Friday, June 12, 2009

Uncle Yonas

It took me days to write what follows and it is random, and I apologize. I've been uninterested in life aside from learning about bulk cooking and reading David Sedaris. I can't seem to answer my phone or bring myself to be social. But I'm trying. Here goes:

It's been awhile since I've posted. It's been at least two months since I've written anything at all. I'm hermit-crabbing. And my shell its getting a little tight these days. I'm not sure what I need to say here, but today has been harder than the past week. So here I am.

Last night in central Texas there was bad weather. Like tornado bad. When the news tells me there's a tornado a few miles away and to get in a closet, I wake up my kids and get in a closet. Ava was terrified. She 7 years old. Sometimes age brings just enough understanding to scare the shit out of you. Eden didn't start crying until many minutes into the ordeal. Safa was like that drunk girl from high school---confused, and a little pissed that someone woke her up. The tears and snot flowed freely as we sat sweating in Safa's closet. I kept reaching for the panties in her drawer to wipe Eden's running nose. Erik and I kept telling them that we would be fine. I asked them to take deep breaths, I delivered Rescue Remedy under all our tongues as we huddled up and listened to the news waiting to be released from the closet.

As we waited I told the girls this: "When you're a grown-up, you're going to tell your kids about the time you had to get in the closet because there was a tornado so close to our house. Your going to say, "That night, and then, whatever your children call us, say Nana and Poppy, came and woke us up and we had get in the closet and we were so scared and we cried so hard and Aunt Safa slept almost the whole time. And Aunt Eden had to keep blowing her nose into Aunt Safa's panties."

And then Ava stopped me and said, "What do you want to be called?"

And something tender and deep in my heart broke open. I've never given real thought to what I might like to be called as a grandmother, but it was so huge, that moment for me. I said, "I'm not sure."
And then Ava said, "So Eden will be Aunt Eden, and Safa will be Aunt Safa?"
"Uh-huh. Isn't that funny to think about?"
"And Yonas will be Uncle Yonas?"
"That's right."

And we continued to talk about how they would tell the story of that night. And then the news freed us. So we moved the mattress that was covering us all, and we put the girls back to bed.

Here's the thing:

We need a court date. We need one soon if we have any chance of getting Yonas home before Christmas. Someone commented that it must be like being perpetually pregnant, yet no one knows. And it is a little like that. But today I thought, when you're pregnant, the baby isn't 8,500 miles away. I have a friend known to me only through the magic of the internet. She and her husband are waiting on their letter too. They have three children (THREE!) that are in the same orphanage as Yonas. I like to imagine them altogether. And I like to imagine the day I get to meet their family.

Here's something else I imagine everyday with closed eyes. I imagine a new building. I see workers sitting down to paperwork about a baby boy that has a family waiting in Texas. A baby boy that has been in care for a long time. A boy that will one day grow up to be Uncle Yonas. I see them writing a letter for him. Then I see them writing the same letter for three siblings that need to get home to their mama and papa that have been waiting and planning for them for years. I see them mailing those letters to whomever they need to be mailed to, to get us our court dates so we can hold our children. My friend and her husband decided they would join me and Erik in this visualization. She suggested maybe readers of her blog could join us. Maybe you could too...


Unknown said...

Reading this post was exactly what my heart needed this morning. You are focusing on what is important in life. Thank you for sharing.

Two other things: I chose my grandmother name when Jael was pregnant with Henry, my first grandchild. I chose "Mimi." I love that I am the kids' Mimi.

Also, talk to Leigh about how to survive a night in a closet with two scared kids. She and John are pros what with living in Hurricane Alley.

Best, dear one,


rebekah said...

I just picked up the new David Sedaris book.

I hope you get that court date really really soon. Makes my stomach turn to think of the time between court and home. I'm visualizing the paper trail and the people involved who help.

abaco1966 said...

Without a doubt, I want you in my foxhole.

I’ve already been visualizing the email from you announcing that you’d received a court date. I’ll back up the visioning to the letter writing stage and add in the other waiting family. The day can’t come soon enough.

Bridget said...

Man, do I understand this post....
I grew up in Nebraska...tornado alley. Intense. Many a day/night in the closet and one for real tornado. That'll change you forever. I think it is amazing how you contemplate life and your child in different ages and stages and THAT makes you an even more amazing person!

p.s. I am OBSESSED with David Sedaris....and if you haven't already, see him live....worth every minute. I've never laughed so hard in my life!

foreverisamoment said...

We're working on it for you and S&J and the kids too. Hoping for some anwers really, really soon for you all.


Hang on. This is really hard.

Julie said...

Visualizing. Thinking of you guys. I can't believe how long this part is taking for you.