Our son is in an orphanage; in a metal crib, with one blanket, scooted against cold, monochrome tiles, tucked beside a furnace.
Yet I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for technology– that I was able to connect with another adoptive mother from our agency, who is currently in country picking up her Chinese son from the same orphanage as ours, who sent us new photos of our Little Man in his current home while we slept last night.
I’m thankful that though he cried, scared, when those foreigners approached his crib, his attentive nanny rushed over to him and he was comforted. (I’m also thankful that we won’t be the first scary Americans he will ever see!)
I’m thankful that he still looks to be thriving and healthy– with sumptuous milky rolls down his thighs, exposed in just a diaper, and endearing knuckle-dimples on his outstretched hands that eagerly reach towards his caretaker.
I’m thankful that his first mom chose life for him. That she did all that she was able to provide for him a bright future, full of possibility.
I’m dreaming of him regularly now. We’re waiting, long-suffering, for the next step which brings us closer to travel: our LOA (Letter of Approval) from China.
How can we miss someone whom we don’t even know? How can we love someone whom we’ve never met?
I’m trying to consciously let go of my preconceived assumptions of him, my expectations, my notions of his personality.
I’ve strategically conspired how I’ll win him over with our abundant affection, attention and attachment-parenting techniques: We’ll wear him, we’ll feed him, we’ll co-sleep, we’ll cocoon. We’ll cradle him, we’ll gaze into his eyes and we’ll mirror his facial expressions. We’ll strive for connectedness and limit outside stimulus. But what if these tactics are difficult for him? For a child who has not been cradled regularly, not been nutured affectionately by adoring parents, not been free to climb out of his bed and into his parents’ when scared at night, attachment might not come easily, and certainly not overnight. He’ll be scared.
I’ve read countless books, attended classes, observed families who’ve gone before us, but have recently discerned that, despite my best-laid plans, I’ll need to give him room to be himself as he adjusts to life in our family. I’m scared.
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” Isaiah 43:5
So we’re still waiting, still dreaming, and still (at the risk of sounding like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite) thankful for technology.