Monday, September 1, 2008

Yeah, I'm selfish

I know I sounded whiny yesterday. I really am not depressed or angry...just frustrated. I know if you have been through an international adoption, or if you have had your first trip to meet your child...or even if you have been to an orphanage - you can understand the frustration.

For people who have not ever been to an orphanage and held an 18 month old who locks eyes with you in a searching way...eyes that truly are looking for someone to love them. I have never seen eyes with such quiet desperation...."are you going to love me and take care of me". I am not trying to be dramatic or poetic...I am just telling it like it is. There are wonderful kids who just long for and are searching for love that requires a family. My life was changed completely when I visited Zeb the first time and I held so many kids who thank god have families now.

So is my frustration at the long alabama process selfish...yeah. I don't want A to have that emptiness and longing that I saw in the eyes of the kids in Bishkek. Do I love my current family and enjoy every minute with them.....absolutely. There is room in my house, my heart, my family for more children. Just because I am longing to get moving on bringing my next child home and start showing him what a family means and watch L, and Z and O show him what a family means - doesn't mean I am not revelling in all of the wonders of my family in its current size.

Seeing these kids reaching out for love and attention opened my eyes to so much sadness and pain in the world that I intellectually knew was there, but didn't really internalize or feel. You can't unlearn that and I can't ignore it. I am not really in a position to make a difference through volunteerism - although I hope to be able to sometime soon! So I do what american's do best...I throw money at the problem. It doesn't take much - I am a big fan of Worldvision and Samaritan's Purse right now and being an ugly american - can't wait until I can take L on one of the Possibilities International shopping trips! Of course most international adoption agencies do non profit work in the countries they facilitate from so you can donate money through them.

I am digressing - I just wanted to address how my experiences in Bishkek were totally transformative and I think it is hard for people to understand me if they have not been emotionally awakened to the reality so many (too many) kids face. I am not trying to be dismissive of or belittling to anyone's experiences or opinions....I just want to try to explain that if you haven't seen and felt what I have it is hard for your advice to really be applicable to my life....although I know most advice is well meaning and comes from a place of love and concern.

7 comments:

Julie and John Wright said...

Michelle.... Its all about being selfish....At times you almost have to shut out what others say ... we have had friends tell us that they think we are off our nuts.... but the fact is like you say ... I am selfish

I don't want to see a baby suffer with no one to hold them....
I don't want a child to die because they could not afford a ventelator....
I don't want to go to the dump and find 4 year old kids living there...
I don't like it when I find 11 year old girls used for prostitution and I am not fond of 13 year old boys kept in cages when the work day is over, and I
don't like finding 25 year old boys drunk and beeten lying on the side of the road.....
Go ahead... call us selfish.... we are in good company.....

Marissa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LaJoy Family said...

Selfish? Yea...then I am too. You are so incredibly correct in saying that visiting an orphanage overseas is transformative. The children you have left behind can haunt you...man, can they haunt you. And how do you share that with someone who has never held those kids, looked into their eyes, seen firsthand what their future holds...and how can you ever say "no" when you...as you say...have room in your heart and home for another unloved child. I haven't yet figured it out, obviously, and I am thankful my life has been forever changed by these experiences. And I, for one, think I am in pretty good company with the likes of you, John and Julie, and others...even if many people do think I am crazy!

Michelle said...

cindy, you are so right in using the word haunt.

Hilary Marquis said...

Sign me up as selfish too! I still lose sleep over the ones I left behind. I am thanking God that one of the three girls that I met is coming home in October! But, there are still 2 of them out there waiting, along with so many others. I am so excited for you!

Michelle said...

Hillary - I am so thankfull that the one face that haunted me the most is also home and doing so well!

Jenna Marie Howard said...

Hello
I just wanted to stop by and tell you I enjoy reading your blog. I am adopted and have three other adopted brothers and sisters and find such encouragement knowing you are a adoptive parent who obviously loves your child. I can not wait to see pictures of the joyous moments you share with your little one. I am the Director of Public Relations for a non-profit organization called World Orphans. We build family style church based orphan homes all over the world and our mission is simple E3 to reach each church…each child…each community. I would love for you to take a look at our website and let me know if you have any questions. (www.worldorphans.com) I hope you will have a glorious blessed day!

Jenna M. Howard
-Director of Public Relations
www.Worldorphans.org
Jennah@worldorphans.org
www.JennaMarieHoward.com

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power