Friday, January 26, 2007

Introducing Our New Children

Since we were adopting older children, there was no need to wait for a referral as one does for an infant. There were already many children waiting for homes. Our adoption agency gave us web access to the photo lists. You look at all of these tiny photos of children looking back at you and pick one out with virtually no information at all. Of course this seems strange and you want to know so much more, but then you don't really get to pick your birth kids either!

This is the first photo we saw of K.D. from the photo list. While in some way it seems a bit arbitrary which child you pick from the photo list, in another way it seems ordained. As you gaze at the faces, some just leap off the page at you. And the ones that you are drawn to are different than the ones that others are drawn to. K.D. seemed like a good fit for our family since he was just about the age of our boys and could join our "boy group".

Then came the task of picking out a little bit older of a girl to join our "girl group". We looked over the photo list and chose S.M. Her father had died and her mother could not care for her as a single mother in a land that can be harsh on single parents. It is nearly impossible here in America to imagine what the poverty must be like for a mother to choose to give up her child. When the agency went back and told S.M.'s mother that a family had been found for her, the mother changed her mind. It is hard to know half a world away, in a different culture, and hearing the story third or fourth hand just exactly what happened. We were surprised at the sense of loss we felt and at how attached we had grown to the 1 inch by 2 inch picture we had so carefully been studying for the past few weeks. But in the end we knew that if the mother had found a way to make life possible for her and her child, it would be a sweet blessing for them to be together.

By this time we had received a DVD of children from our agency. We went back to the DVD to watch the often painfully awkward 10 to 15 second clips of kids who were in some way performing for unknown faces in America. This is an image that we captured from the video of F.G. who we had not noticed on the photo list. We once again were drawn in and found ourselves giving our hearts away when our brain was saying, "Slow down, it is not for sure yet!" But it was too late.

More time passed and eventually we were allowed to send a 1 gallon zip lock bag for each child. We filled the bag with a few toiletries, a little hard candy, gum, markers, a notebook, a shirt, a small toy or two, and a small photo album of our family. Our agency actually took a video of them presenting the bag and photo album to our kids, which was a delight to see. This was the first time that F.G. and K.D. met each other and found out that they would soon be brother and sister. Here is a photo of that meeting.

It is certainly hard for us to know how they feel about becoming siblings, but we hope there there is some comfort in having another child from their area - a bit of their culture, a bit of something familiar - as they set out on this incredible journey.

1 comment:

brentandkris said...

I love your kids - all six of them. I can't wait to babysit!