Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Granite Question Mark

One suggestion I would have for any adoption agency advocating for an older child's adoption would be to issue to the adoptive parents a statue of a granite question mark, a very sharp chisel, and a sturdy mallet.   On the day the statue is delivered...before your new child is home... that piece of rock is polished, smooth, and just about as perfect as perfect can be. That of course is also our ideal of who our future child will be... polished and just about as perfect as perfect can be.  

So, once your child arrives you are allowed one powerful blow to the chisel on the granite for every unanswered question reveled in regards to your child's history.  One blow...only one...regardless of how big or how infinitesimal that information is.  Because, really, what good would taking twenty whacks to a piece of granite really accomplish or change?   At first you'll be taking two, three, even ten whacks a day because that's just how it is the first several months. Their language is so primitive the only thing you will learn are his likes and dislikes, not a whole lot more.  

Then things slow down and there may be days you won't even have the need to pick up the hammer.  At this point the statue is looking a little dinged up, but still maintaining its integrity.  Soon your child will begin to express himself through our spoken tongue.  It isn't perfect but it is somewhat understandable.  The hammer is once again in hand several times a day as memories surface and are spoken.  Some are wonderful...some not so much.  Chisel away.  One blow...regardless of how big or how infinitesimal that memory is.   Because, really, what good would taking twenty whacks to a piece of granite really accomplish or change?

Then things slow down again and the hammer collects a fine layer of dust.  The statue is pushed aside, not so much a focal point anymore in your life or the life of the child.  You are cruising through this parenting thing.  You've got it down.  Nothing but smoo.... wait!  More memories surface.  Significant memories that alter your perspective of what is just and what is unjust in an innocent child's life.  You pull out the statue, grasp the chisel, clutch your hammer, and pull your arm back so far that the force of inertia when the hammer meets the chisel would break (you would think)  the hardest of surfaces.  Once the two meet a small ding the size of all the others appears.  Regardless of how much force you landed on the statue, the damage was no more different in size than the one you landed two years ago when you found out he was left handed.  You look at your statue...your question mark.  It is damaged from reveled history.  But for as much damage as has been inflicted on that question mark statue there are still parts that are polished, smooth, and just about as perfect as perfect can be...just like your adopted child.

History has damaged many of our children...some more than others.   But the bottom line is that regardless of how many dings and divots history has created in our child, it is up to us as adoptive parents to find the polished, smooth, and just about as perfect as perfect can be in our child.  It is our right, our duty, and our honor.

2 comments:

  1. A truly beautiful post :-)

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  2. Julie! I finally got my butt in gear and got over here to see your blog! How is your book going? Because YOU ARE A WRITER! Really loved this. I have had a couple of girls from a private orphanage living with me this last year and MAN can I relate. Well said! Look forward to being here more often and hope you don't mid if I link your blog to mine! Take care "old" friend. :)

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