I opened the box it came in and just sat there and looked at it. I was afraid, seriously. Having adopted twice and having experiences from both extremes, i just wasn't sure I could read it.
G was from a great orphanage. I knew she was in a foster type environment and I also was able to correspond with an American who was in charge of making sure the kids were OK. I am sure it wasn't like what we in America would say is the best but it was good. She was fed, clothed and loved by a foster mama. She had developed attachment to someone, she had medical care. I have pictures of G from the day she was brought in to the SWI until the day they brought her to Xian to meet Kerry. To this day I have contact with a very special lady who is still there, still taking care of the kids. I am so thankful to her. I feel the piddly donation amount is not enough to ever say thank you for the love and care she gave to G and the others. I would gladly have given twice that or more if we had it.
And then there is H. Complete total opposite experience. Completely, did I say that already? She is still having issues from being in the CWI. It's been over two years and I am not sure she will ever forget the trauma she experienced.
H came to us in Xian. (yes, we are fortunate enough to have both our girls from the same province) She was 20 mths old and barely 15 pounds. Her skin, when you pulled it did not bounce back. She was malnourished and covered in infected festering bug bites. She had a bruise on the side of her head that was huge. When I asked what happened the ayi stated that she had fallen out of her crib on her head. No emotion, no blink of the eye, nothing. We played nice and smiled for pictures but I was very anxious to get out of there. Once back in the room, it was far worse than I thought. I undressed her to put jammies on and I could count her ribs, each and every one of them. She had scars around her ankles and festering wounds all over her body. I am not exaggerating. When we got to Guan*zhou for the medical exam the doctor had us undress her and I saw his eyes before he was able to hide his emotions, he then fired away in rapid Chinese and our guide immediately got out his cellphone and called the orphanage. What followed was a 45 minute call that went back and forth between our guide the doctor and the director of the CWI. After all that I asked what was going on, I was scared and thought they were considering not letting us leave with her. Our guide said two words, bug bites. Yeah right, but not knowing mandarin who knows what they said.
H had not had solid food at all. (yes, at 20 mths no solid food) She would choke when we tried to feed her unless it was formula. She still has issues with this today. I am not going to go into any more detail, I think this description gives a very vivid picture of what she went through. She is now a very happy 4 year old with the greatest personality. She is tough and very outspoken. I think this trait may have helped her while at the orphanage. She is also very protective of her little sister. I am sure what she witnessed and experienced in the CWI helped to shape her. She is a survivor and for that I am forever grateful.
I went through so many emotions after coming home, from anger to sadness to being grateful that she is now home. I thought I had come to terms with all those emotions, we adopted again and G is from a very good SWI, one with sponsors and western influence. I thought I had put those emotions in the back of my mind only to come out when H has her night terrors or when we go to the doctors and she sees an Asian physician and totally flips out. I thought I was OK and had dealt with all those, however when I opened the box and saw the book and read the first half because I couldn't put it down, all those emotion came flooding back. I have a better visual of what may have taken place with H. I am not sure I want that visual but I have it. I am sad, sad that they think that girls are not as good as boys, sad that my daughter, whom I love more than life itself was mistreated. I am angry that she had to go through any of that at all.
I am not sure I can finish the book, I will try but honestly it is painful. I have come to terms with these emotions and am not sure I want to reopen old wounds. However, I will most likely read the rest. I have never been known to start a book and not read it all. It is a great book just a very emtional experience for me.
When my girls are older I plan on taking them back to their birth country. I want them to see and feel everything. It is a part of them. I am thankful that they are survivors. I am thankful that God was watching over them. Yes, God has a huge part in all this. I believe that with all my heart, how could He not. You have to have faith to survive the ups and downs of the adoption paper chase and then the aftermath. You have to lean on Him.
I am not sure how to conclude this post, I have cried, gotten mad, felt resigned and then mad all over again. I do know one thing, Kerry you may not want to read this part, but I want to adopt again.....maybe not soon, or in the next couple years but I do feel in my heart there is one more daughter out there for us......if that doesn't happen we, the girls and I will go back and volunteer. My 12 year old has already said when she graduates she would like to go to G's orphanage and work the summer before college.