It all happened so quickly and now, afterwards my mind finally starts to come up with what I should have, could have said. Doug is out of town and the little kids were tucked in so Ravenna and I lay contentedly in my bed, blankets up to our chins, smiling at each other during coveted 'special time'. I had known that I was supposed to ask, that kind of whisper in my soul that just kept persisting. So I took a deep breath and said, "How are you feeling about being Chinese and being adopted lately?"
I wanted to ask, wanted to set the precedent that it is not a topic on a shelf that she has to take down, dust off and look at alone. I wanted to know, to know every speck of that beautiful deep searching 6 year old heart...and yet I was so not ready for what came.
Our conversation went like this:
Me: "I have been wondering, how are you feeling about being Chinese and being adopted lately?"
Ravenna: Wiggly silence for a minute and then, "Well....when I go back how will we talk to people, like I don't know how to say much."
Me: "Well, that is a really good question. There are some different options. One is to take some classes to learn more Chinese. The other is to use a translator, you know someone who speaks English and Chinese."
Ravenna: "I bet I just said WAAAAA and Me How...you know because I couldn't say Ni Hao"
Lots of wiggles and tickles for awhile, then Ravenna rolls over and stares at the ceiling...
Ravenna: "Who will we see when when we are in China?"
Me: "Uhhhhh...well, hopefully we would be able to go back to your orphanage to see the staff there and maybe see your foster family but I am not sure."
Silence for a long time and then I look over to see big hot tears rolling down that precious face that I love with all my heart.
Ravenna: "Why can't we see her? Do you know where she is?"
I sit up and she crumbles into my arms and we both weep silently. I whisper that I love her and that it is ok to hurt and to miss her birthmom, that I miss her and think of her too. That some things in life are beautiful and painful at the same time.
And she looks up, black hair wild around her face, brown eyes unfathomably wet and deep and says,
"I just wish I could know her name..."
and buried her head in my lap, deep breaths sobbing...
All I could do was kiss her head and whisper, "me too baby, me too."
And pray like crazy that God was holding all three of our hearts.