Monday, December 15, 2008

A Little Adoption Musing

As many of you know, we adopted a little girl from China a bit over 2 years ago. Most of the time I am so filled with joy and happiness at our family that I can hardly stand it. I share a lot of pictures in hopes of conveying how terrific we fit, and how great and amazing our three children are. We are proudly a whole Pile of Powells, and we are exceedinly happy at it.
There is a part of our life though that I pray about and fret over. So far at a bit under 4 years old, Emma hasn't asked me about her birth Mommy. I try to talk about it now and again, how there was a mommy in China and how we didn't get to hold her until she was 18 months old, even though we loved her long before that. I tell her about how the very day that she was taken to the hospital and listed for international adoption was the day that her sister in the states said to me, 'Mommy, isn't it time to go get Emma?' We talk about how God makes good fanilies, and how perfect it is to have her in our lives.
I sit sometimes and think about two holes in her heart. One is physical. She has a hole in her heart that we can have surgically corrected in the spring. I've worried it since before I've met her, but we trusted God put her in our lives and that we could handle what was there. With the marvels of modern medicine, its so much easier to know that that hole can be repaired.
There is another hole though, one that I'm not certain how to repair. At some point Emma is going to ask me about her Mom, her birth Mom. I worry about the hole that is left in her heart from not knowing why she was left. I worry that she will somehow see herself as not as good, or not as wanted. I worry about that peice that is missing in her. Its a hole I desperately want to fill, but I worry I don't have the means or the skill.
I wonder sometimes about what the right words are to tell her when she asks. I do't know why she was left. I can guess at some possible ideas, but I don't know for sure.
I as an adult, know that she is the piece that was missing in our hearts. I know as an adult that the difference in our complexions or our hair really are insignificant, that our similarities are so much greater. I catch her searching for her place though - she is starting to pick out children with hair like hers, and when we got our last cat she wanted a 'china kitty' to be like her (either black or siamese, she would take either)
With all these concerns, there are these perfect little moments that set my heart at ease. Sunday night Emma was in her first play - a little holiday number at church. They herd 20 or so 3 and 4 year olds up to stage in costume, and have them sing 3 songs. Emma was excited right up until we went to church, then she sat in my lap as I rocked her worried and sucking on her thumb. I bribed her to go up and sat up front with the twins and Daddy so she'd be sure to see us.
The two women herded preschoolers and assembled them on stage. Emma looked a little distraught as she searched the crowd. Then she saw us. I gave her a big smile, and her face lit up and she smiled the most beautiful grin. Every time she looked at us she got that same grin again. Maybe we can't 'fix' that other hole in her heart, but perhaps that is ok. Emma is amazing just the way she is, and her smile fills up my heart in ways I could have never imagined.

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