We recently watched the video Kung Fu Panda 2 that Kevin received from the kids as part of a Christmas present. In the movie the adoption of the character Po is presented when he has a flashback of his birthmom. He confronts his dad Mr. Ping, a goose and is told he was found in a box of radishes behind his restaurant and how Mr. Ping came to the decision to raise this hungry baby Panda who was now alone and how it made his world sweeter for the choice.
With all of our children joining our family through adoption I was moved as they went through the story of Po as the Dragon Warrior, and Po's search for "who he was". Each of our kids has their own story and arrival in our lives. I've shared Cameron's in the post "Do you believe in Miracles?" and how he literally was an answer to prayer and how his birth mother lived with us for 5 1/2 months prior to his birth.
Then with Amber who arrived at almost 8 years of age from Russia, we had a mountain of learning to do in overcoming the wounds of an abusive start in life, removal from this home and then the time in a very dismal orphanage that was extremely short on finances and so food was a huge issue for her. We spent years trying to find ways to deal with extreme reactive attachment disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. While we acknowledge it was years of real challenges for our family and for Amber to overcome the layers of hurt to see victory, God was good at putting people and sometimes programs in our path to aid us in seeing Amber arrive at the incredible young woman she is today, with an ability to love and receive love. And triumphing over a diagnosis by a panel of specialists who said she could never achieve this as she was too mired in layers of self preservation walls she wouldn't let go of.
Hannah's adoption journey began after I (Lynda) had a clear vision of a little Asian girl on Mother's Day of 2005, and knew there was another daughter that was waiting to be in my family and the amazingly fast trek the Lord took us on to bring her home within 7 months of this vision. At 18 months Hannah was such a joyful addition to our family. And adjusted so quickly to life in our family. I remember one day when she was almost 3. Kevin had walked out the front door and she'd seen Cameron and Amber leave a bit earlier. She stood looking after Kevin's departure and didn't realize I was still there in the kitchen right behind her. I heard this terrible panickly wail come from her as she screamed "I'm all alone!!!". I rushed across the room and scooped her now sobbing little body up and reassured her we would never leave her alone. This experience made me realize that though she may not have had a clear memory of being left at 2 months in front of a large department store where she was sure to be found quickly. She did have issues of abandonment that were displayed with the panic and fear she displayed that day. Hannah is my questioner and though she has desire to know, there is also a certain fear associated. Our family has always been open with adoption facts, but we have learned to temper the info with what each child is really asking at that moment and needs to learn from you at this point in time. It's a delicate balance of being honest, but also not overwhelming with information the child isn't asking at this particular point.
With Lauren's arrival in our family a year ago, we have had to deal again with the issue of reactive attachment disorder. Life skills that served her in her 6 years of orphanage life, but do not blend in a family situation. Overcoming health issues that have been a lifelong challenge for her and a whole other set of fears associated with medical treatments as a result of her many hospitilizations throughout her young life. Lauren is still very much in an adjustment stage still with finding her place as a member of a family unit and hasn't had any revelations really beyond the moment except for the occasions she looks at the photo album sent with her, or a rare memory she specifically relogates to "China". Lauren has learned very much to live in the now moment as a means of dealing with her lifes circumstances. It will be interesting as time goes on to see how perspective changes for her.
In the movie the character Po has another chance save China as his role as the Dragon Warrior, but he also has the chance to come to terms with "who he is". And he does this as he also confronts the issue of scars vs wounds and bringing all to a place that he is at peace with. Each person adopted or not can deal with the issue of "who am I", but sometimes that reality is more at the forefront when there is an awareness of blending life experiences. As a parent I desire to see all my children attain their sense of self and a joy for the life we've been blessed to share with them. I also seek to nurture the gifts and talents unique to each one. It gives me a whole other appreciation of being adopted by our Heavenly Father and the delight He has when we can boldly cry out to Him with open arms "Abba" or daddy.