulls me into his resilient embrace

Eclipsing words

Halting time

Heartbeats melding

Thumping a tune of

Perpetual devotion

And I know

Somehow… 

I’m enough

* * *

♥ I dedicate this to every person struggling with family or abandonment issuesparticularly during the Holiday Season. I know how hard it is to open your hearts and let another in, but please know that what you’ve endured doesn’t define you. You prove this time and again with your steadfast attitudes and successes. YOU are precious gifts, inspiring others to overcome obstacles while finding the courage to forgive and trust again. And I, for one, am oh-so-grateful for your presence on this earth! xoxo ♥

Reeling with Gratitude

Blog of the Year Award banner 600

very-inspiring-blogger  sunshine-blogger-award-2

I confess: I’ve spent a lifetime playing it “safe.” Unless I could spy a clear-cut path to assured “success,” I shied away from “risky” opportunities. In regards to my writing, I surmised, better to be unread than to have my creativity slaughtered by critics!

Then, I met my husband and tried to wrap my mind around his life-story:

A high school oops given up for adoption…a ward of the state for seven months…adopted by a couple who would divorce by his seventh birthday…raised solely by his adoptive father who turned to the bottle to ease his solitude…beaten routinely…escaping to join the Air Force…only to return home and helplessly watch his only parent succumb to cancer…orphaned at twenty-three…after which he would track down biological parents who ultimately wanted nothing to do with him…

???!!……………………………………………………………….!!???

First off,  I could not fathom how a man forced to grow up with zero maternal love was capable of loving me so completely. Furthermore, how did a person raised under a banner of rejection and abuse achieve such sky-high dreams? I, a child blessed with a “Beaver Cleaver-type upbringing,” had known no such hardship. How could I begin to understand the anguish of not having a soul on this planet to call family?

I’m not qualified, I silently panicked! What could I offer — besides unwavering love?

I did the only other thing I felt capable of — I started writing a fictionalized version of his experience. What started out as an education about the lingering wounds of adoption, evolved into an endeavor that superseded fear. One I will never give up on until it is worthy of ALL who have walked — for whatever reason — in abandonment’s painful shoes.

Rehashing a manuscript, again and again, can leave one numb. Starting this blog inspired me to keep my writing fresh. Where I struggled in my fictional world, here I found salvation. But NEVER in my wildest dreams did I expect to find such an incredibly supportive community…

Reeling with gratitude, I can only bow my head and say — THANK YOU!

***

Special Thanks to:

Teacher as Transformer who nominated me for the Very Inspiring and Sunshine Blogger Awards. He is truly the teacher we all wished we had in our younger days. I am elated to have discovered him — better late than never!

Global Light Minds who nominated me for Blog of the Year. Wendy’s daily snippets are my number one inspirational indulgence. Follow her, you won’t be disappointed!

***

I wish to nominate the following blogs:

Eric M Vogt’s Blog — His intriguing background captured me from the git-go, but his amazing writing will change your world for the better…

Untetherednunbroken — Beautiful, eloquent, soul-stirring and so very real…

The Silent Muse — An incredibly prolific writer. My finger hurts from hitting the LIKE button so often…

Aarthi — I have no idea how she writes so consistently beautiful every single day…

MindRetrofit7 — Add another star already, Angel!

Global Light Minds — Add another star, Wendy!

Withering Words of Mind — Kent is new on the scene but certainly not new to the written word, what a magical find…

For all those I missed in this talented pool…or haven’t had the privilege of discovering yet, I can’t wait to read your delightful words!! XO

Navigating the “Whys?”

 

Navigating-the-Whys-Luggage-Lady-Blog

Whether by fate or another’s choice

Abandonment became your heritage

Navigating a lifetime of “whys?”

You carefully plotted your course without a safety net

A survivor’s do-or-die mentality

Primal determination shrouded deep voids

Stoic courage and steadfast optimism

Made it difficult to fathom the magnitude of your plight

Outwardly successful

You juggled stars others couldn’t even spy

Yet

When I met you

Weariness tempered your smile

Doubt swam in vulnerable eyes

I hesitated…

What if I let you down like so many before?

Was my heart big enough?

Would I prove worthy of your fragile trust?

Did I dare find out?

Yes!

Because even in your bleakest hour

Your vibrant soul shines a beacon of optimism in adversity’s face

Betrayed by those who should have cared

You soldier ahead each time

You planted trust’s seed and nurtured our blossoming love with such spirited tenacity

Gratitude floods my veins daily

So when your flesh and blood jams his foot through that door

The one you’re too gracious to close

Kicking you swiftly in the gut — yet again

My heart rages

Fists clenched in your defense

Frustrated tears turning to sobs

I can’t spare you from the torment

But with every cell I possess

I can stand by you

And it is here

I shall

Forever remain…


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