Saturday, June 9, 2012
kids want a family
Having gone through various adoption trainings, we were prepared for worst case scenarios dealing with children who have had much loss, perhaps little connection with caregivers and resultant emotional challenges. But as things have evolved in our visits with the kids in Taiwan for the past three weeks, I’ve observed some interesting things. While I know intellectually that tough situations may surface, what I see in person is gently awe-inspiring. First, kids want parents. Even when Mei-Yun doesn’t want to interact with me, she still willingly and voluntarily calls me mama. Each time Han-han and I exit his apartment building, we see the owners of a little food shop. Without fail, Han-han says hi to them and proudly says, “this is my mom.” I’ve been told that one night, he went to bed, then popped right back out of bed, running into the living room picture of Tom and me saying, “I forgot to say goodnight to mama.” I know that early on the social workers and caregivers steered the kids to me, encouraging them to call me mama and hold my hand or kiss me. And clearly, it ranks up there as fairly odd to be introduced to a complete stranger who doesn’t look or talk like you and be told “this is your mother.” That’s not how a child’s recognition of a parent generally happens. But, in the absence of better scenarios, this is what they’ve got… new parents and I think they intuitively know that this family thing…it’s a big deal, and at some level, they like it. Second, they feel connected to each other as siblings. This aspect of their experiences has been charming to observe. They literally all three met each other for the first time 3 weeks ago. Since then, I have seen all three a few times a week: Han-han in Taipei and Mei-Yun and Tsung-Lin in Taichung. Each time, we watch video on my very small camera of the OTHER missing child and they revel in it. Han-han asked to see the Tsung-Lin video over and over. GOTOVIDEO Tsung-Lin made me go through the camera and find all the video of Han-han. They actually feel connected to each other. It is a small miracle happening right in front of my eyes.