Many years ago, I had a dream. My dream was to help children grow. To help them believe in their dreams. My dream was to become an adoptive parent. I realized many children in the world needed love, trust, a family… I wanted to give them all the love and trust they needed, and to be their family. For at least one of them I could make a difference.
Fast forward. My husband and I decided to adopt from China. Two years later, we fell in love with the picture of the beautiful Chinese baby girl that was referred to us. She was all we ever longed for, and more. Her Chinese name is translated as “rosy clouds” and can be interpreted as “always nice weather”. This name suits her perfectly. Our daughter is always in a good temper. She is a spirited young girl with many talents. She has no fear of trying new things and almost always she succeeds. She is very interested in China and has taken Chinese language lessons. She has an inner strength and braveness about her that has impressed us all. She is beautiful and strong. Over time she has proven to us again and again just how special she is. She is a miracle in our eyes.
Four years later, a little firecracker came into our world: a precious Chinese son! He is a caring, passionate young boy with a sensitive character. That is probably why his transition was tougher: he had to grieve before he could accept us as his new family. But because he obviously was loved in China, he has learned to love us too. We cannot leave his bedroom before he has kissed us goodnight, over and over again. We cannot imagine how life was before we met him. He has a joy about him that is contagious. Most likely you will have a smile on your face after an encounter with him. He has showed us milestone by milestone what love can truly do. He has taught us that there are no boundaries when it comes to loving a child. We love him to pieces.
Our children learn each other to have patience and to share. Together they sing songs like ‘Happy birthday to you’ and ‘Liang zhi lao hu’. Their relationship has grown so much. They are siblings and friends now. It has been a blessing to watch them blossom in so many ways. We are sometimes being told how lucky our children are to have been adopted by us. The truth is that we are the lucky ones. We feel incredibly lucky that we get to be their parents. While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.
Our children know they have lived in an orphanage and a foster family in China before they came to us. We want to teach them about their heritage. They love to hear about the day we met. Our daughter smiles when we tell her she was the first in a row of six children that day waiting for their new families. She is proud when I tell her she was the only baby in the room that did not cry. She soaks in every detail of that day. Our son points at the globe and shows us HIS city in China. We are sure that they are thriving now in our family because of the amazing care and special love they received in China. For that, we are forever grateful to the staff, the nannies and the foster families.
Our thoughts often drift to China. Every time we gaze at our children, we see the people that believed in them. We can only imagine how they miss the children we carried home. We walked through their streets, tasted their food, saw their sky, and heard their voices. Time was too short, but just long enough to cultivate our taste. Leaving us wanting to know more about them.
Today, we have a new dream… We hope to build bridges between the home of our children and their homeland. We hope to connect, to discover each other, to embrace China as a friend. In our dream we give our children two gifts: one thing is wings, the other thing is roots. We try hard doing so. Every year we write an update about our children to the orphanage. We tell our children about the Chinese people that gave them new chances. In our dream our children meet the people who took care of them. People they can connect with. People who can tell them something about their early beginnings. About the little footprints our children left on their heart. The life of our children started long before we met. That part is missing. But in our dream, we find pieces of the puzzle, together. Small things. Some good, some sad. A smile and a tear. A word. A touch. That’s how adoption becomes a story from the heart. That’s how we are all connected.
We read our children bedtime stories before they go to sleep. Our favorite quote is from Winnie the Pooh: “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our children. We can’t wait to connect more and deeper with their homeland. We hope one day we will see not only our dreams come true, but also theirs. Especially theirs.