Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ohhh.....the questions.....

Oh my... the conversations that have gone on at my house the last 2 days...  Absolutely mind boggling.  In just a couple of weeks, Wesleigh will have been home from China for SIX years!  (So hard to believe!)  A couple weeks after that, she turns 8.  Wesleigh is my thinker.  She always has been.  She loves to learn and thinks things through way beyond her years.  The questions she comes up with about absolutely everything make my brain hurt!  Well...the last 2 days, the questions have been focused on her adoption.  Here are a few just to give you an idea:
-Why do we have 2 moms?
-Why does Gracie have a foster mom too and I don't?
-Who took care of me?
-Why couldn't my birth mother take care of me?
-Was she sad?
-How many birth moms are there in China?
-Can I see her?
-Will God promise me that I can meet my birth mom?
-We were ORPHANS??
-We lived in an ORPHANAGE????
-Who is my real mom?
-Why couldn't my real mom take care of me?
-Does she remember me?
-Does she think about me?
-Why did God let you be the boys' birth mom?

Here are some of the comments I've heard:
-I just want to see my birth offense
-There must be millions of birth moms in China
-That must have been such a hard choice (said with big crocodile tears)
-She must have been so sad
-I love my family, but I just want to see my birth mom.
-Mom, well adoptive mom....
-Some people say I'm lucky to live here
I have also heard:
-I do really love my family
-G to W "I am really happy I have a sister like you"
-I'm sad.

My brain hurts.  I have always been open and honest about their stories.  I have told them the truth, as much as I know...on their level.  I offer them my theories but make sure they know that I really don't have the answers.  I am not offended or hurt by the words "adoptive" or "real".  How does an 8 year old process this information without questioning these things and using those words?  It is truth.  Who is the "real" mom?  We both are.

There have been so many tears.  Wesleigh just gets it.  It is sad.  It is heartbreaking.  Her story is hard.  Gracie, on her own, would not be thinking of all of these things.  She is more like me.  Tell me the sky is blue and I'm good with need to know why :)  However, with Wesleigh asking so many questions, Gracie is brought along for the ride.  Gracie has both cried with Wesleigh, and has also rolled her eyes and sighed when she brought it up yet again.  lol...

I do have to is truly remarkable to witness this child processing her story.  I am so thankful that we believe in a good God.  A God who knew what my girls' stories would be.  I am thankful that I can offer that to my girls.  I don't really know how you can process something like this without the knowledge that, no matter what happened and why, God has always been there and He will use all those things for good.  Evidently, another part of her processing is whining and questioning everything I say and do.  UGH.... These past 2 days have not been fun around here!

I have a few pieces of her story that I have kept from her still.  She has not asked how old she was when she was left or where.  I have a video of her, taken by a mom who traveled before we were matched.  It shows Wesleigh in her crib at the orphanage....crying.  It breaks my heart and I know it will break hers.  I will wait to show it to her until she is better equipped to handle it.  I have pictures of her in the orphanage, taken on the disposable camera I sent while we waited.  I'm so happy to have them, but they're just sad.  Any photo of any child living in an orphanage without parents is just sad.  There is no other way to spin it.  It is heartbreaking. 

So, Wesleigh processes with questions and whining.  I processes by typing out my random thoughts on this blog.  Here's something that I have been thinking about.  The fact that Wesleigh said, "Some people say I'm lucky to be here".  I will be honest, I have heard this comment, but I didn't realize people were saying to directly to the girls, and I really didn't know that she would be able to connect it to her adoption.  Obviously, I was mistaken.  This is a hard one for me.  Would I have chosen for their birth parents to have to make the decision to give up their girls?  Of course not.  Has it worked out well for me?  Honestly, yes.  Adopting those two girls has given my life huge purpose and immeasurable joy.  Are they lucky (blessed) that they were adopted?  Compared to the children who are still in the orphanage...yes.   Compared to children who are being raised by their biological  Would they know the Lord if they had been raised in China?  I don't have that answer but I can assume that there would be less of a chance.  Do people have any idea of the weight or hurt that their statement carries?  Absolutely not.  People (including myself) say stupid thoughtless things everyday.  Bottom line is...I do not like the word "lucky".  I don't really like it in general, but I especially don't like it when referring to my girls.  My girls have lived through more than most of us will live through in our lifetimes.  Also, people are not going to stop telling my girls they are lucky.  This is something that we are going to have to work through and talk about many more times. 

