Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sinclair Baby's First Christmas

I know some of you figured I would never finish telling the story that started innocently with a post about birthdays. I realized after this post that some of you were intrigued, and I felt a little "on display." Anyone who knows me would be shocked that this might make me uncomfortable, as I revel in being the center of attention at any gathering. I found myself debating whether or not to make more posts like this. I guess I have lived with this "oddity" for so long, it has become commonplace. The only time I have to really face the bizarre circumstance surrounding my arrival on the planet is when someone else hears the story for the first time, and reacts with abject horror. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, follow the links, in order, and you'll get caught up.
I wish I could tell you that this photo is of me, but I'd like to think I was in this kind of mood on my first Christmas. The first baby photo in my parents' possession was taken when I was almost nine months old, so I don't know what I looked like before then. I DID know that in December, three months after I was born, one of my legs was broken. The ramifications of that didn't show up until my mother tried hemming my pants, and one leg would always end up a lot longer than the other. I was always called back for that "second screening" during the school scoliosis exams, but never diagnosed with the disease. It wasn't until I started running with my dog as an adult that I noticed terrible hip pain.

That was the main reason for obtaining my "non-identifying information" - not necessarily to find birth parents, but to determine the actual medical facts about this breakage. Naturally, the adoption agency was extremely reluctant to divulge anything. My mother had always said the break was "suspicious," in that our family doctor felt the healed bone might have been twisted. By now, you remember my first conversation with the social worker. Well, the same letter only gave these details regarding the break:
"As you were a healthy, normal baby, the hospital discharged you and you were placed in a foster home. The foster parents had three children of their own and provided foster care to infants. On December 3, 1968, your leg was broken. The injury was investigated, and it was determined that it was accidental and not child abuse. An X-ray revealed a transverse fracture of the proximal third of the right femur. You were placed in Bryant's traction (this is the photo you see to the left) until December 23, 1968; then you were placed in a spica cast until January 27, 1969."

It seems like a LONG time for a 3-month old baby to be immobilized, doesn't it? There were more photos of the spica cast at this site, and I was amazed at how many of the children seemed happy and were smiling broadly.

Since I've decided to revisit this topic, I encourage you NOT to feel all sorry for me. I was a baby. I can't remember a thing about it. Yes, I suppose it makes me more unique, but we are all unique in our own way. However, I have a special place in my heart for Christmas, and I wonder what that first one was like for me. Did someone visit me? Or was I all alone? I think of this very abstractly - as if it didn't really happen to me.

I am just extremely blessed that every Christmas since then has been filled with family, friends, joy, and the love of the season. It's the only gift I require.


Susan in va said...

I'm going to go give all of my kids a great big hug right now! I know you told us not to feel sorry for you, so I won't. I'm just thinking that there are babies all over the world right now that are without moms and dads.

Something tells me that the experiences you've had have made your relationship with your daughter all the more special. I'll bet you haven't taken a single moment for granted!

I am truly amazed at what you've endured. Thanks for sharing.


Desert Songbird said...

I figured you were intelligent in addition to being beautiful. Now you give more evidence of being courageous as well.

I tip my hat to you, Tigg, and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

KMC said...

This story made me almost cry and laugh at the same time. Not because what you wrote was funny by any means but the part about you walking poo woo made me reflect on the times I have walked with you and was there to witness you twist your ankle after a fall just a block and a half away from the house. That was something I had forgotten all about.

Your past is what has molded you to become the person that you are. You are fun loving, free spirited, and so much fun to be around!

Willowtree said...

I thought I must have missed some of the story somehow, but it's just you keeping us in suspense!!

I still don't think this is the tale Songbird is threatening to tell if you don't, am I right?

Oh and in case you're wondering, I don't feel sorry for you at all, you've accomplished way too much to qualify for pity.

C said...

I can't imagine any small child immobilized for that long.

Kila said...

I would guess you got extra special attention from the hospital staff.

