Sunday, May 12, 2013
Their first Mamas
I wish they knew that they're not just alive, not just safe, but thriving. That beauty has come from ashes.
I wish they knew that Rose and Eli are loved. Fiercely, protectively, and completely. And not just by their parents, but by their brothers and sisters, their grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
I wish they knew that their tears are wiped dry, their booboos kissed, and their bad dreams chased away.
I wish I could ask them questions about their pregnancies, their lives, their family histories, and the wishes and dreams they have for these children.
I wish they could know that they're honored. We don't talk about how Rose and Eli were found without qualifying those finding stories by talking about the taboos against special needs, with the lack of affordable health care, with the unforgiving nature of the one-child policy, with all that we don't know that went into why I am now their mother.
I wish they could know that they're whole in every way. That Eli's foot is straight enough for him to walk on, and that soon he will have ten fingers that move independently of each other. But that even with his hands the way they are, that he can pound on the piano, throw a ball, and feed himself with a fork. That the scar on Rose's lip is the last thing most people see, because they're so taken with her shining eyes and the little ball of fire that's always climbing, jumping, and striving.
I wish they could see how smart these two are. How Eli mimics everything his big sister does. How hard he's trying to talk. How Rose knows exactly how to get whatever she wants out of her smitten parents.
I wish they could know that their children have a future. That they will never be limited by their disabilities. That they will go to preschool and high school and college. That they'll go to Disneyland and the top of the Eiffel Tower and back to the land of their birth.
I wish they could know how their children have made everyone in our family better people. How I finally had to learn to be patient and relinquish control while I was waiting for them, and how that has served me my fifth and sixth times around as a mother. How they've allowed Ed the hands-on fatherhood time he missed when our older children were born during his medical training. How Bryce, Annie, Isaac and Maren no longer shrink when they see people who are different from them. How adopting children from China has pulled us, just a little bit, outside of our own privileged lives.
I wish they, these first Mamas, could know how grateful I am that they carried and bore Rose and Eli, that they had the grace and bravery to share them with us.
I wish I could wrap my arms around them and say "thank you." But since I can't, I'll snuggle the children they bore just a little bit tighter today.