Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Warning: Tear Jerker

Throughout this adoption journey I learned of adoption stories of many people in my life. An unforeseen benefit were students of mine approaching me to "just talk" about their adoption stories. One such student has shared her emotional journey of being adopted into a loving (also single mom) adoptive family and has given me some insight into the unique, adolescent, perspective that is a teen dealing with adoption.

Even prior to knowing her adoption story, this student has stood out in many ways: maturity beyond her years; sensitivity to other people's needs; love of learning and inquisitive mind; and a general ability to just "get it". I feel lucky to have had this child cross my path professionally, as well as personally, especially after today.

This student walked into my classroom during last period today saying "I got you a present Ms. Engle!!! Well, it's for your daughter, but since she isn't here yet, you can open it. Sorry- I only had tissue paper to wrap it."
Nestled within about 10 layers of white tissue paper was a small, ceramic box, adorned with 2 small rabbits, each of a different color.
"I found this in the back of my closet" she said, "I used to get them from my mom every adoption day. Well, except this one. This box was given to me by the judge on the day that my adoption was finalized. I hope your daughter likes it."

"...except this one..."

After unsuccessfully choking back tears, I hugged her, then proceeded to spiral into an ugly cry. "Why would you give me something that was so meaningful to you?" I asked. "I don't know" she said, "maybe because you are just doing a good thing and hopefully it will mean something to her."

I can never thank her enough for this small/not-so-small gesture of understanding. I will make sure that Elizabeth knows the story of my student, this box, and how special it is to our family.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Ups and Downs of Adoption

Last week ended with the amazing news that my "Letter Seeking Confirmation" (LSC), also known as "Letter of Action" (LOA), had been issued by the CCCWA. This letter is sent to my adoption agency, immediately mailed to me to sign, scan and return to my agency. At this point, the LOA is joined by my I-800 paperwork and off to US immigration.
Although LOA's usually arrive within a day or two, mine was unfortunately absent from the DHL shipment arriving at my agency from China this week. As frustrating as this may be, I refuse to let the wait and countdown for her homecoming consume my every thought.
Therefore, I will turn to something that is constant, true and unwavering in my life: Science. :)
Check out the fantastic research by Dr. Charles Nelson recently featured on NPR this week. It is an enlightening look into power of love on the mind of an orphaned child.
NPR Article on Dr. Charles Nelson

Enjoy and hopefully I will be able to share some exciting updates soon!