Dandelions, Cordoba, and Power of Spiritual Reunion.
I once read that there was no hope for an adoptee to heal the wounds of abandonment unless they could have a physical reunion with their birth parents.
This struck a nerve in me because the message felt disempowering.
Not every adoptee is given the opportunity to have a face-to-face reunion with their first parents. Might there be a way for a spiritual one?
For me, Nature has always opened up a path for healing and deep connection to the parents who did not stay. This is a short story of how I found a spiritual reunion with my birth father in the dandelion fields where I lived as a child. It’s my story of empowering hope as I began to reunite with all that felt alive within me. Every human being deserves to feel fully alive.
When I was a little girl, I would sit for hours in an open field near my home in America. The field sat at the end of a long, dusty road. My main mode of transportation to and from the field was by foot.
I’d run there, alone, on most afternoons in eager anticipation of what awaited me. My white shoes would be covered in dirt by the time I arrived. I knew my mother wouldn’t be pleased, but I didn’t care. It felt rebellious. I liked that feeling.
Taking a deep breath, I’d yelp with glee as I plunged into the tall grasses and disappeared. My eyes would immediately begin scanning the ground for dandelions. They were why I had come.
I recall how the sun felt warm on my cheeks as I held my face up to the sky and let my hands explore the earth for hidden treasures. My smile grew from ear to ear when my fingers would touch the tiny white puffs of magic. “There you are,” I’d whisper.
One by one, I’d gently pluck the dandelions from the soil, placing them close to my lips. Practice had proven that short, quick puffs of air gave the seeds the lift they needed. I’d watch with pure delight as they were carried off on the breeze, as I thought of my birth father.
Papa was a paratrooper, “the Spaniard,” as my foster records referred to him. I’d imagine my papa flying through the sky, like those precious seeds, floating high above earth looking for a way to find me, his hija.
Many years later, I learned that my papa loved to blow on dandelions too, from where he was in Cordoba, Spain. He’d blow on them and guess where the little puffs might land.
When I learned of that story, dandelions became even more significant to me. It was important to my birth father and connected us over the miles, crossing borders that neither of us could cross at the time. Borders that kept us physically separated, yet somehow the dandelion united us in spirit.
One month before my papa died, he told his son, the brother I had never known, of my existence. Papa confessed, “I have a daughter out there somewhere. Somewhere on the breeze there is a girl who has my eyes, my texture and tone. She is mine, yet I have never held her…”
Papa did hold the dandelion though. Perhaps on the same day and at the same time as me, his long-lost child.
I’ve read that the dandelion signifies healing from emotional pain, a spiritual intelligence, and a personal warmth not commonly found. Perhaps this is true…
I can only express the sensation I had, as a girl, when I’d blow on dandelions. I felt connected to my papa. I didn’t have to apologize for that connection. I didn’t have to hide it or explain it away. I only had to feel. And, the warm feeling that surged through my being was healing and, yes, it was spiritual.
The dandelion has become my eternal connection to my papa. To this day, when I pluck a dandelion from the earth and hold it in my hands, I feel held by my papa. It feels like I’m holding him too.
I say a prayer and blow that same puff of air that I blew as a rebellious little girl. I watch as the dandelion explodes like fireworks into the sky. It’s on the breeze where Papa and I find each other. It’s where we’ve always found each other.
Michelle Madrid-Branch has felt poetic expression pulsing through her veins since childhood. A ward of state in the United Kingdom, she was adopted internationally and removed from all that she knew. Poetry has been the compass navigating her home to a place of reunion within as she’s pioneered her way back to wholeness. Today, she serves as a catalyst for truth within the adoption and foster care conversation. She also coaches adult adoptees as they explore pathways to their own personal liberation. Michelle’s gypsy soul has lived all over the world. She currently resides in California with her multi-cultural & transracial family.