When we first started considering adoption back in 2010 I was a little naive. I thought that adoption was always this beautiful happy thing for all parties involved. I was not at all sensitive to the struggles that birth moms or adopted kids can go through. One of the reasons we chose international adoption is because we didn’t want to mess with an open adoption. We wanted our own family; didn’t want to feel like we were raising someone else’s kid.
I’ve learned a lot in three years. I have a much better understanding that while yes, adoption can be and often is beautiful and happy, there are struggles that happen. Struggles from the birth mom as she decides to give up her child. Struggles from the children as they work though feeling abandoned. Struggles from the adoptive parents as their new kids act out, which looks like they’re being naughty when really they’re just hurting. It’s an adjustment for everyone.
I’ve learned that it is usually incredibly helpful for the kids to have some idea of where they came from. An open adoption can be a wonderful thing! We won’t have that option, but we do hope to meet our kids’ birth mother when we travel to Africa. I can’t wait to talk to her, to ask her questions, to take pictures with her, to hug her. She will be forever honored in our home as the unselfish woman who birthed these kids, who nursed these kids, who loved these kids, and who gave them a fresh start when she could no longer provide for them. She is special and our kids will know it. We are not replacing her, just adding to the work she’s already done.
Ethiopia is eight hours ahead of the Central Time Zone. Sometime while we are sleeping tonight, our kids’ birth mom will be appearing in Ethiopian court. She’ll have traveled 14 hours from her small village to the capital city- a huge trip for her. She will tell the judge that she can no longer care for her kids and that she desires an adoption. I’m sure her heart will be breaking as her memory flashes back to all the moments she shared with them, all their tears she dried.
While she is in the capital city she will visit the kids at their orphanage. Although we hope to make a trip or four back to Ethiopia, it is very likely that this will be the last time they see each other. The kids have asked for this to happen, and we support it 1000%. We hope she will tell them she blesses this adoption. We hope she hugs them tight and we hope they feel her love. We hope they cherish this final meeting and we hope it helps gives them closure to this chapter of their lives.
It makes you feel a little powerless to know all of this is going on with your children halfway across the world, but that there is nothing you can do except sit here and cry for them. When your child goes through something emotionally trying, you want to be there with them to hold their hand and help them understand. We can’t do that and that’s hard.
Can you please join us in prayer over this situation tonight?