I don't think everyone realizes the immense loss behind adoption. I know that is true because I have talked to some people about the losses Duncan experienced and will always carry, that his extended family has faced and will keep facing (because they might never see him again) and they have said, "Oh wow, I never thought about that part of it."
You may have heard the phrase adoption cannot exist without loss. There is so much grief and loss in adoption. It is not all rainbows and warm fuzzies.
Yes, for some reason Duncan was meant to eventually be in our family as part of his story. But God did not do all this for US. He did not cause suffering for many just "so we could have him". We would never WANT others to suffer just so we could have an amazing kid like Duncan. I am so thankful he is our son, but I wish his life and others' were such that this all never had to even be necessary. Oh how my heart aches daily for them, and for Duncan as I think about what these losses will mean to him as he ages. What is "meant to be" is that none should suffer, that none would be fatherless, that none would be hungry, that families would be intact. . . but our world got screwed up a loooong time ago and unfortunately all those things are now part of it.
Duncan's adoption is all part of God's mysterious plan, but He did not cause all that suffering so that WE could be blessed. We are blessed, of course. But 7 grandkids did not lose their precious Grandmother so that they would all suffer that tremendous loss and we would eventually have Duncan. Grandma Ann did not suffer a tragic death so that we could have him. His precious birthmother, a lady about my age was not afflicted by some things that will remain unnamed, so that we could have him. I could go on with many more examples.
I can't quite express in words what my heart longs to cry out, so forgive my ramblings. I want people to realize that God did not outline these tremendous hardships in others' lives just so we could have Duncan. I want people to recognize the losses Duncan has experienced, and so many in his family. . . because they deserve it. He deserves to be looked at as someone's whose history started at birth, in Uganda. Not here, not May 31 when he stepped off the plane into his new life. People in his pre-Neill history deserve it--they are precious people who were always concerned about him. They are a huge part of his story. They ARE his story.
Maybe, maybe not. He does not have to be thankful to us. We do not expect gratitude. How could we, with all he's been through, all that others have been through. . . we are not his saviors, America is not his promised land. He didn't ask for all those things to happen and neither did all the people in his life. He didn't get a say in any of this. I don't know how he'll feel later about all the pieces of his history. The losses will always be losses. Those things don't just go away because he has a family now. We pray, though, that all our kids have peace with whatever comes their way and that they draw near toward the Lord and not away. We pray that they are always thankful to God for whatever they have from Him, but we do not expect them to be thankful to us.
Our girls have tremendous losses, too, and will have more to add to the list once they join our family. They will say goodbye to their sweet friends--who seem closer than brothers and sisters. People will say goodbye to them who love and care about them. There are people who will think about them for the rest of their lives.
There is so much more to our (soon-to-be) 3 Ugandan children than just being in our family. I hope people can see that. Their lives did not start once they entered our family. And many special people in our children's histories are so deserving of a prayer for their hard road, an ache of a heart for their losses, a thought of admiration for their concern and sacrifice for the child they let go forever. . .
Well, I have no concise clear point here, sorry. Adios for now, to whoever endured through my ramblings to this point! :) Comments from any of you who have thoughts on the subject (the undefined inconcise subject, haha) are very welcome!
Oh, and PLEASE don't ever ask any of our children (or any other adopted child you know) when they're older, if they're thankful to be here! I have heard firsthand from more than one mom about (well-intentioned) people striking up adoption conversations with older children and then asking that question! UGH.