Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I was at my desk upstairs in our bedroom, calling motels in the area while I looked out over the front yard . We needed a place to stay for a couple of days while our floors were being refinished in preparation for selling our little home. We had found a home with one more bed and bathroom and with about six months before we were expecting to receive our referral our plans all seemed to be falling into place.
Major changes in life are often announced by a phone call and so it was in our case. The phone rings. I answer, slightly annoyed at the interruption, and within seconds I am walking down the stairs calling for Y: we drag chairs to the table, find paper and pencil and began to write out the details of his story onto the paper even as it is being written on our hearts. A son. Our son. Once again the universe has revealed it's perfection.
Perhaps the signs were there then, in the less than timely moment that we got the call. As I wrote, I remember thinking that I was writing a chronicle of his losses.
We considered ourselves lucky when our house sold quickly even if it felt strange that the sellers of our new home had not yet signed the sellers agreement. A few weeks later and we receive the travel e-mail: Please be in Addis Ababa on...my heart leapt, it was happening, we were going to Ethiopia! I called the travel agent and then my mother. A few hours later another call that would change the direction of our lives. Our real estate lawyer, "I have bad news", he said. We would not be able to buy the home we were planning on buying. It was a short sale now. In five days we would be getting on a plane to Addis Ababa to meet our son and we now did not have a home to bring him to. Loss of house, security, peace of mind.
We flew off to Ethiopia to meet B with a photo album of photos of a house he would not be moving in to. B was the bright light in our crazy winter. He was/is extraordinary and everything I ever wanted except better and more and he is who he is which is just exactly what we wanted/needed. He is a miracle. We had to leave him, which we did but not before an old implant post in my mouth broke, in Addis Ababa and I went to a dentist there (cost $3.50) and then in New York (cost $5K). The Five Thousand Dollars was for us a big part of our savings. On hearing what the cost would be I went home and although it was only Noon, I got into bed and stayed there until the next day. I have never done that before or since. I needed a few hours not to do anything but lay down and consider the Universe. Homeless and Five Thousand Dollars poorer with my youngest son, unwell and in Ethiopia was more than I was capable of handling at taht moment. The next morning I got up but the feeling of loss stayed with me. I had mouth surgery and packed up the house and worked like a dog. We found an apartment in town and friends, oh thank goodness for friends, friends moved us from our home of 8 years to a very rinkety apartment while we were in Addis Ababa. We arrived home with our sweet boy into a home we had never lived in. An apartment a flight up and with missing kitchen drawers and a bathroom with a floor so rotten the tub would fall through it a few weeks after we moved out. Loss of our sweet little house (my childhood home) as Q called it. A few weeks later we moved again, into a sweet little split level with a great backyard. Still the commute. Still the hard work. Never enough time with the kids. I planned our escape from that insane life, all the while wondering how I would make it without the friends that I had made there. Wondered about trading my child's wonderful country life for life in a city I didn't really know and sweet B, what would a move mean for him. Y and I, not on the same page. Nothing going easily. Thinking I had these friends and then realizing everything is not what it seems, meanwhile others step up and show up and pack up and again, friends get us over the raging river. Loss of the town we loved for 10 years. The mountains, the nature, our dear dear friends. Loss of watching closely the newest members of families come home and begin to their lives, loss of our church. Loss. We move, across country and in the process I lose income, big time income. We live with my mom and dad and we look and look and look. We see a couple homes but they are not where we want to live and so we move into an apartment. Loss of a backyard, or any yard at all. It turns out good for the time being. The park across the street is lovely and we meet new friends every night. And here we are. The four of us. All feeling the loss of precious friends, places, familiarity, nature. "I miss Christian" little B says the other night as he falls asleep. His sweet friend that he played with and who made him laugh till his sides hurt. He hasn't yet found that person again. Loss, and yet, we have found, us. The we of we. Who we are. Where home is. We are more us than we ever have been before. We know ourselves. We are rock steady. Solid. Losing home and health and friends and places and income it all doesn't matter like we do. We are a family. Strong and still here.