Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Comforting/Encouraging Words

One of the things I really appreciate are comforting words from those around us.
Words like:
  • Oh, she will get here when she gets here!
  • Don't worry about your documentation being lost... again... it is all in Gods hands!
  • Shes a lucky one to be adopted by you!
  • Her life is going to be so much better now!

See, while those may all be good and true, it is very much akin to telling your 43 year old single aunt who desperately WANTS to get married:
  • Its fun to be single!
  • There are plenty of fish in the sea!
  • Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.
  • Boy you are lucky not to have to be tied down!

See, the problem is, again, that nothing above is terribly 'wrong'. It is just so very... misguided.

There are so many things here, so I'm not quite sure where to start. Probably should have thought this through before I started posting... but here we go anyway. :-)

We are not adopting Ping for the purpose of giving her a 'better life' than the one she could have in China. We are giving her the opportunity for a life with us. Now we hope and pray that this life with us will be wonderful and all that she ever wanted... but how ignorant and arrogant of us to think that her life will be better just because she will be with us.

If one were to argue that her life will be better because she may have better food, better schooling, better things... then I think we are missing the true definition of what makes life 'better'. Goodness knows that there are many rich people who can have all the food, schooling and stuff they can ever desire, yet be miserable and have not a 'good life'.

And on the flip side of this same logic, is even an uglier thought... if someone wanted to adopt Ping who had a bigger house than us, more money, better school district, etc, would they have been able to provide Ping with a better life than even we can? And if so, then why should we even be allowed to adopt her?

And issuing statements like 'it will happen in Gods time' is true - in that God controls all... but at the same time, and absolutely useless statement. The Israelites wandered in the desert needlessly for 40 some odd years (a walk which should have taken 1.5 years or so). So how is that comforting?! :-) Well, fine, I guess it is comforting in that God kept them alive for those 40 years, provided fire at night, shade during the day, water from rocks... but that is not my point. :-)

More to the point, I know Gods plan is perfect, but that doesn't mean that pat answers and cliches bring any comfort.

Adopted children will be loosing everything that they have ever known.
Ever loved.
Ever held in their hands.
Every face they have ever looked upon.
Every voice they have ever heard.
Every smell.
Every thing.

How silly of us to think that that will not matter or affect her, and that she should just be 'happy' that she is coming home with us.

When people say 'comforting/encouraging' words like the ones listed above, more often than not, it really just saddens me.

It makes me realize that, yes, I believe we will be bringing so much more to her life than what she is loosing, but ... do I/we really understand what she will be going through?

How can I comfort our daughter, when words seem to hollow?

When she will look at me and ask "do you know what I'm going though?"

All I will be able to do is pray,
and to hold her close,
and as tightly as I can,
and to whisper in her ear for the ten thousandth time today,
that I love her more than she can ever imagine...

... and hope that she understands.


  1. I've got a feeling that this blog is going to be your *therepy* for getting out your fustrations. lol All in all we do our best to recieve the comments given to us in the best possible light as most people are tring thier best to be supportive.

    But I did have one lady today ask me " can't have children of your own anymore huh...." I was sooo stunned that I don't even remember what I answered and it wasn't till 2 hours later that I stopped in the kitchen and was hit by the rudeness of her statement.

    I laugh about it now, but not at the time.

  2. Yea, no discredit to those who ask/say those things.

    I know they mean it sincerely. They really honestly do believe that we will make Pings life better.

    And I appreciate their confidence in us as parents and such.

    Its a 'me' thing that I can not fully receive those words. Its that I hear those words, and they scare me somewhat.

    What if Gods timing IS 40 years.
    What if I can't make Pings life better.
    What if ...

  3. Yes, the questions and the comments are hard. You learn to sort through them, and handle it with diplomacy, for your child. And know you are ot alone in any of your thougts. I could be writing your comments.

    Does our Eva have a better life because of us? i don't know. But we have a better life because of her!


  4. I'm glad that I found your blog. I've enjoyed reading your posts so far...and look forward to more now that I've bookmarked you :-)

    After almost 4 long years of waiting, we are travelling on August 27th to meet our daughter in Jiangxi province. We can't wait to meet her. My wife Carolyn and I actually never have really thought of it in context of giving her a better life...we've really only thought about doing everything that we possibly can to give her the best life, with the most love and support that any child could ever ask for. In my mind no real difference to what we would hope to offer a biological child.

    I'm no poet, but here's an attempt....

    It matters not how we all came together,
    it matters that we will love you forever.
    You were meant for us, and we for you,
    We are yours, and you are ours too.
    A true happy family and not anything less,
    By God's grace we are all trully blessed.

    Have a great day!

  5. Thanks for the comments guys. :-)

    It is good to know that we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings. I guess thats the point of these blogs... to make sure no one is ever alone in this.

    To Rob: Congratulations on your travel day! I'm sure it can not come soon enough! :-) Well said, well said.

  6. I think anyone who adopts a child with the intention of giving him/her a better life is seriously misguided and it actually sounds like they see themselves as doing the child a favour which then assumes the child should be grateful.
    Not a nice beginning.
    It's clear to me that you and Roberta are loving people. You chose to have biological children because you wanted to express this love. Now you are adopting because you want to express this love with an adopted child.
    An adopted child does present a special challenge because she's had a life before you and she has to leave that all behind and you hope that she will be to forge a new life with you.
    Personally, I believe that the fact that you already know and understand this is preparation enough to tackle this new phase in your lives.
    Great Blog!

  7. "All I will be able to do is pray,
    and to hold her close,
    and as tightly as I can,
    and to whisper in her ear for the ten thousandth time today,
    that I love her more than she can ever imagine...

    ... and hope that she understands"

    She will. I know that much.
    What a beautiful post. You are doing the 'right' thing.
    Mom to two from China.

  8. Your blog is brilliant! I too have bookmarked you! This particular post really touched my heart, as we really went through this with our first child from China. When do you travel?

  9. Well, we just got our LID today. So I'm not sure when we are going to be able to travel. Maybe Nov/Dec? I'm hoping for Oct, but praying for tomorrow. :-)

  10. (oh, and thanks for the kind feedback regarding the blog everyone) :-)

  11. Well put!!
    I do believe it is a calling from God to adopt. I wanted to adopt since I was much younger- I planned but God designed the reality. My husbands heart was changed through a missions trip to China last summer. I have never seen a more concrete change in him in the 27 years I have known him. To God's glory! And yet, our process has still had many bumps and challenges and changes. Not my will or plan. But a beautiful love story being drawn out. BUT- one that contains the pains that you described above. Whew.
    I continue to ride this roller coaster of life. Thankful for the breaks in the ups and downs, and faithful the Designer's plan will be done.