A snippet from our blog chronically the adoption of and the first few months of life with - Faith FengHua
Last night, little Faith wasn't feeling so good. She has a icky cough and an awful penchant to puke when she coughs. Yeah fun, but we're grateful we hadn't seen this since Wuhan. I can handle throw up when there is no possible of me puking 24 hour later germs attached to them, but it is still unnerving especially when it happens in their sleep. So I choose to sleep on the couch, easier and quicker access to her room if she needed me. Around 2:30 a.m., she needed me. I brought her out to the couch, laid her head on my chest, tucked her feet between my legs to stay warm (she has a tendency to cuddle up to me with little frog legs anyway - I wonder if this has anything to do with how the seem to bundle and carry the babies that I heard about from my friends who adopted infants)? This is just one of the many questions about her life before us that I spend so much time pondering.
Last night, as we lay there, her coughing, and me trying to help her relax so she can rest and get well, I started to again ponder her early life. I thought about her birth mother, the woman who would have held her just as I was when she was a little baby. How long did it take them to realize she couldn't hear? Who's decision was it to abandon her? Was it the mother's, ashamed she'd brought not only a female to her husband, but one with a handicap? Did she cry, as she placed her baby down in the parking lot of the hospital, most likely, under the cover of night and run away? What was Faith's birth name? Did Faith cry in the dark, without the safety of an adult nearby? How long did she lay there before she was found? Abandoned - left without a trace of who you are, a history you will never recover. Can any of us fathom what this feels like to the million of Chinese girls who will experience this reality every day?
Then came her second mommy, her foster mother. I am sad I wasn't able to meet her and that we have no pictures of her to share with Faith. More history I will not be able to persevere for Faith. I know so very little of her 3 years with this second family. Were they loving or distant? She is so loving so it is hard to believe they weren't but I am never sure if that is because she never had it or had so much of it that she continues to crave that closeness? I did read that children who never make attachments are the ones that struggle to bond with their new families, so I can only assume from her quick bonding to us, that she was indeed loved and nurtured. Her behavior, and the little information we do have, would suggest she was actually spoiled. The one short report we have from her time with her foster family reported that she was given whatever she wanted (maybe out of pity) or perhaps that little sly smile won over the men in her life (as it continues to do here!)
What were her days like? She doesn't easily engage with toys and books, actually she'd sit on my lap all day long and do nothing but cuddle if I allowed her too. Yet, oddly the minute we get out in public she's a wild woman -- running around, wiggling out of my arms, and generally the complete opposite of how she is at home. I know all parents say that, but this is more than the usual, there is definitely something to her behavior - I am starting to suspect it is a reaction to the over-stimulation that being out of the house creates. I am sure she was not out very much, and hasn't learned coping strategies with stimulus that comes from being out of the safety and familiarity of your home.
Which brings me to the final ponder of the day - as her third mommy, how safe do I make her feel? How secure is she that there isn't a fourth mommy in her future. I do pray, that isn't God's plan for her!! Not just because I don't want to be dead or divorced (ha ha), but I would be heartbroken to see her have to suffer any more traumatic losses or transitions in her life. She is truly remarkable that after all this, she continues to trust human beings to care for her, that she allows them to love her and returns it with such complete resolve that it is overwhelming. I am always having to remind myself it has only been 4 months, it does still feel like she's been here forever, the fact that we waited 6 MONTHS from the moment we got her picture to the day we met her, seems a blink of an eye now!!
I know now that there was no way they could have prepared her for our coming, I never received back my photo album (introducing her to all of her new family members including godparents, grandparents, cousins) that I sent, so I doubt that she ever saw it. That day , November 2, 2009, was the first time she had ever laid eyes on us!! She let us pick her up, hold her hand, and leave with her, without a tear. God had to be whispering in her heart, "These are the ones I had been telling you about. These are the parents I promised you. Thank you my little dear, for being so open to My plan for you. You can trust them, as I have placed in their hearts an overwhelming love for you."
First appeared in GingrasAdoption.blogspot, Copyright Allison Gingras, Feb. 2010.
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is a Catholic speaker, blogger, podcaster and writer. She believes that the Grace of God received through Prayer, Sacrament, and Scripture is the easiest and best way to grow in our faith.
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