Thursday, August 9, 2012

Someone Is Trying To Tell Me Something - Part I

For several years after I left the hospital with empty arms in 1988 I would wake up suddenly, swearing I heard a baby crying.  The first year or so it was constant, but as time went on it would happen less and less.  I am a heavy sleeper, my alarm clock barely wakes me up.  So I could never understand why the sound of a baby crying, later a small child, would wake me up...especially when there were never any small children around. 
  • Maybe, just maybe, it was a mother's intuition.  I will never know the answer to this mystery.
In 1989 I worked for this lady making hairbows.  There were about 10 of us who worked there.  I started working there when Ashley was about 7 months old, I was already starting down a path of self-destruction.  The owner was Jewish, I kept asking her questions about her faith.  The lady finally asked me one day why I was so curious, so I told her about Ashley.  Before I told her about Ashley she would talk about her family and about this precious new baby that came into her family, after I told her she acted different, she wouldn't talk about her family around me, she started to look like the "cat at that the canary", and she started to "mother" me.  The owner was a fun and sweet woman, I really liked her.  Unfortunately, I was starting down my self destructive path.  I wish we could have met during a better time in my life.
  • 19 years later I started getting a very strong feeling about the sweet Jewish woman I use to work for, making hair bows.  Something inside me was screaming...she's Ashley's adopted Aunt!!!  (If Ashley and I ever get acquainted I'll have to ask her if she has an Aunt who use to own a place making hairbows)
In 1990 the Adoption "Counselor" wanted to meet with me.  Not sure why, but looking back I'm sure it was to keep force feeding me the Kool Aid.  The "Counselor" told me she was at Target a couple of weekends before and she saw this child.  She saw the child smile and and noticed her eyes.  The child was Ashley, there was no doubt in her mind, then seeing the parents confirmed it.  The "Counselor" almost slipped, she was about to say Ashley's adopted name...she managed to get out the sound of the first two letters before she caught herself.  That's okay, the sound could only be one of two names.  I pretended like I didn't hear it, so she went on to tell me how this child looked so much like me, she said it was like looking at a miniature version of me, except the hair and eye color were different from mine, but she had that same smile and light in her eyes like mine. 
  • I was angry when I left there.  I knew the neighborhood where the "Counselor" lived, I knew which Target she was talking about.  She told me these people didn't live anywhere near me, there was no way Ashley and I would ever cross paths.  She lied to me, but I know knew Ashley's adopted name could be one of two names...there is a third name that it could also be, but that was doubtful, I never heard of a Jewish girl having that third name.  In 2006 my guess was correct, her name was one of the two names I figured it would be!
From 1990 - 1992 I use to work at Mervyn's located at Prestonwood Mall, I started out in the Children's Department then eventually was put on the newly formed "Operations Impact Team".  Since losing Ashley I always stayed away from small children and babies, especially if they were girls who were about Ashley's age.  One day in 1992 I was marking items down in the Children's Department.  The store was going through a remodel so everything was a bit chaotic.  I had my clipboard in hand, with my red pen and inventory scanning gun strapped to my hip.  There was a woman trying to find a certain size in something, she had a girl who about 4 years old and a little one in a stroller.  I was drawn to this 4 year old, I don't know why since I avoided children like the plague.  I helped the woman locate whatever it was she was looking for, but I could not keep my eyes off of the child.  I remember being filled with love when I looked at her.  It freaked me out, I clocked out and ran to my car and cried. 
  • I never understood what the hell happened that day.  I never felt that kind of connection and love that strong until I had my second daughter.  Was that 4 year old Ashley, her Adopted Mother and her adopted parents natural child?  Could be.  In 2006 I found out Ashley lived close to that mall and her adopted parents had their first and only natural child when Ashley was about 3 or the ages of the children added up.
1995 I moved to San Antonio.  I lived there for 13 months.  I was absolutely miserable!!  All I wanted to do was move back home.  It could be the slow pace of San Antonio, at the time it was a little too slow for a North Dallas Native, or it could be my family was still in the North Dallas area.  All I knew was I had to get back to Dallas, so in 1996 I moved back.
  • At the time I couldn't explain what was pulling me back to Dallas.  After I found out where Ashley grew up I realized that had to be it.  We ended up moving about 5 miles from her neighborhood.  I had always lived within 10 miles of her neighborhood.
1999 I had my second daughter, Ashley was 11 at the time.
  • Ashley's neighborhood was about two miles (if that) down the road from the hospital where I gave birth to my second child.
2004 I went to a Walmart one Saturday morning that was closer to the area where I later found out Ashley lived.  (The walmart closer to me was scary)  I parked and walked through the parking lot.  I saw a small dark SUV parked and in the back window was a High School Cheerleader sticker with a name on it.  The name was one of the two names I was guessing to be Ashley's.  I stood there and stared for some reason...Ashley didn't cross my mind at the time.  I found myself making sure my shirt was straightened and my hair wasn't going crazy, then I went in.  When I walked back to my car I noticed the small SUV was gone, not sure what it was, but something was telling me that WAS Ashley.
  • In 2006 I found out Ashley was a cheerleader and went to the high school named on that sticker.  Shortly after receiving that information I did stumble across a picture (that was posted for the public to see).  The picture was Ashley and a small dark SUV...the same SUV I saw two years before.
2005 a junior high friend of mine was having a baby.  There was a baby shower at her parents home.  Her parents no longer lived in the neighborhood where we grew up, they moved across town into this hoity toity neighborhood.  I had the directions I was following.  For some reason I took a left too soon, ended up in a cul-de-sac.  After driving through the neighborhood for a few minutes I was finally back on track.
  • In 2006 I received the information on Ashley and her adoptive family.  I looked up the address, the neighborhood looked familiar.  I called up my junior high friend and told her she wasn't going to believe this.  I asked her if she remembered me telling her about how I got lost in her parents neighborhood.  The cul-de-sac I turned around in was Ashley's.  Since then I refused to go to my friend's parents house, I didn't want to run the risk of Ashley's adoptive family accusing me of being up to no good.
It wasn't until I began my search in July of 2006 that these strange little things were starting to make sense.  Most of these little things would have been forgotten, they are normal everyday run-ins...not worth being filed away in my memory.   But for some reason the dots were quickly being connected when a wonderful Search Angel provided me with the information on Ashley, my First Daughter lost to adoption...

Someone, or something, has been trying to tell me something all of these years.

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