Today I picked up Joselin from Columbia so she could visit for a few days. Either she has shrunk or Anthony and Larissa have grown.
We had to eat at our favorite restaurant as a late birthday dinner for her.
When I picked her up at our prearranged time she was crying. She has been very nostalgic all day and very talkative. At one point she turned to me and said, "Thank you. Thank you for putting up with me, thank you for contacting me on facebook even when I didn't want to talk to you, thank you for being my mom because you are my mom."
She still regrets all the years she wasted being so angry. She told me that her younger brother is now 18. She wishes that she could find him. She says that one day she will find him but how does she tell him that her mom gave them up for adoption because she was selfish. She wanted them to be adopted together because she didn't want her brothers father to have him. This was the first time I heard this. She said she never said anything because she was embarrassed. She wanted them to both be adopted together so that Joselin could bring him back home one day. However, she didn't have birth certificates and her brother was a much lighter skin color so the orphanage wouldn't take them together. She left her brother there and got some money for him and then took Joselin to another orphanage where she lied about her age and got more money. Joselin never understood why her mom took her when her first plan failed.
Then she asked me if I regretted letting her mom see her when we went for the pick up trip. I told her that I was very torn about that. We did it because we wanted Joselin to have pictures with her mom. However, we had no idea that her mom would say stuff to her that would cause years of hardship. Joselin said she was split too because those pictures were so important to her but it made everything so much harder. Her mom told her to not ever call me mom, to come back to Guatemala when she was 16 and that she was pregnant. She said an awful lot in a very short period of time and caused a lot of problems! If I had to do it over again would I allow that visit? I am not sure.
I can see that her brother turning 18 has caused her to reevaluate everything. We have all made mistakes along the way, we all have some level of regrets. However, we are here today with a strong relationship because we didn't give up even when things were at their worst.
I have seen that with each milestone Joselin processes more of her past. Some of it pleasant and some of it traumatic. Slowly it is all becoming her past and she is looking at it from a more mature prospective. Some of it still hurts and for some things she will never get an answer about all of her mothers motivations. But as she said herself today, she needs to let some of it just stay in the past.