August 18, 2008

China Ghosts

My patient husband is trying to put down a crying Josie who refuses to give into sleep, while Emma and I are spending some quiet time reading in my bed. I just finished another fantastic book, China Ghosts: My Daughter’s Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood by Jeff Gammage. One of my favorite sentences in his book is from the epilogue, “Adopting a child from China puts you through a transformation, gathering you up from one place, spinning you around, then setting you down somewhere else, facing backward. It changes your life in ways you never could have foreseen.” (page 237).

Josie’s adoption is an emotional journey of extremes. It's a place where utter joy is paired with sheer exhaustion on a daily basis. Here’s a child who can smother me with kisses/hugs and then wake up screaming in fear hours later. It’s not anything I could have prepared for prior to our adoption. It’s just something that I'm continuing to work through. It’s made Chris and I stronger and better parents. Connecting with other adoptive mothers, and my blogging support group is what saves me on a daily basis. I also appreciate how my coworkers continue to be sympathetic to my sleep deprivation and ongoing Josie stories.

Chris and I recently met with our social worker to compile information for our six month post-placement report. In preparation for our meeting, we had a list of questions that needed to be answered. It gave us an opportunity to sit down and reflect about the last five months as a family of four. It’s been a whirlwind of activities, emotions and milestones. We both came to the same conclusion. If we were younger, and the adoption process wasn't so long, we’d adopt another child with a medical condition. It’s been a life-altering experience and we are more enriched because of it.

People often tell us that Josie is so blessed to be a part of our family. Chris and I both quick to respond that Josie has blessed us more than we could have ever expected. Now, if we could only get her to sleep through the night and understand that daycare is actually a good thing, life would be GRAND in the Kenward household.


Steffie B. said...

I need this book.....where did you find it again????

How is your week going?

Steffie B. said... so could adopt another know I will be keeping you posted on this whole COP process. ;)

Angela said...

I hear you! I'll check out the book, when I'm back to life again! It is not what I expected, but so much more, and exhausting, adopting that is!


Blessed Mom of Four AND More said...

I saw this book recently, and I want to read it.
Our Josie-Tatum had sleep issues. It does get better, I promise, but it can take lots of time. Let me know if you need more support!

Nicole said...

I read that book when it first came out... then I had Scott read it. I think it helped him understand more about the adoption process. I also agree with the quote you mentioned!!!

We're still not sure if we'll dip our feet in the adoption waters again... our agency wants us to wait at least 6 months between SN adoptions... so we'll see.

Anonymous said...

Your daughters look very pretty. :) I love that toothless smile...aww, can i please giver her a hug!