We recently attended our second round of Adoption classes. The topics were about becoming a transracial family, and discussing the losses and gains of adoption.
I invite you all to participate in an activity we did during the class. Get a pen and paper... No seriously get up and get a pen and a piece of paper.
Ok. Number your paper from 1-10
1. Write the name of the most significant person in your life
2. Name your most important role in life (i.e. wife, mother, daughter, employee...)
3. Who is your support system
4. What is your race or culture
5. Write the word "Information"-- this represents all the information you have learned that get you through the day
6. Write your favorite place in the world
7. Write "Cultural Information"-- this represents all the behaviors, norms, customs and traditions in your life
8. Write the word "Resources" -- this represents all of your assets
9. Write the word "Values"-- the represents everything that you believe to be true
10. Write something that you love to do
Now, cross 4 things that you could do without in life
It's tough, isn't it?
Look at your list again. Now, cross off 3 more things
Cross off 2 more. And now you are staring at that one thing that you treasure most. Cross it off.
How do you feel? I took this very seriously. I stared at my list and watched my important things go away. As I crossed off my final things (Imants, and my role as a mother), I wanted to cry. I understood.
Our child is in Korea. He is living his life gaining all these wonderful things. Making his own little list. He will soon lose all these things. All that he knows is true, all that he loves, and believes, and is familiar. The only family he has ever known, he will lose.
He will slowly make a new list. We will become an important part of that list. Imants and I, as his parents, Livija, as his sister, his aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents. We will all give him the forever family that will create a list that he carries with him through life. I am honored to do that to yet another little life. We helped Livija build her list. It's the most rewarding thing I've done in my lifetime.
Some things will be lost, but so much will be gained. The difficulty is, gaining the trust and the faith. Once you lose your list, I imagine it is hard to believe in one again. Yes, he will be young, but if you are old enough to love, you are old enough to grieve the loss of that love. If we understand that, and we provide love, stability, and trust I have faith that this amazing little baby will grow into an amazing young man. We may never truly understand how he will feel about his beginning, but we will understand why he feels it. And we will help him through it, and love him without condition.
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