Friday, November 14, 2008

I had a dream last night...

I was a child. I was with my mom and siblings, living my life. We had a home and a life that probably was not perfect, but it was what I knew, so it was comfortable. My mom had a role. I had a role. My siblings had a role. We all lived and did what was normal for the "culture" of our family unit. I loved my mom. I felt safe with my mom. I knew what was expected of me and how to help my family survive.

Then she was gone. Just gone. I didn't know where she went and I didn't understand why she wasn't coming back.

I realized that I had to keep on doing what I knew to do. I had a role in my family. And now I needed to take on my mom's role too. I tried to take care of my siblings the same way I saw my mom taking care of them. I tried to sing the same songs. I tried to keep our family's "culture" alive until she came home. WHEN was she going to come home? I knew she had to come home sometime. I just had to keep things going until she came back.

Then these other people moved in. The kept trying to tell me how to do things--and it wasn't the way I was used to do things. It wasn't the way my mom did things. NO. I just needed to keep my family going the way I needed to, until she came back. Why were these people interfering? Why wouldn't they leave me alone? Why did they insist on trying to steal away from me what I had always known?

These people wouldn't leave. The kept telling me I needed to change. They kept trying to take my role in my family away. They weren't mean. But they didn't know ME and my life. They didn't understand that I wasn't just going to move on as if my mom was never coming back.

Eventually I started yelling at one of these new people. I started out screaming that MY MOM IS COMING BACK!!!!! But somewhere in the middle of that rant I accidentally said, "AND EVEN IF SHE DOESN'T..." What? Why did I say that? How could I say "IF?"

Then it hit me. My mom wasn't coming back. She was gone and nothing I could do would bring her back to me. She was everything I ever knew. She was the one who taught me how to be who I am, but she had disappeared. She was gone forever.

It was at that point that I woke myself up sobbing. At first I was sobbing because I was the orphaned girl in the dream and was still between dreamland and consciousness. Then I awoke and realized the emotions I was feeling...they must be what an orphan feels. Oh my dear Jesus, THIS is how my children feel inside. Way down deep inside, in the recesses of their being. The pain that I felt when I was dreaming was so heavy and thick it hurt to breath.

I cried out to Eric (who was now holding me), "This is how they feel Eric! It's terrible. Oh dear God how do they even go on with such pain? Oh my Jesus help these orphaned children!"

What a shame it is that any adoptive parent would ever want to imply to their child that their world is better "now" that they've been adopted. My children's world was better BEFORE they lost their original families. My children had a role and a place in the world with their original families, before Eric and I ever entered into it. Eric and I were those strange people that tried to make them change their change from one family "culture" to another family "culture." We took away their familiar sounds and smells. We took away mother's milk (in Samren's case). We took away the siblings they knew (in Bright's case). We took away their whole world.

Oh, if only adoptions weren't born out of such tragedy. I never EVER again want to feel the immenseness of grief I felt last night. But my children will feel that pain off and on again throughout their entire lives. Yes, they will feel happiness and they have now melded into our family's culture. They love Eric and I as mommy and daddy. But they will always have a "before." My bad dream is their reality. The details may differ, but the pain...oh the pain they must have felt. The confusion. The fear.

It is an absolute miracle that God can be the salve for these children's hearts. It is a miracle that they can move on enough from their "before" to join in the "after." What a miracle it is that God heals their hearts enough to love trust accept new roles in their new families.

I am the benefactor to my children's great loss.



Amy 1:11 AM  

What a dream Anita... I'm sure that was difficult to shake, but maybe that is as it should be. I appreciate that you always remember and honor the losses of our children and their families. It is one of the reasons you are so amazing at your job and, I'm sure, at motherhood. :)


Jena 6:38 AM  

What an amazing gift to your children that you had that dream

Ethiopiana 11:45 PM  

Anita, you captured what i believe my 12 year old daughter (adopted at 10) must have felt. Thank you for putting it so eloquently. It brought tears to my eyes.