Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Mothers

We have two sons through the gift of adoption.  Adoption is an amazing gift, but, can also be a painful one at times.

We have met and spent time with the woman who gave birth to Tanner.  She is a lady who loves her son but was unable to care for him.  We are thankful to be given the opportunity to be his parents and thankful to her for giving birth to him.   We are thankful to tell him about her and remind him how special he is because he's adopted.

Jian also has 2 mothers.  One of them is a woman who gave birth to him and spent about 3 months of his life with him before leaving him at a train station.  This woman gave him a name, but, one we will never know.  This woman bore him through labor and pain, for how long, we'll never know.  This woman fed him, wiped his tears, clothed him, had dreams for him, loved him, and..... abandoned him.  We will never know why she chose to do this, but, the fact that she left a note with him tells me she cared for him, that because he was deaf, she was unable to keep him.  I like to think she watched and waited (like Moses' sister Miriam did when he was put in a basket on the Nile River (see Exodus 2)), through tears until the police came to bring him to the social welfare institute.  I believe that her love for him and her knowledge of her country's beliefs about those with disabilities caused her fear for his future and led her to believe she had no choice.  Though she may have felt she had no choice, it has had, and will always have, long-lasting effects on our son.  Not only did he miss out on having his mother, but, she missed out on an amazing son.  She probably never saw him smile.  She never saw his first tooth, or heard his laugh.  She never watched him start to crawl or take his first steps, or kiss his scraped knees.  She never worried over a fever or soothed him after a nightmare.  She never saw the scared and nervous boy who's now a teenager and desperately trying to be a man.   I wonder, does she think of this boy, our son?  Does she wonder where he is now and what he's doing?  Does she realize that his life has been a difficult one because of the choices she's made?

These choices made by this woman whom we will never know, has forever changed our lives.  Because of these choices, Jian has had to grow up for 14 years without a mother.  He's had to grow up without security, without a gentle touch and without his mother's arms to sooth him.  He's had to learn to rely on himself because no one else was going to take care of him.  He's had to teach himself how to ride a bike, with no daddy holding on to the seat cheering him on.

Because of these choices, our son struggles with learning that rules mean something, that we're teaching him because we love him and want what's best for him.  He's learning he doesn't have to fight with everyone for everything, and that the things he has are truly his, no one will take them from him.  Because of these choices, his emotional development is significantly behind his physical development and we often have to remind ourselves that this 14-year-old boy is really a scared, fearful 3-year-old boy who doesn't know how to trust.

Because of these choices, our family needs to rearrange schedules and leave places and miss out on planned events, because he hasn't learned how to control his emotions or even what those emotions are or mean.

Because of these choices, we sometimes sit in his room, while I talk to these birth parents, and tell them how much he's hurting because they left him.  I tell them that he thinks they're mean for "throwing him away" and that he's had to grow up for 14 years not being taught how to act, and now it's so hard!  He is unable to talk to them, but, seems relieved that I do.  I tell them that something very good came from them leaving him there, and I'm thankful, but, so sorry for all the years he was without. Sometimes, we sit in his room and he asks me to "talk to baby Jian" and I pretend I knew him 14 years ago, and try to show him the love and care he missed out on, while he looks on longingly.

I know that our Heavenly Father had always planned for this young man to be a part of our family, and that this was part of his plan and part of his story, but, the pain that goes with it, for everyone involved, can be hard.  Thankfully, I'm reminded of Psalm 30:5b "weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning."

Sometimes I stay awake and wonder, does his other mother still cry for him too?

What a survivor he is.  Jian is so fearful and yet so brave.  He's so torn and yet and so strong.  He has such a story to tell, and we're excited to see what God has planned.  I pray that his Heavenly Father, who will never let him down, will start replacing that emptiness and sadness with love and trust.  And that he comforts Jian Feng to the depths of his soul.