A Princess Born of India is written for my daughters. It was created to record the story of how our family; Devi Rose, my husband Pat, myself and soon our daughter Treya Marie, have been formed through the miracle of adoption. My hope is that some day they can recount how we fell in love with them from half way around the world; before even feeling the warmth of their beautiful brown skin touching ours or ever witnessing the rise of their chest when taking their next breath.
Today’s entry is not written for them. It is a plea to any reader who stops to pause over this post and peruse the archives - that they might see the truth in adoption. The truth is that it takes work to find a reputable agency, to fulfill the courses of adoption and parenting study required, to prepare all the paperwork, to open your home for review, to investigate the medical records of a child you so desperately want to love, and to open your heart to ALL that child brings. The truth in adoption is constancy; steadfastness and above all faithfulness.
Devi joined our family September 18th, 2008 in Kolkata, India. I could tell you a lengthy story about that day, the weather, what we ate, what I was wearing, what the orphanage looked like, but all that really matters is that a tiny girl was placed in our arms and in an instant the three of us were whole. It was good and right. In the nearly three years that we have been together, our lives together have had their challenges, but no one ever said parenting would be easy. I’ve come to realize that although grown in the womb of another and born thousands of miles away, there is no doubt Devi, Pat and I were meant to be a family.
Spurred by this knowledge, there was no squelching the tiny flame inside my soul calling me to another child soon after Devi's arrival. Although we researched other countries, there was no denying the constant pull towards India. Logistically, adopting from India was ludicrous - the process is difficult, our ages a potential road block, and most agencies were not even accepting applications. The chance that no child would be matched with us was huge but the risk was one that we felt compelled to take. The truth in this second adoption journey is once again based on constancy; steadfastness and above all, one’s faith.
This truth has lead us to Treya. As we stare at her picture prominently displayed in several areas of our home, one quickly forgets the diligent work that it has taken to get us to this point. With the hope of traveling by the years' end we enter the gauntlet of the court process this week, and once again, have come to realize that we are just satisfying the legal requirement of what we all ready know in our hearts to be true. This union with all of it's unique challenges, is simply meant to be.
For those unaware, this post comes at the urging of the adoption world in an effort to dispel rumors recently surfacing about international adoption. This week an internationally adopted child was returned, unaccompanied, to his birth country by his adoptive mother. It is a tragic situation, the details of which still seem unjustifiable as they surface. Although trained and supported through the agency that they were associated with, this family felt this was their only option. This poorly handled situation greatly saddens me – that a family felt so isolated from help, that a child was desperately crying out for help that he did not receive, and that stories like this tarnish the ideals of "family" that adoption creates.
As a result the US is under the scrutiny of other governments in countries that facilitate international adoption with the USA. Currently, a hold on all adoptions is being considered, awaiting a thorough investigation of this matter. While further study is definitely needed, placing a hold on adoptions is not the solution. The reality is that slowing or halting adoptions, especially those in progress, ultimately hurt the very children they are trying to protect. Every child deserves a family and comfort of a home over life in an institution.
While ours is not nearly as "newsworthy" as this rare tragedy, it is our success story. Our child knows every last detail by heart, but still begs us to tell it again. I am certain it mimics the priceless moments shared by countless families who have grown in this most unique way. When considering the news, remember this...We are the truth!