12.16.2013

# 89: LILY'S 2nd BIRTHDAY



PAGE # 89
Monday
12/16/13

Dear Baby Lily,

Happy 2nd birthday to you, no longer a baby, but a toddler now. You probably have a different name as well, which would put you on at least name number three, and it strikes me as crazy that any toddler should have been named more times than her actual number of years old. 

I still look for you in the faces of other little girls. If a child looks genetically unrelated to her parents, I tend to suspect adoption immediately. In these cases, I really study the child's face for clues of your baby face. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, I may even strike up a conversation with a parent. If they were to share an adoption story, I'd make an apt listener. 

I wonder when or if I will ever stop looking for you. It's not as if I am in ongoing pain; no, I think I am fine. I think it's just the nature of such a bizarre loss--surely it is not the normative experience--plus, I am curious. So, I predict the habit will continue on till my dying day.

The chances, I think, are actually good that we might someday meet again. I recently found the daughter of my mother's ex-fiance on Facebook. This is impressive for a multitude of reasons:

1)  My mother was not very forthcoming about the fact that she had been engaged to someone else before marrying my father. In fact, she only told me about her broken-off engagement after I'd been married myself. This once-upon a time engagement was over 40 years ago.

2)  After learning of this other man, it took me another ten years to find out his last name. Finally, a few months ago, my mother told me.

3)  That very day, the same day of finding out his last name, I learned that the man had unfortunately passed away less than two years ago. Also, I found one of his daughters on Facebook. And then I noticed that the daughter and I have a mutual friend. And many of my friends are friends with her friends. 

4) We connected and are now Facebook friends. Her dear mother even scanned old photos for me of her late husband, then a young man, with my then-young mother. So people save stuff. And they are happy to share! It was super exciting to see these resurrected pictures of my mom and to finally get a look at the man who almost cost me my very existence! He was indeed handsome.

5) The daughter and I are planning to meet in the spring. We both almost never existed and yet--we are now connected by this immutable detail of our parents' history. AND I FOUND HER IN LESS THAN AN HOUR once I learned the last name of my mother's fiance (which, by the way, his daughter no longer shares, and still, it was easy).

I tell this seemingly unrelated story now because it gives me hope that someday I will be able to find you. Finding a person is easy nowadays, given all the social media. The hard part, on the other hand, will be getting your name in the first place. But that too, I do not believe to be an impossible task. I have hope--some of that hope rests in the fact that your biological mother, according to her twitter feed, became a private investigator. Just like your maternal biological grandfather is. 

In any case, your footprints will be waiting. And your hospital identification bracelets. And your earliest photos. 

I wish you a very happy birthday, wherever you are, and hope that you are loved, healthy, and enjoying life. 

Love,
Jennifer

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A Note to Readers: Please note that my writing time has grown quite narrow these last few months. This lack of output is not related to the Baby Veronica case outcome--it is merely the result of other life events (including recurring illnesses and building a new home). I intend to complete Baby Lily's story in its entirety. Thanks for your patience. 

2 comments:

J said...

A Cliff notes version maybe? :) I really enjoy your writing, glad to hear you intend to continue.

Evan Riley said...

It's killing me, I guess I'll have to learn patience.