Monday, May 8, 2017

Family Day Anniversary

May 8, 2005. Les and I found ourselves in the most unlikely of places, the middle of a crowded Conference Room in a hotel in China. Halfway around the world from anyone or anything we had ever known, straining desperately to hear the sound of our last name called out so that we might head to the double doors in the front of the room, to reach out and take hold of a tiny child that we had only ever seen a single photograph of, but whom we were already completely and hopelessly in love with.

I kept stretching to see if I could catch a glimpse of her, the one little tiny baby that was to be mine, but there were fourteen babies, fourteen nannies, and several Orphanage Directors with hotel staff and the Adoption Agency folks there too, and I just could not see her. My one photograph, I would later realize made it seem like she was much bigger than she actually was, and it was also very outdated....but still I wanted so badly to start making up for lost time. To start drinking in every single moment that I could, to start reading expressions, to see her, to see that this was real, that it was really happening, that there was really going to be a baby just for me at long last.

Finally, after eternity, they called out "Dillon!" and as I walked forward with wooded legs and my heart pounding so hard that I thought I might be having a coronary event, I saw a Nanny from the orphanage make her way from the very back of the crowd where she had been pacing with my little one (no wonder I didn't catch a glimpse of my baby), we came together at the doorway. I didn't take time for the customary pleasantries, I just reached out and took Evelyn. She was already crying and upset. I could hear that she was hoarse, so I knew right away that she was probably sick, I just wanted her in my arms right that instant. I took her and I never looked back. I never looked back. If someone had said, "Oh that's the wrong baby, or Oh sorry, you can't have her" things would have gone very, very badly for the entire country right then and there. She was mine and that was final.

Adoption is a funny thing. I say all of the time that the four of us came together through pain and that is true, but there is such beauty and love and complexity in the stories of adoption. When you find your children out there in the great, wide world and you make a warm haven for the family you want in life, there is a miracle in that so far beyond biology that involves choice and the diligence of the human spirit, I can not begin to describe it. That is not to say I believe that what I have with my children surpasses what birth families have, but I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that the love I have for my children is the same. The same. And if anyone doubts that, I would suggest to them that they think upon the words my mother said to me when I was talking about adoption with her, "It isn't the giving birth to a child that makes you their mother, it's the day in and day out of taking care of them, meeting their needs, being there for them and putting them before yourself over and over again- that's what makes you a mother." 

Over the years Evelyn has blessed our lives with a joy that is immeasurable. She is a person of highest quality. She is kind, intelligent, bright, well mannered, she is diligent in her studies, she works hard, she always has a kind word, she laughs easy, she walks around singing and giggling... I could spend entire volumes speaking about what a joy this girl has been. I will tell you this, the moment that I took her into my arms, I knew that my life had finally begun, but I really had no idea just how wonderful of a life it would be. I am so lucky to be able to live this life along side her and have a child such as this call me Mama. 


She will be thirteen in just one short month and I can not fathom where the time has gone, but I do know that I am eternally thankful that my body was broken and busted so that I was forced to search the world for my children. I have found in these two- miracles beyond understanding. My heart is full to bursting everyday that I am alive because I have these beautiful children in my life. I love the country of China for the beautiful gift, for entrusting me with the lives of these two precious people. 

Evelyn is a person full of light. She shines. I wish I could take credit for that. I can't. It's just her. I tell  her all of the time, I went to China for you, not just any baby girl, but you, because you are my daughter, you are the one that I needed, the one that made us all complete. 

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