First, I”d like to share a wonderful story from my extended church family, the first thing I read this morning.
In response to the outrageous treatment of Artyem by his adoptive family, one of several things that the The Joint Council on International Children's Services has done is to send out a call for adoptive families to "share with the world" their positive adoption stories on Thursday, April 15. Dillon International in Tulsa, our family's adoption agency, is supporting this call. In support of the Council, I am sharing our story with everyone, new and old, in my email address book and on my facebook page. Please join with me if you have a positive adoption story to share, as we raise awareness of the need for children to find permanent, loving homes, and as we share many stories of adoptions that have gone well! I share our story with the cooperation and permission of Carissa, 7, and Caroline, 5, who have also added names of those in their world with whom they would like to share.
We Are The Truth - an adoption blogger day: To ensure the world knows about every successful adoption, on Thursday, April 15, 2010 blog about your adoption or the adoption of someone you know. It doesn't matter if your adoption is with Russia, domestic or otherwise international. Let the world know your truth!
THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING! FEEL FREE TO SHARE!
Please also take a look at www.villageofhope.
From the C. Breeding Family, Kentucky
She wasn't feeling well...she seemed so tired. But she reached out her little left hand and grabbed my neck, while her tiny fingers on her right hand rubbed my arm. I was prepared for tears, terror, a need for soothing, but she seemed to be soothing me instead. Her face nestled instantly into my neck. I was afraid to move, afraid to disturb her. Her jet-black hair was thick, sweaty, and I never wanted to move my cheek from the top of her head. Eventually, I made my way to a mirror across the room so that I could see her face without moving her. After hugs, photos, admiring all around, we made our way down the hall to the hotel room where we would spend our first days together as family. I made a bottle for her and sang, "God is so Good" as our first song together, adding, "God made us a family" as our own made-for-the-occasion verse. We were a family. Finally. After a long wait, I came as fast as they would let me come to bring her home. Those precious first hours together quickly turned into days, weeks, years of learning and loving each other, not as in a fairy tale, but in the work and love that intertwine in building a real family, with the ebb and flow of frustration and ecstacy. Two years later, those little fingers grown into chubby toddler hands, we received into our hands and hearts the tiniest, most active, wirey baby I had ever seen. Our new little one wouldn't have any of this snuggling in or laying back to observe the world... she wanted to move, move, move and experience every adventure as quickly as possible. There would be no sitting still to listen to songs, but we soaked up many slobbery kisses until months later she finally allowed me to hold her the snuggly way of a mama and baby. She finally let me in. And those precious snuggles turned into hours, days, weeks, years of loving and of being family. When a rough patch comes, I say, "We are a family. All three of us. God took something that could have been bad, and together made it into something better than we could have imagined. We are family forever and ever! Always! There is nothing that anyone could ever do, nothing that could ever happen that would make us NOT a family." And now, as life is lived in the typical routine of church, visits to the public library, ballet lessons, basketball teams, gymnastics, filling lunch boxes, and dropping off at school, and the not-so-typical routine of having to explain that not all babies come from the airport but some from a hospital, annual reunion trips with those who began their lives together in the same orphanage, and culture camp, I understand that my life truly began when those little fingers first grabbed my neck and never let go. Our family was completed when we reached out and tried to hold on to our little bundle of energy. It's the three of us. Not one of us perfect, but together perfectly blended. All of us in love with each other. A wonderful Grandmother where mutual admiration abounds, and a host of "friends like family" who love us too. A beautiful family built in a miraculous way through adoption.
Sometimes I feel “embarrassed” to tell our adoption story. We have dear dear friends who have waited, are waiting still, for their adoption story to unfold. Ours was not a story of waiting and hoping for some child somewhere, praying that they were being well cared for until we found our ways to each other. Years after DH and I had put to rest our hopes of children, our door opened to three beautiful children and when we didn’t even really realize it was happening, they came to stay.
We fell into parenthood with many huge advantages- our three children had been dearly loved their whole lives long, had been raised by mothers who had delighted in them, had been kept in good health and care. We became a family years before any court document said it was so. At first, it seemed too tender to stir up too much as our daughters had just lost their mother, and then as time went by there was the issue of locating their birth father and the fear that he might make some claim on them. I am forever indebted to my friend and boss who gently but steadily pushed me along the path and even connected us with our attorney or we might have never made the journey. As the happiest of Christmas gifts, on 12/27/2005 our girls took our names and we as a family experienced a sense of permanency and freedom from the fear of the birth father showing up someday. Our son, is our son. As surely as anything in this world, that boy is my heart of hearts. There will likely never be any court document that states that, he will not carry our name, he has two living parents who can claim him in a way I can’t, but he could not be more ours in our hearts. Although he has been in our care and custody for years, he was growing in our hearts long before that.
I am mindful every single day of the gift made to us by two mothers- when they could not parent any more, they generously allowed us to step in. In truth, I know that I am Plan B. In a perfect world, their mothers would have been able to raise them. I’m sure in their hearts that each of my children would have rather Plan A had worked out. But I don’t believe any one of us is anything less than grateful for the broken road that led us to be a family.