Monday, November 10, 2008

I've been inspired

Yep, by my friend Lisa and her beautiful post about adoption awareness on her blog.

November is "National Adoption Awareness" month. It's got me thinking of all that adoption has meant to me in my life, and how many people it touches daily. We go through so much to bring our babies home. We do it because we want a child, a family, and we have chosen adoption as the way to create that family. Adoption is not perfect, there is grief, often for the parents before they come to choose this, both birth parents and adoptive, and always for the child-for all they they have lost and choices beyond them that were made. In order to adopt you have to first go through whatever it is that brought you to this point, which often is painful and difficult. Adam and I realized we had to overcome the losses we had faced, that we needed to be wholly committed not only to each other, but to adoption and to raising a child that is not "flesh of our flesh". We also needed strong family support and acceptance. And, of course, there had to be a baby in need of a home, a family and love... One of my favorite song verses about adoption goes like this, "They are gifts to those who love them, by those who just could not. Acts of hope and faith and love, we never will forget." It reminds me of the amazing gifts we are given as adoptive parents, and also that it is our duty to raise our children to know how cherished and special they are to us, and to know their whole story. We are not just raising children, we are raising adopted children.

And every day I am grateful that I was chosen to be a mom, a mom to my dear daughter, and hopefully to her sibling soon. I remember the moment we got the call saying, "We have your referral. Gao, QingLu is your daughter". I cried tears of joy and awe (I still do). And the referral picture... bald as a bowling ball, but cute as can be! My heart ached at the distance we'd come, and the distance away she still was. And the moment she was placed in my arms I finally felt whole, this was God's plan, this was what I was meant to be all along, her mom. And I know that I have been given the most wonderful gifts ever in adoption, both by being adopted by my parents, and in being able to adopt my own. Adoption has changed my life, not once but twice - and soon three times. In this month of celebrating adoption I will try to pay-back the gifts adoption has brought to my life if I can, and I will strive to do more each year to raise the awareness that adoption is special, and it is forever. This year I'll start small, I'm going to read some adoption books at story time to Simone's class on Wednesday (wish me luck, 4 year olds can be a tough crowd). I'll consider it my practice run. Next year I'll try more, maybe to organize a reading at the local library, maybe to get an "adopt-a-......" changed to "sponsor-a-....", or maybe I'll feel pulled to some other awareness raising task.

For us adoption will always be a part of who we are, how we came to be a family and a reason to celebrate. What a truly amazing gift! J


Lisa said...

Oh my gosh, that was absolutely beautiful! It brought joyful and nostalgic tears to my eyes. You captured the very real sentiments so perfectly and I feel so blessed to be able to walk beside you on our respective (newest) journeys down the bumpy but breathtaking path of adoption. I feel blessed to call you my friend! :)
Thank you for sharing this incredible piece of your amazing heart and for reminding us all of our greatest joys...these incredible kiddos!
I wish you so much luck on Wednesday, but by golly I don't think you will need it! Your obvious devotion to your beautiful child and your own experiences make you the ideal spokesperson to spread adoption awareness!!
You in turn have inspired me much!!
Keep us posted on how the storytelling goes!!
Lisa C.

Our family said...

You have a beautiful family!


Teresa said...

Oh wow! What a beautiful post, Jen! I cried through it.

Although I am not adopted and I have obviously adopted my children, but I have 2 cousins in VT who are adopted. You cannot tell either one of us that we are not "real" cousins. The sister of the two and I are closer than any two people can be and we live across the country from each other. Because of this relationship, adoption was not something I had to accept as second best, but rather a normal way to create a family.

Keep writng, my friend. You are so eloquent and it is so uplifting to read your blog.