Friday, April 20, 2007

Thinking of Ariana

As Mother's Day approaches, I find that Ariana is always in my thoughts.

Though we'd known about Ariana and her family since the end of November, we only met her in person a few days before Hester's birth. She was very clear that she wanted us to be present during her baby's delivery, an act of kindness and generosity that astounded us (still does, in fact). We were honored to assist Ariana during her labor and delivery and we were so happy to meet Hester the very moment she came into the world. We met Bobby and Tyler at Hester's birth, too. Side note: It is an amazing and wonderful thing to know that Hester looks exactly like her brother Tyler.

Both families cared for Hester during the first week of her hospitalization, and after Ariana and Bobby signed their TPR papers they continued to stay involved in her care. However, as the days stretched into weeks and Hester continued to be hospitalized, Ariana and Bobby's life grew even more stressful than it had been before her birth. Without going into detail, they lost the few supports they had in the area and decided to move to the west coast to stay with Ariana's family. The last time I spoke with Ariana, they were leaving for Western State the very next day. She said that although she wanted to stop by the hospital to say goodbye to Hester and to us, she wasn't sure she'd be able to do it.

It's been a little over 2 months since we heard anything at all from Hester's first family. Ariana and Bobby have all of our contact information, so we know they will be in touch with us if and/or when they can. We send them letters and pictures through their social worker, but I wish we were in touch in other ways as well. I also wish I had some cues from them about this relationship, but I guess I just have to trust my own instincts: More pictures; more information too. Special packages for Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Christmas. I put myself in Ariana's place as best I can and think of the things I know about her, and I hope and pray I'm not fucking this up. Will I know if I am, though? I want to do right by her, and by Bobby and Tyler too.

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Blogger Abigail said...

I've wondered if you had been in contact with Ariana and how this has been for her. I have to say that I think everything that you are doing sounds wonderful and good. If I were her I would appreciate your offers of information and connection, even if I didn't know what to feel or how to respond. Obviously I know nothing about her or her wishes, but I imagine you are doing it just as it should be. You are offering what you can, and I'm sure they know that you want to have a relationship with them that respects their needs and hopes as well.

Maybe they need time. I bet it feels reassuring to get the love notes from Hester, even if it's a hard thing to go through this process.

11:11 PM  

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