Saturday, August 16, 2008


Yesterday was another bittersweet day in our adoption journey. One year ago, on the 15th of August, my sweet baby Aidan was left outside the local police station in her province, to be found by "common people" and turned in to the local authorities.

I spent much of the day running errands and grocery shopping. But my mind and heart were very pre-occupied with thoughts of Aidan. With prayers for her birth-mother. Many adoptive parents feel similar mixed feelings as I've been experiencing, and I've read some beautiful posts honoring the excruciating choice to give up a birth-child. I've also read some sad, heart-wrenching posts about the issues surrounding the choice to abandon.

Sometimes, given the lack of information that we adoptive parents have regarding the circumstances of our child's "finding day," there exists a tendency to romanticize the story and even embellish what we surmise to have happened. To assign feelings that would be ours and put them onto a woman or a circumstance we don't fully know. I understand that some of us adoptive moms want to empathize and understand the choice of a birth-mom to give up her child. In the process of attempting to identify, however, I think that some of us tend to look at the issue through our own lens, through the filters of our Western mentalities and our American sense of justice and right vs. wrong. I've been reluctant to put voice to my feelings about these issues, for several reasons. There is still a lot about the abandonment conversation that I do not understand.

Even with as much as I've learned about China and the circumstances that have created the conditions by which we are blessed to adopt from this beautiful nation, I will be the first to admit that I still do not know enough. I do not understand the deep-rooted belief that boys are more valuable to the institute of the family than are girls. I do not understand the economic structure that contributed to the one-birth policy. Although I AM learning that the details and the contributing factors that played into this policy have often been mis-represented and mis-interpreted by many in the media and in our culture. I do not understand the idea that children with special needs, birth defects, or difficult birth circumstances are considered "unlucky." These things that I do not know and do not understand are only the very tip of the iceburg in the conversation of adoptions from China.

What I do understand, what I am fairly confident of now, is that Aidan's birth-mother desired for her to be found. She wanted this beautiful baby to be taken in and cared for. How do I know this? She was found to be fairly well-nourished, alert and in a place of common traffic. I know this now because I have learned that most provinces and most towns, regardless of their size, have local police stations in centralized locations. I dare not romanticize a story of grief or pain, and I dare not surmise her birth-mother made a "plan" for delivering her baby girl to a specifically chosen location. I don't know those things for fact. But on this day, when my heart was heavy for a mother whose arms are now empty, when my own heart is aching and my own arms are restless in their emptiness, I do know these things.

I know that in HIS infinite wisdom and love, My Father in Heaven is working to bring to fruition the beautiful plan that He has for Aidan's life. I know that Aidan's birth-mother played a significant (dare I say annointed?) role in the journey of her life so far. I know that the plans He has for our Aidan, and indeed our whole family, are beautiful. They are for our good. They are for our work on this earth that is purposed to bringing Him glory. I know that, should she choose to seek Him and cry out to Him, Aidan's birth-mother can find healing and comfort in His arms.

And until the day I die, I will say a prayer of gratefulness for this woman. And I will pray that she find Her Father and experience the filling of her heart that only He can bring.

"I'll show up and take care of you as I promised
and bring you back home.
I know what I'm doing.
I have it all planned out -
plans to take care of you,
not abandon you,
plans to give you the future you hope for."
Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)


julie said...

This is a beautiful post and so true. The new picture of your little girl is just so sweet.


Kamandemmi said...

OH, WOW!! Thsi is all I can say. You have captured my heart so well. I admire your decision to express what the Lord has laid on your heart. After 10 years home with Kamryn, I could not have said it or tried to explain it more eloquently. Thank you for that beautiful expression of very private thoughts. Again you have inspired me to seek Him more fully. Isn't The Missage great?

Swishy said...

I have goosebumps right now ... what a beautiful post!

Dinn Family said...

Amen for sure!! You did a beautiful job putting down on paper what we all feel in our hearts. We were able to go to the place Joshua was found and it did help to visualize his birth mom's decision. I dare not say understand it but get a glimpse possibly into the reasons why. I pray we all will be able to accurately, honestly, and sensitively articulate to our precious children their stories! Angie

Dori's Mommy (Diana) said...

Hi! I found your blog via Johnson Family OBX (which I also found through CF Husband!). What a wonderful post. I hope that you get to travel to China soon. We went in Oct 06.

BTW~ I bought one of those China dolls that the Johnsons are selling as a fundraiser on the side of their blog and we just LOVE it!

Jonni, John & Sofia said...

Beautiful post my friend. Often, I have thought about this, I have thought about me putting my own feelings onto the birthmother of Sofia. I try hard not to. I agree with what you said though, I think both of our girls are very lucky because obviously both of their birth mothers risked being caught by placing them somewhere where they knew thay would be card for. I thank Sofia's birthmother every day for making sure she was put somewhere where she would be found. I know Aidan's birthmother wanted her to have a great future too and I like to think that her birthmother would be very happy to know what a wonderful and lovely family she was placed with.


Pamela Dawn said...

Thank you so much for visiting The Johnson Chronicles. It's a blessing to share our hearts for China and international adoption in general.

God Bless you, your family, and Aiden.

Juan & Pam

Kimberly said...

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful and honest post. Your thoughts mirrored mine so perfectly.

Your daughter is beautiful!