"I have always felt like a little person living a little life, so if this is how God chooses to use me in a big way: So Be It."
~ Amy Bergen Hamovitz, beloved aunt, home with Jesus: Feb 2009
Monday, January 20, 2014
5 more days…and risking it all
In response to a dear friend who cautioned me about the perils of visiting repeatedly for an adoption, mostly so that I do not forget the ardor with which I love you, Baby Girl, and also so one day when you are home and attachedand this is a memory, that I may recognize and appreciate a MIRACLE in my midst.
...Sighhh. Oh, I wish indeed there wasinflection in email and on FB messages because you would know how this deeply settles in knowing acknowledgement and how much I completely concur. Background for us: I have experience with RAD, I get it on a variety of levels, and as a family committed to Empowered to Connect, small group attachment study leaders and Believers, this is something we never, ever intended to do: visit and leave a child. It goes against everything we know to be plausible in adoption and frankly, was a reason we ruled out so very any programs when looking for our child this time. That was all, of course, before 2013 and all back when we innocently saw this little girl's picture and her story and talked to her creche adoption coordinator in California and heard her story and realized she was waiting because of hesitation in so many people who had inquired after her but never committed? For us, she was the realization and embodiment of what we always believed our next adoption would look like (for a number of reasons which I will not go into for times' sake right now). We fell in love. We, very quickly, were ALL IN. When we began this adoption in January 2013 we were told there would be 2-3 trips, none lasting more than 2-3 days and we would stay at a guesthouse and have visitation with our child -that she would at no time stay at a hotel with us, nor would we call her anything but her given name nor would we be allowed to feed her, bathe her, wake her or otherwise mess with her. We knew from the beginning she was to be respected as "belonging" to her nannies and that we would have access to her in 1 room. And none of those factors have changed...except that Haiti is about to implement Hague and passed new adoption laws in November doing away with things like dispensation but adding in this 2-week, IBESR-mandated, bonding-observed trip. And we are, I am not even kidding, like probably Family #10 or less to participate. This flies in the face of everything we know and have studied for 4 years about attachment, everything we diligently practiced in our last adoption, and everything we want to be the case...and yet, it is where we have landed, almost against our will and certainly against our best judgement. I actually had friends adopting from Haiti while we were adopting from Uganda and I remember so clearly not comprehending how they could bear it. And here I am. It is extremely bizarre. Extremely.
I appreciate very much your candor and your attitude of love in expressing this to me. I know you risk rejection and dismissal from me in telling this to me, and I know this comes from a place of sorority and care. I want you to know that I will read and re-read all of this again and I do so with tears, knowing thisis the reality we are opening our hands to: that we are risking her future attachment potential by being more white people who visit and disappear. That we will risk confusion which may lead ultimately to inability to recover from abandonment and that we may look back one day and realize we screwed ourselves. It's a risk, you realize, as an adoptive mama, we are going to take. We will not be taking care of her, nor bringing her at any time off the grounds, nor really parenting her - we will be loving her and being what she needs. And in time, she will come home and we will then dive in and regress her and cocoon and all the things my very soul is CRUSHED that I must resist doing for now, for her sake. This is broken and this is backwards but I agree with you to my core: we must be what SHE needs; we belong to HER, not she belongs tous. Pray with me, would you? That I will let my heart break and support her attachment to her nannies while we are there, even while being observed to be "bonding" and that finally, when the Lord in His good timing brings her home that we will see her bloom, blossom and unfurl in His love, that she will let us love her well and deeply and forever, that her walls will crumble, that our eyes will pour her identity into her, that we will swim out to deep waters to drag her back to this boat that is our home, that she would one day - impossibly - trust us. I know how improbable this sounds. I wrestle with the implausibility of what I am asking every day and every night. I will abandon her and I will ask herto trust me after that: I know how that sounds. Please pray with me that I will have grace enough from Jesus to harm her as little as possible and that with great speed she will come home when I can bear it no longer being only her friend and not her Mama.