Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Baby Clothes


I want to try to write this post without getting overly emotional or melodramatic about it. So, I'm going to try to keep it brief and simple. But the topic is far from brief. And far from simple. And this isn't easy. Meera is now wearing a lot of Kyle and Owen's old baby clothes. All their old baby clothes that I've stored away for the past four years. At six months old, Meera weighs at least five pounds more than either Kyle or Owen did at eight months. The clothes fit her differently than they fit them. They look entirely different on her than they did on them. When worn by Meera instead of the boys, the images that these clothes project and the body these clothes protect are completely, completely converse. But they are the same clothes. And seeing her in them brings so many emotions to the surface. So many memories come flooding back. Many of these items of clothing bring back specific moments in time and specific experiences that we had in our first weeks home with K & O. Some of those moments and experiences were joyous, some were heart-wrenching, some still sit in my core as life-altering for all involved. My memories are like snapshots of time, like little tid-bits of something precious that is in a million pieces in my mind. Bringing the boys home, trying to heal them as best we could, and creating our (then new) family life happened with those clothes on our boys. I snuggled and held them and tried to understand them for hours on end as they wore those clothes. So some of them I couldn't bear to have anyone else but my boys wear (the first outfits we dressed them in when we arrived to the hotel in Haiti; the outfits they wore on the flights home). Some I have given away to friends or the thrift store. But a whole dresser-full are now being worn by Meera. To see her in them is such stark contrast. The most striking is simply that she is so healthy (on every level), and they were so deeply not. My precious boys needed so much. Meera needs so little. I worried so about my bambinos. Meera Grace requires so little worry. Meera was born into an already-strong attachment relationship, she's got not a care in the world on her little mind, she's 100% on track for a healthy happy life, etc., etc., etc. See.... it is almost impossible for me to articulate. This is why I have been avoiding writing about subjects related to this kind of stuff--- because it is so hard to do. At the same time, I want to get it down, because I don't want to forget that I went through this. This time right now -- as Meera enters into the approximate age at which we adopted Kyle and Owen -- is just a fleeting moment in time. It will go as quickly as it has come. And I know these raw emotions will drift and dissolve. So, I want to remember this. I want to remember that I felt like crying a lot as I see, feel, smell Meera in these little outfits that are, still, to me, "the boys clothes." I want to remember that my heart was full and aching and heavy and light all at the same time. I want to remember all the innocence -- the innocence of chubby happy Meera who has everything on par with the innocence of two tiny Haitian orphans who had nothing. I want to remember the pain and sorrow and grieving and the purest joy I've ever known. Some people might say, 'oh, get over yourself! they're just clothes!' But to me, they are so much more. And right now, it all means something.






13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as usual.

Erin

Rachel said...

I don't think it's silly at all... some of the clothes Gabriel wore in those first few months in Guatemala are irreplaceable to me.

Anonymous said...

Do the boys know that their beloved little sister is wearing their clothes from when they were babies? I imagine it would make an even stronger bond between them knowing that a part of their past life is now in her present life.

stephanie garcia said...

What a sweet post. I still keep clothing of significance from our children as well, such as the outfit our daughter was wearing at three months old when she was handed to me by our agency social worker, and the outfits from our adoption finalizations - they do hold such special memories.

Ani said...

were they ever really that tiny???

this is such a sweet post. and it evokes thoughts very new to me. although i'm a mom through adoption, our son came home as a newborn. his attachment to us was/is seamless, and his understanding about adoption is still fuzzy at best. but, now that we look forward to our second adoption, i wonder if the process will be as "easy" as with our first - and how i will feel as we live through all these milestones once again.

sorry for the rambling, still processing.

merry days to you all...

Claudia and John said...

Ohhh Heather darling. Your post is so lovely. It is not silly at all. What you posted tugged at my heart.

Thank you for sharing.

Love and Hugs,
Claudia

Heather said...

Lovely post.
The boys look so happy and beautiful and loved in these photos, different from Meera but still on a sweet, loved level.

Heather said...

Lovely post.
The boys look so happy and beautiful and loved in these photos, different from Meera but still on a sweet, loved level.

Anonymous said...

Oh Heather,

That is just beautiful. I appreciate your willingness to share such deeply personal feelings with all of us.

K

Mark and Sarah said...

Thank you for this post. As a mama to a 2 year old from ethiopia and a 10 month old from my belly, I resonate with your thoughts. Not silly at all.

Anonymous said...

Heather,

All one has to do is scroll down from the earlier photos of the boys to the Trio series below and see what an incredible change there has been in them. You and Braydon should be so proud of yourselves. You have worked a miracle.

Gail

john said...

nothing silly about it. When our boys came to us, the clothes they were wearing, are now in a sealed plactic bag in storage. I will never give them away. Those clothes are so special.

Wendy Huning said...

Thank you so much for sharing this...when we recently adopted our son from Mali (he was 18 months old at the time) a friend of mine lent me the clothes her son wore. Her son who passed away when he was 2 years old. Every time I put those clothes on my boy, I pause and think about alot of things, but mostly how grateful I am for his life, for his being here, with us. Clothes do trigger very deep emotions, it's not silly at all.