Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Where were you five years ago today?

I know where I was five years ago, almost exactly to the minute as I write this blog posting. Jack came flying into this world at 9:08am, a healthy screaming little bundle of joy. Plump and perfect at 8 1/2 pounds, I was the first one to hold him and even got to cut his umbilical cord. An uncommon experience for an adoptive parent - I was just lucky I guess.

The first 3 days of his little life were broken up into 18 feedings. Greedy little bugger was a four-hour-feeder, so I had to (very willingly) race back and forth from the restaurant to the hospital to feed him, as I did not want to miss a minute of this little man's life.

By day three, he had gained a full pound (little porker) and had a full clean bill of health. Not a thing wrong with him and a birthmark on his butt cheek to match his sisters! Fastening his heavy car seat to the back seat of the truck and heading to the hospital to take him home was both nerve wrecking and exciting. Ron stayed at the restaurant with Rory - just as eager to 'get him home' but someone had to do the cooking and I am, after all, the dish bitch!

Of course, no matter how hard one tries, sometimes life does not go according to plan. That day, we lost Jack. We were dragged through a really difficult time and for all we knew, we had lost him - forever.

For the sake of our (barely in-tact) little family unit, for Rory, and for the restaurant, we had to deal with losing a baby that I had never actually carried. I remember opening the heavy doors of the restaurant to see our staff, before we opened for dinner that evening. There was only one or two of them, that I could actually make eye cotact with. I had to explain that our baby was not coming home and as hard as it might be, we had to continue, business as usual. I instructed the staff (my wonderful wonderful staff) to let our customers know that little Jack was not coming home. And that I would be back to work in a few days. Ron, sheltered by the kitchen walls, had to work through this hell, and then come home to a worse hell. Looking back, I suppose we gained strength from each other’s pain.

People say that 'good GOODS come in small packages'. Rory, only 20 months old, but very worldly for her tender age, was instructed by Ron to 'take care of Mama'. Her typical nature is to be fairly bossy (she gets that from me!) so fire lit, and movies loaded I laid on the couch crying my heart out wanting to die. And, she wiping my nose when needed. Every minute or two she would ask 'Mama ok?' and I would reply 'no, Mama very sad'.

After ten minutes she came in with a baby wipe and wiped away all the tears and said 'are you done yet?' ... That was as much time as I was afforded to grieve the loss of my little man, because she needed me. Ron needed me. My staff needed me. My friends and family were gutted by this loss too, and they needed me. And, even though I did not know it or feel it at the time - I needed all of them, in order to get through the hell of it all.

In steps Catherine. SuperGranny, WonderWoman, my Mum. She was already on the next flight, as she had planned to be with us for Jacks welcoming home. Shortly after she got here, my eldest sister Tracy came to pick up a few more pieces and glue me all back together. I gave her my twin jogging stroller that I had purchased for my little bundles. I could not stand looking at it. She (almost reluctantly) took it back home to France and within a few months filled it with two of her own babies! My friends (although not knowing what to say, or how to help) were just 'there'. They came to the restaurant, they met me at the gym, they drank wine at the bar, they cried, they laughed, they got mad. They helped me get through the hell of it all.

As summer approached, and a few months had passed, breathing was less laboured and life seemed to have a few possibilities again. We were invited up north to our friends home in Wisconsin to 'get away from it all' for a few weeks. We jumped at the chance. We ate, we drank, we swam, we boated, we slept, we cried some more, ate some more, drank some more. We sat around a lot of outdoor fires, and killed a lot of mosquitoes. Rory blossomed. She was so happy and content. Therefore, we let go of the pain. We knew we had to move on. We made the decision to 'try again' and would get in touch with the adoption agency as soon as we got home. We wanted more children.


On August 7th, 2005 as we headed south, home to Cincinnati, I turned on my mobile phone to call the restaurant staff to alert them to the fact that we were en-route. There was a message from Rory's biological grandmother. Her Kentuckian cigarette raspy voice, letting me know 'I got this baby boy - if y'all still want him'...

And the rest, my friends, is Hisstory!


Parenting is the hardest job I have ever had. I am always plagued with the burdens of feeding them the right food, or cleaning the dirty fingernails, or wiping someone’s butt, or combing someone’s curls. I am always stressed over how good or polite they are when I am not with them, or how much of a burden they are to my mother every day as she 'raises' them whilst I study and Ron works.

I (being the great martyr that I am) bring all this upon myself, and know that none of it matters. The children are the happiest they have ever been. I am the happiest I have ever been, and although he is not visible on Facebook/email/blog (because he still thinks the internet is a passing phase) my handsome Chef is the happiest he has ever been. Isn't that all that really matters?

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


And yes Mum, that is all thanks to you :o)


Laoch'Rione said...

Oh Mona what a piece to write, totally heart wrenching!! I loved it!!

WiseMóna said...

I always go for the gut!

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