McKenna and I spent about 30 minutes working on her hair. She has very wavy, curly long hair. And it had been awhile since she had gotten the underneath part brushed properly. We were both nervous. I could tell she was nervous because she kept asking me questions. Mostly ones I couldn’t answer.
Why did my birth father come back and marry my birth mother? What is his name? I have a brother and sister? What are their names? What kind of store do they have? The elephant in the room was of course if they stayed together, then why did they give me up? She didn’t ask that question out loud, but it was there hanging around us as I worked through her tangled hair.
We decided on braids for her hair and a different outfit. She fretted about everything. Looking back at the photos we took, she seems like such a little kid compared to almost a year later. She has turned into a young lady in such a short time.
And the things that must have been going through her head and heart as we waited for them to arrive………..
Then there was a knock on the hotel room door. And suddenly the moment was there.
The door opened to two people who enveloped her the minute they saw her. They hugged and held her away to look at her, their flesh and blood. So long ago gone from them. McKenna cried. They cried. Steve and I were crying. And we had no tissues.
They sat on the bed with McKenna between them holding her tight and we exchanged questions through Mr Long, our guide and sudden interpreter, for about an hour. I had brought a photo album that chronicled many of McKenna’s important moments. Her first step, first day of school, school programs.
The picture of her birth grandmother holding her.
Finally, the big question…..one that was very difficult to ask………and difficult for them to answer……
Why did you give up McKenna?
The reason was a circumstance from his family that was very compelling but was remedied too late for them to keep her. But then he worked through it, came back and he married Thao.
He did most of the talking and answering of questions. He turned out to be a very nice person, not who I envisioned. He told us they would make no requests except that McKenna be able to meet her grandparents and of course we were more than willing to have her meet as many members of her birthfamily as possible.
We arranged for another meeting the next evening which was McKenna’s little sister’s birthday. After they left, McKenna and I lay on the bed and took silly pictures of ourselves. What had happened that evening was just too much to talk about.
We goofed around instead and went to sleep that night in anticipation of the next evening when she would get to see them again and get to meet her grandparents. I don’t know how she could have slept very well.
And I wonder what they talked about the rest of the evening.
“Này, Billy, tôi bé
Này, cậu bé, nhìn vào tôi.
Rõ ràng bạn đã có đôi mắt của mẹ
Nhưng họ làm những người nhìn thấy?
Các y tá chỉ cần gọi cho tôi ‘cha’.
Vâng, địa ngục, tôi đoán đó là những gì tôi.
Nhưng những gì làm cho cô ấy nghĩ
Tôi là một người đàn ông trong gia đình?
Những người cha của cha, cha của bà mẹ,
Làm thế nào bạn có thể biết những gì nó có giá trị?
Đối với nguyện vọng của tôi tất cả, bạn sẽ được chỉ dẫn
Điều đó tôi bước đi trên mặt đất này.”
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