Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Important Stories

Last weekend, while our family was riding in the van headed to Woodland Park to play at the best park in the worldwe were listening to a history for kids CD. It began by discussing what history is. As an illustration, the reader talked about when we were babies and how our parents would have recorded our own history for us - how big or small we were, how we behaved, whether we were fussy or happy, loud or quiet, what we liked to eat, what we wore, our first tooth, first words, first steps. Our moms and dads were surely filled with such delight at our presence, our every milestone! They probably took pictures galore! We can look back and see ourselves from our earliest days of existence.

I don't know about yours, but my kids LOVE to hear stories about themselves when they were babies.

It makes me for our Meadow and Flint who do not and will not have that chance. We don't even know the exact day (or year!) they were born, much less how much they weighed or what their preferences were. We can't tell them whether it was stormy or clear, night or day, summer or winter. Those sweet, tender, early years that are customarily filled with one celebratory experience after another - firsts - are completely lost for them.

Then, I was reminded of a blogging friend who is in the process of  undergoing intensive therapy with one of their adopted children. Parenting kids from hard places is hard. It's hard for them, it's hard for us. The complexity of inter-country adoption and meshing a family from varying continents and customs and expectations and bloodlines and genetic material is no small task. Through the counseling they have received, they have learned that in order for their daughter to heal from trauma,  it is important for her to know her story.

Also, sad. As we know so very little, next to nothing really, about M & F's story. Nor do I think we ever will.

So, when I heard that my entry was chosen (either by merit or random selection, I'll never know...) as a finalist in the contest I entered a couple weeks ago, and that ANOTHER entry was needed for submission in a "write off" so to speak, this idea came to me as something to write about. My entry is fiction, yes. But based in truth. My Ethiopian children have lost their stories. Pieces of themselves are gone forever. Piecing a life together with no sense of history or belonging is difficult, to say the least. My heart often breaks for them as they work at it.

If you'd like to take a peek, here is my entry - it had to be about 200 words (it is 200 on the button!) and contain the line this changes everything. If you'd like to leave a comment, better yet! Any attempt to sway the judges couldn't hurt....:-)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!

A random photo shot the other evening as everyone went about their business,
in an attempt to capture the ordinary....

1 comment:

Erika said...

One of the adoption books I read implied that it was okay to make up a story for your child - put the pieces together. One woman took the little bits that she knew and filled in the blanks and that became the story she tells her daughter. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I've written my children's story for me. It's mostly made up and not shared with them, but it helps me make sense of their world (a little bit:).

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