Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What makes A Family

I've been asking myself this many times and for many different reasons all my life...but this time the answers don't come as easily or maybe they do when you aren't looking so hard. All I know is because of Ada the Hendrix and Silapirutis' have formed a new family one that has come together in grief but have found joy in each day. In a blink of an eye two families' lives have changed forever. Ponsawan and I recently discovered that both Ada and Kyle had told us each separately that we should be friends. Maybe Ada sensed that her mother would need a friend someday. Someone who can take charge, someone who loves her Thai culture and someone who knew Ada for a short while but fell instantly under her charm. Kyle probably had other reasons for wanting us all to be friends, but he also knew that Ponsawan played golf and thought that I should get her out on the course. Our kids have good instincts, don't they. Ponsawan is a treasure to me one that I hold dearly but I would give it all back if Ada hadn't been involved in this tragedy I chose to think we would've found each other just as our kids planned.Tom and I both wanted three kids but it wasn't to be but since adoption formed our family it seems only right that Ada has become my adopted daughter. Remember that adoption is forever...and that is how we see our new family, a forever family. I have had the experience of watching someone I love die slowly before my eyes but nothing prepares or compares to watching Ada working so hard to get better. Her brain may not be working the way we hope but her spirit and her heart are with us and that keeps those who love her strong. As I sit by the ocean this week my thoughts are with those at home. Ponsawan being so strong but scared at the same time...and what to say about Terry. From the first moment I laid eyes on him I saw the face of all the fathers I know. Dads are suppose to know what to do, to make things better, and be strong for all those around them...but how in this nightmare do you do that. He comes to visit always with a gentle smile and soft voice for Ada but not too long into his visits he's teasing Ada, moving her arms, trying to spray breath freshener in between clinched teeth. For a few minutes he's trying to make things normal...usually at some point he picks up Care Bear and puts it into Ada's arms remembering the times when she was daddy's little girl...she still is. Then of course there are the two guys that mean the most to Ada...Archie and Arthy. In these situations it's easy to misplace the other kids in a family, especially when they are 19 and 17 yrs. of age. Ada had told Kyle many of her hopes and dreams and always they included her brothers. They miss her so much...they too want their lives back. They want to talk to Ada about things you don't tell your friends or parents. She always understood them and she would be the first to remind us all how fragile they are. Like their father they come into her room and tease her in the way that only brothers do. They all gather in her room many nights just being who they are ...a family who has strength that compares with nothing I have ever known.I have seen two gifts Ada gave to her parents...one night she shed tears as Terry talked to her and recently those in the room shed tears when Ada after days of not turning her eyes transfixed on Ponsawan's voice and touch. It is these moments that sustain us all in this journey.I can't explain any of this there are things we just don't have answers for and to try to make sense would just drive us crazy. It is just what it has become...a family for Ada...a family for all of us.
Fondly,
Ardis

4 comments:

Macey said...

Love is perfect kindness.
Thats what family is.

Sometimes we are born into families, and sometimes we fall into them. Either way, I believe in the end we create and grow our own.

I am happy to have created one with you.
Love.
Macey

Ting said...

I am afraid that you and Ponsawan have now had a large extended family around the world.
I read every word of your narrative, every time you write in this blog. While Ponsawan keeps us up to date with much needed news about Ada's activities and progress, you provide the pictures around her, as if we were a fly on the wall in her room. I am deeply touched by Ada's special responses to her Dad and brothers. Thank you for letting us "see" them in this blog.
Thank you for making it possible for Ponsawan to fullfil her duty as a daughter and have a break in Thailand.
Most of all, thank you for always sharing your beautiful soul with us.

Jessica Young said...

Ardis Hendrix is a second mother for me as well. I've had the privilege to have known her almost my entire 24 years of life. She possesses a truly rare "saintly" spirit that draws you towards her. She has the kindest heart and would do anything possible for anyone who needed it. She has been a dear friend to my family, especially my mother, through the roughest patches of our lives. Through Ardis, with whom I was also introduced to Macey, I have been directed to this Blog for Ada. I can't wait until the day that I will get the opportunity to meet Ada, a woman who has blessed so many people with her presence. She is in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

To My First Girl,

Jessica you are so sweet to think of me as you do. You and I have been buddies since you got off the plane from Korea and into your mother's arms. You and Justin have been our family for 24 years now and as Kyle says Jessica is like my sister. Sometime soon you come for a visit with Macey and Kyle then you can meet Ada in person.

Love you,
Ardis