OK. We're trying to process the future meeting that we will likely have with our little girl's birth mom. We found out some details on Tuesday during our "Next Steps" phone call with our Agency. Details that surprised us.
We knew that we would likely meet Peaches' birth mom on our first trip to Ethiopia following the court hearing. The court hearing is when Peaches will be officially declared our daughter. Up until that time, the government has legal custody of her and her birth mom could change her mind at any time and re-gain legal custody.
So, following the court hearing, we will be meeting Peaches' birth mom. Peaches' birth mom relinquished her to an orphanage several months ago after her husband died and she was no longer capable of caring for her little girl. We imagined that the meeting with the birth mom would be somewhat informal, with just us, her, and maybe an interpreter present. It would be a cozy, ask as many questions as possible, pray with her, cry with her, look into her eyes, find out who she is kind of meeting. Very intimate, very moving, very memorable. Funny how we picture things sometimes.
But what we found out is that the meeting will happen at our Agency's transition home. And that it will happen with some of the Hannah's Hope staff present, social workers present, interpreters present, and.....the real surprise.....our Peaches will be there too. Yes, right after she is legally declared ours, she will see her birth mom again. It sort of stunned us and got us thinking a lot about this meeting. Wondering how will she process that? How will we process that? What will that meeting be like?
It seemed to us that Peaches' birth mom relinquished her to an orphanage many months ago through a very tragic turn of events that played out to a horrifying reality for our girl And with that relinquishment, our little girl is likely still going to bed each night wondering, "Is mom coming to get me tonight? Why did she leave me? Maybe tomorrow? When will she come?" Though it was a courageous choice by her birth mom, knowing she could no longer provide care, it still resulted in the pain and loss of a child being orphaned.
There certainly must be a huge whole in her heart from missing her mom and also from her dad's death. Pain that is not meant for a 4 year old. Pain that she must handle alone, since she no longer has anyone to hold her through her storms.
Certainly, the confusion of the rapid changes in her life must make it difficult to grab hold of any sense of reality. How can a 4 year old find any rest as her life turns upside down?
So what will she think as she sees her mom again? Will she think, "Yes! She's here! Everything will be alright again. We will be together just like I've longed for us to be"? How will her mind and damaged heart think through all of this? It's difficult for me to even begin to understand how she will understand her mom's presence, the social worker, the interpreter, the two white people who have been playing with her all week, the different languages, the many questions, the tears, the pain. Will she begin grieving all over again? Has she stopped grieving?
Oh Peaches. We so want to take it all away. And yet we know that there will be pain, there will be sorrow, there will be grieving, there will be separation. How can we help to heal your heart? How can we begin to make your life better, as we take you from your birth mom and your country? We know you have a place in our lives, in our family, in our hearts. We know you belong to us.
So for that brief day, when we are all in the room together, we will trust that God will be working. That He will be using all of it as part of the healing process for Peaches. That He will be bringing her heart and her soul back to wholeness as only He can do. There are many confusing twists and turns in adoption. Many times when we wonder, "why"? Yet, He guides us, He leads us, and He strengthens us for the difficult turns in the road. He will supply what we need. He will meet Peaches' needs, He will meet her birth mom's needs, and He will meet our needs.
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.