Sunday, June 7, 2009

Love and a Righteous Anger

I’m not sure when the love for your child begins to grow. I think the foundation, at least for me, was when I finally relented and let go and decided to jump blindly into another adoption. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, but the seed was planted. As most of you familiar with Vietnam adoption process in the last year know, last year was horrendous. The anxiety, the fear, the countless what-ifs. Every time I would get too invested and anxiety-ridden I would pray and remind God this wasn’t anything I wanted so if He wanted to make it happen it was totally on him. 098_edited-1

Unlike many parents I didn’t fall in love when I first saw his photo. I was in awe, I was overcome with emotion and the immense feeling of gratitude, but I didn’t fall in love. As I have written previously, he wasn’t anything like what I expected. My expectations were decidedly low. I had prepared for a scrawny, sickly, pale, sad looking child and I think I was somewhat shocked to find that he was none of those things. Thank God!



I think I began to fall in love over the months of waiting to travel—all the video and photos people sent me of my son—both broke my heart and sustained me. I watched him grow, but I also saw something else. He didn’t look happy. He was covered in bug bites—big, red, swollen bites. He also looked sad. I didn’t know it then because I LIVED for each photo, but my mom has commented since that he had no light in his eyes. It broke my heart.



Love began to grow in that space of hope and hurt, but until I held him for the first time there was also a lot of doubt. I learned that love isn’t a switch you turn on or off and love between a mother and her child is different than the love a child has for her mother or the love between a man and a woman. I was amazed by him, mesmerized. I was a woman who wanted a child, he was a child that needed a mother. In the beginning I put limits on what I thought he could feel for me because I wasn’t the first one, the “real” one as people are so eager to point out. To him, at least at this time, it doesn’t matter. What he needed was a mother. He thrived under having hands-on, one-on-one, 24/7 care with one woman.


In those early difficult weeks home I would wonder, “Do I love him now? What about now?” I had never loved a child before and I was filtering my expectations through the love I did know—love for my parents and sister, love for the man that I once knew. But loving a child is not like any of those things, at least not for me. I knew I loved him when I caught my reflection in a mirror and saw the goofy tired smile. I knew I loved him when I told others about him, when I heard the pride in my voice. When I felt my first flash of righteous anger.056

When you have a child you go into a protective mode—everything for your child—or else. I think when you have a child that was adopted you are even more vigilant. Not only are you trying to protect them physically against the dangers around them, but I think you hyper-aware of hurts that come out of nowhere. Adopted children are easy targets for uneducated adults and cruel children alike. I can’t protect him from everything, I know this, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.



Last week I watched Duc interact somewhat passively with the angry spawn of ghetto trash. Yes, I know that is inflammatory statement, but I don’t really care. He was a seven or eight year-old boy and without going into the details I will just say both my mom and I were concerned with how he tried to interact with Duc. We were talking about it later before I knew it was happening my blood flashed hot and I said, “if he or anyone else ever lays a hand on my child I will knock their teeth so far down their throat…” Actually, that’s the cleaned up version, but I am sure you get the idea. If that child had kicked my son’s head like I thought he was going to I would have been on his mother faster than I had ever moved before. Thankfully that didn’t happen, but something else did. The realization that I love this child so much it hurts. So much I would react without thinking. So much that I love and anger without thinking.

1 comments:

Dave and Teresa June 13, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

It's amazing how protective we feel when we love someone so much. I am often amazed at the depth of the love I feel for Caroline; it's unlike anything I have ever known before.

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About This Blog

This started as my story, but has evolved to OUR story. This is the story of life as a single parent to a wonderful little boy while we wait for baby sister. China LID 2.12.07.


But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day.
Habakkuk 2:3

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