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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Visiting Family

Another post by Jenn, Susan's daughter. Susan passed away in April of 2014 after an 8-month battle with malignant melanoma. She met and knew her sisters for the last 7 months of her life. 

This is just a note about the simple joy of being able to visit family (not always so simple for adoptees). Today I drove the hour and a half from my home to my mom's sister's home, both in New Jersey, for a visit with family. My two daughters, 13 and 11, and and my niece, 12, came with me. They spent most of the visit playing with their four-year-old "cousin" (actually my cousin's daughter), who cried and clung to them when they left. It is tough to say good-bye. 

I basked in the warmth of my mom's sister's family and enjoyed meeting her youngest son's new baby and hearing her oldest son's college-age daughter, an accomplished singer, serenade us in the kitchen.  Her daughter (the four-year old's mother) gave me the best hug hello (and goodbye), and it reminded me of when my mom first met everyone, how she told me, "You are just not going to believe how warm they are." She talked about the hugs. 

This is my family. How strange to think had my mom never done some investigating to find them (after she was told not to - told to leave it alone and just be grateful for the life she had), had I never sent a letter with a few photos of my children tucked inside, that we would just be passing by one another, never connecting. We came so close to that. 

I know my mom would have loved this visit today. She spoke about the feeling of wholeness and healing that came from finally knowing her full story once she found her sisters, and though she had so little time with them, wholeness and healing matter. What my mom walked through to get there, all that suffering, it mattered. It got us somewhere. It got us to today.