Saturday, November 15, 2008

"my real mommy"

After giving Sara a bath and helping her put on her new snuggly, red, polka-dotted, footed pj's, I cozied up next to her inside her nice, clean Dora sheets and read her this book:

It's a beautifully written and illustrated story about a Chinese girl and her two mothers. The one who gave her life and the one who is raising her. We often talk to Sara about the months she lived in China. We also talk about her Chinese parents.

It's hard to say, at the young age of 3 1/2, how much she really understands. However, both Geoff and I feel that it is important to start planting the seeds of future conversations now. By doing so, we believe it will help prepare her for the inevitable questions that will come when her comprehension becomes more mature; especially when she begins to compare herself with her sister and brother.

It's difficult to anticipate the questions and even harder to imagine how she'll feel about all of the decisions that were made without her input or approval. I can't even begin to imagine what she's been through or what the future will bring. But I am trusting God to be with us throughout the entire journey. It's been an amazing one so far.

The other day Sara sat next to me on my bed while I was trying to recover from a nasty throat infection. Listening to her chatter on, I realized that her English has developed so well, that for all intents and purposes she is definitely American. And yet, she's also Chinese. Even as her mother, I honestly have a hard time putting those two thoughts together and making sense of them. It's a wonderfully crazy thing.

This week I have been following the blog of my sweet friend, Sarah, whose family just received their newest (and absolutely ADORABLE) son, Hudson. We traveled to China together in 2006 when we brought home Sara and Esther. (Both of our girls share a special bond in that they are both cleft-affected.)

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Esther blossom during her trip back to her homeland. Seeing the photos and reading about the Strand's experience has not only brought up a lot of memories for me, it's also made me a bit more reflective about Sara and her sweet life.

I tried to imagine how different this little girl would be if she were still living in China. English would not be her first language. She would know far more Chinese that the few phrases I've been successful in teaching her. She may not have been given the opportunity to truly experience the love and gift of Jesus. If she had, she may not have been able to enjoy and express her faith as fully as she does here in the United States. So much of her little personality would be vastly different.

Had I not been given the honor of being her mother, I would not be the person I am today. Not perfect, but most definitely blessed, challenged and changed for the better in so many ways.

That said, without a doubt I know that her little heart and soul would be in far better shape had she been able to stay with her birth mother. Adoption is a tricky thing; there's no other way around it. One family's loss is our gain, and yet Sara is both wounded and blessed by the unfortunate reality that brought her here to be a part of our lives and family.

As I try to wrap words around all of my thoughts and emotions, I admit that I am thankful that Sara is not yet able to understand more than the basic fact that she has two mommies and two daddies. It's something I hope to have a better grip on before the real questions start coming.

Whenever I have read Sara this book, she will talk about her "real mommy," and honestly, my first reaction is to assume she is talking about her "China mommy." You can imagine how my heart leapt as my sweet girl further clarified by pointing to the photos in the book and said, "My mommy in China (the woman with the black hair and olive complexion) and my real mommy (the mother in the photo who looks nothing like her daughter.)" When I asked Sara who her "real mommy" is, she pointed to me and said, "My real mommy. And I have a real daddy, and a real Chelsea, a real Liam." Can't get much clearer than that. :-)

The words on the page below say: "The first gave you the need for love; the second was there to give it."
"One gave you a body; the other taught you games." (Oh, did I mention this book is sure to bring tears, even if you aren't an adoptive mother???)

My prayer for my beautiful Sara KangXia is that one day she will meet her birth family. I also pray that one day I will as well. It would give me the utmost pleasure to share this precious little soul with the couple who chose to protect and cherish her life until she was safely born. I am humbled by their courage to bring her into the world, as well as to find the safest place possible for her to be found and cared for.

Tonight I am humbled by the miracle that God has entrusted our family with; a beautiful, loving and courageous little girl. I am also humbled by the miracle of adoption that allows this precious child to call me three of the sweetest words I have ever heard, "My Real Mommy."

Truly, tonight, this Real Mommy is LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!!!

I hope and pray you are as well. :-)


Beth said...

From one real mommy to another,
Adoption is a tricky thing, as you said but I am ever grateful. From the adoption of our girls to our adoption into His family, this was always part of God's plan in this imperfect world. Love to my blessed sister in Christ,

Hilty Sprouts! said...

How cool! I just posted a picture from that book on my blog! I have not had a chance to read it yet. The pictures are so beautiful they just capture my heart!