Whew, despite the rough start you had in life, I'm glad you are here for our enjoyment now :)

Tiggerlane said...

Thanks to everyone for their kind words...it's really bizarre to think, "This is my life."

WT - I did make that post, and totally forgot to include it in the list of links, so here it is:


swampwitch said...

When are you going to write that book? You are such an inspiration to all of us who read you here...others could certainly benefit from your words in a book.

James Burnett said...

Damn! This didn't make me feel sorry for you at all. On the contrary, it inspired me. Kudos to you for your clear view on life and the important things and people.

Pamela said...

It's natural for mother (grandmother) to have a well up in her heart..
it's a need to hug you and ask you for forgiveness for my world allowing that to happen to you.
Even though you don't remember it.

(someone out there does -- I hope they've been on their knees and repented, But I'm thinking someone did what they knew was best for you.)

The very nice man said...

I thank you for revisiting this story and applaud your viewpoint that you are indeed blessed!
I, too, bless you! So now you are doubly blessed! :-)

Matt said...

Tigger, you sound like "Joe Dirt."

"That's why dad left you."

Vicki said...

I know you are typing this out on your blog to work through it for yourself. I somehow feel blessed to be able to read this, to learn a part of someone's life that I'd have not known before. My chest feels heavy with the reading of your story but my spirit is uplifted at the outcome. (You grown, healthy person working through your life experiences.)

Thank you for allowing us to read this. I hope that our feedback, our thoughts somehow add to your cataloging this.

Karmyn R said...

You have truly been blessed with the parents who adopted and loved you!!!!

Merry Christmas, Tiggerlane.

Dan said...

As requested, I won't feel sorry for you, but I think you're a sweetheart for sharing this story with us. And I'm sending lots of love your way.

Merry Christmas!

marnie said...

That's so much for a little baby to go through. Those children were smiling... maybe it sounds much worse than it is?

Do you still have pain? I'm glad you were too young to remember that Christmas.

Matt-Man said...

How could I feel sorry for you when it is evident that your head is on straight and your heart is big. Merry Christmas Tigger.

Claudia said...

It's actually not that long even though it seems like it would be for a 3mth old...but the bone needs to heal and it does take about 6 weeks (I've broken my arm twice!!) Whatever did happen, at least you were taken care of...and you grew up with a loving family!! Like you said, that is the most important thing!!

Tom Bailey said...

Very powerful sharing story. It is refreshing to read about someone sharing in such a genuine way. This is my first visit to your blog.


Matt said...

That's why dad left you. Loser.

Tiggerlane said...

Dang, the blogosphere is all fired up with the holiday spirit!

Pamela - I know what you mean. After having my daughter, I remember looking at her that first 9 mos. and thinking, "How could I leave her?"

Marnie - I'll bet babies can really withstand these things better in some ways. Not knowing what it is "supposed to" be like, you know? And yes to the pain, but I know what to steer clear of. Elliptical trainer = good. 5 miles on the treadmill = bad.

(Poo Woo is my dog, for those who didn't understand KMC's comment.)

Matt - How did you know that Joe Dirt is one of my favorite movies?

Steven Novak said...

I"m only not feeling sorry for you because you told me not to...

Otherwise I would be...

Wait, isn't me pointing that out kind of like me feeling sorry for you?

Sigh...I dunno anymore. ;)


Tricia said...

Found you through Mocha... and fell into 'The Story'. Obviously, we don't know one another, but that is kinda the point of these things, right?
For what it's worth. I've worked with all kinds of kids with MAJOR stories (abuse, abandonment (of your same variety)severe neglect etc.) I am now raising three bio kids and 5 foster/adopt kids. And there is one thing that is true for all of the birth parents of these 'kids with stories'. They all loved their children- no matter what the story. Truely.

And the other thing? The kids who 'make it'? They are incredibly strong survivors. Sometimes, for no apparent reason.

Anyhow, for what it's worth, Good luck in your quest, regardless of the outcome.