I wish I had a prettier title for this post, but that’s truly what this post is…my random thoughts. I have so many thoughts swirling in my head right now. Here, in Texas, I’m planning the food and decorations for a family birthday party called “Choo Choo, He’s Two!” (What can I say? I love a good theme.) But, if I’m being honest, my heart feels a million miles away. I can’t get this amazing boy’s first mama out of my mind, and I can’t stop wondering how this week looked on the other side of the world two years ago.
I imagine that today, roughly six days before he was born, that his first mama was, like we all are, quite uncomfortable. Although it was guessed by China that Brooks was born prematurely, we don’t know exactly how premature and we don’t know why he was born early. I wonder if she was having complications. I wonder if she was, understandably, O-V-E-R her pregnancy, encouraging his exit with those old wives’ tales like eating spicy food and going on long walks. Or was it a surprise? Was it one of those 3 a.m. births where you wake up your partner and simply declare, “It’s time?”
These are things I’ll never know the answer to, of course, but my mind still goes there.
I wonder how she went into labor. Was it natural? Induced? Was he a C-Section? Who held his first mama’s hand? Was his biological father in the picture? Was he born at home or in a hospital? I know his weight and length on the day he was found, but what was his birth weight? Length? What time was he born?
My mind continues to wander further.
When was the decision officially made not to parent him? Before he was born? At his birth? In the days between his birth and finding? Did first mama nurse him and love on him until she placed him? Or was that too difficult, knowing what was to come next?
And then the reality truly sets in: I will most likely NEVER get answers to my questions, not this side of heaven anyway.
If I’m being honest, a year ago, before I really knew and loved my son, I thought I could carry on as if none of this mattered. I had convinced myself that we were his forever family, so all that mattered was that we loved him and he was safe with us. What did it matter how his life started when it began all over again on his Adoption Day?
How naive I was.
Here’s the thing – a year ago, I didn’t KNOW my son. He simply existed as a few sheets of translated Mandarin and two pictures. That’s it. I knew that his nannies called him an “active and sometimes impatient” boy. He wore a lot of pink (as real men do), the ayis kept his pants up with a bungee cord (bless it), and I knew he needed his formula thickened due to reflux (of course he did…told you he was meant to be ours). I had been told he liked cars and music (true) and liked it when his orphanage mama took him outside (also true). A year ago, that’s all I “knew” of Brooks.
I know that he has incredible agility and speed and athleticism. (That’s the respectful way of saying he’s part spider monkey. Kid has SKILL.) I know that he is wickedly smart and observant. If you see him standing in a corner quietly with his back turned to you, RUN, don’t walk…because he’s ALWAYS up something. I know that he has a million dollar smile and a belly laugh that sets your heart on fire.
And where it comes full circle for me is when I realize that this boy that I love was gifted these traits by people I’ll never get to know or thank. The gifts those first parents gave him through biology – intelligence, sense of humor, an infectious smile – are gifts that I now enjoy every day. Some days, I’m not even sure that’s fair.
So, I sit in this tension. I order the balloons and buy the paper plates and wrap presents with my heart torn in half because the truth is that even though he’s fully MINE, I also know that he was once fully HERS.
Regardless if I get my questions answered in this life or not, God is still good and Brooks is still my son. Regardless if I am ever able to give Brooks details on his biology or not, God is still in control. I cannot control the outcome of these questions and these unknowns, but I can pray that the Lord grants me comfort and wisdom as I navigate through this journey of parenting Brooks.
That’s all we really can do with kids, right? We can cross every t, dot every i, and the truth is that we will STILL fail our kids because we’re human.
My prayer this week is that his first family is thinking of this incredibly bright, beautiful, special boy. I pray that they somehow know how happy, healthy, and loved he is. We entered into a brokenness that we will not ever truly repair when we chose to adopt Brooks, AND YET, the Lord has been faithful and called us here, so we rest in the fact that we will one day see the whole picture.
And now that I’ve let this all out there…let’s get down to business and throw that little guy a good old-fashioned American birthday party! Do you think Chinese kids like pinatas?? 😉