Today marks one year since Marley's "finding day"--the day she was found outside of a residential gate in her town. She was taken in to the orphanage, bathed, checked over, given fresh clothes and a bottle. Even at the tender age of 2 1/2 months, I am sure that our little sweetheart knew that something had changed forever in her life. I am sure that she cried for her mama and felt confused when her mama didn't comfort her. She has lived the past year with the love and care of a group of nannies who, by all accounts from other families who have adopted children from her social welfare institute, nurture these children and give them all of the love that they can. But it's not the same as the love of a mother.
My heart aches for Marley's birth family today, and especially for her birth mother. We will never know the circumstances that brought her family to the place where they felt her best chance at life would be with another family. Perhaps they felt they had no choice because of the 'one child policy' in China. Maybe they didn't have the money and resources to feed her, especially with her cleft palate. Regardless of how they reached the wrenching decision, I know that it must have been a very sad time in their lives. I took a few minutes today to try to imagine what this day must feel like for Marley's birth mother.
One year ago, she wrapped her baby girl in a blanket and said goodbye to her for the last time. She left her in an area where she knew she'd be found quickly. How her heart must have broken to hear her daughter's cries as she turned and walked away. She had loved and held that baby in her arms and in her heart for months already. It must have been agonizing to know that she would likely never know where her daughter grew up, who loved her, what she became. Maybe it brought her comfort to believe that her little baby would be treasured and loved completely by a family who could give her the life she had once dreamed of for herself as a little girl growing up in China. Perhaps she hid and watched until she saw that Marley had been found. Perhaps she changed her mind several times as she waited. Or perhaps she walked away as quickly as her grief-stricken body could carry her. I hope that she had someone at home, whether her husband, mother, or perhaps her firstborn child, to wrap her in their arms and tell her that she would be alright . . . that she would heal from this loss. . . that her grief would lessen . . . that she had made the best choice for her baby. As a mother, I cannot allow myself to go to the place of imagining living out the rest of my life without one of my children. As the mother who will have the privilege of watching Marley grow up and showering her with love every day, I wish that I could tell her birth mother how much we love her already, how deep our commitment is to her, and how grateful we are to have been given the honor of loving her daughter.
Please send a silent prayer for Marley and her birth family today, as the loss they all suffered weighs heavily on many hearts today.
I have a truly beautiful book called "The Motherbridge of Love" which I have been reading to the boys. The illustrations are amazing and the story is so sweet. It is a poem that was written by an adoptive mother. The poem is as follows:
"Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star;
the other became your sun.
The first one gave you life;
the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love;
the second was there to give it.
One gave you a body,
the other taught you games.
One gave you a talent.
The other taught you aims.
One gave you emotions;
the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile;
the other dried your tears.
One found a home for you
that she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child;
her hope was not denied.
And now you ask, of course you do,
the question others ask me too:
This place or your birth place--
which are you the daughter of?
Both of them, my darling--
and two different kinds of love."
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
On Thursday, the 10th, we received an email from our agency saying that the Chinese officials had already sent our Pre-Approval (PA) notification!! Rather than waiting the 4-6 weeks we had anticipated, we received our PA only 2 weeks and 1 day after submitting it. We are busy at work on our dossier paperwork, and are thrilled that we were finally able to send a care package to Marley at her orphanage. I just cannot wait to bring our little girl home. We are hoping to travel in October or November, sooner would be great, but with the Olympics in Beijing in August, travel for adoptions will probably slow down quite a bit this summer. It may cause a bit of a backlog for the many appointments we will need to attend once we finally meet Marley in China. I'm posting her picture here, which was taken in mid-March. Isn't she just too cute?!