February 23, 2013

Gotcha!

February 23, 2013 Photo of the day: "Gotcha!"
(Photo & caption by my mom, 45 years ago)

Poem for Adopted Children
"Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own!
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it!"
- Fleur Conkling Heyliger

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Today is my "Gotcha Day!"
In many ways, a day is even more special
than my birthday (later this week).

Here is my poem: C'est moi

I am...
a teacher,
a mentor,
a colleague,
an adviser,
a coach,
a leader.
Je suis Madame,
MLH, la prof de français.
Does my career define me?

I am...
a traveler,
a sailor,
a reader,
a writer,
a photographer,
a linguist...
Sometimes I speak, write, think in English.
Sometimes I speak, write, think in French.
Do my interests define me?

I am...
fair with freckles,
a blue-eyed brunette,
petite, curvy...
Does my physical appearance define me?

I am...
creative,
intelligent,
innovative,
generous...
Do my attributes define me?

I am...
sensitive,
impatient,
self-critical,
a perfectionist...
Do my faults define me?

I am...
a wife,
a sister,
a daughter,
a niece,
an auntie,
a godmother,
a friend...
Do my relationships define me?

For the first year of my life,
I didn't have a name: I was Jane Doe.
Miraculously, I was adopted,
given my name: Melinda Marie Larson.
Melinda: gentle, sweet
Marie: the French variant of Mary
"Star of the Sea,"
A name for a girl who grew up on the water,
 for a woman who remains most content upon it.
I was named for my maternal grandmother.
I was named for Mary, the Blessed Mother.
Larson: A noble surname, ethnic and geographic
Son of Lars, Scandinavian for Lawrence,
A laurel, fragrant, ever green,
A wreath to adorn the heads of heroes...
I am child of noble victors,
of Door County Scandinavians.
My name is a gift itself.
I wasn't born into the Larson family.
I was adopted, chosen, given this name.

In high school, I was Mindy, in college, Mel.
When I started teaching, I was Mademoiselle.

In 2005, I was married.
I became Mrs. Eric Horne.
I struggled with social convention,
with "taking my husband's name."
He was considerate and appreciative.
He was disappointed.
He, too, desired to share his name with me.
I added a hyphen,
and the gift of another name.

I am Melinda Marie Larson-Horne.