Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Memories

Standing around our kitchen after supper the other night, we were talking about our first memories. I told them mine was eating cheez it crackers with my mom for an afternoon snack and watching Sesame Street in our basement. When I think about it, I recall a sense of warmth and protection in my life, in our home, during my earliest days and years, when our family was still all together and life was predictable. I always loved my mommy so!

One by one, they began sharing their first memories with me.

"I remember when Stryder was born and grandpa took us to visit you in the hospital...." ~ Jayla

"I remember Thanksgiving at our house. We had a little table set up for the kids. I sat by Amanda...." ~ Onyx

"I remember you reading Black Beauty to us before we went to sleep...." ~Tyden

"I remember taking naps with you on your bed in the afternoons...." ~Stryder

"I remember my dad taking me to the orphanage and dropping me off. He was crying, telling me he was sorry. I cried, screamed, asked him to please stay, to take me home with him. He said he couldn't. He left me there....." ~Meadow

I can not begin to understand the pain of one day becoming identified as an "orphan." Of being left. Of feeling hopelessly abandoned, or in Meadow's case, unlovable. Of knowing you will never, ever be reunited with your family, to live together with them. Of leaving your people behind. The insecurity and instability of the ground beneath your feet crumbling. Of making a new way. All as a young child.

In the days and weeks where I grow weary of the challenges I face as an adoptive mom, the struggles my husband and I endure as adoptive parents, the issues our children by birth have grown accustomed to as an adoptive family, I must remember nothing about these kids' beginning is normal. It's the thing I find myself bemoaning the most - our lack of what I consider normalcy - the ability to smoothly, effortlessly, coast at any given time. To be a closely knit family unit where security and love and forgiveness and the knowledge that we will always, always be there for each other freely flows in all directions.

Our adopted children's memories are not typical. Their brain development is not typical. Their earliest, most formative years are anything but typical. I can not, should not expect typical function.  They require a great deal of healing. And, I as know from my own life and experience to be true, even when the healing has taken place, tender scars remain.

For better, for worse, their lives have been painfully altered.

Lord grand me grace enough to help piece them together again.

1 comment:

Erika said...

Amen sister.

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