Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our family's village

I’m not sure why but man am I nervous today.  Restless sleep last night and longing to touch base with Justin this morning for reassurance.  I did have an awesome quiet time and reading what my peeps from bible study are reading back at home.  Miss you guys!

The reality is, it’s not like anything bad can happen today.  If anything, I am further paving the way to a future relationship between my Jonah and his biological family.  It’s kind of ironic.  One of the hesitations I had about domestic adoption was the horror stories I’ve heard of bio family interaction and we were concerned that if we adopted multiple times it would impact all our children, bio and adopted.  And yet here we are, reaching deep into the villages of Uganda to extend a hand, to love, to open a connection.  Oh, did I mention that, while not previously planned, my friend made it happen with little effort for me to go to Jonah's village and eat with his family?  Yeah, crazy!

Today, I will meet two of Jonah’s biological brothers for the first time.  I have seen their pictures and we have communicated through the babies home of their school status but that is the extent.  I met Jonah’s bio father twice, once in court, and once at the embassy appointment but with the language barrier, we did not communicate much.  Not to mention, at that place and time, I was so focused on getting Jonah home that I was less concerned with where we went in the future.

But here we are, in the future.  You know me, if I have a question, I will research it into the ground.  A little before we left and a ton since weve been home, I have been researching adoptees and when/how they figure out who they are.  So many people think that our child should feel so lucky that we brought him out of an orphanage and to America and wow how could he feel anything but grateful.  But that is very errant thinking.  Yes, Jonah is blessed to have a family who loves him.  We are just as blessed to have him as our child and to be Jack’s brother.  But the reality is, there’s a whole family that was left behind.  A whole family who looks like him, who spoke his language, who, despite being in a rough situation, still loves him.  (**If you’re in an adoption circle, please don’t read this and judge us and ask us why our child did not get resettled.  I do not owe you my son’s story, but I can assure you we exhausted every option before pursuing his IA. **)  It was not an option for Jonah to be in that or any of his other extended families homes, but that does not mean they will not always share a connection.  And from what I've read, that is a huge struggle for adoptees…connection.  Connection to people who look like you, to people who talk like you, to people who understand your culture and knowing where you came from.  How many Americans do all this research on ancestry?  Shoot, we have like 3 television shows about it!!  But we just expect our adoptees to be ok without knowing and in addition tell them they should feel grateful. 

Enough soapbox.  We are doing what we can about it.  I will not give you the specifics of how our family is working with the biological family but our primary focus are Jonah’s older brothers that were not put in the same position he was in and thus remain in the home.  And today, I get to meet them in person!!  Today I get to look into one teenagers eyes that looks strikingly similar to my little boy.  I cannot promise I will not cry.  For us adoption is more than just our son but he story, his family, his blood.  That means his brother, while he may be my son, is my family.  I want Jonah to know his homeland, his culture, his people.  I love it so much, I want him to have that opportunity as well.  He will choose what his relationship with his biological family looks like but we will give him every chance to know them and have consistent interaction as he desires and we will walk through those decisions with him as he grows and gets to a place to be able to make them.

SO, I’m going out of order a little bit because yesterday we, the two Sole Hope interns (who have been gracious enough to let this old woman hang out with them for the last week) and I, went to a village to do resettlement of the children who have been at the Sole Hope outreach house healing from their significant jigger removal.  I wanted to tell you about it but I’ve asked one of the interns to give you her experience because 1) she’s awesome and has a huge heart for helping people, 2) she’s from Illinois so she has to be great, 3) this was her first time in any village so she will give you more of that perspective while I love, and 4) she is a very artistic, creative, beautiful person and I can’t wait to see her post!  Her name is Kayla so stand by for pure awesomeness.  Then I will come back and let you know how the visit went!


Thursday is my last full day here and we will be doing the weekly jigger removal clinic.  Friday afternoon my friend Brian will be picking me up to runs some errands in Kampala and take me to the airport!  I can’t believe how fast the time goes.  Obviously I’m ready to see my boys but I am at such peace here.  Love to all of you!

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