Seventeen years ago, on our honeymoon Bill and I went to Thailand. Here’s a picture of us in Phuket.
While we were in Thailand I had a chance to see my biological father and mother (my father in Bangkok and my mother in Chiang Mai). After that, we lost contact (this was before emailing became popular and there was a lot of moving house on mine and Bill’s end, so our addresses kept changing and any letters from abroad didn’t make it to us. Also, I must admit that I was very young back then, and struggled to keep on top of our family life (Brook was born within the year after our trip so I went directly into motherhood mode). Becoming a wife and a mother, and a first time home owner (which came with home renovations), and leaving my job to stay at home to be with Brook took all I had. Money was also really tight back then, and so was time…so I let things slip, and I lost in touch with my Thai connections. My Thai family was a whole world away and my heart wasn’t ready to go the distance either.
Prior to mine and Bill’s trip to Thailand together, I had only been to Thailand once on my own when I was 16 years old. This was the very first time that I saw my biological mother since she gave me up for adoption and I moved to the States at the age of 3. I remember how intense this reunion was…my mother cried a lot (I’m sure she was filled with mixed emotions about having to give me up) and I could feel her deep love for me. This kind of love scared me and my young mind could not process it all. My heart simply couldn’t understand it. And to make matters even more complicated, we were challenged with language problems (my mother speaks mostly Thai with a little bit of Chinese, and I speak mostly English with no Thai, but also a little Chinese). So we had to rely on the little bit of Chinese that we each knew, and luckily, I was traveling with my cousin who could translate our Chinese and Thai (but no English so this wasn’t exactly ideal). But we got by…and I could read the love in my mother’s eyes and smile so this was more than I could ever ask for.
Flash forward 17 years later…and I’m so very excited to share with you that I’ve located both of my biological parents! After several attempts to find them over recent years, I finally found them through my adoptive family’s church circles (this circle reached all the way from NY to Thailand). It feels like this was meant to be.
I’m so happy to have learned that both of my biological parents are well (still living their separate lives with my father and his family in the city and my mother and her family in the countryside). I’ve been in touch with them both for many months now, and best of all…I’m going there in just a few short days to see them!
Brook will be coming back from camp tomorrow (she’s been away at her camp in Maine for nearly 3 weeks now and I miss her terribly). Her homecoming will be so sweet…I can’t wait! And then we’ll have a couple of days to get our things packed before taking off for Asia for two weeks. Our first stop will be in Hong Kong, where I will see my adoptive mother, Lydia. The last time we were in Hong Kong was in February of 2013, when my father, Philip, passed away. That was a HARD trip and I’m fearful of going back to the place where there was so much deep sadness…but I must, for my mother. This homecoming will be bittersweet. However, I know that all will be okay because I’ll have Bill and Brook with me.
After some days in Hong Kong, our little family will be off to see my biological father in Bangkok. I have mixed feelings about seeing him. On one hand I’m excited (he’s been very welcoming and warm in his emails to me), but I’m also nervous. I think this nervousness comes from a place of insecurity. I don’t really know what happened back when I was a little kid…why did he let me go and where was he all these years? The last time that I saw him, seventeen years ago, Bill and I spent time with his entire family, which included his wife, 2 sons (my half brothers), his siblings and their children as well as his mother. I was surprised to know that I had such a large family, and I was confused as to why I never knew about them. I guess that being all the way across the world, and being so young myself, I didn’t have a clue about any of this stuff. I didn’t know what was important, and I didn’t know how to go about things. However, all of that is in the past. I now know better…I have grown and my heart has grown.
And speaking of growing, Brook turned 16 several months ago. This is the exact age that I was when I first reunited with my mother in Chiang Mai. I love the fact that I’m able to bring Brook to see my mother, and at the same age that I was…what an interesting coincidence. But what isn’t a coincidence is that Bill and I named Brook after my mother (Brook’s middle name is Sunoon). Also not a coincidence is that Brook was born at 11:30 am. If you break up my mother’s name, the letters of Sunoon could be Sun and noon, which happens to be when Brook was born (11:30 am is between the sun and noon). Although I have not spent much time with my biological mother throughout my life time, her love has traveled with me…and it has reached my darling daughter. This love lives in me and this love lives in my daughter…in name and in spirit.
Guided by the spirit of love, I created this necklace to give to my mother. I can’t believe that I’ll be able to deliver this to her in person. I hope that when she sees me she’ll be able to tell how happy I am…how good my life is with my Bill and Brook. And that she doesn’t need to worry about me. She can be at peace knowing that when she gave me up to have a chance for a better life in America, things turned out fine. I can’t wait to put her mind at ease.
Her heart was full of hope (a feather is my favorite symbol of hope)…
…and with a love that shines pure and bright.
The photo below was taken at Brook’s 16th birthday celebration after Brook and her group of friends saw The Blue Man Group. It was by accident that she was standing under a glowing circle-like sphere, which very much looks like a halo to me.
I can’t wait to take my angel Brook to meet my angel mother. This all feels like it’s coming full circle. Homecoming…I’m excited and nervous…but mostly excited. To revisit where I came from. To smell the smells, to hear the language, to taste the food…to just be. To bring love and to show love.
On a totally separate note, to those of you who are used to visiting me here, I’ve changed my blog banner as well as made a couple of other design changes. Since starting my blog five years ago, every year for my birthday (Aug. 1st) Bill does a bit of redesigning for me. This year I asked him to lighten things up some…for a bit of fresh air. Fresh air and fresh starts, both personally and through my artistic work…I welcome this next stage with open arms. Hugs to everyone!