Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago today, what was suppose to be our baby boy was born. The next day, on the 17th, our adoption fell through. My heart broke. I literally never knew my heart could hurt so much over a child that wasn't "mine". I've been thinking a lot about "R", the baby boy who today is one, and about what I would tell myself a year ago if I knew what I knew today. So I wrote myself a letter in order to remember and to hopefully help others who are going through the same pain we were a year ago.

Dear Vanessa,

I know your heart is hurting today. And that is ok. Even though this child was never officially yours, in your heart he was, and you need time to grieve. To mourn a loss of what could have been. Don't worry about what others will think. Ignore those who mean well in what they say but just don't get it. Instead take time to cry. For that little boy a year from now will be rocked to sleep on his birthday in someone else's arms. He will learn to take his first step with a different mama than you cheering him on. And that hurts.

But on the other hand, a year from now you will be rocking to sleep a beautiful little girl. With milk chocolate skin and big brown eyes. She will melt you with her smile. And any pain you have now will lessen with the joy she brings. For you will be there on her birthday. You will watch her smash her little hands into a cake for the very first time. At night, you'll take her in your arms and quietly whisper that she was worth every little bit of pain. That she was worth two years of waiting.

A year from now, you will fall asleep in peace knowing that "R" made the right decision. That you made the right decision. It doesn't help lessen the pain of today, but I want you to know that a year from now it will be ok.



Thank you "R" and Happy Birthday to a little boy who I still think and pray for everyday!

Friday, March 11, 2011

In the eyes of a child

Recently our Zoelle, who intellectually is more 5 than 3, started declaring to us about Xiomara: "She's brown; I'm white". My first thought was to panic. I did not want race to be an issue within our own immediate family. I mean afterall, Xiomara will have to deal with the race issue within our extended family, friends, church family, etc. No matter how right or wrong it is, people will treat her differently because of the color of her skin. Thus when Zoelle declared those differences, I panicked. At least on the inside. On the outside, I calmly looked to Chris. I think we both had the same thought from God, "She's right". So we turned to her and said, "You're right Zoelle. God made Xiomara brown and you white". Do you know what gets me and brings a smile to my face? She accepted that answer. She didn't care about the differences. She hasn't treated her any differently since realizing that they are different.

It just is what it is. A fact.

Perhaps we could all learn from that little fact. Me included. Skin color is just that: the color of one's skin. It doesn't change who we are and what we do. It's what's on the inside that matters. As the weeks have gone by and Zoelle has declared lots of skin colors as we go to the grocery store, Target, and church, we have come to acknowledge the obvious and remind her that it's what on the inside that counts. What does her heart look like? What does mine? What does yours?

So I encourage you, acknowledge the obvious in your life, in your children's life. Maybe if we all acknowledged the obvious rather than trying to ignore the color of our skin or those around us for fear of being labeled racist, race would be a lot less of an issue.

Instead the only issue would be what do our hearts looks like on the inside. After all we are all children of God.

Whether adopted, black, white, or brown. It doesn't matter in the eyes of God. Or in mine. How about yours?