Thursday, August 20, 2009
Love At First Sight
Recently, after meeting our family and visiting with the kids quite a bit, a lady said:
That's such a blessing that you've adopted. And they're such sweet kids. Did you just love them from the very beginning?
And I told her the truth. No, I didn't love them from the very beginning. I love them now. And I'll love them even more in the future, but it wasn't automatic and it wasn't natural.
She was a little taken aback. And I don't blame her. This is an adoption myth that adoptive families all know is a myth, but we don't want the truth known. Because, in the beginning, we bought the myth too and were wondering what we'd done wrong. And then when we realize that these feelings are totally normal, we're still afraid we might discourage someone from adopting if we admit that it wasn't easy.
Even in the very beginning, when it was hardest for me, I would still smile and say I was so glad we did it and I didn't have any regrets. And I didn't.
It was very hard that first year. Daniel was stoic; he just didn't have a personality. We didn't understand a single word Isaac said to us and he had a lot of trouble communicating with us. And we thought that language wouldn't be an obstacle, since Liberians speak English. And every couple of months, Maya would break down crying because she missed her mother.
Despite the fact that it wasn't easy or automatic to love our adoptees in the beginning, we have learned agape love through adoption. I could never regret that.