I'm blessed beyond belief!

February 16, 2007 was the LONGEST day of my life to date. By the time it was all said and done we were in motion for 34 hours (because of time changes all but the last 15 minutes of those 34 hours were on the 16th) with an infant in tow to get home from China. I've never been so happy to walk off a plane (the third flight) as I was at 12:15 am on the 17th!

Today ~ 365 days later ~ my mind was a swirl of thoughts. I woke up thinking about the friends we made a year ago. We all met on February 1st, but 15 days later we had become family! We all shared two common denominators, a strong faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and a dedicated love for our daughters. Our adventure together sealed the deal, we miss each family and look forward to a reunion with them all! We've been fortunate enough to visit with six of Kylie's “China sisters” (some of them several times) but I sure wish we all lived closer so we could have impromptu play dates and celebrate our "Gotcha Day" together! For a few minutes I was blue as I missed families 14-24, but then I thought of the words of Dr. Suess that I stumbled upon this week while doing a Google search, “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!” Each person from each family brought a grin ~ Guangdong families of travel group 121, we LOVE you!

We spent a few hours at a local park enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. As I watched my independent little girl (I'm finally becoming able to admit to myself that she's not really a baby anymore) play on the playground I thought back about preparing to leave China one year ago. As much as I wanted to be home with family and friends, my heart actually ached at the thought of taking her away from her native land. We've vowed that we will do all we can to keep Kylie in touch with her heritage, but so much of that is beyond our control. I remember feeling so inadequate thinking of the foods, smells, sounds and sights from her culture that I have no power to provide on a daily basis. I never wanted there to be a time in her life when China seems like a foreign place to her, and yet I knew that by taking her home with me, America would become her “normal” and the land of her birth would become unfamiliar. Such excitement to head to our life together at home and yet such remorse to leave this fascinating place!

This morning I finished reading a book that brought floods of emotions. Beyond the Blue by Leslie Gould chronicles both the adoptive couple and the birth mother in the story of a Vietnamese adoption. (If adoption has touched your life, I STRONGLY recommend you read this book. It's both wonderful and horrible at the same time, you may wonder what I mean, but if you read it you'll understand!) As I watched Kylie laugh on the swings I felt both extreme joy and sorrow! Joy for myself as the mother totally in love with her child and sorrow for the mother in China who will never know her. I realize that (short of a miracle ~ and hey, I know better than to put limits on my God), we probably will never know the circumstances that caused Kylie's birth mother to make the decision that she did in the early spring of 2006. It's funny how time changes perspective ~ when we first started our adoption process, I was somewhat relieved that we'd have no way to contact our child's birth mother; now I wish there was a way that we could at least let her know how much the child she carried is loved. I wish that she could know the sweet personality, could experience the inquisitive mind, and see how beautiful our (and yes, I said our; her birthmother gave Kylie life and now Ian and I get to live it with her) little girl ~ our priceless treasure ~ is today! I'm so blessed, the road to becoming Kylie's mommy has been a total life changing event, and I'm a better person for it!


Cindy M said...

Omigosh, I LOVED that book! It is one of the few books that captures the perspective of the birth mother, and it brought many tears!

Well said, my friend...don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened...okay, I did cry a bit, but I can't help but smile when I think of all the wonderful memories! Love you guys, too!

C,J,M,A,M and C

Laurie said...

Beautiful post, Kristi- I was just thinking the other day about how my feelings about knowing Allison's birth story/mother have changed too. I just leave that one up to God- I've asked Him to give her birth mother peace that she is way beyond loved and is doing well. That's all I can do- and we both know He can deliver on that prayer! :)

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

What an inspiring post! Happy one year home together!

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful and happy that Kylie is part of our family. But my heart is also sad because her birth mother will probably never know her beautiful child. I wish we could do more, but I will continue to pray that Kylie's birth mother will know Kylie is deeply loved and that she is a delightful child.
nai nai miller

Anonymous said...

Going through the two year process with you two was such a learning, growing experience. Really understanding what adoption really is; the love the birth mother had for her daughter to deliver her knowing she would have to give her up; all of the paperwork that had to be processed by NC, USA, China; the agonizing wait, especially after receiving the pictures of Kylie; longing to get the travel OK so we could go to China and get your precious child.

Then the priviledge of being there with you when they handed Kylie to you and you became a family of 3 -and we became a family of 7. At that instant the long, anxious wait was forgotten and dreams of the future were all that were being thought.

I experienced right then what scripture means when it tells us in the book of John that God wants us to have a life full of Joy and Abundance. I watched it happened in an instant with each family who beheld their new daughters that day. What precious girls, what happy families.

What a marvelous God we serve, LaoLao

Anonymous said...

We'll all just have to go to China again to keep the kids in touch with each other and their culture!
Aunt Traci