I had an odd and revealing moment this afternoon.
I had just finished up doing some text edits and stopped off to see if my friend little X in Tucson was doing better after his surgery (amazing, isn't it, that our epistolary friendships now take place in realtime? I think we often take for granted the miracle of digital electronic communication...) when I came across a post from another friend, a young woman who has adopted not just one but two little girls from China.
Her younger daughter is dealing with attachment issues and this woman had simply had a trying morning and couple of weeks and wanted to tell us about it.
I went to her blog and read her post and, well, just felt badly for her and her daughters and her husband. Attachment disorders are hell, and there's no disguising or ameliorating that. When the normal human connection between childish needing and parental giving is broken, well...
But the sharp stick that it prodded into my back was the thought of my own little person that came with us to rainy, cold Portland these five years gone by.
I know she's still in there; when my daughter collapses under my scolding that's the little girl running to cry on her wubbie. When Missy responds to gentle teasing with angry tears, that's the little girl weeping.
She had her own hardships with learning to love us and be loved. Somewhere inside that little girl still mourns the mother she never knew.
And I opened the dashboard and deleted the link.
But those scars - and the gifts that sometimes gentle and heal them - are not changeless. Just as our faces and bodies change those marks of our pasts change as well. Where we are going takes us around the corner from where we have been, and the sightlines to those places are lost.
The road my little girl travels will always lead from China and her lost mother and the life that she lost such a short time ago.