As we are getting so close to going to China for our son, I have found myself thinking back on our beginning with little M… I know that the first months, probably the first year, will be tough… when we first got little M, we went into the first months with a sense of innocence. We had no idea that it would be so difficult. Of course, we expected that it would be hard, we had read all of the books, after all. But it turns out that reading about something and actually living it, are two very different things.

Little M in her orphanage

I have never worked so hard to earn another person’s love. Ever.
We are still, to this day (and might be forever) working on trust.
In adoption, there is no “instant love.” The moment your child is placed in your arms is a special one, no doubt, and there most definitely is a sense of love and compassion, but real love takes time to grow. It is a seed that starts to grow when you first see your child’s picture, but a picture is not a person, and the seed of love continues to grow with each day you spend with your child.
Little M was content and happy in all ways. She didn’t know what a mommy and daddy were…she didn’t know that mommies hold you when you are scared and sad, or that daddies give you a bath, and read you stories at night. She was perfectly capable of washing herself, and feeding herself, and didn’t cry when she was scared or hurt.
She didn’t know…

Little M in her orphanage

And now, we are doing this again, and the grief will be similar, I expect. I wonder if, in some ways, the grief will be even worse, because our boy knows… you see, our son is in a foster family. He knows what a mom and a dad are, and he is an “only child.” I hope he is well loved and knows what it is like to be loved. But, at the same time, I am dreading what his little heart will go through. The pain he will have to go through to become part of a family makes my heart ache for him, and I am dreading putting him through that. Does he need a family? Yes! And we are thrilled to be that family for him.
We are excited to be his family, and we dread taking him away from everything he knows. Joy and sadness…all at the same time.


  1. Bev on April 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Wonderful photos of Little M. Brings me back to the day we stood in that room and tried to memorize everything about it as we worked to process that our little girl had lived there for so many months… Adoption is so complex – filled with joy and sadness all at the same time… losses and gains that cannot be measured or truly understood that all collide with one and other in an incredibly emotion-filled time. Even with all the struggles they do have, I don't know how these little people seem to do so well with all of the change and transition. We sure wish you well as you set out on this new journey and all of its adventures!

  2. dawn on April 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    My oldest daughter was in a foster home, she didn't know how to cry or how to kiss or hug! You might be wrong. My little one was in an orphanage and was devastated at having to leave the only life she knew. Prepare for both scenarios cos there is no way of knowing. Rosie grieved for a very long time and refused to let down her wall. Lily on the other hand never looked back.I knew 2 weeks ago when I saw her cry that Lily's arm was broken, (before seeing the angle etc) because she was crying. She still rarely cries for pain but thankfully now shows us her emotions. I wish you the easiest transition ever and I am sorry to throw a wrench in your thinking.You are such a fabulous Mummy you will make it work.

  3. foreversistersforeverfriends on April 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Wow, counting down the days!Both of my girls were in foster care. Harper was completely independent but didn't know how to \”love\”, we had to teach her. From the moment she was placed in my arms, she never looked back. She attached easily, she must've been craving some love!Melaina, was complete opposite. She was loved immensely so much that they gave her zero independence. She grieved badly, but knew how to \”love\”.Both of my girls have securely attached to us.I wish you nothing but smooth sailing this second time around :)Anne

  4. jessica on April 4, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Oh my, I totally understand how you feel. We'll be praying for you guys while you are in China and afterwards! Oh my, Little M was such a tiny, cute little peanut! What precious pictures to have, especially with friends from her orphanage! I bet you are so glad to have those photos.

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