Each night I hold his hand and rub his back as part of the night time routine. And each morning I kiss his cheek, slide my finger into his hand, which he still instinctively squeezes, and call his name to wake him up. Some nights he still asks me to lay down and snuggle with him as he goes to sleep and some morning he climbs into my bed and asks for snuggles. I cherish these moments because I know that at some point he won't want/need me to do that anymore.
This week after watching him drift off to sleep I have knelt and prayed. I have prayed that God protect his heart, that God help me raise him into a young man that loves Him, that he grows to be a man of strength and honesty. And then I have prayed that God gives me the words, the strength and the courage to face that which is hard and scary. That I know what to say to him, when the time comes, about all the information I have received and will hopefully be receiving in the coming weeks to months. I have prayed that God protect us both and I have prayed that God is protecting the heart of Little Man's tummy mommy.
I have spent this week ranging in emotions from scared to angry to proud to sickened. I have searched for words and found none. I have felt strong and then felt the wetness of tears on my cheeks. I have laid down to sleep and had words racing through my mind. I see Little Man as a baby in Ethiopia and then a slideshow of pictures of him here with me race through my mind. I see all the faces of those here that love him and lift him and I up.
The last two weeks have been ground breaking for the adoption world. Through the strength and determination of a group of adoptive parents charges were brought against International Adoption Guides. (Yes, this is the agency I used to adopt Little Man) While I was not in the group that brought charges, I completely supported the group that did and even offered the investigator anything I might have that might be helpful. But I adopted a baby so there was not much information I had to contribute. In the last 2 weeks both the Director and Executive Director pled guilty to some or all the charges brought against them. There was no trial and thankfully no media circus to get caught up in. But their guilt means a so many things on so many levels.
Most important to me, is that hopefully it will mean I will have the true story to one day give Little Man** about his Tummy Mommy. But it also may mean that the story I have given him is not true. That there could be a mom in Ethiopia wondering where and how her child is tonight.
The guilt of these people means that there were kids who had loving parents that wanted to raise them, who lost their children to greed. But their guilt also means that as adoptive parents we are standing up and saying yes, we want to adopt ORPHANS, not kids you "find" and claim are orphans. It means that kids, babies, birth moms and adoptive parents matter more than money. Lives matter, no matter their language, country or financial status.
So many have been hurt by this and sadly so many more will be hurt as the truth comes out. So tonight as I lay him to bed I let my fingers linger a little longer in his hair. I pray one more time to protect him and me. And I pray that his Tummy Mommy is safe and some how, knows he is loved and cared for every day by so many people. But I also pray for a future that is now riddled with more questions than an adopted child normally has. I pray for the safety and trust of our relationship, that while he may one day question it, that he knows in his heart I was honest, I was safe and I fought for his truth.
Adoption is a beautiful thing. Corruption makes it ugly. May we come through this time holding something beautiful at the end….our family…however it now looks.
**Please don't asks me for his story. Even when I do know as much of it as possible, it is his story to share when he is ready. I will protect it fiercely just as I protect him