Missing A Child We Have Never Met

The last few weeks I have been going through what carries similar qualities to that of depression, it isn't that, but what I feel there seems to be no name for it. We are waiting for our son to come home to us, a child that we have never met, know very little about, and have only ever seen a photo of and read a bit of a bio that drew us to him. And even though this seems like very little information to go on, we love him, we miss him, we grieve that he is not here, and we wait- have been waiting- for what seems like a very long time, much longer than it should be to give a child the family he deserves.

Adoption can be full of paradoxes. There sits in an orphanage a little boy who was abandoned. He has no familial connections to speak of, although he is surrounded by many orphaned children, and some paid workers who are to be his stand in parents. Surrounding him is a cultural and political system that would see him closed off from the rest of the world, cast away from society as a leper and taught both directly and indirectly that he has very little worth. He likely believes no one will come for him, no one will love him, and that this orphanage, or one like it, will be in his life forever. Thousands of miles away we discuss and make strategic plans to bring him home to us. We think about him and we talk about him daily. We think about who he is, the things he will like, the things he will dislike, and how it will look when he is in our family for good. We know we love him, and knew this since the day we looked at his file. He is already our son, although he does not think about us as his parents. We love someone so immensely who does not know we love them, who we are, or that we are coming to take him home.

I think about what he does on a day to day basis. Is he scared? Is he sad? Does he feel loved? Does he have any sense of all that we will come for him? Does he have friends where he is? Has he bonded with any of his caretakers? What does he like? What does he dislike?

I think about how it will be when he is home. Will he like/ love us? Will he be happy to be here in Canada? Will he be sad and or angry about his new life here? Will our sons get along? Will the age differences be an issue? Will we all be able to handle the stress? Can we do everything that is needed to make sure he thrives in our family?

Many people ask us how we knew this was our son. They ask us why we did not choose a baby. They ask us why we did not choose to adopt a girl. The people who ask these questions have likely not adopted themselves, or have not sincerely thought about adoption as an option for their family. I worry that they do not have the gift of seeing "the bigger picture"; that a life worth living is one that makes life better for others, and that when it comes to the life of a child, age and sex are secondary topics. This may sound negative, or blunt, but I know most fellow adoptive parents would very likely not ask me these questions, because at the point when a child is chosen there is a bit of magic that happens. God appears strongly when adoptive parents are presented with a child that is to be parented by them. It is hard to describe in words the emotions and pearls of understanding that come out of the experience of meeting your child for the first time via a file. You feel very drawn to this child, protective, and a sense of longing and love builds. A longing that will aid you in the heavy load of paper work, receipts, and negative responses from families and friends.

So here we sit, filled with excitement, but also a lot of sorrow. Because it shouldn't have to be this way for our son. He shouldn't have to wait for his family, wait to be loved. He should have never been abandoned in the first place. And I know there is a "happy" ending to all of this, but in all of it there is sadness too, and by writing this I honor that sadness- and I grieve, because adoption is not only beautiful.

So we cocoon ourselves, shut ourselves off from the things in the world that do not nurture us, or help bring us closer to him, battle hard for him, grow during this time, and wait for the flight that will bring us to him. 

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