|Ping doing Daddy's Nails while talking with our Adoption Practitioner|
|Our for the Birthday Dinner|
|Opening some presents|
|Getting a hug for some presents|
|Opening some gifts from Grandma/Grandpa|
|Got a DS!|
Ping: ITS MY BIRFDAY!!!
Me: Unh, yes... yes it is. It is also 4:30 in the morning!
Ping: COME DADDY COME!! LOOK!
Me: Now? Of course baby. What do you want me to see?
Ping: Downstairs! Come see!
...I stagger downstairs with our brand new 5 year old daughter...
Ping: See Daddy!
Me: Yes, it says "Happy Birthday!" (we have a big Happy Birthday sign hanging above the table with some balloons and decorations)
Ping: And look what I can do! *mumble* *mumble* *mumble* quai ler! *mumble* *mumble* *mumble* quai ler!
Me: Are you singing, "Happy Bithday" in Chinese?
This was the 1st time she has EVER tried to speak in Chinese with us. I'm sure it is significant in some way. She was very proud of herself. So we sang it a few times in Mandarin and then had breakfast.
Now, Pings birthday would have been busy enough, but we also had our meeting with Adele our Adoption Practitioner (AP) this morning.
The meeting went really well with our AP, but there was a bit of bad news...
Adoption Practitioner (AP): Well, that's all the information, so you can adopt a child up to 3 years old.
Wife: What about a child, say, born in 2002?
AP: The policy is not to disrupt the birth order of the children.
Wife: I know, but it is possible, right?
AP: Yes, but all the studies have shown that it is very disruptive to the rest of the family and generally not a good idea.
Wife: But if we wanted to do it, you could write to the government and recommend it.
AP: No I couldn't. Well, I could, if I did believe that it was recommendable. However, I do not recommend it for your family, so I can not write to the government and say that I do recommend it.
Wife: So you won't recommend us for adopting an 8 year old?
And just like that, as we were celebrating the birth of one child, but we were also silently morning the loss of another.
And I'm not looking for suggestions of "change AP", or "fight the government", or anything like that. That is not the point or purpose of this posting.
What this is about, is loss.
Now, we were not far into the process of this adoption yet... but it is amazing how quickly you can start to attach to a child and feel loss when things do not go the way you plan.
While we were in China with out adoption, one of the families travelling was told they could not adopt their child because something went wrong and he was in serious condition in the hospital. By the time they traveled home, they were able to adopt a different child. Everyone would think that they should be thrilled... but that everyone would be wrong.
This family has had the picture of this particular little boy on their fridge for over 7 months. And before that, they had waited years. Every night they went to bed, probably dreaming of this little boy. They built a nursery. They picked out toys, and clothes and get everything set up. They had a baby shower. They were awaiting for their little boy to arrive!
And then, during "delivery", their baby disappeared. After months of waiting, of praying, of thinking about, planning for, and awaiting their child, he was gone. How could you NOT feel loss?!
Earlier in our marriage, we had a miss-carriage - we were only a few weeks into the pregnancy - but the loss was real. The loss was real, because you KNEW you had a baby. Maybe you didn't see them yet. Hold them. Carry them. Feed them. Change their diaper, but you HAD a baby. The little tyke just hadn't arrived yet.
And then, gone.
So here we are... once again, feeling like there has been a miss-carriage, or in some way, a loss of a child.