It’s amazing what happens when a child no longer acts out (for the most part) but allows herself to be read and known. What do I mean? S came to me today and I sensed she needed to talk. She told me she dreamed about her birth grandma and step-grandpa that she lived with for a year and were part of our lives for a few years after the adoption. We talked about why they were no longer a part of our lives (unhealthy grandparents, guilt-ridden and threatened by the way we parent and school and make decisions) and that as an adult she knew we would support whatever decisions she made about contacting her birth family, including her sister B. She acknowledged she was curious about B and wondered what she was like and where she was, whether she still had our last name. (She knew at one point that B did still use our name on fb, although she recently changed it back to her birth name). I told her how normal it is to be curious and wonder and I would never try to interfere when she was old enough to make decisions on her own about contacting her birth family. I told her I would go with her or support or from the sidelines. She told me she knew I wanted to protect her. I saw trust in her eyes that I thought would never come, and I’m grateful. On my knees, thankful to God, grateful.
I was able to look into her eyes and tell her she was a precious gift that I will always treasure. How many years did it take to get to this place? So many that I want to forget but they brought us to this point in time. I truly “feel” that way about her. I can look into her eyes and see life and peace and hope. The years she spent in anger and denial and fear and grief were not in vain. She has such a servant’s heart and I believe she will one day change the world, her world, with her story. She is able to tell me of her fears and allow me to fill that part of her soul.
My heart bleeds for all the adoptive and even birth parents that do not “feel” that way about their child. It is a place of guilt and pain and desperation. I have one child that I still do not feel that way about. But I’m going to love him and parent him and teach him and intercede and advocate for him until I die. He is MY child, not of my womb, but of a heart that has been torn apart FOR him and BY him and WITH him. Is it hard? Every day. Do I regret adopting? Only in the briefest moments of desperation and fear. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I believe there is eternal significance in this life I lead and if I do nothing else with my life I will have made a difference in these precious lives. Do I wish it had been different with B? Of course, I wish I could have led her to healing. Seeds were planted and I will hold onto that in the years to come when M and S seek her out. I will be here to rejoice with them or grieve with them, whatever the outcome.