Wednesday, December 10, 2014


It is not a neatly packaged present, a perfectly square box, wrapped in striped gift wrap, with a matching bow, symmetrically placed across the top.  Nope.  Adoption is a gift and a blessing, a burden and a wound, all at the same time.

If it feels that way for me, I can only imagine what it must feel like for my kids.

I'm a grown up and I don't know what to do with my own feelings.  There's the news today that reeks of coercion or at the very least, a large sin of omission.   It's news that seems to indicate that one of my children's birth parents thought her child would return to Haiti at 18.  There's news about the absent father and his fate that is hard to sugar coat.  There's no news from another birth mom, no news that creates a void for one child. There's another birth family whose very existence is a huge question mark.  And a foster family who was most certainly crushed by the departure of their foster son but yet chose not to parent him.

Real people drug into complex, hard situations.  Single moms feeling all alone and without options.    Perhaps a birth family scared to death to parent a child who looked different, unaware of how smart and adaptable that same child would grow to be.  Complex cultural situations that are hard for an outsider to understand.  Who knows the comments each family was influenced by?  Comments about adoption giving their kid a better life.  Questions about their abilities to feed and clothe and provide for their child.  Words from other family members, from friends, from well meaning orphanage staff. 

And so they all chose a choice that really wasn't a choice.  Because for so many birth families, it is simply the only choice they feel like they have.  Now their child is oceans away, safe and sound, loved and adored, but oceans away.  

I am not a guilty party in that.  I did nothing to cause these situations.  Yet, my heart is guilty.  Guilty of being the mom they could not be and will not get to be.  

That knowledge breaks me a bit.  It for sure humbles me since I will probably never face such situations.  But mostly it grieves my heart because it's very possible that tonight , three other moms may be missing and longing for the very children I've just tucked into bed.

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