Hands and house

Hands and house

Friday, September 17, 2010

What I wouldn't give just for a name...

      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.

15 comments:

La Dolce Vita: The Sweet Life said...

Sigh. So touching. Thanks for sharing. Just returned from China one week ago.

The Raudenbush Family said...

What a deeply significant moment for you both. May these conversations continue to happen--even though they are painful and hard. I can only imagine that the openness and the fact that you are holding her and crying along with her will help her process things for the rest of her life.

Tara Anderson said...

Oh Shannon! I pray that God will restore and make whole in only the way that HE can...for all our little ones. I can't imagine not knowing "where" I came from other than the very vague "China" or a more specific province name. We don't even know if Caden was born in the city listed as his "birthplace" or if he was brought in from the countryside somewhere. I, too, wish I had more to give him. BIG HUGS to you, my Mommy friend!!!

Nancy said...

that's powerful stuff! Thank you so much for sharing. I's a blessing to have ideas for conversation starters of these difficult subjects.

Valerie and Jeff said...

ooooohh! That hurts the heart and makes those hot tears come to the edge of my eyes too just hearing about it!! I am so glad you are so brave and you are talking about this with her though! Wow. What a sweetheart and a sweetmom the two of you are!
Hugs! and Strength to you!

Marci said...

Tears.
I feel the same way about Jesus. I just wish I could see his face or hear his voice...

Hugs. You're a good mother.

Jolene and Dan Powell said...

Oh man...that has been weighing so heavy on my heart lately with my son Ty. Another conversation that confirms that keeping those open lines of communication are so important. Thank you so much for sharing. I needed to read it.
Jolene

LucisMomma said...

I have conversations similar to this with our 5 yo DD...my DH thinks that I embellish or somehow put ideas in DD's head, because he has never been privy to these conversations. She begins them with me, when we are alone. It wells up from her heart! There is no stopping the grief, the wanting and needing to know.
http://justmythoughtsexactly.wordpress.com/

Life with the Lebedas said...

I'm already following but thought i'd stop by from Friday Follow and say hi!

Jennifer @ Life with the Lebedas

Ben and Rach said...

That is so sad! I will pray for you guys!

Sharie said...

My daughter just turned 6 yesterday and we have had many similar conversations. She is SO frustrated because she can't remember her first parents or her first home. When I explain that she was only days old and she may have never even seen her home it doesn't help. It is so frustrating to not have any answers, but it is good that our girls are talking!

Louanne said...

that is so sad, but I think you did good. we just don't have those answers to give them

Carla said...

Thank you for sharing all that you and Ravenna talk about. Charlotte is 4 so a little younger but all of these questions are coming one day I know. And it helps me to be prepared for them. Our sweet girls have such a burden to bear, it breaks my heart.

Gretchen said...

Shannon, I know that we will all have to have these conversations. They are not easy at all. We deal with our own hurts and questions where our own child's birth mom is concerned. It is good to know how they are feeling too. It is good to open that dialect, even though it hurts. It is healing at the same time.

The Milfords said...

Oh sweet girl. That brings hot tears to my eyes. What a beautiful and painful moment. She is very blessed to have such a loving mother and you are very blessed to have such a gentle spirited daughter.

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