August 13, 2010

Sending Love Home


Part of being an adoptive parent to me, means stacking the unknowns into a compartment and getting on with your life.  I think you have to, on some level, to function.  It’s impossible to live in the “what if’s”.  And sometimes, it’s so uncomfortable to think about where your child came from and what they’ll potentially face as adults.  Painful and heartbreaking.  Maybe they’ll be fine.  But maybe they’ll have a cavernous hole in their heart that having been abandoned might leave one with.  And how can we protect them from that?  It’s reality.  And nothing we can do will fix it.  Nothing can cure it.  Nothing can take it away.  It’s their road to walk, and their pain to learn to accept.


Still, sometimes I think about his Ethiopian parents.  About what they were feeling and thinking the day he was left by that river.  Did they cry?  Did they grieve? 

Sometimes I picture his mother, alive…and going through her daily routine.  Thinking of him.  Wondering what happened to him.  Or maybe knowing that he was taken to an orphanage.  Maybe that gives her comfort.  Maybe not.  Does she wonder about him, I ask myself?  Love him and long for him?  Cry for him…?  Pray for him?

What if he could go back and see these two people who gave him life?  Would I want that for him?  Would I be too scared to pursue that?  Even though I’m fairly certain it’s not a possibility…I think about it.

And I wonder, can we really understand the actions of those who leave their infants by a river?   Can we grieve over the circumstances that would lead them to make that decision?

Do we forgive them, because ultimately it meant we became parents to this amazing child, who would not be here, were it not for the choice they made that day?  Our greatest gain being his greatest loss.  Maybe it was their greatest loss as well? Can we accept that may be true also?

Can we absorb the reality of what that loss means to him?  Will mean to him as he grows older?

As one questions begets yet another, I have learned to accept some simple truths.  That Quint has two mothers.  Two fathers.  Two families.  Known or unknown…No amount of wanting him all to myself will ever change that fact.

That if given the chance, it would be a true miracle to meet and talk with his Ethiopian family.  To share this amazing son that God intended both of our families to know and love. 

There is so much fear in adoption.  Fear of the unknown.   Fear your child will be taken from you.  Fear the birthparents will return and want to reclaim your child…your baby…the one you have given your heart to and poured every ounce of yourself into.  And perhaps the reason why so many families pursue international adoption is the often times, removal of that fear – because so many of the children adopted have been abandoned without any information.  Thus removing the probability that your child will someday be taken “back”. 

But what if they just wanted to know he was loved?  What if fear was not present, but instead just the knowledge that two families love the same child?  One who brought the child into the world and one who will raise him.  What if I could give that to him?  Would I deny him that?

No, I couldn’t.  He deserves those answers, and he may never have them this side of heaven.

It certainly begs for me to look at my own insecurities.  Having no knowledge of his biological family leaves me with an open sore.  We live in the footprints of “I guess we’ll never know”.  And if that’s true…and if that’s the road that he will walk his entire life…never knowing if they loved him, or cared for him, or wanted to keep him…if that’s what we have to face – then we will.  And we’ll love him.  And be there for him.  And walk that pain and emptiness with him. 

But in the meantime…we’ll be sending love home to them.  Just in case.  Wherever they are.  Because we are part of each other.   All of us.  His mothers.  His fathers.  His families. 

Their son.  Our son. 

And we love him so, so very much. 

Sending love home to them…he’s well…he’s happy…he’s the light of our life. 

He’s loved.

Sending love home to Ethiopia…just in case they wonder about him, love him, miss him…grieve over him…

He’s loved…


Valerie said...

Ahh, the what ifs.

I like to think that all of your warm thoughts of love and gratitude are gathered up and kept together, and if and when the ocassion arises in Ethiopia (or China or where ever else) and there is sadness and despair because of a decision made/forced, that the moment of relief or acceptance is fuled by G*d releasing your loving thoughts to ease the heartbreak of those "back home".

Your gracious heart is lovely to witness.

Love V

Mom said...

Yet again, a truly beautiful and moving post! You are awesome, Christie. I say.... what a privilege to have it happen just so, so HE could have such a wonderful and caring adoptive mother! I know that if Quint's birth mother could only know you, she would be so thankful and have a peaceful heart, knowing that YOU had the privilege of raising her son.
I love you sugar, my wonderful daughter, and amazing mother.

Jan Touchberry said...

Beautiful post Christie! Coming from the child side of that story, I can tell you that the love and support that you and Anton give your kids does make a HUGE difference. I new I was adopted but felt such a sense of belonging and family, that it didn't bother me.

When I did finally (at 33) find my birth mom, one of the best gifts my parents could give me was their support in taking that journey. If they felt fear (which I am sure they did), I didn't know it.

Best day ever - the day my Mom got to tell my Birth Mom "Thank you" for the gift of me - face to face, hugs and tears abounding.

May God bless you and your precious family abundantly!!! Love you guys.

JonesEthiopia said...

I think about my girls' birth families all the time. In R's case, I was able to meet her birthmom and kiss her cheek and learn her wishes for her/my daughter... In E's case, I have a name and a photo and not much else. I wish so much that there was more we knew and that we were able to communicate with them.

Briana's Mom said...

Every single word your wrote I could have written myself. I felt all of this especially around Briana's birthday two weeks ago and when she went for her 4 year checkup and I had to write "medical history unknown."

Our kids will always have two families (and in Bri's case - a third family as well - her foster family).

Anonymous said...

There are so many possiblities Christie, you will drive yourself crazy trying to figure the why. The "why" was because he was meant to be with you and Anton, plain and simple, how it happened will always be an unknown.
His mother could have passed away at birth and a loving family member unable to care for him brought him to a safe place that he would be found.
There are so many questions, but they are not yours to ask, your question was answered when you got Quint, he was yours from the start.
Quint will have questions no doubt and maybe he will venture to Ethiopia to find answers, and you will support him in that. You would not be able to answer his questions if they are deep rooted, he will have to find out on his own.
He was meant to have the two of you as his parents, you will raise him loved as much as any child could ever hope for, he will love you as much as he could possibly love a birth parent.
The day will come, but you will handle it with love and grace, and any questions you have will be answered when you look in the eyes of the beautiful person you raised that loves his mom and dad dearly.

I love you all so much and hope that the future is not difficult for any part of your sweet beautiful family.
love deany

Becky and Naing said...

I have the same thoughts about our son, since he too was abandoned. He was sick with pnuemonia. So I choose to belive his mother gave him up so he would get medical care and live. It pains me that he will never have any information on what his real bithday is, who he looks like, does he have any biological siblings?
I often wonder if his Mother even knows he is alive and has a forever home.
Only another adoptive Mom understands that.