My head hurts...did I mention this already?  I think that's all the processing I can handle today.  There is so much more...there always will be.  I pray that God gives me guidance and patience to help each of my girls everyday.

Here's a look at these crazy, beautiful, sassy girls that we are blessed to share our lives with :)


Linda said...

I had no idea Wesleigh was processing all these adoption issues. She hasn't talked about them to me or asked. I had no idea she thought so much about her birth mom. Only God can continue to give you wisdom to answer all these questions. Only He can heal her heart of a deep sense of abandonment. I know He will. Honestly, though, I don't know what I expected, but this is an eye-opener to me as to how intense the process will be. Heart breaking, yet, Isaiah 61 promises He will give "beauty for ashes, joy in place of mourning and praise for heaviness." Wesleigh already has an uncommon depth - I think, as her life unfolds, we will all see and be blessed by the beauty and wisdom we see - God will use her mightily. And Gracie will have the benefit of dealing with her hurt rather than stuffing them down - in the long run, I think a benefit for her as they share and help carry each other's burdens. Mama

Allie said...

IT GETS EASIER! As a fellow adoptee I can say that it does get easier when you understand a little bit more. (Uneducated and curious) in college, will still state from time to time that I am lucky that I got adopted but really that's not something I like being associated with. You say a little girl is lucky when she gets a new toy or when she gets something that another sibling doesn't get. You don't use that term when you refer to a child being brought into a family. Hold onto your questions Wesleigh. I've taken it upon myself to learn as much as I can about my adoption and to carefully correct people when they get it wrong. I didn't think much of it when I was younger but I did have a lot of questions and I didn't have anyone to ask. My mom didn't know much about my adoption, there wasn't a whole lot of information given. When she gets older I think the movie "Somewhere Between" was very interesting, but it doesn't equate to ALL adopted children. You might want to give that movie a try when the girls are the right age. At the very least as I've gotten older and had answers to my questions (the ones that can be answered) I've found it to be a lot easier to talk about it.

Paige said...

LOVE this Jen! Remember me talking about Madeline and how she had such trouble with it all, she started asking when she was 3! My goodness it is just too much for them or us to truly understand. I put it on the same shelf as I put my questions for God that I hope we don't care about when we are all in heaven! God does tell us that His ways are not our ways so my prayer is our girls will come to peace with unanswered questions as they learn to navigate and understand God and all the mystery that surrounds Him! Love you!!!!

Melissa said...

Thank you for your transparency and honesty in this post. As someone who is seriously considering starting the adoption process for our family, I appreciated reading what you wrote. My dad is adopted so I've heard some of the concerns and questions before, but never from a child's point of view.
I am going to pray today you have grace in your answers and the girls can rest in the peace of knowing they are loved and cherished by you and the Lord.

Allie said...

I also feel the need to add that the reason it's so frustrating and hard to wrap our minds around all of the adoption talk, it really boils down to the fact that some children are kept and others are not. It's hard to understand why something like that happens to us and why everyone's stories are so different. You ask around a kindergarten classroom and typically everyone is born in a hospital and they all know facts like what happened when they were born, how big they were, what they looked like. And for adoptees it's not that simple, and sometimes the questions are overwhelming and it's just too much to deal with all of the questions. It's hard to understand why our birth stories are so complicated. As I got older I realized that my story was different but instead of focusing on the differences and sadness surrounding it, I turned it into something positive where I embraced my different birth story. I also was fortunate enough to have a few other girls in my (kinder-3rd grade) classes who were adopted so we built a friendship over that and how we were special. Gracie and Wesleigh are fortunate to have each other to go through this with :)

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