Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I just had an e-mail conversation with a friend I met in Traverse City, who, with her husband of course, has adopted two children from South Korea using the same agency and same case worker as we are.

It's so fascinating to hear what she has to say, on one hand, and on the other completely unnerving. Although, if anyone had detailed for me just what sleepless nights were like as a new parent, I'm sure I would have been on the edge of my seat (instead of pushed back entirely to fit the girth of my belly) then, too.

The thing that gets me the most is the grief. Obviously, the grief. She told me about how wonderful her son's foster mother was, and how, when my friend took him from her for the last time after three visits, the boy screamed and cried for the foster mother, and the foster mother tried to comfort him because he was her child, even if she knew she would have to give him up, eventually. And the boy slept after he cried, and didn't know who to bond with at home, and was good tempered but at night he screamed for hours in grief, this baby who couldn't tell anyone how he felt and who did not want the arms of his adoptive parents to comfort him.

How devastating; what a confused little heart.

And of course he is happy and adjusted now, just six months later. But that anguish in a baby is practically too much. If I didn't know that, without us, the child would live in an orphanage, I couldn't do it. I think of my biological children and I practically die inside when I envision the loss they would feel.

I know it will be fine, that one day we will look back and realize we made it. But it makes me mad again, mad like I was when I started thinking about adoption seriously, mad that life is Not Fair for children and that there are so many who suffer much greater losses every second of every day.

I get mad, too, at the books we're required to read, which detail exactly what the birth mother is probably doing while pregnant and the effects these activities will have on the child, or what could happen, or how they might not adjust well, and how they might have a breaking heart every day and take it out in various horrible ways.

Trevor and I keep telling ourselves that even if we had a biological child anything could happen, and it's frustrating when people who are close to us quietly mention that we should maybe just stick with the two we've got. Do they not think we've considered this? Do they think this is simply a thrill ride for us, all part of being young and fun and why not?

The wait is what's difficult. I don't know, though, if it would have been easier on the day we called the agency to begin the process to have been sent that very day to Korea, to have been barraged with information on the plane ride, to have been thrown into every emotion right then -- or to have a full year-and-a-half to think about it.

There is a group of mothers that meets in Traverse City. Mothers of adopted children, I think they're all from the same agency. I'm going to start going with the girls, even though we don't have our littlest one yet, to let the girls play around Asian kids and also to see how they do it. To witness that they're still standing, and that the children are OK. That this is the good path, to have leaders on it, and to simply exist together, the before and after stories.


kate said...

Lisa~ the thought, the heart, the soul behind your choosing to welcome another child into your is the stuff that makes a family whole. The emotions will be there and the ups and downs will come, but in the end, I think you are on the path that is meant to be-- for you, for Trevor, for the girls, and for the baby that will one day be in your arms.

Amy said...

What a great post. Thanks for writing it. I've felt many of the same things...