...this post title is also the title of a sweet children's book about adoption, and the moon reference just seemed so apprpos...
After about a dozen missed calls back and forth, the last of which Sister Daria Moon left an encouraging message not to give up, we finally spoke last night.
It was a bit of a getting-to-know-you introduction, talking about the little things before moving on to the more pressing matters. She has a very kind, warm, and happy voice. I love that about Korean linguistics, how a sentence ends on an up note instead of the more western down tone. Despite the complex waters and a conversation that was up against distance and unfamiliarity, it was quickly clear how deeply she understood where I was coming from.
At first she was a bit wary thinking that I wanted her to find my family for me and she thought she would not be able to help me. I think she was afraid of disappointing me, of taking on a task that was possibly impossible, but when I explained to her that I was only looking for a safe space and someone who with grace and care could help me with my adoption papers and my tender heart she understood and opened up to fully take on the task.
She told me of another Korean adoptee she just recently met by happenstance and how their stories intertwined through many coincidences including the discovery that they were neighbors in the local DC community, as well being connected through memories of a cathedral in Seoul, Korea, the city where they both are from. There was talk about a deep longing and yearning for this woman to know and find her birth family, and Sister Daria listened to her openly and soothed her aching soul with her friendship, with rice (which has sacred meaning in Korea), and with a gentle suggestion of embracing family in those who love and surround her today, this new community of Korean women especially. In telling this story to me, she came to realize with awe-filled gratitude that god* had sent this woman across her path so she would be ready to help me, so that she would better understand my longing and the meaning behind my search.
There was a sad moment too, where she shared her experience of visiting the sisterhood's orphanage in Inchon, how when she went to visit there the Sisters told her not to hold or hug the children, fearing they might get attached making it harder for them to leave when it was time. She spoke of how she saw that longing for love in their small eyes, and how achingly hard that was to not give love to them. She kindly recognized that she was speaking tender words of knowledge about a past I didn't know, all part of this search... and i cried feeling the truth of that so deeply, feeling her sadness for those children and how she was connecting that to my own longing right in that moment.
I'm not sure if it is common to Nuns, but Sister Daria seemed to have so much wisdom about the search for truth and the internal journeys of the heart. I am sure in some ways the path to god very much parallels the journey to self. I have felt, unbidden, the spiritual nature of this search more than I have felt in any other time in my life. She told me this is my time to journey, and that it is so common to have these longings at my age (she, a wise yet youthful woman of 50 years). She assigned me a task, to keep dreaming and in great detail and to start writing these dreams down in a list, suggesting "Meet Sister Daria and make bulgogi and kimchi jige together!" (with giggly laughter and smiles I could hear over the phone line). It is certainly not lost on me how much in alignment this is to my life - that yet again I am reminded that without every step I have skipped, stumbled, and walked previously I would not be here. She said that by listening deeply to my heart and following that inner voice I will find myself, in true love and happiness, and come to see every beautiful thing about who I am. That I deserve to.
Most of all, in a warm and affirming way she validated and honored my journey. She celebrated the courage of my search and shed abundant light and encouragement. I could hear the delight in her voice, a deep knowing of some sort, the strength of utter faith maybe.
So a small Nun with a big heart (her own superlative touting) has told me she will be my Moon, my friend, and will be there to journey with me as I search for who I am. She invited me to the small convent in Washington, DC, to stay with her and the other Sisters in one of the empty bedrooms of the house they all share, and along with cooking and eating good Korean food she would help me carefully wade into the emotional waters of translating my documents. Soon, then.
*I have faith, but that faith does not necessarily lay in God, at least not the god Sister Daria refers to. I was a bit worried that by going to a religiously affiliated person/place might put me in the path of some serious dogma. I know now though, after having had a lovely conversation with the dancing, skype-savvy, harmonica playing, love-filled Sister Daria that I need not be concerned. I do wish to honor the faith that she obviously believes in though, but to me God will always be, god, the undefined, unconditional, serendipitous, infinite love and grace of this universe.