Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Monday, May 19, 2014

"God Placed These Kids With You To Teach You What You Need To Learn."

Looking directly into my eyes, he said those exact words.

This was the moment I wondered if we should have hired a non Christian therapist.

They are the very words that made me want to fly out of my seat in his office and go somewhere far away to a land where phrases like that were never uttered aloud. The words that caused my skin to crawl and the tiny hairs to stand up on the back of my neck. The ones that alert my heart that it must immediately rise and pound and get stuck directly in my throat. Where I feel my whole body begin to quiver, not solely in outrage, but also in sorrow and grief over the trite expression offered in an attempt to grant consolation.

Maybe I am mistaking something. It's hard for me to be clear. Are we saying that our Ethiopian children's parents were placed in a position that they were unable to provide the basic needs of their little ones to such a degree that they felt their best option was to relinquish their child's care to a family of greater affluence so that I could learn something I needed to know at the hand of God? That these kids were taken from their homes and culture and language and familiarity and comfort and siblings and their parents, who loved them dearly, where they must forge a new life with an entirely new identity wrought with struggle for healthy human attachment and a sense of worth and belonging, so that I could grow?

It seems as if the Ethiopian members of this arrangement got the bum deal while I'm getting precisely what I require for personal growth and spiritual development. 


Why do I find myself less than comforted by that assertion?

Going through some tough stuff with Meadow this weekend we watched her Lifebook video together. It's the one where her father is interviewed at length. Where her siblings are introduced, one by one. Where they clap their hands and sing a song she must have known when she was little. Where their home is shown and their way of life is shared including food preparation and farming their land. It's the one where her father speaks of his love for his baby girl, named Masso for blessing, where he tears up while telling of his love for her mother and his devastation at her death. The one where the faces of each of her brothers and sisters reflect like a mirror to her own. Where she was loved and wanted, but her needs were not easily met. Where he talked of hope for a better life for her, with strangers who had the ability to provide what he could not.

A life where, as it turns out, she would have her needs amply met but she would feel lost and lonely and sad and far removed from those who have given her everything she now has, while at the same time far removed from those she lost. Where those who provide for her physically face extraordinary difficulty in helping her feel any sense of closeness to them, worthy of her relative physical abundance.

Masso was the youngest of five at the time she was relinquished.

I too have a baby girl who is the youngest of five, my sweet, precious, treasure, Clover.

I really can't fathom the concept of someone across the world requiring a bit of personal growth that called for me turning over my beloved girl for them to raise so God could teach them what they need to learn. As a privileged American, it's not something I have to consider.

As the one with monetary means, I have the luxury of looking at our inter country adoption as my blessing, as benefiting my spiritual existence while I gain important life lessons, as my service toward the impoverished, and I can pat my back and breathe it all in and count myself benevolent for my good deed and fortunate that God has provided exactly what I must have to come into my fullest self.

But I won't.

I can't forget the price that has been paid by my children's parents nor the fee that the girl I now call my daughter must continue to summon as she finds her way in this bountiful place she feels she doesn't belong.

And I honestly hope I never do.


Anonymous said...

We are always learning - God uses every event in life to teach us, if we choose to listen. However, I don't believe God would ever choose to teach you what you need to know by causing so much pain to others.
So, is it a learning experience, of course - but not intentionally and not at the expense of others.

I think that makes a little sense. Of course, I'm no authority - I just know that God loves everyone and I don't believe he chooses to hurt His children.

Kay Linville

Dawn said...

You put into words what my heart screams daily. I also think Kay had a good point in her comment.

What a messed up freaking world we live in.

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