On my placement day, my “Coming Home Day,” my biological family sent with me several baby outfits, several blankets, and a doll.
As a baby my Adoptive Mother dressed me in the outfits for a few special occasions or church. The doll is in my nightstand.
My Mom used the blankets. They were present in my crib from day one at home until the day they quite literally disintegrated in my hands after a wash at 35.
Their smell a comfort to me as an infant. Their touch a comfort to me as a child. Their presence a comfort to me as a young adult.
Truly they meant I was loved before I was placed. The only connection to biology I had.
I slept with them wrapped around my head and chest long after it was socially acceptable.
When I gave birth to my son, my Birth Mom gifted me handmade blankets for him. When my first daughter was born, she got one.
And when she was done cherishing it, it was absconded by my own adopted daughter who promptly named it after her sister.
Each of my children have cherished one of the blankets made by my Birth Mother. It is more then cotton and polyester woven into these blankets. It is a thread of what was, what is, what could have been, and what cannot be said.
Photo description: my mother in a satin red blouse holding me as a baby. Her back is turned and my face peeks over her shoulder. My crib is in the background with my blanket draped over the edge.
When our daughter was placed with us her parents sent a blanket. In my selfishness and just damn stupidness, I threw it away because it smelled of cigarette smoke. I didn’t even try to clean it. I realized moments too late what I’d done. That massive mistake haunts me to this day. Especially because I knew better. I knew what my blankets meant to me.
So, when this blanket got left behind somewhere in Tennessee or North Carolina, it wasn’t just losing a typical comfort blanket.
It was a reminder of what we’ve lost already, what loss I had caused, what I’ve lost in secondary rejection, and what more loss that is yet to come in our stories.
My soul crumbled when we stepped into the house after unloading the car and the camper and realizing it wasn’t there. I’ve thought about it everyday since. I’ve called everywhere only to be met with people on the other end who don’t understand the gravity. I’ve been consumed with what could have happened to it.
I’ve been placing my own loss onto my daughter frantic that this will be one of those stories she tells as an adult about how we failed her. Frantic about adding more loss to her story.
But now I think, maybe it’s time.
Time to stop focusing on just the loss.
Time to focus on what we did and do have.
To remember that we were and are loved.
And we were wanted.
Enough to hand make and buy blankets for.
And that’s something.