March 30, 2008 at 11:40 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, M'ijo | 13 Comments

P’ito has now lived with us longer than he lived in Guatemala.

I feel so completely his mama. I know the warm soft spot between his cheek and his neck, his delighted giggle when I spin him around, the sweet baby shampoo scent of his hair. I know the difference between a squawk of momentary discomfort and a howl of distress. And he knows the sound of our voices, the garlic-onion-mustard seed-tomato smell of our home, the rhythm of Pili’s steps coming up the stairs.

But then I look at our pictures of him in Guatemala, the flowers and colors and unique and wonderful sensations of that place. The scent of corn tortillas warming for a late afternoon lunch. The bouncing of tuk-tuks on cobblestones. The dust rising off the road as a brightly colored bus speeds by. And I wish he could know those sensations in his blood the way the smell of tar in the NYC subway will always smell like home to me.

He may not be able to articulate his memories, but I know that they are there. When we first brought him home, we quickly realized that he knew that los pollitos meant time to fall asleep. That he was gobble gobble gobble, “mi gordito” as his niñera proudly told us.

So I think about today with very mixed emotions, knowing that each day that brings him closer to us, brings him further from those first connections and associations that are part of the wonderful, exuberant, inquisitive boy I love so very much today (and everyday).

Goofy Boy


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  1. I know the feelings! From the bittersweetness to the proud and comforting feeling that ‘lij can point at me when asked, “Where is Mama?” They know! Babies know you love them and we know that all the sweet little nothings (and everything) that they do will forever pull at our hearts!

    So glad you are here P’ito!

  2. These feelings are common, I suspect. My sister (who also has T1DM) adopted a baby from Russia and goes through some of the same mixed emotions. The key is, however, that he will likely see you as his only mother (well, besides Pili, of course). I think the adoptive parents tend to think about these issues far more than their kids do!

  3. Hugs of joy and comfort to you and your family.

  4. So many mixed feelings….Curious Girl was falling off to sleep tonight with tears on her cheeks, she told me, because she wishes we knew more about her birth parents. THen a few minutes later she popped her head up and said, “I love you, Mama.” Then a few minutes later, “I wish we knew more about S and J.” I hugged her tight, and we talked about her feelings a bit.

    I love the way you write about the sounds and smells you remember. That’s beautiful/sad.

  5. I so feel that same bittersweetness. I don’t know that I’ll ever find a way to reconcile it all.
    Kerri and Ruby

  6. Congratulations on such a huge milestone.

    You were very eloquent in phrasing your feelings of mixed emotions.

  7. that is one gorgeous boy you’ve got there. he’s lucky to have such a thinking mom.

  8. you capture the nostalgic mixture of longing and comfort, home and loss, very poignantly. what a beautiful son you have.

  9. Wonderful post, well said.

  10. Sweet post. I saw your pictures at Flickr and wondered if you took another trip… now I see they are the memories. Marking another passage of time… He just keeps getting cuter!

  11. Beautifully said. Love to you all.

  12. Hugs and kisses to you and your beautiful boy.

  13. Oh your lovely boy, he’s getting so big!
    You can take him back there and let him experience them again. Perhaps it will awaken his sense memories of his early life. And you will always talk to him about what that life was like.

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