Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Already Looking Back On This One

As I am experiencing this Christmas with my husband and children, I am aware of the fact that I will look back on it as one of the best Christmases ever. Somehow, we are right at that junction where everything is just right and I have been trying to take the time and be conscious of that fact.

Evelyn is 9 and still believes. Liam is 5 and so, he is a firm believer and will remember the way things go next year. Ev and I are baking cookies together. The tree seems perfect in its imperfections. Les is a wonderful Papa and keeps all of the traditions alive.

The things I have loved watching my children do or be excited about this year are: paper chains to count down the days, the traditional movies, going to Grandmas, hearing Liam trying to figure out which a morrow HoHoHo will be coming on, dis wom or de utter a morrow, watching Ev write a whole story book for her Papa including an "about the Author" page, and just the general feeling of innocent near psychotic joy as they progress through the countdown to Christmas. They were both locked in their rooms alone for a time today, wrapping gifts for the family, though it is uncertain where Liam procured his give-aways.

I hope that everyone I know is enjoying their family as much as I am this year, it is all I could wish for any man or woman.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Just Watch It

There's a documentary going around the adoption community. I was not going to watch it, I mean, every one said it made them cry and MY adoptions have been completed so… then some adoptive moms I really respect mentioned that they watched it and I started remembering our trips to China and our first days with Fu Mei and Ao Zhuang. I queued it up o Netflix Watch Instantly. I watched it. I cried. I remembered. Oh I remembered so many things.

So many other things came into focus though. The impotent rage Les and I experienced during the wait for our children. Our inability to adequately express to family and friends just exactly what we were waiting for and maybe why those specific little face were THE faces we would now fight hell and The Devil himself to bring home.

Abandonment alone is the single most devastating thing that can happen to a child, even if that child is found and cared for very quickly, that loss of the birth mother leaves a gap, a black hole of pain that will stay with a child as they mature forever. Add to that the indifferent care of an institution in any country and now the heavy hand of the US Government---these children have very little or no chance at all to find love or security or opportunities food a day or week with adequate food even. They will know hunger and neglect of every kind for every single moment of their lives. I am not exaggerating this. Please take one hour and 22 minutes, watch this video and see what you think about the US Hague Convention Laws that deal with International Adoption and how they strong arm third world countries. Then you can just BE AWARE, spread the word, sign petitions, look for this issue when voting.

As an adoptive parent, you are never quite done with the issue of adoption. The adoptive country becomes apart of your daily life, the recipes creep into your cooking. For Les and I we really have Ev because of China's politics and we have Liam because of certain beliefs the Chinese people hold about a medical condition. As stated above, the abandoned, institutionalized child will remain traumatized for their entire life and we do deal with that, each child on a different level and in their own way- but it IS there. During the movie, I was particularly drawn to the family that adopted a boy and a little girl from Ethiopia because their experience was so very similar to ours; older boy, younger girl and the way the mother spoke of waiting for her son to emerge from the institutionalized behavior gave me chills of recognition.

 Don't watch this and grieve for my children, they are here, they have made it! Celebrate that fact!! Evelyn and Liam and all of the children here are thriving and doing well and they are regular American kids and don't ever tell them how lucky they are. Their parents are the lucky ones, we truly are. I would have died if that Ayi had not placed that tiny 14 pounds of nothing into my arms that sweltering day in May in the middle of Jiangxi province, I just would have died without my Evelyn. And we would not be complete without our jokester of a son, our Liam.

The parents need the children. The children need the parents. Its really quite simple in the end.