Monday, September 04, 2006

From There...to Here

My whoppin’ four years of parenting experience have given me a few chances to examine what I thought I knew about myself and (almost) everything I thought I believed.

I’m the mom of two absolutely precious, intelligent, loving, kind, active, gorgeous (etc., etc., etc.) children. Our daughter was the first grandchild in either of our families and they were all enthralled, as expected. Suddenly everything was about the baby...feeding her and changing diapers and wiping spit-up and dressing her in cute little girly clothes….then developmental milestones and a first birthday and, well, my days seemed to be filled with every good thing.

When we started thinking about another child, we decided to adopt…internationally. In the interest of getting a bit of my history right out in the open, I’ll say that we jumped into adoption mostly as a response to the (oversimplified) notion that there were children in other parts of the world who needed homes. We knew that we could and would love a child not born to us, with the same type of indescribable, unconditional love that we felt for our daughter - and we started to wonder about the sense in having another biological child when there were children already living, who needed families. We forged ahead mostly on that premise alone, and our process of adopting a Korean child was soon underway. Now – I know what some people may be thinking, and guess what? I likely agree with you – I guess that’s why I’m here. I didn’t adopt to keep up with the trends (I pretty much suck at that anyway), or because I wanted to mother a poor orphan who would thank me upon awakening each morning, for saving him. But somehow some important truths were left in their hiding places along the way, and though I wish it weren't the case, the bottom line remains: We made a decision to adopt on a premise that we did not investigate as we should have, using a process that we didn’t fully understand, in a world where hardly anything is as it seems on the surface. I will never again view life the way I did before I became an adoptive mother.

Though I love both of my children beyond scope or bounds or any description of reasonable length, there isn’t one single day that passes without the knowledge that one of my children experienced tremendous losses before he met me (for reasons not totally known or understood by me), and then again in order to be with me.

~ * ~

So what is an adoptive parent to do when the realization hits that one has neatly arranged to become the parent of a child who, given nothing more than a different time or slightly different circumstance, would have lived an entirely different life and been no worse off…in fact, may very well have been better off?

We live behind facades in attempt to protect ourselves against ever having to acknowledge any unpleasant aspect of adoption. There are certain realities that exist whether we choose to see them or not, and we have the opportunity (the responsibility, actually) to listen, to gain perspective, and to hopefully begin to shift the focus away from our own desires and hopes and dreams and fears of the unknown.

2 Comments:

At 7:09 PM , Anonymous Kahlan said...

There are certain realities that exist whether we choose to see them or not, and we have the opportunity (the responsibility, actually) to listen, to gain perspective, and to hopefully begin to shift the focus away from our own desires and hopes and dreams and fears of the unknown.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

 
At 8:24 AM , Blogger Third Mom said...

Hi, I'm really enjoying your writing and Kahlan's. This is a beautiful post - and I am laughing because a few months ago I posted one with the same name. I think this is a common thread for those a-parents who come to the realization that there are hard things we need to understand an accept. We see it as a move from a self-center approach to adoption to one that focuses on our children and their first parents first.

It's great to see that new a-parents are coming to understand this much earlier. Keep writing!

 

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