Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sound of Unlocking

Do you know what the sound of a heart being unlocked sounds like? What it feels like? Is it a burst of knowing that someone is going to change your life? A type of emotional epiphany? A warming of the heart? A quickening of the breath? 

I am a gal who keeps a lot of things under lock and key. Emotions, mostly, especially when the stakes are high. I’m not a gambler, least of all with my heart. I am a gal who keeps up walls and boundaries and, in some cases —barricades— until I know that the relationship is safe to enter fully. I do not like getting hurt. I do not like being hurt. I do not like hurting others. I think a lot of us spend a vast amount of time planning on how to keep ourselves safe from pain. And yet, in the complexities of human relations—there is always a spoonful of hurt that no amount of sugar can take away.

The night before the kid came into my home, I had what the Southerners in my life would call “A coming to Jesus” moment. I had to let go of all the voices speaking to me from the recesses of my mind (even if some of them were in French). The voices that told me that this whole process was going to hurt. A lot. No matter what happens when the jury reads the final verdict. It was going to hurt being a single mom. It was going to hurt the day that I had to give her back. A lot. It was going to hurt watching her go back with people that you just don’t trust. It was going to hurt to give up my career plans, vacation plans, social plans. It was going to hurt if I got to keep her. It was going to hurt if I did not get to keep her. Hurt. Ouch.

I had to let go of the fear of getting hurt.

I had to live in the day to day and the night to night.

I realized on Tuesday what the sound of unlocking sounds like. It sounds like tiny, 2-year-old feet stepping lightly across the bedroom floor. It sounds like the rustle of her blankie dragging behind her. It sounds like the little whirl of “Aunt D’Arcy?” as I open my 5:30am eyes and see her 5:30am eyes looking at me. It sounds like pulling her up, taking her into my arms. It sounds like an exhale as she settles. It sounds like a soft exchange of “Nose!” and the tapping of a finger on the two noses that were present. It sounds like a tired “umhmm”, said with closed eyes, to confirm that she got it right. It sounds like all those little sounds that we do not ever really listen to.

It actually does sound like a tiny little “click-click”.

And you know the pain is going to be overwhelming at some future point...but you pull the key out of that lock and open the door anyway. You open it to more than just meeting her needs, more than just helping her survive, more than just giving her a schedule and security and teaching her to say “please” and “thank you”. More than all of that. You open it up and you start to love her like she deserves to be loved. Even if that love is going to end up just feeling "helpless" the rest of the time. You unlock.



Kimberly said...

That was incredibly raw and just inspiring. Herds to the click click!

Kimberly said...

That was incredibly raw and just inspiring. Herds to the click click!

Kim Orlandini said...

I am a bawling mess of tears. As a former foster mother, you described it best. This may be the most love she ever ever feels in her entire life, keep whispering love to her, those whispers she will always hold deep inside the recesses of her heart. You are magical D'Arcy. I meant when I said I am here for you...especially so you can be more social, Camilla would love a playmate.

Lori said...

tears...tears...tears...I cry because I understand all too well what your beautiful words speak of...this unlocking of your heart to this small person that didn't come from you...I've heard this story far too many times to count by countless others who have taken this same road...and every story makes me cry. The beauty of your words are raw with what it takes to take on such a task as this.

You already know how much I am behind you and support you in this act of love...And you know that I think you are doing the best thing ever...and because I've known your heart long enough before this, I know you didn't do this or share your story for pats on the back or to be praised. The thing is the greatest praise you will ever receive will be from this wee little the smiles she gives you and the way she trust you and lets you love her.

Never in a million years will you regret this...yes the pain will be deep and the sleepless nights, the worry, the frustration with those that birthed her...ect..all of that doesn't compare to this minutes and hours and days of loving someone like they deserve. Every single day, I look at my little's and see the confidence they have...the knowing they are loved and protected and it is worth every second I've had to give up to do this mommy gig "one more time". :)

On Saturday their "other mommy" will fly in and do her "santa claus" thing for a day with them. As they drive away with my husband(he stays with them since it's supervised visit) my heart will hurt because I know that when sunday comes they will hurt all over again. They will come home sunday and run into my arms crying and I will once again hold them, wipe away the tears and work to bring them back to wholeness once again. They hurt so I will hurt. A hurt no child should ever have to feel. A hurt your neice shouldn't have to feel.

Bless you my friend...your beautiful words have truly touched me today. Thank you for sharing them and your journey. I truly love you my friend. XXOO Lori

Rowena said...


I don't think I've said how impressed I am with you. You are brave and bold and beautiful.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora d'Arcy,
As usual your words strike to my soul. I hold precious the memories of my first born son running down the hall into our bedroom. He was a daddy's boy then and even if for some reason Tara and I were on our other than normal sides of the bed and he discovered his mom where I should be, he would scamper around to where I was and snuggle into me and fall fast asleep. Much as I did with my own father. What safer place could a young boy be?
Now that he is 18 and struggling with so much, I can't snuggle him like that anymore,yet I also cannot lock back up what he unlocked back then. A fine line between love and pain.

JonJon said...

Very rarely do I feel hungry for a child of my own. This kind of did it for me though.

Heather Perera said...

I have no words D'Arcy! This was beautifully written and refreshingly raw. Beautiful, just beautiful!

Unknown said...

This is just beautiful. Emotionally raw and honest. Love you.

Laura Reaux said...

Beautifully written. I'm all teary. :)

luminainfinite said...

Oh D'Arcy, how did I not know about The Kid until now? I am up at 4:33 am in the hot air of this summer heat wave, feeling this unlocking that you have grabbed a fluttering wing of. I haven't known how to tell anyone how scared I am as I lay down each night beside my baby boy, and place my hand on his chest to feel if he is breathing. Automatically my brain plays out the scenario of what I would do if he wasn't, and it always ends that my own chest would have no idea how to breathe anymore. What have I gotten myself into? We are speeding through bliss at a breakneck speed. Will I ever be as happy as this moment again? Will I ever recover from it? This love is terrifying because there is no cure for such a thirst except to continue forward despite the danger. This love is a stupid, death-defying feat with each morning we wake up and each nighttime embrace. It matters. It resonates throughout time and space. We will never be the same, like space astronauts who have seen a new plane, explorers of a new country. It could all crash down, but who can turn back from here? Bravo for your courage and love D'Arcy. Joy sublime for your sweet niece, humbly bringing you such a gift and enjoying such a blessing in your arms. Cheers to us in this journey!