I look forward to coming home. Everyday.
Some parents may explain this by saying I haven’t been at this parenthood thing long enough. Some act as though they can’t wait to be away from their children. I can’t imagine feeling that way.
Penelope now gets excited when I come home from work. I give Jenn a hug and a kiss, put down my bag, and go to Penelope to kiss and hug her. Some days, like today, I get a kiss back. John Lennon had Double Fantasy, I have double happiness. I look forward to the love I have at home. Why would I want to flee?
As a new father of a child I chose, a child with a non-linear familial story, I’m experiencing an unexpected consternation. Along with the choices every parent makes, I find myself examining the thoughts and feelings I have about Penelope’s birth parents,her original culture and language, and the vocabulary to describe her first years of life.
All of these things will influence her in some way.
My thoughts and feelings fluctuate. I visit the digital outposts of fellow adopters from China, read their blogs, and look at their pictures in awe. I get concerned I will make a bigger deal out of Penelope’s story than is warranted (in her mind). My greatest fear is reserved for not taking it seriously enough.
When I look into the eyes of my grown daughter I want to help her as much as I can on her journey of self-discovery.
I don’t want to have the answers to all her questions. She will to discover them for herself. She will need to ask her own questions. She must write her own story. When that time comes my goal is that Jenn and I will be as supportive as possible.
In the meantime I collect every scrap of information I can. Heather, the woman who held Penelope as an infant and graciously contacted us and sent photos and video, told me about a book called “A Day in the Life at Shepherd’s Field”. It was printed a couple of years ago by SFCV to raise money for the organization. Though it has no pictures of Penelope I immediately wanted one. A few emails, a donation, and the next thing I know we have this treasure. It will be Penelope’s one day. Another piece of the puzzle.
And that’s the crux of the matter. I’m not putting the pieces together; I’m collecting as many as I can so Penelope doesn’t have to. She can spend more time experiencing what’s ahead rather than chasing the past.