February 25, 2012

Too much Chinese food

Is adoption perfect?

That would be an emphatic, "No."

At the surface, in and out of our days, she is absolutely no different than her brothers.  She makes up jokes, she dances on the dining room floor in her stocking feet to this song, she begs for another cookie, she prays "Jeeesus, my heart" at bedtime, she gobbles up her dinner, all the usual things.  She's our kid.  No bout a doubt it (as my daddy would say).
But dig a little deeper, below the surface, underneath our days, and she is undoubtedly adopted.  She looks different, first of all, to state the obvious.  She has black hair.  Her knees and elbows are ashy.  People on the streets ask what happened, how come our fourth child came out that way.  Daniel is tired of explaining adoption to a culture that doesn't get it, so he replies, "We ate too much Chinese food before she was born."  They usually laugh, but one time a group of migrant workers believed him.  Oops.

She clings to me.  She aches for something. She says things like, "I'm sad" and, "My feelings hurt."
She dances slowly in my arms to this song.

Is anyone's life perfect?

Now that is an emphatic, "No."

My worst memories of childhood are in my closet, crouched on the floor, hugging my nervous dog while he drooled on my toes.  While we waited out the storm.  The storm outside the house.  The storm inside the house.

My worst memories of adolescence are in my closet, hiding from the world, hugging my loyal dog while he licked my toes.  While we waited out the storm within myself.  Clinging and aching, just like my daughter, just like everybody else.

Which brings me to what is perfect.  Or rather who is perfect.  You all know Who I am talking about.

And so we hope on.  And hope on.  And hope on.

And we adopt little ones, because in an imperfect world, we've got to try, don't we?

I think that is an emphatic, "Yes."