Keeping the Past in the Present

September 27, 2012 heart defect, older child adoption, Wife of the Prez 5 Comments

“It is kind of almost like a pseudo-open adoption,” the adoption professional said to me as I shared with her about our reunion with our 12-year-old son’s foster family.

Absence may not have made their hearts grow stronger—I don’t think the love could be much stronger than it already was—but absence definitely made the hearts long for each other.

From June 22, 2010.

To February 2, 2012.

590 days.

The moment they saw each other again for the first time in more than a year and a half, our 12-year-old son and his foster Mama RAN to one another.

It was more surreal than I even imagined it would be. If a movie crew had been there, they would have wanted to hear the story behind the moment.

The relationship between our son and this woman on the other side of the world is complex and maybe complicated I suppose. But to us, she is simply “China Mama” and to him she was simply “Mama” for many years. He has chosen to clarify now that she is “China Mama” though we would be comfortable with simply “Mama.”

The adoption professional to whom I spoke wondered aloud if this relationship has most likely been a positive aspect of his adoption. I think without a doubt it has. The research is out there on open adoptions and the benefits FAR outweighing any drawbacks, if one can even call it that. And this relationship and openness is about as open as an adoption from China can be.

Just recently we received communication in the form of Chinese characters and Chinglish. And I knew. China Mama was checking in with us. I love receiving communication from her, and so does our son. As he relayed his message back to her, our oldest daughter wanted to send a message too. How sweet is that?

An added and perhaps unexpected benefit to this pseudo-open adoption has provided grounding for our older daughter, for whom we have very little information from her past. No adults to cling to as belonging to … no stories from memory … not much at all until we took her back to China and she too met China Mama, who fussed over her like she was her own. For that matter, she fussed over all five of our children at the time, and I’ve no doubt she would have loved to wrap her arms around our waiting daughter (at the time) in Guizhou.

China Mama just has that touch. She is a Mama who could mother anyone I think. She loves children to love. Simple as that. And though the relationship might seem quite complex, we choose to simply be thankful our son had this Mama in China to love him until we could come bring him home.

5 responses to “Keeping the Past in the Present”

  1. Barbara Neiberg says:

    That is such a beautiful story and post!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Stefanie says:

    What a blessing she is! So glad you are able to keep in touch, I can only imagine in blesses her to know how well he is doing, even if from afar 🙂

  3. Melanie says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. As a family that is waiting to travel to China to get our 5 year old son, this story is very comforting.

  4. Aus says:

    Great stuff my friend – great…we too have been in regular contact with our youngest’s foster family – we address each other as brother and sister – and their son addresses us as aunt and uncle – you don’t get much more honor than that! One day when we make a homeland journey they too will meet again!

    And we get the “bittersweet” – how much our daughter misses this kind of contact we will never know…

    Great joy for you guys – happy mid-autumn festival!!

    aus and co.

  5. Thank you for this! I have had many thoughts and wonderings lately about our son and his relationship with his China Mama. This brought me comfort. It is a good thing.

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