Have you ever seen those cartoons that go something like "What she said" vs. "What he heard"? I think it's often way too true to even be funny. Many times it's not even the misunderstandings between men and women either. It can be between sisters, brothers, friends, parents and children or children and parents.
I've read and re-read the stack of letters that my brother gave me that my parents wrote back and forth in the months leading up to their wedding and the months afterward while Daddy was in Germany, Mom was in Missouri, and I grew in her womb. In that same stack were a few letters written by friends to my mother when she was as young as twelve. Those letters gave me a whole new perspective on the woman I called Mom. I saw her as a teenage girl, as a young woman in love, and as a first-time mother picking out names. I wasn't there to watch it happen but I can visit her through those letters.
Now as a mother of grown children, I'm afraid they don't know me. Especially since most of them didn't know me until they were young pre-teens or even teens. When I speak, they hear me without the filter of unspoken trust that grows between parent and child before the child can even talk. I don't really know how to make myself clear without that filter, either. I love each and every one of them unconditionally. I'm not always in agreement with their actions; occasionally I think they are downright wrong! (Imagine that — a parent who thinks the kid is wrong....) But my love never waivers.
An Adoption Poem
Not flesh of my flesh,
Or bone of my bone,
But miraculously my own.
Never forget …
Not even for a minute …
You weren't born under my heart
But in it.
I hope they hear that.