Eating ice cream for the first time.
Slamming her head into the floor over and over with hysterical crying, the helper in the toddler room frantically looked for me to come get her. It was only minutes beforehand that I had dropped her off to the class before entering the sanctuary for church.
I had not thought of what repercussions there would be just by dropping my daughter off to her Sunday school classroom at church. When I saw her banging her head as I entered the room, it dawned on me that she thought I had abandoned her into another orphanage and would never come back. She didn’t know how to articulate how she was feeling and hitting her head consistently on the hard floor was the only way she could say that she was upset. Continue reading
They came from orphanages in a far off land. For one child, the back and forth motion helped stimulate her physical and emotional being as if she was rocking to the beat of a song. She cried after each 3 bottled meals a day at 9 months: One bottle of chicken broth, one bottle of tea, and lastly a bottle of bread floating in water.
There were twenty-five to thirty children per worker in a room who hardly touched them other than to change their soiled cloth diapers. This was the most attention they received for the entire day. After laying in the diaper for hours and hours, they would be stripped and rinsed off in ice cold water and left with what looked like cigarette burns below their waist and onto their bottoms from the dirty clothes.
Her sister at 27 months old, didn’t know any language or even how to crawl or walk. Tears would flow after every meal given to her. Her fears of not knowing if she would get more food frightened her and would cause her to hoard and steal if necessary. Continue reading
For the past 5 years our daughter’s relationship with her father was a strained one. Having been left behind in an orphanage at 27 months of age without being able to speak or walk, the toll on her emotions and attachment towards others, especially her father, was not what we expected.
We really noticed the changes when comments were made of how he wasn’t her “real” father and that she wouldn’t accept him as her “real” father until she met her birth father in another country. Only then would she make the decision as to whether or not to carry on a relationship with her adoptive and only father that she has ever known. Continue reading
Realizing that she was gone, I sped to my car throwing the keys into the ignition and raced down the street at full speed.
Dressed in black, my car lights were still able to track her down. Slamming the brakes once she was in sight, I threw the car into PARK and swung open the door.
I nearly fell onto the ground as I tried to run after her. Picking up speed I grabbed her arm and pull her towards me. Trying to fight me off, I held more tightly until I was in a deep bear hug.
“I love you! Please, this isn’t the answer. I’m not letting go because you are that important to us. Let’s get through this together.” I said. She broke down crying as I lifted her up and carried her back to the car.
It was going to be another sleepless night as I hid the keys to the house doors. Again I was praying that this would come to an end. Continue reading
I remember back in school when the teacher asked all the students, “Do you know where you came from?” and would then begin her long study on people origins. This research included your biography and asking questions of your grandparents, parents, and other relatives which culminated into a full report to share with the class.
Now that sounds interesting and fun, especially to a kid who thinks, “Could I be related to a King or Queen or some rock/pop star in my generation?” but it could also lead to a major identity crisis for a teen who doesn’t know their origins.
Such was the case for my one daughter who is adopted. For her, wanting to know her identity became her priority and it nagged at her every moment of the day. She felt like she couldn’t live life normally without knowing where she came from. Not knowing your origins for some leaves a huge void in their life and at times feelings of abandonment and rejection. Continue reading