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.

11 comments:

Rodriguez_Family said...

Thanks so much for sharing your lives with us. I am humbled to watch y'all raise your sons -- to God be the glory!!!

Goldberg said...

Thanks Jon and Shelly for the love you share to your sons and friends even in the simplest of ways! What a blessing you are!

Tyler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lira-Anderson said...

You both are still awesome parents. God still has plans for all of you! I am sure that Tanner is grateful to have Jian as a brother to him. I am sure that Jian is grateful to have you both as being parents to him and even has a brother! Your sons will thank you both for being support to them and teach them about God, too! God bless YOU all!

Charity Singleton said...

Wow, Shel. I am crying. This is so amazing and so raw. I didn't know that you and Jian talk to his parents. What an amazing gift that he can watch you do so. And I didn't know that Jian likes to see you talk to baby Jian. How precious and painful.

You are an amazing mom, Shel. I am praying for you.

Greyhame said...

We understand a little of your world since the boy we are adopting is 10 physically and 3 to 5 emotionally. It has been hard for us and I see you have an even more difficult situation. May God's peace surround all of you.

Jenny said...

Shelley,

Wow! what a post, that made my cry. I know you probably don't want to hear (b/c I never do) but I so much admire your family and love watching how you are willing to walk in obedience to God to do something so many people would not even entertain the thought and I know that where there is great sorrow there is also great joy. Of course you know this too. I am learning from you, though our situations are different, in those ways you help him talk to the people of the past, thank you for sharing your wisdom.

Thank you also for all your prayers and kind words on my blog during this time. We're doing okay, but as you well know the adjustment is hard and I want so much to take away her pain and yet I cannot.

CR said...

Thanks for sharing your heart. I am reminded of how broken and dark this world really is, yet what a light we are called to be. Someday, there will be no more tears, but for now, remember that you're not walking alone. Love your family, and praying that the days get easier. I can't imagine... Corissa

Taylor said...

AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL! In tears...and supposed to be working! :) What a great God we have to bring this family together. He will delight me more at lunch duty now! Thank you for sharing, and I will be passing along.

Blessings...

Tammie and Tracy said...

Shelly, you and Jon are a true testiment to God's grace and His power. You truly are His hands - Trace and I admire you so much. Our hearts are full because of you and the love you have for your boys. God broke the mold when he made you!

Walsh Family said...

Wow! beautifully written