Today, our family got to head to a local state park for a potluck with other families who have adopted from Kenson's orphanage. It was a nice, relaxed afternoon with the kids playing soccer and frisbee after enjoying the large playground all while the adults visited. We talked a bit about our upcoming trip to China and two other moms, both of whom have adopted toddlers, asked if I was ready for the what our next month will look like. One of them even asked if the third time around made it better or worse.
And the answer is without a doubt, I think it is worse. You cannot know what you don't know so your first adoption is often a bit of bliss. You know it will not be all roses and happy times. But you are a bit unaware of exactly what it will mean to bring home a toddler and you are a bit unaware of how your child's losses will follow him home. Each time I have brought home a child, I have felt a bit more pricked about the monumental tasks that are awaiting not just me but that child. I just seem to be more acutely aware of what a big thing I am asking of such a little person.
This time around is no exception. Zeke has lived with a foster family for most of his life. The same family. Assuming best case scenario, he loves them and they love him. They kiss him and hold him. He cuddles on their chests when he is tired, he runs to them when he gets hurt, he knows their smells and their touch. Today I found out what I pretty much already knew, that his foster family would not be accompanying him to Guiyang to meet us. He will instead be picked up from his foster home by an orphanage representative who will then transport him to Guiyang to meet us. He will leave his safe little nest with a stranger only to be handed to another set of strangers, never to return to that safe little nest again. It breaks my heart. Yes, we have sent things to his foster family to help explain who we are. Yes, we hope the foster family will have told him what will happen on that day when he leaves them.
But none of it stops the break. None of it seals the wound, repairs the rip, soothes the soul.
I'm preparing for a little boy with a huge broken heart. And really, how do you prepare for that?