Regaining perspective

Since Kristi and I started on the journey to adopting our daughter there have been quite a few ups and downs. The excitement of finishing one step of the paperwork, or finally tracking down that necessary document, or finishing our homestudy, DTC, LID.... and on and on. Then there have been the frustrations and disappointments as the days and months go by and we still don't have a picture to look at or our daughter to hold in our arms. Again and again I remind myself that God has our daughter out there somewhere and there just isn't any way to hurry that along. At exactly the right moment we'll be able to be together as a family. There is no other time that will do, no other time that will be perfect.
It has been really cool for me to look back on the process, even though it isn't finished yet, and see how God has provided the right people at the right times to encourage us and help us to keep our perspective.

A year and a half ago, I transferred to a new division within my company. New project, new manager, new co-workers. It was a tough transition, but as it turns out one of my coworkers is an adoptive parent and he has helped me to see the longer picture. One of the things that I've heard elsewhere, and that he has reminded me of is that there is a common misunderstanding about adoption. Many folks have told Kristi and I what a wonderful thing it is that we are doing by adopting. But the truth is really that it is the two of us who are gaining so much more through adopting. Granted, it is true that our daughter will be much better off here at home with us than in an orphanage, but our motivation is not to 'save' our daughter, but to grow our family and share our love with a child.

For the last several days the logical side of my brain has been battling with the 'other' side. Logic tells me that referrals have been coming out regularly from the CCAA for years and that's not going to change anytime soon. Our governments are getting along pretty well and the CCAA is every bit as professional and efficient as they have always been. The other side of my brain says, what if the CCAA is closing down adoption. What if too many rumors were flying around the internet and the CCAA got mad? What if ... what if... what if. Well, last night we had dinner with a couple friends who have also adopted. They were so reassuring and understanding of our crazy thoughts, and simply hearing them tell us that before long, we'll be able to bring home our little girl helped quiet the crazy thoughts and bring us back to reason.... regaining a bit of perspective.

I hope that you've had a chance to read Kristi's blog with the quote she found reminding us of how hard the decision to give up a child must be on the parents. Often trapped between the reality of their lives and a deep love for their child, they leave the infant somewhere where she can be found quickly and hope and pray that her life will continue somewhere where she will thrive. My heart still breaks when I think about how agonizing that must be. I so deeply long to hold my daughter, knowing that it will be the beginning of our lives together... the rest of our lives. I cannot even imagine holding my daughter with the thought that it would be the last moments I would see her. That is the kind of heartbreak that never fully heals... more perspective....

A couple of weeks ago, while we were at the "East meets West" adoption conference in Minneapolis, Kristi and I had the chance to hear an orphanage director (I believe from the Guangdong provence) talk about what he does and the children in his care. It was wonderful to hear from him (through an interpreter) and to see firsthand how much he cares for the well being of "his" children. It was a reminder that the folks working in the orphanages and those working in the CCAA really do care for these children and want them to grow up in safe and loving homes. During the conference Kristi heard a speaker talk about the care with which the CCAA does the matching of children to adoptive parents. They look carefully at who the parents are, and their interests. Then the look at the children that need placing and what those children show an interest in. Then they try to match up those interests! These are compassionate people who are doing their best for these wonderful children.

And finally, as I've been reading emails from other families in our group and we talk about the dissappointment of not being in this batch of referrals, but the excitement of knowing that we will be in the next group (YES!!!!), I came across a thought that really snapped me out of feeling sad that we have to wait one more month. That thought was simply that while we are waiting for the chance to go to China to get our daughter, she is over there in an orphanage waiting for us to come get her. At least I have the ability to understand how much closer we are, and look forward to and anticipate that day. Our daughter isn't old enough to understand delays and timing. She simply knows that there isn't anyone there who she can call her own. Well... to our little one... Mommy and Daddy love you and we're coming soon. The wait is almost over. We love you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish to add a comment or two here; this seems like the best place since you are talking about perspective. I was an adopted child. I knew all about adpotion and just what it meant from the time I could fully understand its meaning (my mom and dad explained it to me at an early age). As I grew older, I used it as an icebreaker (Hi, my name is Chris and I was adopted) and as a poisoned tipped dagger; but through all of that, I have always understood.

First, and most importantly, you both hold on to just what physical items your son/daughter came to you with. At some point down the road, you will give them back the items they came to you with. How do I know this? I was presented my red hat and red jumpsuit that I came to my parents in about three years ago. My mother took me downstairs just before their move to North Carolina to go through some stuff they had been hauling around for years. The last thing she gave me was a shoebox with the hat and jumpsuit; I opened it and cried thinking that they kept it for all these years. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it right now.

Secondly, when and if the time comes, explain adoption to your child. I found it was easier to go through life knowing; it is a great thing. Yes, I still sometimes wonder about where I came from, but I know that my mother and father loved me, and they still do, just as if I was their own flesh and blood.

And lastly, if there ever is a day, the darkest of all days, where the dreaded, evil, dagger arises of the words coming forth, "I wish I was never adopted!", remember that it is just in anger, and is not meant. Your child will love you just as much as you love them, always and forever. Those words are meant to hurt at that moment in time, born from irrational thinking, and not truely understood by the speaker. Please forgive them for what they say in anger. I still have not completely forgiven myself for saying that to my mother; I am not sure who it hurt worse.

Ok, I'll stop babbling now. Just wanted to add the other side perspective for you. I think I need to call Mom and Dad now. . .

CH from High Point