Monday, March 30, 2009

The best and most difficult part of parenting.

Last week, we completed a questionnaire for our post placement report. Looking back, I wonder why we put so much effort into answering the five pages of questions. What is the CCAA going to do? Come and get SS if they don't like our answers? Since you never know, we did not rub in the fact that SS is an avid L W0rd watcher. Heh. Besides, since we are not single, we did not have to sign that pesky piece of paper, denouncing homosexuality, and asserting that we would not expose SS to that lifestyle. Dude, every time we think about it, well, it saddens us and it also cracks us up. We'd much rather have a loving homosexual parent, than an abusive heterosexual one. Whatever...

But I digress... One particular question, to state the best and most difficult part of parenting had me in tears. Initially, I plowed through it, without thinking. I enjoy writing, and sometimes I am even able to come up with coherent sentences. So, why did I cry? Because since meeting SS, it is the first time that we have had the luxury to think about the difficult part of parenting our daughter. Ironically, one of the major reasons we chose China, the lack of contact with a birth family, is biting us in the buttocks.

There, I said it, and I am not ashamed of our fears. P was adamant that he did not want a domestic adoption. He was scared sh*tless of a parent at our doorstep, demanding to become a part of our daughter's life. Probably worse, a parent changing her or his mind. P is rarely so passionate about things, the man learned to repress his emotions from an early age. While he is good at at compromising, I knew that his fears were reasonable.

I sometimes wonder if I could be part of an open adoption. I am not there yet. The funny thing is that I spent a decade, closely working with many parents in open adoptions. In the end, P and I are way too stubborn, too possessive of our kids, to even consider sharing them. Or to consider anyone putting their two cents, in regards to how we raise them. Now, those of you who know what I did for a living, QUIT LAUGHING OK?

We do not intend to romanticize SS's abandonment shortly after birth. Our baby girl was left to be found. But, since P and I have not walked that proverbial mile in SS's birth mother's shoes, we are not going to judge. What we know is that SS's birth mother chose not to terminate the pregnancy. For that we are eternally grateful. Would she have kept SS if it was a boy? We do not care; have not lost one wink of sleep over this. We wanted a daughter, we wanted a daughter so much, that we never considered a biological child. We had JJ, been there, done that. Yeah, pretty selfish on our part, but it is what we wanted. So we got in line, and waited almost three years for our little girl.

We do wonder if the BM was aware of SS's condition when she left her to be found. We often wonder how long SS spent on her own before she was found. Did she cry? Was she cold or hungry? Was she scared? When I feel myself righteousness rear its ugly head, I think of something else. I think about how SS's BM most likely saved our daughter's life, by choosing her finding place. It is perhaps the most important decision her BM made. We think about this often, and I cry about it often. P has yet to reach the point where he can articulate the what ifs. That's fine, I ruminate, it is what I do. We wonder if the BM knows that she saved SS's life. I hope she does, but if she doesn't, we hope to have the opportunity to tell her in the future. We have no idea how we are going to pull this off, but I have to find a way. Because, by saving SS's life, her BM also saved ours.

So this is what we wrote about parenting SS. I am such a dork, I make myself cry.

The best part of parenting SS (this is our second time parenting), is the knowledge that we have been blessed with an amazing child. We look forward to each and every moment we spend with SS. Not a day goes by, that she does not surprise us with the things she does. Not a day goes by, that she does not melt our hearts, with her affection and kind nature. Not a day goes by, that she does not render us useless, in fits of laughter, because of something she has done

The most difficult part of parenting SS, is coming to terms with the reality that we will never know about her life before we met. We were not allowed to see her orphanage, and our guide was not interested in taking us to her finding spot. We did not want to take pictures, just see the SWI where our daughter spent her first 15 months of life. We also would have liked to see the place where she was found. If only to say a prayer, and thank our lucky stars that she was found. We plan to return, when SS is old enough to understand, and at least visit her finding place.

We really mean that SS, we are going back to China and we will visit your finding place. When said visit was an option, I was not sure I wanted to see the spot. I have always felt uneasy about people having their picture taken, at the finding spot, like it is a day at Disney. I clearly remember the four families that were taken to their children's finding spots. It was weird to watch them huddle over a map, discussing why their child's finding spot was better. SS's and her buddy J's SWI was located four hours away, and that is why we were not afforded the same courtesy. The thing is that J's parents and us, we would have gladly paid the guide extra, and would have rented a vehicle to make it happen. Oh well. But we are keeping our word SS, we will return.

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