story somehow cheapen the grace intermingled in such
journeys. Painful beginnings are the foundation that must be
given honor as we seek to make meaning of such stories. As
mom, I need to own my role as well as be as honest as possible
about the nuances, complications, and missing pieces that
make up the mystery of the early lives of my daughters. It is
not a simple story that can be brushed over with tales of airport
welcome home parties, adoption day celebrations, and God’s
will. The reality is much more complex.
On the anniversary of our daughters’ adoptions, we
remember and celebrate as a family. One piece of this tradition
is to watch a video created from footage shot on each of their
adoption trips. As each adoption day comes, it gets harder and
harder for me to watch the videos. As I experienced each of
these journeys, my joy and personal perspective clouded the
reality of what was happening to each of my girls. Now, as I
am confronted with these images, I see the grief, sadness, and
sorrow in their little faces. Their world was being turned upside
down once again on the day that we adopted them.
During a recent Christmas holiday, our family sat down
to share our girls’ adoption videos with their new sister-in-law.
One of our sons silently sobbed as he watched. He later told
me that the realities of birth parents, power inequities,
privilege, and all of the messy human realities involved in this
exchange overwhelmed him. This big brother absolutely
adores his sisters, and I speculate that he can not imagine our
collective family life without them. They have graced us with
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