June Makes Three

Sunday, February 05, 2006

New Emotions Sprouting

I’m filled with emotion lately. It’s welling up on me almost every day, especially when I’m driving somewhere, or laying in bed at night, with time to ponder and absorb some aspects of this adoption I hadn’t really considered at the very beginning of this journey. I am guessing that the sadness and heartbreak isn’t unusual, but it took me by surprise.

As we continue pushing forth with the paperchase, I’ve been reading a lot. At first the books were just on adoption… now my focus is on the babies themselves. I recently finished The Lost Daughters of China. Now I’m halfway through The Waiting Child. It occurs to me, as I find myself in tears every chapter or so, that when we first decided to adopt that we were thinking mostly of what it would do for us. It would turn us into parents, give us the child we’ve always wanted. We espouted our desire to give a little girl a home who might not get one otherwise, but I don’t think we ever scratched the surface of the real need of the babies. I was mostly ignorant to the depths of heartbreak the birthparents felt the day they watched the space between her and them get larger and larger, and the hole they probably have in their hearts forever.

As I read, I’m getting a clearer understanding of the tough road these babies face in orphanage life. Ours may have wounds too deep for us to see at first, if she went too long without a mommy and daddy. Up till now I was going to sleep at night dreaming of Gotcha Day and the joy I’ll feel when my arms are filled with our baby. Now I’m feeling haunted by all the moments the children must go through with only the minimal TLC that can be given in an institutional setting. This is not meant as a criticism against the orphanage workers – it’s just reality. Too many babies, not enough arms to comfort them. Way, way too many babies who won’t ever be adopted and be given all the love they deserve. Many orphanages whose conditions are still so poor, we in the West will never hear about them in the press. Right now I feel heartbroken and helpless that our future daughter and her untold number of sisters have to face a hardship I can’t pretend to understand.

Last night, we met our friends Mel and Sean’s baby Lindsay. She was a tiny bundle of love, beautiful and sweet-smelling and unputdownable. I couldn’t help but think that while this family had such cause for celebration and joy, that this same moment would not likely be met with such happiness in China. There would be awe at the perfect face, tiny fingers and toes, of course. But so much sadness, if the family cannot keep her. And the demand to do something heartwrenching and brave. It is still hard for me to fathom that our June will have come from a beginning filled with such mixed and intense emotion. I am more committed to her now than ever and can only guess that my heart will open even more as we inch closer to the day we become her parents.


  • Well said...I feel the same way. It's a wierd feeling as an adoptive parent and makes you realize how lucky you are to have had the life you have had.

    By Blogger Plain Jane, at 4:10 PM  

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