Saturday, October 24, 2009
Zheng Shuang (Aubrey) at approximately 3 months not long after she was found, she must have been loved by someone.
Well it is fall and the leaves in East, TN are changing, everything changes sooner or later. I've been so busy. It's the time of year with my job that I am really working hard and on the road a lot and so is Jimmy, it's been challenging but overall I think very good for me. It has given me some old my confidence back, confidence that I can work and be a good wife and Mom! I gotta tell ya it was shaken about this time last year. We were anticipating travelling to China, on the countdown with only a few days to go an I was riddled with fear and anxiety. I can't believe I was ever so frightened of this precious little girl I have come to know and love so completely. I thought the feelings would be with me forever, they invaded every part of my life, haunted me by day and night, kept me from sleeping for months on end, the fear eventually turned into a great sadness for the loss of myself, of the joyful life that I once led. I will never forget boarding the plane in Atlanta, somewhat of a frequent flyer, feeling like I was going to loose my cookies any moment, frozen in one place unable to move without being pulled along by my wonderful and supportive family. I can't really explain the fear, it had been building for months. I think back now and I can see that it was a fear of failure greater than anything else, there were feelings of inadequacy, of doubt in my ability to completely give myself as a mother to this child I was yet to know, a mourning of the free wheeling life that I was "giving up". Our adoption was years in the making, followed by years of desire and attempts to have a baby the traditional way. Once if finally culminated I felt I had changed, like I had outgrown this deep need that I had for another child. I was so afraid to voice these thoughts lest God strike me down. The blessing was in the midst and I the one who had begged and pleaded and prayed and worked so hard for this was suddenly uncertain.
Then, we fast forward to China time, I guess from sheer exhaustion (or perhaps the hand of God) kicked in, I slept for the first time in months through the night each night of our journey, on our fifth day in China my precious baby girl was placed in my arms for the very first time. I will never forget my first words whispered in my daughters ear, Ichi Mama, Wu ai ni (sp?), I am your Mama, "I love you", and she looked at me as if she had been waiting on me, her sad eyes pleading for love. It was instant, it was deep, it was like giving birth and holding my son in his first moment of life. Different and the same. My sadness and fear stuck with me for months more only recently lifting to where I can see where I was and where I am now. Each day after returning home I awoke with the resolve to love and care for my little blessing, to teach her how to live a full life, and to watch her grow strong. In eleven months so much has changed she was once a withdrawn, shy little one, now she is strong, bright and funny and deeply loved. When I think about her beginnings in the world, I am sad for her loss, and for the woman who made the greatest sacrifice imaginable for this child. I am also amazed by all the people that came together to touch her life, nourish and care for her as best they could until she could find her way home. I am grateful to Zhengzhou SWI for her early care, to her foster mother who must have been broken hearted to give her up, to Pam and Clay at Swallows Nest for loving my girl so much and providing her with as real a home as they could, with food and warm clothes, with hugs and kisses and medicine, for getting her ready to have a family, and for easing the fears of an anxious mother as best as they could. I thank CCAI for orchestrating what seems like an impossible task, for making this all possible and for doing it with grace and kindness. For our guides in China who became our friends, kept up safe and comforted us through such uncertain times, for my family at home and with me in China, for not really understanding what I was going through but loving and supporting me anyway, my son (my sunshine), my husband (my rock) who must have felt desperate and afraid himself, my dear cousin Kelly who left her own family at home and made such sacrifices to be probably the best travel companion I could have asked for. For my Mom, without her, I could not do what I do, be who I am. For the friends we made along the our journey, families who were very much in the same boat as we were, mothers just as anxious as me. For the support of all my friends at home, who know who they are and how much they helped. For my sweet girl, who hasn't always seen my best side, but has adored me from the beginning. She makes me laugh and smile, she makes our family complete, she makes me see that this journey, this Adoption journey, has been at the same time the hardest and most wonderful thing I have ever done. Our red threads were many, and we are still discovering them, we are happy...I am happy.