Don’t Fear the Birth Family

Written by on 12 December, 2013 in Blog with 0 Comments

nashville treeHurry up and wait!  That’s this past week in a snapshot.  We were all excited that Marsha and Kohla’s sister was coming to visit from Italy for a month.  Marsha and I left early last Monday only to arrive in Detroit as her plane was leaving Amsterdam – delay.  We ate the most expensive breakfast of my life time at the airport, and then I took a brief nap in the hotel lobby and it was time for arrival.  Talk about excitement.  It was fabulous to see Luida again; it had been 10 years for me and 5 for Marsha.  In Ukraine, Luida as a 19 year old adult, had to sign the adoption papers for us to adopt Marsha and Kohla.  I thought she was very brave; she didn’t know us from Adam who’s to say how we would treat them.

After we loaded her and Antonia, her son, up we made a fast drive to Foley, Alabama to see Kohla and find out what was happening with him.  He’d been ignoring every ones phone calls and visits for well over a month.  He called Marsha for a loan.  That was bazaar in itself.  Marsha never has any money; she normally borrows from him.  Depression.  He was obviously coming out of his funk by the time we arrived in Alabama.  I leaped at him with a big hug and smile when he opened the door, and he gave me a big smile back.

My granddaughters live in the gulf region of Alabama and they are beautiful.  They both are getting smarter every day.  Molly talks about adoption a lot which I like.  It tells me that she’s allowed to think about it.  I told Duane, her dad, while I was there, that you never have to fear the birth family.  That’s just something adoptive parents don’t generally understand.  Speaking for myself as a parent, they are a huge piece to the puzzle and additional extended family to enjoy.  After all, I had Luida with us too – a very special someone.

The three banditos stayed at Kohla’s apartment and I stayed with Duane and his family.  I would travel to spend the day with my young adult kids while the grandkids went to school, Duane and Janet to work.  It worked out well.  Kohla’s car wasn’t running, so we figured out where it needed to go and I decided I would wait in Alabama until it was fixed or he had a rental.  It only took a few days to get taken care of and he was on the road again.  Then I saw the funk again, but I didn’t recognize it right away.  I didn’t recognize it because instead of Marsha or Kohla having the funk, Luida had the funk.  Whoa!

We left Alabama and drive to Nashville, TN.  Luida didn’t say five words.  I’ve always wanted to visit some of the sites in Nashville.  I’ve been through there dozens of times, but it’s never been a destination place for us to visit.  But, with Luida I felt compelled to visit a site.  Plus, it might improve the situation.  We went to Opryland Hotel and Convention Center.  Disney and Busch Gardens in Florida do not decorate better.  I was so glad we stopped; there was a poinsettia tree, and a three story Christmas tree, lite and decorated.  There was a boat going along the man-made river and four different gardens you could get lost walking through.  We were told there were over a million lights and I’m sure that wasn’t an exaggeration.  Families had their children dressed in their Sunday best and were talking pictures everywhere.  Amazing and free.  We were there at least 2 hours with Luida either walking 10 feet ahead or behind Marsha and me.  We left Nashville and headed north to Michigan.

Snow!  Always fun and I was told in northern Indiana that there were trucks jack-knifed off the expressway.  Not good.  We stayed in a cheap hotel behind the gas station and woke up around 9.  I didn’t want to hassle with the work crowd and I wanted the salt to sink in and bare roads.  Looking out the window trucks were zipping at least 60 mph, so it was good to go.  We only had a few hours left until we were home.  I was sure Charlie could snap Luida out of it.  He can be quite charming and witty if he chooses.

Within 45 minutes we crossed into Michigan and Luida asked Marsha to have me drop her off at a hotel in Battle Creek.  I pulled over into the “Welcome to Michigan” travel center and we had a brief discussion and I recognized immediately that I would not change her mind.  It was the depression I’d see in Marsha and Kohla on and off for 10 years all over again.  Her mind was made up, she was going home.  I knew it was pointless.

I went into the hotel with her and gave her a big hug goodbye and kissed the little fella.  I waited until I knew they would accept her out of country card and got into the car with Marsha and headed home stumped.  It’s been two days and I’m still stumped.

Going back to what I told Duane, ‘never fear the birth family,’ was far more insightful that I even knew at the time.  What a huge piece to a very frustrating puzzle Charlie and I have had visit with us for over a decade.  Genetic depression.  Luida is on her way back to Italy, but I hope and pray someday she will return.  She will always be the ‘one that got away.’  I’ll always wish I could have been her mother too.  I know that things would be different for her, not necessarily better but different.  But I think the funk is just a part of who she and her siblings will always experience from time to time.  Frustrating, but still very lovable.

We love him, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 KJV



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