I spend a good portion of my time praying, day dreaming, thinking, wondering about our daughter-to-be. I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about adoption itself on a much deeper level. That one little word is so complex and full of meaning. On one side it is purely glorious. On another, it is dark and sad, wounded and broken.
We've spent a lot of our adoption process thus far taking a lot of classes, reading books, completing online modules. My thinking regarding adoption was always fairly solid. Our church has an amazing adoption culture and has done a fantastic job educating all of us about the gospel picture it is. I studied social work in college and understand the beautiful family-creating mechanism it can be. Adoption is beautiful and wonderful. It is a gift.
I guess I just always made a choice to see only the nice parts. The "other side" of the mountain parts. I never stopped to see the humble and broken beginnings. Now that I look at it in the context of our daughter, things have changed. It is awkward and complex. People hear we are adopting and they instantly say, "You must be so excited." They are right to say that. I am excited. It would be wrong to say otherwise, but it also pains me to say the word "excitement" when I refer to the eventual adoption of our daughter.
When I think about the process of having our biological children I remember such joy and anticipation of their eventual arrival. Never once did I think about what they would go through to get here (I did, however, think about what I would go through to get them here!). While birth is probably a rather traumatic event, none of us remember it. God designed it that way. When I think about the process of getting our daughter in China here, it is so, so different. Yes, we have to go through an exhausting and challenging battle to get her here, but what she has to endure to get here, well, it brings tears to my eyes. And there is no guarantee she will not remember.
Adoption is a beautiful and wonderful thing, but let us never forget that the genesis of adoption is trauma and brokenness. Somewhere, over an ocean and a couple continents away, a mother will give birth. For reasons we will likely never comprehend, she decides she will be unable to keep and raise her child, so she abandons her (it is not legal to give up your child for adoption in China, so you must simply abandon them). Our daughter, precious and new, helpless and innocent, will be left somewhere...a city gate, an orphanage door, a busy street. Then, her sweet, amazing, life giving mother will turn and walk away. Her agony is our joy because now, she can become ours. I thank her mother for her bravery. In China you are urged to have an abortion if you've had too many children or any defect in the child is detected. Her agonizing, terrible choice to walk away will one day be our overwhelming joy. Yet somehow, as her adoptive mother, I will one day have to walk my daughter through this. Why her mother made this choice, how it happened, why her, how was she so undesirable to one, yet longed for by another. There will be questions I cannot answer.
So yes, I am deeply and eagerly excited for our daughter to arrive--to see her sweet face, smell her skin, and stroke her hair. I am not, however, excited for what she must endure--the brokenness she will carry for a lifetime. I pray God will mend her heart as only He can. Sweet daughter in China, you are already a little warrior and so miraculous. You are simply amazing and I love you to my core even before I know you.