Sunday, November 9, 2008

A letter to China

Friday night, I put Grace to bed. Dan and I usually divide and conquer with the 2 kids. He takes one and I take the other. Bedtime at our house is happily a very calm and relaxed event, we read books and talk. And mostly I just listen because with my 3 kids I've learned all kinds of things about them. What's in their heads and hearts and I don't have to ask many questions, it just comes out. Friday was one of those nights with Grace. I walked across her bedroom to get a few books and paused by the light switch. Above the light switch is one of Grace's adoption announcements that were sent out when we adopted her in 2003. Also framed with the announcement is a baby picture taken of Grace when we were in China at that time. Grace asked me when that photo was taken and I answered her. She then said to me, "Mom, I miss my China Mom and Dad sometimes and wonder what they look like. I wish I could meet them someday. " Now Dan and I have been very upfront about Grace's adoption with her, we've spoken about it honestly and at a level that we feel she can understand for her age. I told Grace that my greatest desire would be for her to meet her China Mom and Dad, but I don't know if it's possible. I don't know who they were or if we could find them. There are times that Grace seems to 'get it' with the explanation about her adoption and the reasons why she came to live with us...we explain it that China has a rule that you can only have 1 child. I've also told her that sometimes countries make rules and the people have to follow them. The sad fact is that I don't have the answers for my daughter and never will. I know that at about age 6-8 most adopted children start asking real questions about their past and begin to start to understand it more fully. She asked me a second time what I thought her birth parents look like and I said, "If you look in a mirror you'll see your Mom and Dad, Grace because you look like them." We also talked about what her parents might be like. I also encouraged her to to draw a picture for them and maybe we could write a letter. And that's what we did on Saturday and Grace drew a picture for them. She told me what to write and here it is:
"Dear China Mom and Dad,
I love you and miss you. I wish I can come back and meet you. I wish you could meet my Mom and Dad. Someday I'll come to China. I am a good swimmer, I'm smart and pretty. I know my numbers and letters. I might take piano lessons.
Love, Grace"
If what I do as a mother to my children is help them to understand as best as they can the circumstances that allowed them to be adopted and be secure in themselves as people, I will have done my job. I hope and pray I can do that. Friday night Grace and I prayed together to God, that He somehow tell her China Mommy and Daddy that Grace is safe, happy and very much loved. Grace talked about mailing the letter to China and maybe it could find her parents there. I wish it could dear Grace. I wish with all my heart it could. Someday we will return to 'My China' as Grace puts it.
For now the letter from Grace resides in her bedroom, taped to the wall. Maybe it will find it's way to China. I'll encourage Grace to write as many letters as she wants to her birth parents.

14 kind words:

The Morris Family said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing this- I love what you told Grace about looking in the mirror...and that she wanted to write a letter and send it in hopes of it finding its' way...oh my- I gotta go get some kleenex now. Hope I can have some of that wisdom you and Dan have when this comes up with Maggie...

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Love the letter..
And I think how you explain things are wonderful..
Have a Great Sunday..

Jill said...

Incredible post! I am crying.......thanks for sharing your warm words.

OH MY #6 said...

I am speechless. Saying this post is beautiful, well written and that it touched my heart does not do it justice.

Oh my word.


PS. OK, I need to see a picture of you with the new eye wear! LOL!

Steffie B. said...

OH.MY.WORD......Gail....this is just the most beautiful post...I have tears streaming down my face...tears for your sweet Grace and William...for my sweet Sophia and ?........ and for the journey we must guide them through.....I think the love you have shown her thus far us wonderful.....I can only pray I have the right words as well....

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

This was such an amazing post!!

I love how you handled the situation....the letter was a brilliant idea....and the mirror...well, that one brought on the water works.

Thank you for sharing this....we all need to prepare ourselves for these conversations!


Kerry said...

Oh Gail- you did a remarkable job and you are succeeding (and will succeed) with your hopes to handle these matters.
Our Graces are so very alike. We have had the same conversations and have done the pictures too. With my G a little younger than yours, I always "borrow" some of your ideas and use them when my G catches up to yours. Thank you so very much! Your detail and the wonderful way you implemented some of the "talking to our children" ideas that I read about is remarkable.

Ashley said... have a wonderful daughter. And you are a wonderful mother. Thank you for sharing something so personal. It has touched my heart.

Beverly said...

So good that you have always been open with her about her adoption. I am with G too and am waiting for some of these questions to come up.

Sharon said...

Wow! You handled that sooo well. And thank you for sharing that. I need all the insight I can get becasue I know my day will be here before too long. Right now I am really enjoying that bailey can hardly talk! haha

Story of our Life said...

((HUGS))) Gail, thanks so much for sharing this w/me today!! Grace is so full beautiful and so full of sweetness.

I'm speechless. Really I am. Need a kleenex, too!!


Paula said...

Gail, what a great idea to have her write a letter to her birthparents. I think the way you've explained things are perfect.

A Mom- In-W8ing said...

I’m speechless…what a special post. Thanks so much for sharing.

Smiles! :o)

Life with JJ, Starr and Spice said...

Grace: I read this post yesterday and was so moved that I could not post a comment. I think that sentence really says how I feel about it.

Hugs to you and your darling daughter.

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