When we decided to adopt - or should I say when God put the desire to adopt in our hearts so strongly that we could not say no - we were very naive. We were naive about the adoption process, the possibility of fraud, the many variables that could lead to unethical practices. We were naive about the effect of adoption on a child's heart. We envisioned a child in need that we could "save". We expected joy and happiness.
In the past 7 years we have learned alot. Our black and white world has become a bit hazy and gray in places. We now have two children in our home that are not biologically linked to us. They came to us with a history. They have a genetic history that is far removed from us, they were born to women we have yet to meet, and they experienced the first months of their lives in a different culture. I will NEVER be able to see what happened to G in his first six months. I will NEVER know what D might have seen in his first 17 months. Read any child development book and you will be told that these are the MOST important and formative months in a childs life. And we missed them. We did not get to buy Baby Einstein videos in hopes of broadening our infants perspective on life. We did not get to make sure they were stimulated and loved and held. They did not hear stories or classical music as they grew in the womb.
Our boys came to us with scars. It has taken me a while to acknowledge this fact. I wanted to shove it under the rug. I mean, they were so young, surely they don't remember, we are really all they have ever know, etc etc. These are lies. They have known others, seen more, felt abandoned. They are survivors. They will continue, at each developmental stage, to process the loss of their family and their culture. At times they will be happy. At times they will grieve. Watching a child grieve is not fun. Being the comfort they need in that moment is both horrible and possibly the most beautiful thing I have been a part of.
Do I wish that they could still be with their birth family in their birth country? Yes. Am I thankful that I get to be their Mom? Yes. Is adoption beautiful? Yes. Is adoption painful? Yes. Is there much in my life that is black and white anymore? Not really.