Janet suggested I share some daddy perspective on her blog. So, here goes: For starters, I forgot how nice it is to take a nap in the middle of the day, not that I'm asleep, but it's nice to press the pause button. I'm laying here next to Mollie pecking this out my phone. I'm the toddler whisperer- or, Janet got all the "I don't want to nap" fight out of Mollie and I get to walk in, come to the rescue, and lay with a tired kid who soon falls asleep. Either way, I score points AND get a nap. Winning! (too yesterday for a Charlie Sheenism?).
My observations about the process here, the culture, the people, etc. are similar to Janet's so I won't recap. Instead, I'll try to share with you what this experience means to me personally. Funny, people we've met in China (locals) would ask, "why you adopt? You have two girls already". The Chinese people are practical, if nothing else. I've had a few friends ask the same question and, I'm sure, those who haven't asked might be curious. Why would we choose to do something a bit out of the norm?
How did I get here? How did I get to the place emotionally and spiritually to be prepared to adopt a special needs child from an orphanage in China? A series of small decisions and choices, really... If you'll pardon the metaphor, it must be like a marathon. You choose to enter, you choose each day to run the prescribed training distance, and, on race day, you run. You choose to run each mile and keep going and, oh by the way, you're running on faith because your peak run during your training before your taper is 4 miles short of the actual race distance. You just have faith that your fitness and preparation will get you to the finish. So, we made a series of smaller decisions, leading to a bigger one and we're running on faith. We also made the decision to love. Being "in love" is an emotion but loving is a choice. I say Mollie is God's child and we're just loving her.
So far, so good. It feels different than when S&A were born. After they were born, I immediately felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I felt like I went from a child to an adult overnight. This feels different. I feel like what it must feel like to be a grandfather. I'm not sure if it's because I'm older, if it's because Mollie is the third child (were always more laid back with the later children, right?), or if it's because she's adopted and, even if we aren't perfect, she's still better off. Maybe it's a combination of all of the above or, maybe, reality hasn't set in yet. Unlike a grandfather, I can't give her back to her parents when she cries. Maybe I'll feel different after after a 15 hour flight home with a child who doesn't like seat belts.
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