CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

November 23, 2009

THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY


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THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

      I found the perfect card for my granddaughter’s ninth birthday—one that will make her eyes roll. The front has a sepia picture of a girl whose hair, dress and boots are quite old fashioned. She is holding a platter with a small cooked turkey on it.

     Inside it says Happy Birthday You Turkey

     OK, so you’re eyes are rolling too, as do the eyes of others who overhear me trying to calm Jordan when she’s out of control.

     “Unruffle your turkey feathers!” I demand.

     Or when I’m affectionate with her.

     “You turkey,” I grin.

     Most of the time over-hearers just give me “that look” that says “How could you insult such a cute child?” “Get your grandparenting skills in order!” or “I’m reporting you for abuse!”

     And I verbally retort “She comes by it righteously. She is a turkey.”

     I then provide a pregnant pause before adding “She was born on Thanksgiving Day!”

     Each year I remind Jordan a of the 1997 Thanksgiving Day when our properly prepared turkey sat in the refrigerator rather than the oven. Sandy and her ex-husband G. called us—they were going to the hospital finally to welcome Jordan into the world.

     She arrived at 5:05 p.m. November 27, 1997. Shortly thereafter her eyes were wide open, taking in the world with all its newness and surprises.

     While anticipating her birth I sat in the family waiting room reminiscing a very different type of “birth” twenty-seven years earlier.

     Sandy was born May 17, 1970. Monte and I weren’t present—we weren’t her bioparents. We didn’t even learn of her arrival until she was two weeks old. While awaiting Jordan’s arrival I wondered how Sandy’s welcome into the world compared to the love and family present for Jordan.

     A week after we were informed of Sandy’s arrival Monte went to work as usual. I went strawberry picking an hour away from home with a close friend, Shirl Murray. I confided my frustration to her about having a daughter but not being privy to any information on her condition (due to low birth weight she was cared for in a neo-natal hospital unit) or when I could finally hold her, counting her fingers and toes.

     When I arrived home I called the adoption agency, intent on learning something. They said they’d been trying to reach us (this was pre-cell phone). Sandy had been discharged. She could come home.

     We drove to Pittsburgh. We weren’t allowed to dress our daughter—we had to hand her outfit over to a maternity home staff member and watch as she dressed Sandy. Our daughter was “born” to us late that afternoon when the worker finally placed her in my arms.

     Sandy has two families, one biological and one environmental. She’s made peace with the broken threads.

     I’ve watched her grow as a person through her parenting experience. She’s a good mom.

     Jordan too has broken threads. Her dad left the family when she was three. Her home was broken into and she’s lost a precious cat (her grandparent’s pet, Gizmo) and her lovable dog Heidi.

     Although I’ll miss the eight-year old Jordan the newly nine-year old is a joy to be around. She is fun loving, pulling occasional stunts on her grandmother. She is sociable but reserved, and appreciates her new friend who recently moved nearby. Her responsibility is demonstrated when she rises easily in the morning and prepares for school, making the school bus on time; or when she watches the clock as she plays games on the computer. She loves animals, especially dogs and horses—but any animal will do. She’s independent, as most nine-year olds are, yet more communicative than ever before. Yesterday she told me she earned an A on two tests, math and spelling.

     Thanksgiving will come and go before she has her birthday this year. On her original Thanksgiving birthday we began to know who she was. On her first birthday she was a good-natured child forever running headlong into life, loving it. On her second birthday trains were the best. On her ninth birthday she is on the cusp of being a young lady.

     Jordan is the spitting image of her mother, people tell me. Yet she has some of her father in her too.

     She connects her mother with the future, a special gift she is not aware she is giving.

     This Thanksgiving we not only celebrate the joys of an almost nine-year old granddaughter, but the joys of two grandsons, two-and-a-half year old V. and half-year old M., both children of my son and his wife.

     We also welcome K. deeper into our family with her three children, Julia, Joshua and J. (a child born on my own birthday). They are a new addition, due to the death of both of K’s parents. But that is another story, for another time.

     HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

ADDITIONAL READING:

WHAT? NO PUMPKIN PIE FOR THANKSGIVING?

The Thanksgiving Baby

TURDUCKIN

A THANKSGIVING POEM

To read a post about the birthmother in The Thanksgiving Turkey and The Thanksgiving Baby:

PENNSYLVANIA WEDDING, (LAMOINE) MAINE ROOTS

MORE:

We’re Adopting a Baby! Part 1

BEAR STORIES ACROSS THE NATION

BUSY—I’M SO BUSY!!! Lent Devotion #28

Characteristics of healthy families

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