Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saturday afternoon. 1:45 pm

I have stared at the face of every inmate coming into the visiting room. I wonder if I will recognize him. I have only seen him in two pictures. Both old. Both prison photos.

Suddenly he sauntered through the doors. I KNEW it was him. He saw Greg and I and blanched. I almost thought he would faint. It was a look of jaw dropping surprise.

He had to sign in with the guard before coming over to us. By the time he got to our seats he was sweating more profusely than I have ever seen a man at rest sweat. He grabbed Greg in a huge hug. And then hugged me.

"Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!" it was the first 3 of around 700 thank yous he gave me that day.


"You are SO big! BIG!" The first of 700 comments about Greg's growth in the last decade since he saw his son.

He had been told we were coming July 12. To an inmate apparently dates mean very little. He had NO idea that meant THIS day. To say he was shocked and overwhelmed would be an understatement. He had been out in the yard with a group of men. He didn't hear the page until someone asked him why he wasnt at his visit.

My son? He sat there smiling. Listening and not saying much. Sr. tried to cram in 13 years of parenting advice in an hour and a half. A good portion of it revolved around "You listen to your Mama. Your Mama loves you."

I asked Greg's questions for him (we had been discussing what he wanted to know) and the visit zoomed by with the promise and expectation of another visit tomorrow. He promised to come to the visiting room quicker on Sunday.

We left. Greg chatted on the drive home. No show of emotion, but some definitely a desire to connect.

We got to the hotel and he asked if he could go play basketball alone. He spent a half an hour shooting hoops as I watched from our room.
Back he came and he asked if we could go to the pool together. He definitely seems to want to connect. Not talk, but connect.

After that DebiP, OpenAdoptMom and families arrive at the hotel.

We are off to dinner and seeing the foster parents Greg lived with from age 18 months to 4.5.

What a huge and heavy day.

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